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Life Preserver

Release from what, silly girl, there is nothing wrong.

I want the things I say to make a difference. I dread the temptation of coming here and getting all fluffy on you just to make an appearance, unless of course, it’s exceptionally entertaining. Or even in a regular way entertaining – who says a couple of mild chuckles wouldn’t make a difference? I’m not tongue-tied because I have nothing to say – I have too much to say. But it’s always I, I, I, and once in a while, even “I” have shame. How much “look at me, I’m so interesting, so eloquent,” can I get away with before I’m sick of myself or you’re sick of me?

I’m a little sick of myself at the moment.

Naturally, this will pass and I’ll think I’m hilarious and charming all over again, but for now, I’m rolling my eyes at myself. For now, I’m thinking about the people who volunteer at soup kitchens every week, and hug people who wear flea-infested blankets. Hugging is fine; fleas are not. But I’m thinking, maybe I should go and hang out at a shelter and clip the toenails of an unwashed old man who can’t do it for himself. Maybe I should sleep in the shelter, just for one night, under one of those teeming blankets.

Everybody needs a slap of humility.

I sit here for an entire evening, whining to myself about bird mites and unrequited love, when I have a lovely life, a lovely home and lovely friends. I’m an asshole. I debilitate myself – I mean, I physically become incapable of mobility – with my obsessive thoughts about insignificant bullshit such as how my agent didn’t get back to me, or how I’m too lazy to get my car washed (not wash it myself, mind you, but bring it in!), and how the landlord has ignored my requests to re-grout the bathroom tiles.

I’m a first-class asshole.

Yet, when the wave of debilitation hits, I sink. There is not a single life preserver that can pull me out of the dark water. Not friends. Not pills. Certainly not myself.

I sit there – no, I lie there – analyzing all of this with perfect lucidity, telling myself how absurd I am, and how really, there is nothing wrong. I could just simply get up. But I don’t.

Instead, a couple of tears slide down my face. I don’t know if they’re tears of sorrow, frustration or just momentary release. Release from what, silly girl, there is nothing wrong. So you think you’re in love and your love might not be returned in the same way. So you think you might have a mystery insect problem. You have three fresh bug bites on you. That makes five clusters in six weeks. And all of a sudden, you decide you have bed bugs? Even so, does it really mean the world is a horrible, unforgiving place? You’ll have to “boil” some sheets and call an exterminator. Poor you.

For the record, I do not have bed bugs. Mainly because I refuse to accept that I could. If I do have them, it means I’ve brought them back from the cabin in the mountains where I flew in a private plane to frolic on the snowy slopes. Poor, poor me.

A 24-karat asshole.

But no. I’m going with bird mites and I expect all the spiders I’ve provided with lodging to rally on my behalf. End of (that) story.

Unrequited love? Get the fuck over it. Think of all the people you’ve spoken to lately, who say they don’t “know” if they’ve ever been in love. Whaaat? When one is in love, one knows it, and for someone like me who has no trouble falling in love, it’s unfathomable that there are people walking around the world who don’t know the feeling. So I’ll never be one to wish I didn’t feel this way. Even if it’s unrequited.

“You’re so honest, H., you’re so open,” people tell me. Yes, I am. It’s by far, my best quality. It liberates me from myself and bonds me to others. It might also make me talk more than necessary.

If you’re writing a screenplay, they tell you that at the end, your protagonist is either better off, worse off, or dismally the same after a prolonged journey.

Luckily, this is not an entire movie you sat through, but only a blog post, because at the end, your protagonist is dismally the same. She will not be going to a homeless shelter to re-learn humility; she will ignore the non-itchy bug bites; she will love the guy who may or may not love her back; and she’ll still lie in bed when irrational bouts of depression wash over.

But she’ll get around to bringing her dusty car to the auto-wash. When you think your black car is stolen because you don’t recognize the beige one in its spot due to a trick of sunlight reflecting off the blanket of dust, it’s time.

And she’ll keep reminding herself that nothing is wrong, so that maybe she catches herself next time, before dunking under the murky water.

Cathartic Monkeyism

  • It might be bed bugs.
  • But no.
  • It might not be unrequited.

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  1. I so hope it is not bedbugs. That being said, I love the ending of this. It made me smile. -Hugs-

    1. Hugs to you and thanks.

  2. You’re supposed to follow the crazy tree, not tear off a branch and beat yourself over the head with it.

    If it was bed bugs, you’d have more bites than a few. It’s probably not bed bugs.

