On Monday of this past week, I found the moon. It was fat, full, gluttonous, and bright. I have a picture to prove it.
I have another resolution for this relatively new year: to be as artistic in possible in all that I do.
I deposited my second royalty check – $23.22. From October 29th to December 31st, I have made $95.40. I am not, and have never been, a “numbers person.” I am not sure if this means I am doing well, average, or poor. All I know is that I want to keep writing, and I suppose that is the most important thing. I did little to no writing this week, which is possibly why this blog post is so scattered and superficial.
I am convinced that in a former life, I was happily married to Ricky Ricardo.
Running in the wind is romantic and freeing. Running in the wind and the rain is stupid.
There is a dry, red, and raw patch of skin on my hand between my thumb and pointer finger. When I stick the cap on the opposite end of the pen, the plastic irritates the area. I have icky winter skin. I am over the cold, bitter weather.
I am sick of being tired.
I am envious of Winona Ryder – or at least her hair, especially when it is short. I remember feeling similarly after seeing, “Girl, Interrupted.” I watched “Reality Bites.” I liked the tone of it and I do sincerely miss the 1990s somewhat. I really am a fan of the earthy, sloppy fashion that was considered chic. I would like to bring that style back, but am unsure if I would be able to do so single-handedly, and am equally unsure if there would even be any other willing participants; I might have no other choice than to embark on a lone wolf fashion revolution. Either way, I am going to dress and style my hair accordingly – I am excited to buy new clothes once I lose the weight. Manufacturers really do not make fashionable habiliments for larger people.
I am mostly excited for Spring Break and vacation in Florida. I called my Aunt Kim tonight and squared away the details. Dad and his friend Andy fitted my car with new struts and fixed a leak that had to do with the transmission. I am constantly making a mental list of what I want to do before leaving. Lately, the trip has been all that I have been thinking about. I do not mind going alone, but Mom is thinking about coming along, and that does not upset me at all.
Sometimes, when I wash my face, I make the water too hot and steam rises up from the sink basin in the bathroom, and the water burns my hands, and opens my pores so wide that they sizzle. Once I was worried because for a brief moment, I could not get the cold tap to turn. Eventually I did, and it made me think of that scene from “My Cousin Vinny” when Marissa Tomei and Joe Pesci are ironically analyzing the dripping faucet that is off-screen as litigators would in court. Then I wonder how a casting director could match Pesci with Tomei (or vice versa). I worry that such wondering makes me shallow. Am I shallow? Am I a bad person?
What if I do not find romance after my teeth are straightened and after I’ve lost the weight? Will I have to conclude the defect is not my physical appearance, but in my personality, my very being?
I am going to take up painting this summer.
I need to write.
My last baby tooth, which never fell out, was pulled on the last day of February. So long, Little Mandi. The very last tangible remnant of my childhood was violently yanked from me. It was for the best – it was causing an infection and discoloration – but I was sad to see it go. I am reluctant to grow up and relinquish my sometimes irrational passions, and I am unwilling compromise between responsibility and desire; I don’t wanna. But then again, I am getting braces. Maybe it all works out and I will never have to escape my adolescence.
The way to blast blubber this week was to give up extreme thinking. I set a realistic goal of losing two pounds, and I lost 1.8 pounds; just two ounces shy. I have lost 18 pounds total since beginning dieting and exercising and I am getting closer to my goal. Chipping away little by little is okay; I am seeing results without being perfect or extreme, and that is both a very important and difficult lesson to learn.
“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story and writes another.”
– James Matthew Barrie
This week’s way to blast my blubber was to use time wisely; if there are only 30 minutes free in your daily schedule, use it to pack a nutritious lunch and to closely watch what you eat, rather than try to squeeze in a workout. I usually stick to that rule, but this week, I worked harder to make sure I did not go over my daily calorie limit. As a result, I lost three pounds this week. My confidence is bolstered and my determination has more than doubled. So please ignore the fact that I am currently contradictorily snacking on some Funyuns.
My colleague, Jill Ocone, is such an inspiration. She is truly following her passion, regardless of cost. She stopped living to work, stopped being consumed by work at home. There is no reason why I cannot do the same.
Sometimes, when I am running in the morning, I try very, very hard to find the moon in the sky. I make myself dizzy by searching in spinning circles, neck bent uncomfortably backwards, and though there are plenty of stars to go around, I cannot find the moon.
Sometimes, when I am running in the morning, it is so frigid that my iPod’s battery is completely drained after about 20 minutes. I do not usually get rattled on my morning walk and jog, but with no contemporary music to drown them out, I become aware of the creepiest sounds. The wind makes the branches of the trees creak and groan. A few American flags snap in wavelengths. A dry, crunchy leaf scuttles across the barren pavement – the perfect horror movie soundtrack and every now and again, I snap my neck this way and that in a futile attempt to determine the cause of some noisy disturbance in the blackness around me. Was the snapping of a twig merely evidence of movement by some furry, cuddly woodland creature, or something more sinister, if, in fact, it even existed at all?
I think I need to indulge in writing some fan fiction again; it can inspire something of literary merit. Many borrow characters and plot lines and images to create a foundation for something new. Currently, I am thinking of “True Blood;” I know vampires are passé, but I keep having this recurring image of a beautiful but battered young woman with a bruised and broken body and beaten face. She is sitting in the front pew of an old and tiny church, at the end. She has been crying, sitting and staring straight ahead with dead, vacant eyes for presumably hours. Then, a devastatingly handsome man – or monster? Or a creature? – suddenly appears, standing in the carpeted aisle beside her. He looks concerned and seems genuine, but her response is icy cold: “You don’t belong here.”
