Good Bye

About ten minutes ago, my grandmother passed away.  She lasted about a week more than they had last given her.  A fight to the end, and I'm sure she wouldn't have had it any other way.  When I last spoke to her, morphine had been running through her system.  It was hard for her to speak.  I was afraid to call after that.  Afraid that there would be less comprehension, less speech. 

Originally, this post was going to be a dark journey into my mind.  2012 is not shaping up to be a wonderful year so far.  Too many losses.  Too much stress.  And the way I woke up today was far from good, but in the end, I guess the post I was going to write and the way I woke up were mere harbingers to the day. 



Happiness is the Heart Feeling Fuzzy! :)

Fake it 'til you make it.  That's advice I hear far too often.  The problem is, if you spend all that energy faking it, how do you ever expect to "make it"?  Obviously, you can't.  Pretending to be any one thing, be it happy or rich, or you-name-it, doesn't really fool anyone who is more than half awake -- not even yourself.  So what is the point of faking it?  Why spend all that energy pretending to be something you want to be while not actively working toward that goal?

Faking it is always easier, and people love the easy way out.  That's why abridged novels exist.  Cliff's Notes. The Internet.  Religion.  Ease-of-use is how products are sold, and it's how people fool themselves on a daily basis.  When you are faking it, you don't have to look to the root of whatever problem it is you are facing.  You just ignore it in the hopes it will either go away or become suppressed (hopefully not to appear later, causing you to don some camo, grab few guns and go people hunting).  It's a nice thought.  It's the kind of thought that kept you awake on Christmas Eve listening for the sounds of hooves on your roof.  A nice fantasy and nothing more.  The saying shouldn't be "fake it 'til you make it."  It should be "fake it until you forget how to fake it and the illusion takes over."  There is a huge difference between making it and living a lie, and the fact that people not only don't seem to recognize this, but actively seem to delude themselves into thinking no such thing exists should be troubling.  I know I have problems with it.

Granted, many people would call me a pessimist.  I think I'm a realist.  The reality of me, though, is that I've written off most of humanity as throw-away by-products of a disposable future filled with disposable goals, disposable morals and disposable dreams.  People who have a real hard time discerning between art and entertainment, intellect and emotion, logic and magical thinking.  I don't have time for these people.  I don't care about their problems.  I would not call 911 if I saw them in trouble.  I can't be bothered to dial because they never tried to dial it for themselves.  They pretended to dial and thought help would arrive.  And then when things get too "real" (where that line is drawn is hard to tell with people who aren't playing with reality), they freak out, confronted by things they don't understand because they never tried. 

What prompted all this?  I received an e-mail from a friend saying I was "too negative" and disrupted her "feel good vibes."  This is a person I rarely hear from and rarely (thank goodness) engage in any kind of conversation.  What had prompted her to send such an e-mail?  A Facebook posting of a Whitehouse song.  My intent wasn't to disrupt her (or anyone else's) Kelly Ripa life.  I posted a song I liked.  This woman (really a child emotionally) took some kind of moral offense -- the kind you take when you haven't thought out your own morals and values, but instead "fake them to get them."  I promptly removed her from my phone and contact lists, but not before sending off a little message of my own.

"Sorry the song put your "feel good vibes" into a tizzy.  That was not my plan.  It is, after all, just a song.  If I thought a song had that much power over people, I would be posting ones that would cause the hordes to swallow a bottle of pills followed by a full bottle of Vodka, but only because people upset my "feel good vibes."  Unfortunately (or fortunately for the masses), no such song exists (though I think anything from today's Top 40 would do it if anything would).  So where do we go from here?  I hear from you maybe once a year, which is sometimes more than enough.  I'll remove you from my phone and from my e-mail list ... with pleasure!  You can remove me from your FB friends list; it's too much work from me.  Doing this will ensure my "negativity" won't cause you to cry or question anything too much.  So long, and thanks for the fish."

Ironically, the song was "Dumping the Fucking Rubbish."  Perfect.


In Heaven Only the Angels Scream

The sun beating down, I ate a quiet lunch outside.  Contemplating a week of friends returning to Humboldt, a grandmother in her final hours, a friend lost, excellent nightly conversation with Night Nurse, a looming (unknown) deadline on my interview with filmmaker Larry Wessel, and a job that is leaving me more and more at odds with myself.  I had a NASCAR magazine in front of me, but I couldn't concentrate on it.  It seemed that the spirits of the dead and dying weren't hiding from the sun's warming rays.  Instead, they did their whisper dance in my ever-so-willing ears.

From my perch here with my laptop, I can see the wind chime outside my window.  My daughter picked it out at Eureka Natural Foods.  It is weaving slightly in a breeze not yet detected by the trees.  It is a comforting sight.  I can't hear it.  The cars outside go by too often, and the CD I'm playing is a bit too loud. Yes, the CD.

I went to get my taxes done today, and then made a few stops in the mall.  The Bayshore Mall is a graveyard of commerce.  It is like a functioning Monroeville Mall, the zombies able to finally make purchases.  I stopped off in the only record store in there: F.Y.E.  A ridiculous name, to be sure.  I did it on a whim.  Looking for some Death in June.  I figured I would not find any.  I was not prepared for the perplexed look upon F.Y.E.'s finest when he asked if I needed help finding anything and responded in kind.  He had never heard of it and suggested, ever so helpfully, that I "check the Internet."  Indeed, clerky, I will.  Thanks for pointing out a resource I hadn't been aware of until our brief, albeit intensely interesting, conversation.  "Little Blue Butterfly" has been stuck in my head so much that I've been singing it at work ... constantly.  There really could be nothing like pumping it from the Bose at full bore.  "Black sun dying ..."

I find that in times of trouble, and troubling times, that the best one can do to maintain is shut out almost every living thing around them.  Eliminate the noise.  Consign the din to the heap.  Keep those true and pure close at hand.  They are the constants.

I called my grandmother this morning.  Intent upon hearing her voice one last time.  It sounded familiar.  Like my father before he passed on.  Barely able to croak out a few words.  More gasps than sentences.  The moans as words tried to form.  She managed to say, "I love you."  She heard me say it back.  She understood.  I told her to go on in peace and not be afraid.  I did not know what else to say.  When I heard my father's final gasps on the phone, I was equally without the words.  I don't know if he comprehended what I was saying.  He couldn't speak anything intelligible.  And that was how my relationship with him ended.  Over the phone.  3,000 miles away.  I was in the garage.  When I hung up the phone, I closed my eyes, saddened by the fact that he never got to meet his granddaughter.  Never got to see just how wonderful she was and still is.  Dead air.  Nothing.

And people wonder why I turn my back...