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Back in the Big City

After a little over a week in Texas, I am back in the Big Apple. It was a needed weekish away, but I was definitely ready to get back here. I love my family and wish I could see them more, but there are so many compromises I have to make when I’m there. Small compromises about daily living that turn out to be pretty important to me. My diet changes when I’m home (way more cheese). I am not as mobile (cars are necessary for even short trips). I don’t really get to watch the television I want to (this trip it was all about basketball). All of these things of course I could insist on or organize myself to get, but for a short trip they seem silly. All of those compromises that slowly irk me do allow me to rest so that I’m revitalized and ready to get to work. So I’m back and refalling in love with my juicer, deciding if today is a good day to commute by bike, and starting to get a ton of things done. Hopefully some really great blog posts will be in the mix!

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piddiddle, piddaddle

Crossposted at Insanemonade. Bringing in some of my creative writing into this blog

Characters:

LS – Little Sis

BS – Big Sis

Living room of a Brooklyn apartment. Like way out there Brooklyn. Like Bay Ridge or something. So you know, more space than normal.

BS is folding laundry on the couch. She is listening to the radio. The house is that “messy organized” that 20-somethings do. Or at least I do.

LS bursts through the door and lets it slam behind her.

LS

Oh my god, BS, I cannot believe what just happened. I just had probably the most amazing experience of my life. I don’t know what made me do it, but ahhh I’m so glad I did… I just… Oh my god, it was so fucking amazing. Amazing.

BS

(bored) What did you do?

LS

Do you want to know?

BS

Yes.

LS

Do you really?

BS

Yes.

LS

You aren’t just humoring me?

BS

No.

LS

Okay. … Ask me once more. With feeling.

BS

(fake smile, still bored) What did you do?

LS

I masturbated on the subway.

BS

(not so bored) You…

LS

I masturbated on the subway! During rush hour! I feel so free, so unconquerable. You know? Nobody even noticed! I mean, I know NYers are self-centered and jaded, but really I expected someone to think something was off and, you know, ruin the moment. But no one did. I just masturbated right there on the subway and totally got away with it! How fucking awesome is that? That was seriously the best commute I’ve had since I moved here. So relaxing. I think I’m going to do it again tomorrow. And you know what else? Towards the end, I’m pretty sure I saw god. Yeah. Oh my god!!! I can’t believe I did it! I’m so alive right now. I want to run a marathon or leap off a building! Oh. I’m definitely doing it tomorrow. Definitely. Maybe both ways. That way I’ll be nice and energetic [for work].

BS

You can’t masturbate on the subway!

LS

… Yes, I can.

BS

No. You can’t.

LS

Yes. I can. I just did.

BS

Well, you can’t do it again.

LS

Yes. I. Can. And you can’t stop me.

BS

Are you fucking insane?! Only crazy people and assholes do shit like that.

LS

And what does that make you?

BS

I do not masturbate on the subway! I wouldn’t even think of masturbating on the subway. How does someone even come up with something like that?

LS

I forgot my book.

BS

I … don’t even know what to say to that.

LS

Seriously, BS, I think you are making way too big a deal of this. I just closed my eyes and got to it. It was easy. No one got hurt. No one saw. And I had a great time. You know, I came straight home to tell you, because I thought you’d be happy for me.

BS

Really?

LS

You’re the one always going on and on and on and on and on about how masturbation is good for the soul. How it can clear out a lot of tension and stress.

BS

Yeah, but I never said you should [do it in public.]

LS

If you aren’t going to be happy for me, fine!

She pulls out her mobile and hits a speed dial.

BS

Who are you calling?

LS

Mom?

Throughout the call, BS tries to take the phone away from LS.

It’s me. Is Dad there? Yeah? Can you put me on speaker? BS, stop it!

Mom, Dad, I had the most amazing experience today. … I masturbated on the subway, and I’m pretty sure I saw god. Now, I know you think stuff like this is weird. But you always said you wanted me to be happy, and this made me extremely happy. Are you happy for me? …. Well? Good. Thank you. I’m glad to know that some people care about my personal happiness. Well, that’s all I wanted to tell you. Yeah, we’ll still talk this weekend. Love you. And BS sends her love too. Yes, I’ll tell her to call. Love you. Bye!

See? Not so big a deal, is it? You need to calm down.

BS

I can’t believe you just told our parents that you masturbated in public.

LS

Well, I did. Get over it. You know, you really should trust them more, tell them more about your life. You’d have a better, more open relationship with them the way I do.

BS

I am not calling our parents every time I masturbate somewhere new.

LS

Okay. But really you should call them more. They’d feel better. You’d feel better. You’d probably save yourself some hours in therapy.

BS

I … I can’t deal with you right now.

LS

You looked stressed.

BS

I am a little.

LS

Where’re you going?

BS

To my room.

LS

Are you going to masturbate?

BS

No. I am going to go to my room, lock you out, and meditate until I’m sure that this whole episode is a very, very, very distant memory. Like I don’t even want to remember [that you were ever born.]

LS

Meditate.

BS

Yes.

LS

… Oh my god what did I just tell our parents?!!!

BLACKOUT

Self Care Is Hard Work

Continuing the previous post and comments and conversations about self-care and managing it

I worry about burnout. I don’t worry about it a lot, but I can usually tell when I’m feeling it because that’s when the worry starts to creep in. It’s the preview before the full-on exhaustion. It’s the days/weeks/months of denial that I haven’t been putting myself first in my work. It, positively, usually ends in a vacation, in all senses of the word. Last time I went to Guatemala for two weeks. No technology at hand. Just air and sky and people and a really good friend at my side to laugh and share with. Feeling deeply that this is what life should be. Understanding that my own privilege allows me this escape. But that’s another conversation. Continue reading “Self Care Is Hard Work”

family and war

my brother is looking down the barrel of a tour in Afghanistan. he has already been to Iraq, which is actually why he’s going to Afghanistan. he signed up for a few more years while in Iraq. the army accepted this from him. at the time, he would tell me that he couldn’t imagine coming back to the US, that coming home was what scared him. the army capitalized on this fear, and now he is heading to Afghanistan soon.

i can’t think clearly about this because he is my brother and i am too mad. to me, he was clearly not in a state to be able to sign a new contract. but he’s not going to fight the contract. no, he’ll fight a war instead. my own fear and loyalty makes me want to fight this fight for him but i won’t because he is a grown man. what can i do?! i need steps to take.

i want him home and making those next plans and taking next steps in his life. i don’t want to worry or to remember to worry or to forget to worry enough. worry is where a lot of my personal superstitions manifest; you should see me on an airplane.

i don’t think my outrage is only personal. if someone else told this to me, i would have the benefit of being angry without the frustration of needing and being unable to do anything. the best i can do is tell him, “if you feel the need to re-up while on tour again, do us all a favor and at least wait until you get back home.” and hope and wait for him to return safely.

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