Sitting on a park bench in front of Gambrinus, a little blonde boy tosses a tiny Yorkie in my direction and in doing so pulls my eyes away from a little bird , presumably shitting in the grass. The little boy seems to have done so in an effort to get a bit of attention and a laugh out of me. He gets both.
I’ve been all over the city centre of Pilzen the past few days, and I’ve just consumed my first vegan meal since being here: I’m a , but I lean heavily vegan. A dearth of vegetables is hard on my ethical sensibilities as well as my digestive system. The food servings here are large, even by American Standards, the food all lovely and warm and mostly meat and potatoes, artfully arranged.
We’ll be here until Friday morning’s check out, then headed to Prague. I’d love to sit and write more about the general experience and I will, but right now I’m watching.
I learn more from sitting around in squares and observing and walking around watching people than I do from most other things, and this has been genuinely fantastic observation.
If you’re interested in photos of random travel things, follow me on Insta @blacksquirrelwytch
The soul of humanity lies in quiet shadows of sadness in old mens eyes, so easily brighted by acknowledging what hides behind them. There’s softer thoughts than you’d expect, tucked away.
It lives in silent knowledge of other’s wounds.
It takes me by surprise on long flights, when everyone else sleeps and I stare at our shared moment, contained by a (possibly) decade-old metal tube somewhere over Greenland.
I’d like to think there is a great web of deities, all of different viewpoints preserving us, ever so slightly. My greatest fear is that we only have ourselves.
Humanity’s soul lives, planted in us all.
It thrives in kindness.
Please, let it thrive.
I’m doing something I never do.
The sun cuts through half-open blinds, and the not-yet setting light rays hits my seedlings,(or whatever you call plants that aren’t just sprouted , but too.. wobbly to really be plants) and my bike,out on the patio. The torn-off fronts of craft coffee bags are tossed around me, and I’m trying to think of how to decoupage them onto the coffee table I’ve been covering for over a year. It’s nearly finished. Mr. Robot is on; I Remember hearing Pop Culture happy hour talk about it while I worked out at my old Gym in San Jose. I think that means this show came out in 2015? It’s good so far.
I never watch anything new alone, because it almost feels meaningless to do so, somehow. I’d rather re-watch, but then I end up with pop-culture FOMO. I don’t sit on our couch at 7 pm and drink coffee and watch TV shows I haven’t watched before ,alone, as the light streams in through hanging blinds. I don’t do crafts instead of running errands, reading, or going to the gym, or any number of other things that keep my body and brain moving. I’m trying to slow down and be present.
I don’t think there’s even going to be enough time, somehow. I look at my husband and the sun and all the other brightest things I know, and think that. I tell My husband this sometimes, Never enough. It’s possible he thinks I’m being morbid, but I hope he knows it’s just how deep down the love goes, how much deeper I go. Never enough time.
Maybe I’ll spend more time gluing hipster coffee bags to my coffee table.
Throughout my life,bruises have stood as shrines to the things I have loved that have hurt me.
I used to tear the skin off of my little kid shins while running through fence rows filled with blackberry vines, and then go home sticky with blood and joy, purple with juice and bruises.
I’ve had collections of Chartreuse and black bruises from falling down skateboarding, bruises from dancing, bruises from people who loved me, from people who hated me, uncomplicated bruises from sex that left me happy in the pit of myself when I saw them. I’ve had several people’s share of the bruises from nights that are devoid of memories, nights when I’ve drunk so much I can’t remember details. Some of the things that have bruised me have almost destroyed my life.
The ones below are from trees. I’ve never been able to climb a tree and not be bruised like an apple. I will move my body ,coiling along the limbs and bruising my inner thighs, and slam my shins against the branches until they turn purple. I don’t know that it’s ever been comfortable to climb a tree, but it is joyful and invigorating and wild in a way often forgotten as an adult. So enjoy my bruises, because they will always be here, visible and vulgar.
