Woe is Me? Yeah, Kind of. A Little Bit. Don’t Feel You Have to Read On.

March 10, 2009 at 3:01 am (Uncategorized)

I’m feeling a bit scattered at the moment, which probably explains why I didn’t post yesterday. My mind is an incoherent jumble right now, and I’m not sure what to say and what to keep to myself. I know I am still working through last week’s disappointment, at least insofar as approaching this latest MS draft goes, and I want to tread carefully. I don’t want to blow it, and I can see there’s potential for that if I’m rewriting in a heightened emotional state (“Die, motherfucking life-wrecking manuscript, die!”). There’s also the fertility medication, which, as I’ve mentioned, is also doing my head in. I’m not accustomed to prescriptions. I’ve been fortunate not to really need them throughout much of my life to date, and I’m still getting used to how these are making me feel (like shoving junk food into my face as though it were a really, really important contest, weeping, and sleeping entire days away. Not fully succumbing to these urges is requiring an enormous effort of will). I’m feeling easily distracted, too. It’s harder concentrating even on those things I usually do compulsively, like read and write. Also my nana is returning on Thursday from her month of respite. She’s loved St Andrews, and it sucks she can’t just stay there. It’s bothering me for her sake that she has to come home (where I think only the nasty shock of being plunged back into her unsupervised life awaits her), and it’s bothering me for my own. All up, I’m feeling a little odd. 

Then there’s been weird things to contend with, just coincidentally. First came the chilling domestic dispute in one of the holiday apartments across the road on Sunday night/early Monday morning. At first I incorporated the man’s voice into my dream, but then it became so frightening that it woke me up. Llew also woke up, and immediately went to see what was happening. This started a Good Samaritan debate in my suddenly-wide-awake head. Our instinct, if someone is in trouble, is to try and help, but sometimes this instinct causes good people to end up very suddenly dead. I didn’t want Llew rushing over the road to intervene in their hideous, terrifying and in all probability drug-fucked argument, because I didn’t want The Angry Man turning to this interfering total stranger and putting a knife in him, but I didn’t want the woman thrown off the balcony, either. Someone needed to do something. Llew ended up calling the police, who arrived swiftly the second the argument died down, but I was left feeling slightly fearful that Llew will one day step in to help someone and get himself badly hurt, and I found my feelings about Doing the Right Thing were conflicted in ways that continue to disturb me. 

Then someone dropped in on my run. I’ve never had this happen before, and it was disconcerting. I run alone, and if someone’s going to overtake me, I prefer they do it quickly and then motor away, putting a decent distance between us. It’s only polite. I thought they were the rules of the road, but yesterday, someone came alongside me, and stayed there for, oh, I don’t know, KILOMETRES. I didn’t know what to do. I considered dropping back, but then I thought, “Hey, screw you, buddy, this is my pace, and you dropped in on me,” so I didn’t. And I couldn’t quite pull away, either, I was probably at my maximum speed for comfort at this point, hoping he’d fall behind. He didn’t. He stayed with me. I didn’t look at him, he didn’t look at me, not one word was exchanged, but we were running side by side for about 4 kilometres. It was weird. What was stranger was ultimately finding I stopped minding so much. It was actually kind of good keeping pace with someone else. I ran faster for it, no question. And when he finally turned off the path, he raised a hand and cheerfully called out “Thank you!” and I thought, “Oh, okay… No problem, I guess… Maybe other runners do this all the time…” – but I have to admit, my first impulse was to push him over. It took a while for the deep frown of consternation to stop troubling my brow. And this again made me feel a bit of a disconnect with my fellow human being. Why was I so resentful to begin with? What was eating me?

Then our bathroom flooded because of the upstairs flat. Something on their toilet burst while they were at work yesterday, sending water pouring through our bathroom light fitting and all over the bathroom walls and floor. Their bathroom was absolutely  fine – all the water drained straight down to us, which I then had to clean up. It seemed a little unfair. I also gave myself a small electric shock last night when I got up to go to the bathroom, forgot about the flood earlier, and went to turn on the light. I didn’t make it that far – just touching the switch gave me a little jolt that reminded me the whole area was probably still slightly unsafe. No big deal, but enough to make me think, “I don’t like this one bit.”