    Overthinking and unrequited doesn’t make you an asshole.

    You don’t need to hug an unwashed person to feel humbled.

    You DO need to wash your car.

    I love your brain, even when it turns on you.

    1. What Lizzi said. She’s a smart one, so listen to her. Also, self-censure is my thing. Quit stealing it. 😉

      1. *tips hat* Thank you 🙂

      2. Any time, dear.

      3. Yeah, Lizzi knows how to work it well…

      4. She does indeed. I learned quite a bit about her this past weekend, and I very much agree.

    2. Lizzi, thank you. I read the comment yesterday and it was quite what I needed. Your crazy tree allusion has me in stitches, by the way…

      1. GOOD! In that case, at least I made you smile 🙂

  3. I think that is one of the saddest things in the world: to think that some people have either never been in love or don’t know if they have been. What the hell are they doing on this planet GG? It’s all about love: the pleasure and the pain.

    1. Pleasure and pain indeed…

  4. Paul · · Reply

    Pity Party! Everyone is invited over to GG’s for a blow-out pity party! Bring your own booze and some for her too. And some cookies. Don’t forget the cookies – we can use them to lure her out from under the covers. Ha! All kidding aside, GG. when you think back over your last month, the chances of you just waking up one day, and jumping entusiastically out of bed to greet another day, is somewhat unlikely. As resilient as we are, it takes some time to adjust to changing life situations – especially the death of a friend or a questionable lover (not the death of). Don’t be too hard on yourself – just set simple goals for a while and if something doesn’t need to be done, then don’t do it. The very fact that you’re back blogging, to me, is a step in the right direction.

    I was surprised that you pointed out that you always blog about yourself. It never occurred to me alhough I suppose it’s true. But it feels more like an exploration – a sort of resonance. You are never bragging and often seem as surprised as we are by the occurences in your life and your thoughts. Believe me, you may be reaching through yourself but you are reachng through yourself and out into the world. It is never really about you, it’s about the world and how you observe it affecting you – which is honestly the only way any of us can see it.

    Sharing your surprises (‘let’s go for a little drive …oh…in an airplane’) and your travels and your thought process and your failures and your successes, etc, etc – it is all amazing and new and thought-provoking for us. Please keep it up and realize it is not at all selfish but rather candorous. We’re all here with cookies now – so let’s start the show!

    1. Thank you my dear Paul, sincerely. It means everything to me, what you say here, because it has always been my hope to achieve exactly this with GG:

      “…reaching through yourself and out into the world. It is never really about you, it’s about the world and how you observe it.”

      The cookies and the booze are much appreciated too!

  5. Mike · · Reply

    Gunmetal, if this comment is inappropriately long I apologize ahead of time. I was off of the blogosphere for 3 months helping my kid survive cancer. Which he did! 🙂 This life event changed both of us forever. I’m extremely loyal to my blogging community and you are a part of that. I get frustrated that I don’t hear from you on my blog but that is a me problem. Because my life journey is about unconditional love and “love” has many different layers. You had me flip out of my chair with your “unrequited love” comment. I had a gal say that to me about a year ago. She misunderstood where I was “at” in our dialogue. I love that you shared that as it stuck with me. I saw all of your posts including your month long epic accomplishment. You are a rock star for that by the way. I had virtually no energy for anyone else but for the 24/7 voyage of my own. I should have a little more time now. Your posts move me emotionally. They cause a reaction inside of me. I want to respond and say something back to you each time. Thank you for that, Gunmetal. Stay on the path because you have a loyal reader here. We send you our best always as your success is a given…it’s just a matter of time when you will allow it to be true and run with it. Your blogger friends, Mike and Phoenix 🙂

    1. This was the first I heard of Phoenix’s struggle — first, I’m so sorry for your difficult months. And second, hooray that he is cancer free! Very, very happy to know this.

      I appreciate your openness regarding your frustration with not hearing from me on your blog. I wish I had something to say about it that would make you less irritated with me. All I know is, I’m terrible with keeping up with anyone’s blog. I always aim to improve this. I do make a priority of writing, as opposed to reading, and reading sometimes falls into the abyss of my time management issues.

      I simply love that my writing moves you emotionally, and love that you’re willing to tell me. Thank you, Mike.