On march 23rd, I’m taking myself to be sterilized: I literally couldn’t be more excited about this, but I’m also bloody terrified because like most invasive surgeries, it means I’ll be put under. That fear is a small price to pay for not being made bat-shit nuts by hormonal birth control. It feels liberating to make that choice with minimal interference. Yesterday, I had an appointment with my GP to follow-up on blood work: It’s clear that I’d been previously misdiagnosed, which can happen when you have no insurance for all of your twenties and move all the time, leaving you with a broken chain of sporadic doctor visits for separate but inter-connected issues. That’s a clear perk of the American medical system, friendos. When I get to the office, She, a woman in her mid-to-late forties with a beautiful and grainy russian voice not trimmed by her 20 years in the US, (I know this because she gave me way more information about her than I wanted) tells my I don’t have RA, and long story short, have fibromyalgia. I have an MRI scheduled to rule out fractures in my spine, a possible result of my less-than-idyllic childhood. Here’s where think start to feel heavy and uncomfortable. She asks why No-one has done imaging of my spine. I tell her that I’ve spent ten years with no insurance. She asks why I had back pain as a child, and I briefly explain it was very abusive. I do this with my face made of stone, my tone the tone of someone who is used to this conversation and begging to have this over with. She begins to blubber. I know doctors have feelings, but this isn’t the first one who’s cried, and I am uncomfortable being put in a position to think about comforting someone whom I am paying for the time of. That horrible phase of my life, my childhood,has long passed. I left home more than 15 years ago. I rarely cried then, and I don’t often now. I don’t have the time. After what feels like 30 minutes of stilted convo about how badly women are treated and the #metoo movement, we move on to talking about my upcoming Tubal Ligation. She begs my rapidly angry-growing self to “think about it”. What if I realize I’ve mad a mistake after? Is this because of my childhood? I assure her that I have never wanted children. My life-plan involves travel and unencumbered fucking of the man I married for as long as possible without the risk of accidental procreation. She prescribes drugs. the conversation ends.
It wasn’t until 3 hours later , sitting in my car after running a million errands and realizing how little goddamn time I have in a day, that I began crying out of frustration. Frustration at the American Medical System, at misdiagnosed illness, at the diagnosis itself, and most of all, another persons patronising gall . Frustration at how little time we have for life as adults, and how doctors visits eat up that precious time.
I have “thought about it”. I’m looking forward to not thinking about it. So, on march 23rd, I’m looking forward to starting the first day of the rest of my life unencumbered by the idea of childbirth and pregnancy. So save your tears, Doctor What’syerface, do your job, take my money, and STFU.
I listen to spoken word while I cycle, not music: I feed Podcasts and NPR and books by people who I find too dry or too frivolous to read on paper,into my eardrums. I do this not because I don’t enjoy music, because I prefer spoken-word, but because music tears at my heart in a primordial way. I might tell you I don’t listen to Muse because they were only good for 10 seconds in 2010, or that I hate all music that got radio play between the years of 2006 to 2011, or that there’s a time and place for Major Lazer and it’s not in my ears on my bike, on a hill.
Those are partial truths.
Music hurts. It throbs in my heart. I feel it in my calves and toes.
All of it. It rings through my past and present and spoken word, mostly, doesn’t.
It’s not depression or sadness that causes this, but something else bigger inside of my soul,and while it forces me to create barriers, I wouldn’t change it for any quantity of books.
Certain silences feel like the air-space between two magnets of the same polarity, forced together.
Last night I had a realization while peeing, as one does.
When there’s an argument between my logic and my heart, my logic wins most of the time because I need, if nothing else,to live honestly. When the battle between the two, between my heart and brain is more than I’m prepared to process, I “Yolo”Or “make poor life choices”, depending on who you ask. Sometimes both. This happens rarely but when it does, it’s a mess. 🧠
Maybe at some point in my life I won’t be a constant, daily work in progress. Does anyone ever get there? This is a legitimate question.
I dream almost every night, and for the past 3 months I’ve tried with a reasonable success rate to write down what happens when I’m asleep. This means that a black leather book lives beside my bed, it’s heart filled with tiny scribbles of varying legibility, the messages running the gamut from seemingly symbol-Laden- probable gibberish, to complex storylines that feel like ghosts around the edges of my waking life.
I write down my dreams in this book while my brain is in that hazy, San Francisco Fog State between asleep and awake so I often have to go back and rewrite when fully awake. I feel like one’s brain starts to forget what happens in dream worlds very quickly so it’s important to do it as soon as possible.
Some patterns have emerged. I’ll highlight a few of them.
- I dream about fully fleshed – out people with names. Sometimes I know them, often I don’t.