Finally, my essay submission to a literary journal was rejected yesterday. It’s an autobiographical essay inspired by a conversation with a friend about our respective miscarriages. It was a funny, bittersweet conversation, and I think it’s a funny, bittersweet essay. I’m totally bummed it was rejected. I think I have a reasonable sense of my own limitations as a writer, and a pretty good gut when I write something good or something totally shite, and I really like this particular piece of writing. I’m confused and upset that I can’t find a home for it in a journal. I thought it might get accepted in a way I doubt other things will, so it’s a little hit in the guts, quite close to the last couple. That whole area is looking a little mottled and sore. And I guess I’m feeling a bit bruised too. So… if this is what a pity party looks like, then, shit, let’s blow this pop stand and go find the fun.

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12 Comments

  1. Catherine said,

    Thinking of you, Di
    xx

  2. charlotteotter said,

    That’s a lot to be dealing with. I hope you feel better soon.

    I have to say that if anyone “joined” my run, especially a man, it would totally freak me out.

  3. doctordi said,

    Thanks, ladies. And thank you, Charlotte, I’m glad you said so, because I was kind of freaked. At least until he gave me that little cheerio, and then I thought maybe I was the real weirdo for having a problem in the first place.

    Anyway, as Catherine knows, one of the Darklings has had a major win today, so I’m going to celebrate her breakthrough and get over myself toot sweet, because frankly I’m boring myself to death. If you read this, Jenny, WELL DONE, DARKLING!!!!!!! I am so proud and excited. xx

  4. davidrochester said,

    You know, I totally understand about the runner thing. That would creep me out, too, regardless of the gender or motivation of the runner. People should know that running is a meditative act for many people, and getting close isn’t really welcome.

    I know it’s impossible to contextualize, but if you possibly can, try not to take the rejection too hard. I once had the eye-opening experience of being on the editorial staff of a literary journal, and privy to how decisions were made. In the end, quality had little to do with the final selections … they were all excellent pieces, but length and balance of tone was the determining factor. Hilariously enough, one of my pieces was solicited by the other editor, and then turned down because it was about my father, and they had a different father and son essay that fit their length needs better.

  5. davidrochester said,

    Sorry, that should be “were the determining factors.” It’s late, and I’m undercaffeinated.

  6. doctordi said,

    Precisely, David, yes, it’s the closest I come to a meditative state. In the end I came to terms with the intrusion, but I was relieved he didn’t show up today. That might have started getting REALLY creepy.

    That is eye-opening… I write to length as a freelancer, my commissions are always length specific, so I completely understand it’s part of the decision making process, but it’s hard and disheartening when something I’m particularly proud of meets with much less success than my jaunty and lucrative but finally meaningless travel pieces…which, by the way, are looking mighty good to me right about now…I haven’t done any travel writing for ages because of this MS business, so I am wondering if I’m barking up the wrong tree. This one has clearly been pissed on.

  7. doctordi said,

    And what’s one tiny faulty parallelism between friends?!

  8. Litlove said,

    Oh poor Di. I send big hugs. There’s nothing like the creeping unease that comes with lots of balance-of-the-world disturbing incidents clumping up together. But personally I blame the medication. If there’s one thing I know about hormones, it’s that they magnify every tiny bit of negativity in the soul. What you might usually brush off as frustrating, annoying and less than helpful becomes alarming, upsetting and downright crippling.

  9. Grad said,

    Sounds like you had your own version of the awful, no-good, very bad day. And, I would have been afraid that the other runner was a mugger (the world we live in!). Today will be better, I hope.

  10. piereth said,

    Personal space issues while running would weigh heavy with me. This is MY road for the duration, go find your own! would be my vibe here. It’s a bit presumptuous to drop in like that… and if I had been that gentleman I’d have had more than an eye to the proprieties of running next to a woman on her own, in the first place!!

    Despite your tribulations recently, you’ve written about them with great humour and style, and I can see the spirit beneath the skin here. Frook the journal – it didn’t happen this time, but it will.

  11. doctordi said,

    Well, girls, you do know how to make a girl feel better, I’ll give you that (and many other gold stars besides!). Yes, Litlove, AMPLIFIED is the word. That is IT.

    Grad, I can safely say he was not mugger material. Clearly a man out to pound the pavement as its own reward. But yes, as Piereth says, it was a tad presumptuous to drop in and stay alongside like that… he could have said, “Do you mind if I pace myself here a while?” to which I might have said, “By all means, do go right ahead,” much in the manner of someone moving over to share a seat on the bus. Without such niceties, the whole thing falls apart, and I hate people who just plonk themselves down and sit on the side of my skirt.

  12. Lilian Nattel said,

    It does sound like an awful day. I hope today is better for you.

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