It’s not like her to be cruel, especially not to him, so he deflects her verbal barb with an easy smile and explains, as he has done many times before, that vampires not being able to enter churches in actually a myth, and he’s about to begin a long-winded explanation when she cuts him off.
Misunderstood, she nearly snarls to clarify that she knows damn well that he can be there, but she does not want him there. She has wounded him and it shows all over his face.
“I’m not the one who beat the shit out of you. Why are you so pissed at me?” Though her body language is coming through loud and clear that she wants to be left the fuck alone, he sits beside her. Begrudgingly, she moves for him.
And I want her to unravel – tell him EVERYTHING. Her boyfriend, a bartender who is slowly but surely developing a drinking problem, got loaded and hit her. It has never happened before and she believes her boyfriend is really and truly sorry, but everything is different now and that is sad and scary. She was trying to help him, to be loving and supportive and all the good things, but she still got rocked. In her moment of weakness, she is bitter and vengeful and hateful. It is unlike her, and it makes him nervous. He is not easily rattled and his change in demeanor is not lost on her, though her demeanor is changing as well. She asks him if he’s all right, seamlessly slipping back into old habits and tired behavior.
He laughs without much humor and says that he’s fine, that she shouldn’t give a damn if he’s fine or not, and that maybe she should be more vicious and guarded, like it might not be such a bad thing. She nods and wipes her eyes. Silence falls over them and he feels as if he needs to break it, so he asks her how long she’s been there.
She shrugs and says nothing.
He suggests they leave and go somewhere else.
“Because, honestly, you’re just sitting and stewing in your misery and that solves nothing- it only begets more misery.”
“What could we do?”
It’s an innocent question, but the answers that immediately spring to his mind are not. He takes a second to compose himself because he doesn’t want to scare her; she is good and pure and that is what he likes – loves? – about her. He has to protect it; he has to keep it safe. “Where have you always wanted to go, but have never been?” “France,” she answers without hesitation, like she’s simply been waiting to be asked that very question.
“… if you’d only asked me.”
“If I don’t ask you, would you ever think of asking me?”
I am always surprised (whether it is pleasant or not has yet to be determined) by which blog posts garner the most attention and end up receiving the largest amount of views. The last entry I posted was personal and somewhat pessimistic, kind of made me seem shallow and pitiful, and has more views than the short story I wrote. A wonderfully caring colleague sent me a Facebook message absolutely dripping with sympathy and a classmate whom I have not seen nor spoken to in years, left an encouraging, empathetic and appreciated comment on my blog. These things surprise me.
I guess it’s like that part in the movie “The Breakfast Club,” where Basket Case Allison dumps all her baggage – literally and metaphorically – on the couch, thereby inviting everyone into her problems. So it’s unreasonable then for her to be angry when people comment, offer advice, and so on and so forth. It’s just that I honestly was not looking for pity, sympathy, or attention – I was just purging thoughts, just writing. It is a fine line between my private self and public self and balancing how I see myself against how others do. I know I shouldn’t care, but I do and that’s how I am, take it or leave it.
I have a deplorable habit of being interested in men whom I cannot have – the distance keeps me safe from rejection, and it keeps me romantically tragic.
I need to start reading Stephen King again.
When it’s rainy, I want to stay in my bed, curled beneath the covers.
The roses in my classroom are dying.
Why am I always so negative?
A radio station contacted me back! It is run by a high school in Atlantic City. It will most likely have an incredibly small audience, but it will be more of an audience than I have now.
My second royalty check came for the month of December: $23. 22; one print book and nine Ebooks.
The Manchester Branch of the Ocean County Library forwarded my information to the larger – and frankly, better – Toms River branch. I am hopeful.
Yesterday, I ventured to Brooklyn with a friend to attend a bridal shower. It was wonderfully trendy and beautifully artsy. The music completed the atmosphere perfectly and I never wanted to leave. I made plans to travel to Paris, fell in love with love all over again, and yearned to be more creative and artsy in everything I do. It was an awesome shower.
Obviously, I could not let the King’s birthday pass without some recognition, so this one’s for Elvis Presley, the greatest romantic hero ever born.
I have been going for a walk every morning at 4:00AM as part of one of many New Year’s resolutions. Honestly, I might as well as go for a walk at 2:00AM as there is no sign of the sun or the promise of morning visible so early tis time of year. But seeing the moon hanging so low it seemed as if it could be picked right out of the sky if I only had a ladder and access to a roof, and looking up to see the myriad of stars strewn across the sky like diamonds against velvet (as if the sky’s only purpose for being present was to accentuate the stars) are great ways to begin a new day, let alone a new year. Though the residential street I traverse upon for 2.46 miles is quite dark, the soft glows of incessant televisions and the harsher streams of outdoor lighting lessen the possible treachery of the road, and set my mind reeling. What kind of person falls asleep with the television on, and what kind of friend does not mind? What kind of family has a bevy of halogen lamps scattered about their home’s perimeter, activated by motion? What could they possibly be trying to detect or spot? And who the hell goes for walks at four o’clock in the morning, gazing into unguarded bedroom windows to see what she can see? The cold weather does not bother me, nor does my breath exiting my nose and mouth in tiny puffs of vapor. The stillness and silence and darkness do not bother me either. I worry that sometimes I am most comfortable alone, standing singularly along the edge of life as a mere observer. I am terrified that I may be content with only watching. I also worry that realization makes me really, really creepy.
My first royalty check came in the mail recently: a whopping $72.18. But hey – everyone has to start somewhere, no?