I had four writing assignments and music rehearsal in the plans for the day, but I cut it in half after the mind-bending and disappointing night before. I made the time to stop in for a bit and visit Daniel at front desk of the hotel across the street. I often come by just to sit in the lobby and work, especially while my best friend’s got desk duty, but I brought no writing and just hung out for a few. I think it’s hard managing a low-rent hotel with some dignity and humor, but he does. I know it’s hard to throw people out when they’ve tried to work out their rent, made promise after promise, and stay behind. Unenviable. People come and complain about the most juvenile things sometimes. I told him about my interview with Steve and Janel, the Americans fighting for their rights against a crook protected by someone high up in Sri Lanka’s present government. They won’t leave to fight it from America without their dogs.
I spent a lot of the day stopping to talk with friends. I had a conversation about joy as an ever-present atmosphere, there to absorb as surely as the air we breathe, and different definitions for happiness and joy. We picked it up again when I sat down later in the lobby to start typing a funny story I’d still like to tell. She didn’t want the ideas written about as a conversation, and I just don’t remember it all right now, so there’s no essay pouring out of these fingers. I ran out of time because I got home and my friend was still trying to make some point, as if he hadn’t done enough, all for my own good, though he has a lot to learn about doing good. After twenty eight years, often spotted in the last decade with recalcitrance, the cumulative effect of trying to tear down my energy devoted to my work and friends---even couched as advice for my own good, still written to celebrate cruelty—made me realize I was tired of walking on eggshells. I might as well make a pet of a wild animal. You know they’ll bite.
The point I made she wanted to remember was this: “I want to live life with fewer expectations, and more accomplishments.” Is it a paradox? She thought so, yet found it rich in value. Hope it’s valuable to someone.
I don’t feel up to recounting that in essay form at the moment. I just decided over these three days to end the recurrent cycle of abuse from someone I counted a lifelong friend. More like I decided, then had to re-iterate, and now have to integrate. I wrote a reply with honesty, as devoid of the rage I felt as possible.
It turns out you can do that: you can let those energies dissipate without any outward show, especially if, upon reflection, the subject of your anger comes as no surprise. Unfortunately, I had not effectively communicated how much I do not want to hear from him anymore. He wrote back again and back again today, too, though this time I just filed it away without reading it; how can I trust it not to be more words to make me angry or sad? I simply didn’t feel so radiant today, but I’m recovering. I had a vivid imaginative metaphor and sought to enfold my three greatest psychic pains with loved ones into a single story told with mystery and suspense, and this empowered me. Without it I don’t know how I would live with these agonies, which I must claim and order in my mind so I might let go and embrace the future towards which we’ve sacrificed all.
Those doldrums---that’s why I thought about recounting some of yesterday, where one friend invited me to come out for a beer with him sometime, and another gave me a piece of lilac in condolence to the trouble I confessed. I listened to another, troubled by the value given to looks over experience in San Diego hospitality---too bad, she could really use a job and has education and a resume. The lilac convo meant I didn’t go finish off the t-shirt iron-ons Johnny asked for. I think he just wants me to come hang out, really. It was nice getting some of the crone energy; my grandmothers weren’t really there to know for the most part, but it’s never too late to have an older female friend and her active quest for enlightenment and fulfillment. The hand-picked lilac’s poised in the arms of my poseable Manikin, atop a tableau on our make-shift “altar” on top of the television.
Meanwhile, my friend Hellfire came by to unleash her considerable rage and humor in response to thinly-veiled life’s events, which I’d put into fictional form so I might witness it without being emotionally embroiled so. Comically, I was pretty sure she thought I meant some other friend, which speaks to a possible need to keep a clean house going forward. Her rebuttal, when I gave her the messages, was hilarious, loving, and perhaps insightful as to the deeper troubles, and this uncorked quite a few things I had never said to anyone but the Marc Kane. I would’ve loved to have put all that time into my old friend---that friendship was a prize. But it was not what I thought it was. I don’t trust that unopened e-mail not to be more words calculated to drag me into doubt and misery---which is not where I’m going for anything.
I no longer have self-righteous anger to sustain me---it has to be monitored so you do no harm, which is rule one. I also didn’t get out and have such a big day of errands and walking and visits to fill me up, but I worked on seeking peace, from the time I read his words and concisely replied to now. We came to see the need for this skepticism and cynicism and resentment to come from a meaningful source, so we might know the key to vanquishing it as it flows sometimes from strangers in the future. He had to assemble most every self-doubt I’ve faced in the past years to make me conscious where they may still lurk and by what motivation. He gave me the challenge between me and the summit. Thank his soul.
Meanwhile, Marc Kane worked on the first, creative, fun little bottle of her own inspired by Kudzu Mountain Gypsy Cave, who sent along their chilly, windy, snowy experience down South tonight. I enjoyed some wonderful music played for fun by Palamas from my phone inbox. I think I’ll sit down with the Litany he wrote, for Holy Sophia to grant us peace, and listen to my friends sing and chant words that will make a stout heart blossom.
I began this year with an emotional clean slate: no animosity towards anyone, all my dreams and ambitions lying ahead. How might I simply continue? What must I truly change? I’m ready to take on initiation in a challenging new group I hope will cause me to study and organize hidden strengths and lead to me being the most peaceful, genial person who can be made from my rough cloth. I’m pondering the application well before I send it, but it will be brief as possible. I’ve made my words here the visible portion of my search for things not seen, which surround us all. I want to bring you all along in the search for life’s hidden textures and knowledge, and I hope you will enlighten me, too, in the manner of friends in all times.