Friday, September 12, 2014

Driving, Walking, Waiting, Whine

I really need to complain about not being able to drive.

I can physically drive a car, I have a license. I just can't drive anywhere alone because there is a 95% chance I won't be able to drive myself home, or even make it all the way to my destination in the first place.

That means I rely on my boyfriend to take me almost everywhere. When we lived in the city, I could walk short distances, but we're out in the middle of nowhere now, there are no stores or libraries or anything within walking distance, for me.

Other people walk and bike the highway that runs near our house, it's only about six miles to town, and even less to two glorified turnouts that house a little convenience store and a burger joint, but there is no way I could make it. It's a two-lane, winding, mountain highway, there are plenty of blind turns and narrow bridges, the speed limit ranges from 25 to 45 mph, and there is no sidewalk or bike lane. I can't even stand next to the highway for more than a minute or two; the noise, smell and pressure of the passing cars thumps my head into a delirium.

I haven't seen my friends or family in ages, in part because we moved an hour away and most people don't want to make the drive. They also used to be semi-reliable sources of transportation when I had to get somewhere in a pinch, but my resources here are much thinner.

And making new friends is harder when I can't drive. I hate asking someone to pick me up all the time, and since I can't really go out to most places, or even watch movies or listen to music with other people, I'm basically trying to get people to come over and drink tea with me. I know you are out there, fellow tea drinkers! Come over! And please don't mind the mess.

I can't get my own groceries, because I have to have someone drive me, and be willing to handle the actual transaction for me, if I'm unable.

I can't... just go. I used to love to just drive, take off for hours and go to the beach, or take care of all my errands in an afternoon, or just be by myself, in the world, in control of my destination and arrival time. I miss that independence so much. It's been seven years, and it still hurts like it's new. My only solace is being able to go into the woods alone, but there's no real destination there, no purpose, so it's not quite the same, though it is a similar feeling.

I am waiting right now for my boyfriend to get home. We need to get groceries, and it's already been put off several days. He's got legit stuff going on, so I'm trying not to be rude about it, because I do have food to eat and I'm in no danger of dying of malnutrition, but UGH if I could just drive myself, it would be great.


Monday, September 8, 2014

What is Good

I'm still quite a bit in survival mode right now.

The IC is calming down finally, but now my period has started for another whiz-bang of a pelvic party. Ibuprofen helps with the cramps, but I am chained to the house for the first several days of my periods just for their heaviness, and besides that my head is so, so sensitive, and now I'm finding myself feeling sad and really lonely, so I've decided that I need to focus on what is good.

~*~**~*~A List of What is Good~*~**~*~

Daiya Cheddar (I'm still on the IC diet, and still praising the vegan overlords for the soy-free, dairy-free genius that is this stuff)


The hit 90's tv series Charmed, starring Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, and Alyssa Milano

Pot, which is saving my head, and the bubbler that is saving my lungs

Being able to exercise

Tumblr (I'm starting to lose time, so it may be time to back away)

My boyfriend. Having support is invaluable.

The internet, at large. It is my lifeline, and my major time sucker. Pros and cons.

Tortillas. Everything is better wrapped in a tortilla.

Books. The thing about rereading old favorites is that the book stays the same but sometimes we've changed. The same happens with all kinds of things, but books are so personal to me, it's always surprising to reread something I've read a thousand times and have totally new thoughts about it.

Sleep. Just can't get enough.

A night warm enough to have the windows open and the sound of crickets lulling me to sleep.

Dogs, because they help me live in the moment, and find joy in just being alive.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Truth-Seeing Leads to Truth-Saying

A squirrel leaped into my line of sight just now, clinging and half-hidden on the shadowed side of a redwood tree. It twitched its little head around in that way that most prey animals do, but as it moved, its skull seemed to change shape entirely and it became a grotesque confusion for a moment as my brain sorted out that it was not actually a squirrel but a jaybird.

This was a random occurrence, a trick of the light more than anything, but it made me think of how many times in my life that my perception has changed like that, suddenly and unexpectedly. I'll be humming along, thinking a thing is a thing, then suddenly I make a connection or see the thing from a different angle and the world shifts, everything is akimbo, and I've realized an entirely new set of parameters by which to judge whether things really are things. Atheism, existentialism, vegetarianism, socialism, feminism; these are ideas that clicked with me in a flash of understanding and before my respective epiphanies, I was a half-hearted christian, absolutist, capitalist shill for the patriarchy, without ever really thinking much about those beliefs at all. Instead I blindly accepted the opinions of the people around me as truth and found ways to justify and defend those beliefs, even if they didn't always ring quite true to me.

And that was the problem, turning a blind eye to the things that sat wrong with me, ignoring them or excusing them, more interested in staying comfortable and keeping the peace than challenging the problems I might see. Until one day, one moment changes everything and I can't go back.

I see sexism, racism, ableism, classism, etc everywhere, in the everyday speech of everyday people, in advertising and media and our clothes and even our food. Rich people get richer, poor people get poorer, but it's always the poor who are abusing the system, somehow. Unarmed black citizens are being shot by our own police while white men with guns demand their right to carry them into grocery stores. Anti-rape nail polish is a thing. Most of the meat available on supermarket shelves is from factory farms, essentially large-scale animal torture operations, and yet it's the vegans who are accused of being extreme.

I sometimes wish I could unsee it all, but that's not practical, or fair. Besides, no matter how hard I look at (or away from) that jaybird, and no matter how it may still vaguely resemble a squirrel if I squint at it out the corner of a half-shut eye, ignoring the reality won't ever change it.

And I do want to change it. I want to change it all.