or die trying

I had prepared myself. Rehearsed the things I would say over & over in my mind, thought of new ones, carefully planning the appropriate metaphors and similes so that even as someone who didn’t have aliens slowly digging their way out of the front of his body as they gestated and came to full explosive maturity, my doctor would be able to clearly understand what it’s like.

If I started getting a bit too happy during the hours leading up to our appointment, I would immediately think of one of the “Lost Dog” fliers I’ve seen posted recently on light posts around my neighborhood, the last one I saw about a week ago having a picture of a happy, smiling Golden Retriever on it.

I swear, I could step over human bodies littered in the street with the only thought being that I hoped that I didn’t get some of the blood or decomposed flesh stuck to my shoe, therefore having to scrape it off on the tattered clothes or face of the next corpse I came across – but show me a picture of a dog who was lost, its home and warmth and everything it knows suddenly gone, and I would sit there staring at it, fighting back tears and memorizing every detail just in the off chance I actually did see it wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood, matted fur, a hungry, confused and terrified look in its eyes as it occasionally stopped, lifted its nose to the air and sniffed, hoping for the faintest scent of home or companion.

I had pictured going into a vicious, swearing rant the second the door to my doctor’s office was closed and we were alone inside, ripping off my umbilical hernia belt, violently lifting my shirt and dropping my pants. “LOOK AT ME! Look at… THIS, this monstrosity that has taken over my life and destroyed my hope, this THING that makes me mentally destroy any chance of a human companion before I even say the first word to a woman I could see myself with, someone to care for and to care for me, someone to give myself to, someone that will again fight like hell to stay alive for because I couldn’t stand the thought of them being alone. THIS DEFORMITY that I do NOT have to live with, do not have to accept, like having my legs cut off or being born with half a face or worse, no sense of style. The surgeon says he’s concerned that I would die if I had the operation, but doesn’t he understand that by NOT performing the procedure just to fucking put my insides back INSIDE that he is condemning me to an existence where every morning I look at myself, every time I wish I could go swimming, every day that it’s warm and I can’t even just wear a fucking t-shirt without having to put on the hernia belt and another shirt to cover that I feel that I would rather be dead? What right does HE have to play god, this spineless, ignorant, self-centered human-shaped Jell-O mold?

Et-cetera, et cetera. Fire & brimstone. The 15 minute scourge of Ward 86 at SFGH. Sure, there may be a bit of hyperbole in all that was said, but it wouldn’t be forgotten. John (my doctor) would cower in the corner, eyes wide and terrified and amidst the indiscernible mutterings of prayer for his safety and futile attempts to calm my tirade, swearing to me that he would relay every word I said to the surgeon, Dr. Mackersie, the second he felt safe enough to come out of the corner and sit at his computer to send an email.

Yeah, it didn’t really happen like that. At all.

The moment the door was shut to his office, he turned to me and with a sorrowful, incredibly caring look on his face said “I read the email you sent to me (see previous post), but… I didn’t know how to reply.”

Wait. What was I thinking? This is my friend, this is the guy who knows me, the guy who cares for me. I quickly fired the original mental director for this performance and brought out a new one. This needed to be a quiet scene, one where I played the much more realistic role of someone entirely drained of the passion for life, someone who, after so many years of holding on desperately to that last thin thread of hope, had finally let it go after John’s email to me saying that the surgeon felt the procedure would be too dangerous to perform.

Though the fact that I wasn’t really playing a role made it much easier, I still should win a goddamn Oscar for it. Sure, I overstated here, embellished there, and inflated some things quite a bit, but when you’re a generally happy person called on to act despondent & dejected so that the emotion of what you actually do feel sometimes is pounded like a stake into the heart of the person you absolutely, unquestionably HAVE to relay it to, a little bit of dramatic license is necessary. After all, HE doesn’t have a scrotum sticking out of HIS belly – but I think I helped him understand what it was like.

And I’m nearly certain that I saw him fighting back a tear or two at times.

The person I showed him truly was me, in every way. In everything said, in everything felt, in every tear that I shed yesterday – but as an adoptee, the very first thing I learned in life as I was taken from my mother’s arms, 15 minutes after I was born, was how to shut down and build nearly impenetrable walls that kept the pain away, so even I don’t know that it’s there, and even less seldom feel it. As least not most of the time. I’ve spent a large part of the last nearly 20 years working on getting behind those walls in a manageable way. When I first began, I went too far to quickly and had I guess what was some kind of break-down, where I was sent home from work & spent the next three days in bed, in a fetal position, trembling, wrapped as tightly as I could get my blanket around me.