      Big hugs to Phoenix. And tell Phoenix, GG said, “Big hugs to Mike.”

  6. You are feeling and tossing ideas around. There is nothing wrong that. You never have to make apologies for being you. And there’s nothing wrong with just being where you are at this moment, bed bugs or not, but I hope it’s not. Doesn’t sound like it.

    1. Amy, thanks for your support. It’s nice to see you.

  7. What you need is unrequited bed bugs and biting love…black looks the best but is hardest to keep clean…sending you 6’3″250lb hugs GG

    1. Now that Is a hug I could use. Thank you Red!

  8. You see, I had a lovely comment all lined up and then I read REDdog’s and have no idea how to top that. It’s too good. How about I just send you 5’10”, 153 lb. hugs as well…..

    1. I love it! Hugs from wonderful people — who wouldn’t?

  9. If you’ve got bite marks that don’t itch, somebody’s gotta love you.

    1. You might be right… (As long as they’re not a bunch of little somebodies with a bunch little legs…)

  10. Deanna Herrmann · · Reply

    I agree, it’s not bed bugs. And while you do need to wash your car, it can wait. No reason for pressure because you’re seemingly in need of a little break right now. And while it feels like you’re sad and going through your wave of “irrational depression,” your words are just as eloquent as always. I always enjoying reading you. Hope the wave passes soon. Hugs.

    1. Good, we all concur it’s not bed bugs. By our collective will alone, it can’t be! Thanks so much for your lovely thoughts and hug. Feels good.

  11. The one thing we don’t necessarily realise when we write about ourselves is how much our own experience or views may resonate with another human being, or help them articulate their own feelings about some things better than they can maybe do themselves. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, one of the reasons I love your blog is that I sit here nodding away and saying “Yes! Someone else feels this way about X,Y and Z. I’m not alone in this, I’m not so odd and thank goodness someone can articulate those emotions I have so well for me.”

    Your openness to say things as they are is what makes people return here time and time again, I’m certain of that.

    I hope the depressive wave buggers off soon. It totally sucks. Unrequited love more so. No one should underestimate how crappy that can make one feel.

    Keep writing about you. It never comes across as arrogant or self centered. Some of us less eloquent folk need people like you to help us articulate those difficult feelings and I for one would like to thank you.

    1. That’s just too lovely, Joanne, thanks so much. It’s what I hope to achieve, but with only one’s self to police self-indulgence, it can all get cloudy once in a while…

  12. Sim · · Reply

    I wish I could write as eloquent as you while feeling tongue tied. You don’t need to go to the soup kitchen. It wouldn’t work. You can’t set out with a goal of learning to be humble. True lessons in humility come unexpectedly to slap us in the face with the stark contrast between their world and ours. Not that you need them, anyway. You come across as very aware of your position in the world, and that’s enough.

    Just to add my voice to the general consensus, it’s not bed bugs. If you had bed bugs, you wouldn’t be wondering about it six weeks later. By the third night you’d be delirious with itching from all the bites and considering burning your bed down just to get rid of those tiny spawns of satan.

    1. Everything you said elicited a different positive reaction in me. Thanks for all of it: the feedback, the advice, the laughter.

  13. maurnas · · Reply

    This is an issue I struggle with when I talk to my therapist sometimes. I worry I am not “bad enough” and that I am wasting her time and my time with my bullshit.

    But I DO have real problems. And so do you. We all do. Maybe you don’t have the worst problems in the world. But that doesn’t make yours any less serious. You shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone but yourself.

    1. Thanks, you. You’re right.

  14. My understanding of bed bugs is this (and it comes from my husband (whom I fondly refer to as “Dr. Gellar”) and his brother who is not even close to Dr. Gellar but did work for an extermination company for a short while): They mostly stay below the knee and bite at your feet and your ankles. If they’re there, you can see them if you lift up the stitching at the top of the mattress and look just at the seam. They are tiny but like to cluster. They are really hard to kill. If they are in fact bed bugs, you should burn down your place, thus solving the issue with the bathroom grout and potentially the dirty car depending on how close you park to your place. You’re welcome. I’m a wealth of knowledge.

    As for the love… I think the little boy in Love Actually said it best when he responded to his step dad about being in love. His SD said, ” I thought it would be something worse,” and Sam (an 8 year old) replied, “…worse than the total agony of being in love?” True words.

    1. That is a solution not without its appeal…

      And that 8-year-old is a genius.


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