- I dream about sex with women. (don’t we all)
- I dream in muted colours
- I have no idea what my face looks like, but I am very small, my hands remain the same: long, thin, and boney. Sometimes I am aware of my hair, which is long and in my way
- I dream the same dreams often . Some of these dreams have been recurring since I was a child.
- There are, so far as I can see, 5 worlds that are connected to each other but don’t exist in the same time. They seem to be connected with a subway line of sorts that I can exit at any point, and the train is also a part of different times. My real-life fascination with fashion seems to mean that my brain is created wardrobe as an identifier for time-period.The worlds are as follows :
- An apartment where a number of people who reoccur in these dreams live. I don’t know how many floors it has but it seems endless and is More or less in the present. Sometimes there’s a fire pit in the common area. It’s very gray and always night.
- My own childhood time-period,during the late summer.
- A junkyard (I guess) but in a sort of soup ladle shape, basically hanging in nothingness.
- The weird-ass Subway
- An old west construct.(this makes no sense because I have zero attachment to the Olde West, western films,ect. Even while I’m having the dream, I feel like “wtf is this corny ass shit”.
- Somewhere that that feels very old, is slightly cold but not so cold that I am uncomfortable, and has no noticeable buildings. I have been inside structures on this world, but I couldn’t tell you what they look like from the outside. This is the one that bothers me because when I’m awake I feel like I remember it randomly and it makes me feel as that I’m out of time. It seems to be nothing but trees and cliffs and I feel very very small, physically.
Some other noticeable patterns are these:( at this point I’m going to point out that I practice lucid dreaming so I have decent amount of control in some situations. I’m not great at it and I’m off and lazy and don’t try to use it)
- So many crows, why all the crows. Who invited those assholes.
- I am completely capable of using the internet in my dreams. Or at least my phone. I don’t see the face of it or anything but I know that I’m using it
- Sometimes there are clear messages that are just one sentence. Sometimes these repeat themselves and they always make no sense within the context of what’s Happening
- The most noticeable is this. I am helping people in my dreams. I am always helping people do something, find something, get somewhere, Etc. Sometimes I know them, usually I don’t. And often times it’s something sad. I realized this a long time ago: That often the dreams that I dream don’t feel like my own. They feel like something I am doing for someone else, whether or not I want to.
I’ll write more about this later. But I wanted to get the outline of how I’m dreaming out there first before writing about this further here. This probably seems strange to you, all this listening to what happens when I’m asleep but as long as I can remember I have been dreaming dreams that that are big and strange and pointed and recurring.
Its 6:30 right now and I’m slightly jet-lagged. I desperately want to grind coffee but I also don’t want to wake up Alvin who is so peacefully asleep in the other room. I think I’ll probably just poked my head in there and see if he’s on his phone or not and if he is, then all bets are off. I’m grinding. It’s the second day of the new year, and I’m wishing that you’re having the best start to your year possible , and maybe, maybe, I’m dreaming about you.
At many points this year I’ve gone out of my way to not allow my feelings and emotions take control of my words . I’ve been even tempered and listened to your opposing view-point.
This is not one of those times.
You. Male friends, Male humans in my life, men: *Dick-Havers; If your response to this parade of touchy-feel-y,grabb-y, cock-rubbing rich men losing their jobs and status after years of sexually abusing and harassing women because our culture permitted and encouraged it has been to use the term “Witchhunt”, or to worry about the repercussions to men like you, There’s not a place for you in at the table of my heart. Get the fuck out. Take your defensive questions and “what if” queries with you and get the fuck away from me. YOU live a totally different life than myself and other female-identifying/passing people. Do women engage in sexually abusive behaviour? YES. Do I personally know some women who have engaged in sexually controlling or abusive behaviour? Yes, I see you, female friends who’ve engaged in that behaviour and That’s bullshit, but it’s not the conversation we’re having right now because it’s not the norm. It’s a response to the abusive normal that we, as Women,live with every day.
We Have been forced to feast on scraps under tables we should have had equal seating at.
We are constantly being preyed on.
Let the bodies fall. There’s no shortage of talented Women, Better men, POC of all genders and queer folks fucking thirsty to step in to the gaps left by the Men who’ve been ousted from their places of power after years of rape-y bullshit.
Male friend, If you’re WORRIED right now, you’re part of the problem. Get with us or get. The. Fuck. Out.
*Not all men have dicks. Not all people with dicks are men. But it’s the men that have dicks that are making a world difficult right now