Yesterday, I was able to carefully make just the most infinitesimal crack in one of my walls, and bring out only what I needed at the time. I’m not sure if that’s progress on my issues or not, but hell, it worked for what I needed it to, and he had sent an email to the surgeon asking about something he said, and also mentioned looking into a different hospital for the procedure if my insurance covers it. “I don’t want you to have your hopes shattered again if the other hospital also says no.”
“John… they already are.”

He was standing above me, put his hand gently on my shoulder, and sighed in a knowing but somewhat helpless way. I stood up, thanked him for everything he has done, we hugged warmly, and I left with the impression that if he could perform the surgery himself, he just might – knowing that it could kill me, but also knowing that I felt that if I died because someone was at least trying, that would be infinitely better than living the entire remainder of my life with the hernias and pain unendingly growing, knowing that all it would take is one fucking person. One person with enough courage to let me have the chance to live the life I fought so hard to create, then fought again to keep.

All in all, I think the appointment went pretty well – though I would have liked to have the chance to perform that scene where I ripped off my clothes and said “LOOK AT ME! OPEN YOUR EYES AND LOOK! I’M A MONSTER! YOU’RE DOING THIS TO ME!”
But then I would have to hire a completely undetectable camera crew, and I just don’t know where to find one of those for under $20.

The Friendship Farce

There’s been a melancholy that’s been surrounding me lately, a darkness that roots itself somewhere inside of me and reaches out like thorned and poisonous vines to nearly anyone who has the audacity to enter my mind. Of course, it’s not them, not really, not entirely, not if I get down to the bones, but I’ll blame them for it anyway, because that’s much easier – and gods know I’ve tried multiple times in the past, only to be met with their same bullshit.

I’ve been making the mistake of watching – or at least semi-watching as I sit at my work-desk making chainmaille, the types of TV series that involve things called “friends”, which seem to be other people that you can call at anytime and ask to go get a drink or brunch or something that doesn’t have to be planned days or weeks in advance, and seldom ends up with the other person cancelling unless they’re in a life-threatening situation, at which point of course I jump up off of my bed & go save them or vice-versa, and even in the midst of all the excitement, we are able to make jokes about the other person where we both laugh and come back with even a funnier dig, because we know each other well enough and are close enough not only to know that the other person is just playing, offering some levity in a horrible situation, and we know that we can say these things without the other person getting offended because they aren’t a lily-white boring piece of shit, and understand that there are much more important things to contend with in daily life than getting upset or hurt by something our friend said in fun and being able to laugh at it, because they’re, y’know, our friend.

I remember having friends like that when I was younger, mostly when I was working as a Harley technician. It was a simpler time, a time when people could not only dish shit out but take it without taking anything personally, and as we tested each other’s limits, it brought us closer. We’d see each other nearly every night at a bar called Stinger’s or at one of the Harley shops I worked at, and if someone needed something, needed out actual presence, we were there for them – we were never “too busy”. Hell, I even got my ass kicked (& quite well, I might add) because fucking Billy didn’t realize it was time to shut his damned mouth when there were suddenly 7 of them to our 2, standing up for a girl we didn’t even know because a friend of his said her ex was hassling her. After, with black eyes & swollen faces, we laughed about it – then laughed about how much it hurt to laugh.
Or when I lived in Austin Enchanted Forest as recently as 2005, when friends would come to the door of my tent and ask through the thin material if I were there, simply because they wanted to say hi. There were a few, but the one that holds the deepest place in my heart, and always will, was a woman named ‘Tea’ who would sometimes come in even after I told her to go away – especially after my dog Bean was killed by a train. She knew that as much as I didn’t want to see anyone, as much as I wanted to wallow in some of the deepest pain & desolation that I have ever felt, I needed a friend, if only just to hold in comfort and silence

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I don’t know this world anymore. You can barely say a fucking thing without someone ending up acting like you just pissed on their sand-castle… but that’s not really what I’m here to get off my chest today, even though it did feel good to drain that particular poison out of my fingers.

A couple nights ago I posted on Facebook looking for a person or three to simply meet me at a dive bar, any dive bar in the City. Just meet for drinks, conversation, laughter and maybe even fun. That’s all I wanted.

I didn’t want to go to one of the many social “events” happening, where inevitably I go alone, wander around alone, save for a few mundane and worthless encounters with people I hardly know and am supposed to somehow be happy to see (though admittedly, on rare occasion, there actually is someone I’m happy to see, but all we do is talk for a few minutes then go our separate ways) …until I realize, yet again, there are much more fun things I could be doing – like walking home alone.
It’s far too easy to feel isolated, to feel friendless, even in large gatherings that are built primarily of people I call “friends”, in the loosest sense of the word.

