Jun 13, 2008

My Inner Charlotte


















I used to think that tears lived in a bottomless, self-replenishing well inside of us; then I felt the wretchedness of a truly broken heart, and cried myself out. Between not showering, not eating, and barely even sleeping, I saw the ugliest side of heartbreak (a mirror). I punished myself further by taking up "sobbing" as a hobby, since no one was willing to pay me for it; I considered it volunteer work. The guy didn't want me, so neither did I--being around me actually felt like community service, even to myself. As for the crying, I was perfectly content to weep in my bed, in the kitchen, on the phone, in my car, out in the fields, upon a mountaintop, or while riding a camel... you name it, I wept in it. I was like a portable Wailing Wall; it wasn't pretty.

Then one day, I was done. I felt like I had cried through twenty lifetimes, four wars, two recessions, one week of Scientology, an entire episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, and AIDS. My eyes were Goodyear Blimp-like, my skin was yellow, and I smelled like an old sock. But I had felt the bottom of the well, and was done with the blubbering bits. The feeling of weary completion was intoxicating, confusing, and final. I couldn't tell if I had moved on, or if my body had just pooped out--was I over it, or waiting for the well to re-fill?

There's a point--a crossroads, maybe--that everyone hits during a Sob-O-Rama. It's the moment of truth. Are you going to let your howling dwindle away, reduce it to self-pitying sniffles, and walk away? Or are you going to throw gasoline on the fire and stoke this tantrum into something that could burn down an entire city?! I say, go gasoline or go home!!! Once you're committed, the inhuman keening that comes natural to dogs will take over your life and consume you--the sound of it sets my teeth on edge, even when it's me doing it. I think it sounds like a robot slitting its' wrists.

The reason crying is on my mind tonight is because Califlower took me to see the Sex & the City movie this evening. Yeah, I cried buckets. I've been crying a lot lately--happy, sad, angry, confused, tired, pensive, crazy--so I wasn't all that surprised; I think the well replenished itself years ago and I just haven't had a chance to use it. But I was pretty surprised at what set my weep meter off in the theater. I cried because my life was simpler back in the days when I watched SATC; I cried because the people I used to watch it with aren't around anymore. I also shed some tears over the movie itself: the girls aren't really 'girls' anymore, they look their ages now, the movie was poorly written (and the execution was sketchy, although I was still entertained), and I will never own any of those shoes. I also had a hard time identifying my feelings over relating to Charlotte's character, whom I mercilessly made fun of for the better part of five years. I bawled my big brown head off when she was talking about being a woman who had it all--happy family, lots of money, nice apartment, good health--and that she lived in fear of something bad happening to balance out the fact that people don't get to have it all. It was a big thing for me, because we've been going through that lately (and by "we", I mean I've been going through it, and the Esq has been dragged along for the ride), and it really fucking sucks.

I am not a woman who has it all, but I feel lucky (or some version of "hallelujah!") every day. Sure, there's crushing debt, a messy apartment, a partner with an opposite work schedule, and 60 pounds to lose; it's called Life. But I wake up every day, grateful that the Esq is the first face I see; it's hard to explain how freakishly connected we are, but even with all of Life's unexpected poopy shit, he makes Life merry (like Santa!). Let's be honest here: before I met Justin, I was headed towards dating Below-Average Joe, who probably would have been a knuckle-dragging troglodyte with control issues and back hair (historically speaking). It's not that I don't like solid, quirky, intelligent men--of course I do, look at the Esq. But they generally date girls who I like to think of as Aren't Me, so I never really saw myself with someone like him. Luckily, he was a nerd, too, and not an Abercrombie-loving frat boy. I have next to nothing in my life right now--no money, no clothes (goddamn you, spa industry! I shake my fist at your goth-inspired, standard black uniforms!), and did I say no money? But it's easy to love our penniless existence, because I have someone who gets me--ME, the extroverted introvert--and we get to build a better life with and for each other. It's nice being part of a team; it's fun walking through the world with him.

The reason for this schmoopy pile of bullhonky is this: "Be careful what you wish for" is the most appropriate title for this blog posting, because it is exactly how Charlotte and I are alike. Now that I have something worth losing, that's all I can think about: losing him. Ever since we started dating, I"ve felt like I was on borrowed time, because I know the kind of relationship karma I deserve, and it's not for the meek. I feel like my well is refilling itself with epic, crocodile tears, and preparing me for something awful. I know it's just me being all Drama School, but it wasn't until Charlotte said it onscreen that I completely realized my greatest fears. I have frequent nightmares that address these fears (death & dying, the fun stuff), but I never wake up relieved--just temporarily assuaged, heart racing at seeing the Esq alive and breathing, reaching for me with concern on his face. And I wonder, is it worth it to have one dream come true if it turns into a daily nightmare?

I say yes. I also think that all the crying I've been doing lately is largely hormonal, but it could be practical, too; maybe if I keep the well somewhat low in the water department, I won't need it for grief of any kind, imagined or otherwise. Whatever it is, I find it aggravating to be eternally grateful for something that could potentially bring me the greatest amount of pain, but I guess that's the trade-off. I know it's putting the cart before the horse, but it's true. And now I have to figure out how to move past it. Cupcakes would have done the trick two days ago, but with the cupcake debacle that happened today, I am currently not a fan of the wee sugary treats; I'm a bigger fan of heroin, to be honest. I hear it's fast-acting and effective, like foot powder, or Advil. I wonder where I can get some.


3 comments:

WenigGluckliches said...

This post just gave me hope.

If i finally find myself with what you describe, something that's foreign to me, i know i'd feel the same as you.

Simply because, like you, I know a good thing when i have it.

FreNeTic said...

Very touching, and a nice reminder that I at least still have my aloof kitty cat.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

The Esq is kind of like an aloof kitty cat--one that brings hope to others, apparently. :)

I agree wholeheartedly with both of those statements.