I just wanted to meet at some random place where nothing was happening except “us”, the anonymous bar-crowd swirling around us, our only purpose being to hang out with each other, take the time to listen and talk and maybe even find out things we didn’t know, things that might bring us closer. (“Really? Your sister only has three toes on her left foot too?” “You got arrested for WHAT?”)
I posted on Facebook because I knew if I tried to call people I would just get increasingly angry & depressed with each fruitless call, every person saying that they couldn’t for whatever bullshit reason – and besides, not only do I not have most people’s phone number, but was only able to think of two people who would likely at least be interested. One just recently moved to Seattle (& doesn’t drink anyway) while the other is out of town – so I opened it up to everyone. Who knows, maybe someone might respond that I would never have thought of, and maybe we’ll actually have something to talk about. It was worth a shot.
What I got in return were about 7 or so replies, each one from people in an entirely different city saying “I would, but…”  While I forced myself to appreciate the sentiment, words aren’t worth shit when actual physical presence is wanted. I don’t give a fuck that you would “like” to come hang out. Hells, I’d like to be able to give thousands of dollars to some people I care about and charities that need it, but saying “I wish I could” is worth less than not saying anything. You can kindly shove your “I wish”s & “I would, but”s up your ass. I would much rather hear the honesty of your silence.

Okay, enough of my rant. Letting some of it out through my fingers did help a little, as always – and the disgust I feel with myself & this world had been alleviated a bit, the load lightened as each whiney word was vomited out of my head and onto the screen – and though I have much more to bitch and whine about, I promised my dog I would get us both to the park today – her for some running & playing, and me for the laughter & smiles she brings even when I’m in much darker places than this.

I guess that I do have one friend I can always count on to be there- I just wish she were old enough & had the language skills to hang out with me in a bar or over brunch or just someone to try to figure out how to get through this life without ending up detesting nearly everyone, and perhaps even make this darkness fade to a lighter grey.

Release

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?
It’s fair to say that I’ve been busy, and I have – but that certainly isn’t a valid excuse to stay so long away from words. Not these words. These are the words I need – the ones that make things almost right enough inside of my head.
Almost.

Ironically, the main thing that has been keeping me away from journaling is preparations for my book: The intricacies of the launch for the Kickstarter campaign, the endless editing of copy for my author website, and, of course, the creation of it. It puts an interesting twist on it when I have little idea what I’m doing, and each new day is an attempt to get it to something relatively simple looking, very usable, and as close to exactly how I want it to be as I can get it… especially when exactly how I want it changes, just a little bit, every few days.
The end product will be worth it however. I keep working – and I keep fixing the things I fuck up along the way.
Soon though, it will be done. It needs to be. I have other things to do.

But… those aren’t the only things that have been happening.

I met someone. A woman. A very interesting woman – who seems to be quite interested in me as well.
There is definitely a mutual attraction & without question, there is desire – both physical & intellectual. Funny how things happen when I least expect them, when I’ve become so weary of even hoping anymore. When I’ve lost any faith I may have had in the “community” that surrounds me, when even something as simple as having coffee with a friend is nearly impossible. When the majority of them can’t even find the decency to respond to a message or email. It’s sometimes difficult not to take personally. I try not to. I don’t succeed.
We call each other “family”, and unfortunately, it seems as if that’s what we’ve become – all too similar to the family that bought & raised me as a child, who were so very seldom there when I needed them most.
Thankfully, there is a small spattering of decent friends in there as well – but the only time I see them is if we accidentally end up at the same event.
I guess it’s little surprise then that the woman I have found myself so attracted to lives in Sweden, 5,400 miles away, and I feel closer to her than most anyone else who lives within 20 miles & I’ve known for years.

She doesn’t need to think I’m sick or dying to simply check in & say hello. There’s a 9 hour time difference and we’re both almost constantly working, yet still, somehow, we find the time to have good conversations.

Imagine that.

You can please shove *your* excuses up your ass.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten *that* out of my system (which actually was intended to be much more positive & somewhat amusing until the vitriol inside of me took hold), on to a positive closing for this entry…

After a ridiculous amount of time and frustration spent on it, trying with no success to do it alone – the video for the Kickstarter was finally PROFESSIONALLY filmed yesterday! Three locations, fantastic footage, my Dr.s calling me “magical’ and saying other amazing things that made me feel wonderfully uncomfortable, and within 2-3 weeks, I’ll have an incredible, professionally filmed & edited video for the campaign to finish writing, edit, design, publish & promote my book!

Things are moving forward. It is, at long last, finally *happening*, and I am fucking elated!
Now, to get back to work on the website – after a good walk with Rubes to see what the outside world is like today…

Thankfully, the one inside my head is quite a bit easier to work with now that I’ve been able to get everything above out of it.
The bitterness, especially, was taking up FAR too much energy & space… and I’ll likely come back to writing about the beauty & challenges that she & I face on a later date.

Soon.

Until again, dear readers.
Like if you liked, comment if you desire.
Share if you’re feeling a little bit sadistic.

Love without the sugar coating,
~ Casey (kSea, Kasei, QueSi, etc…)

wordflood (aka writer’s clog)

A losing battle last night with a blank screen, the blinking cursor taunting, mocking, laughing at me as it remained in one place. On. Off. On. Off. On… waiting to travel across the page, hoping that

Over the years I’ve found that it’s never for lack of words that keeps me from beginning to write…

It’s because there are far too many of them inside of my mind and heart, and while I know the only way to string them together to make any sense is to write them out – sometimes even that filter desperately needs to be cleaned…

But of course the only way to DO that is to write.

(((sigh)))

anywhere and to her

Wake up, start the water for coffee, shower the remnants of yesterday’s heat off of me, wondering what today will bring. To let it or make it happen. I don’t like not being able to control if I see her, and for that I feel childish. I wonder if I should feel childish, not getting my way and letting it upset me – but this is more than just wanting a trinket I could do without. Pour the coffee. Complete the base ritual.

She thought it was about her. Of course it was, but not about her. She is only the reason for voicing my frustration, making what I feel all days impossible to push aside, accept and ignore until things work out right and I have the freedom of going anywhere and to her. She is the exclamation point, not allowing the ease I have learned to push this need back and I notice my crippled wings.
I have worn them far too long, waiting for their repair and the freedom to fly again, to anywhere and to her.

I miss the roads. Is is wrong to say that I need the roads? Need to drive? We are taught not to need, that it is a base and unenlightened state. Just another material thing. I don’t need it. I tell myself I don’t need it. I try to fool myself but I know better. I know because without the roads, without the freedom, without the wind I feel caged. I’m able to pretend everything is find until I I am reminded of the bars that surround me.

to come to her

The day started out perfectly fine. Woke up early-ish, not enough sleep and a somewhat foggy head but nothing that couldn’t be dealt with given enough coffee.
While waiting for the water to boil for the coffee made the mistake of wiping a counter off – which then led to wiping all  the counters, the stove, etc. to make it appear that I wasn’t too much of a slob when Kat showed up this afternoon… and then coffee was had as I did the things I needed to…

But something went wrong somewhere. Some sort of trigger, something that suddenly turned things upside down inside of me into an altogether different feeling.

What should be a wonderful day, with me excited, dancing around and anticipating this afternoon, finally being able to see my girlfriend for the first time in nearly two weeks…

I tried to see it that way, to feel it just like I have since I met her, knowing things will change soon with an amazing job that I’ve been working on making mine, and finally not only having enough cash to give some away, but get a damn car. The way it is now isn’t right. It isn’t fair to her and… it isn’t working. If she has work, isn’t feeling good, and any other completely valid reason that has made us have to postpone our plans, I don’t get to see her. We don’t see each other.

again.

With a car I could get to her – take care of her if she’s feeling sick, help her do needed things in her garden, and simply – just fucking be with her without her being forced to come to me… when she can.

and again, seconds ago the news that she won’t be able to make it tonight because of another very valid reason. I understand. I don’t want her to be more stressed, as she already is a little crossing the bridge and having to find parking in my neighborhood… but all the hopes and excitement that is raised, the plans we make that fall through… it almost seems as if we’re being challenged. Tested.

Sometimes I even need to step back and be certain that I’m only disappointed in the situation, not her. She’s trying, and the entire circumstance is completely screwed. None of it is her fault. None of it is her doing. It just… is, and if there is any blame, it is on me, for I am the one who can’t get to her without a car. Even thought about taking BART the other day to be able to share some of the responsibility, but then realized – Ruby.

I need to make this better. I need to make this right. I need to be able to take some of the duty & obligation to simply try to spend time together off of her shoulders, because not being able to do that is crushing me.

We have postponed our plans to see each other again. Until tomorrow.
I can’t allow myself to get excited again. I won’t dare to hope again. I won’t believe again.
Not until I am holding her, looking at her, into her eyes and only inches from that smile of hers that makes everything better.

I don’t want to feel so disappointed in myself again.

I need a fucking car.