Small

I have a very small audience. Super small. Miniscule, even.

Part of me wants to grow this audience to benefit my future writing career. A bigger part of me, though, wants to just write what I feel and ignore the growth potential. This is a huge part of my life that seems to cover every area.

Wanting to just keep everything to myself.

I have a very small group of friends/people that I talk to, and that group gets smaller every day.

Part of me wants to grow it, to branch out, to talk to people. But a bigger part of me wants to stick to myself and these two Booger Butts and call it a day. I’ve been dealing with my want for social broadening lately and decided, eh, let’s try it? What a mistake.

… … …

This will jump around a bit but I’m only ever talking to myself, so who cares?

I had a daydream that I saved Urijah from someone trying to kill him and ended up in jail. In solitary confinement. Stuck to myself all day and night and only ever having communication when it comes to getting my food, if even then. And for some reason this was such a great daydream. I felt a calm about it. Sitting in some dirty room with nothing and no one until I just petered out of existence. With nothing but my brain and maybe, if I was lucky at all, paper and pen. Even if I wasn’t that lucky, the thought of being alone forever seemed grand.

The fact that this excites me is a problem, I think, but I wonder if I’m fighting the wrong way. Maybe I should just embrace that. Not let myself get pulled back in by artificial nice guys and lesbians who are already in love with someone else. Maybe I should keep moving forward and stop looking back, and maybe forward leads me and the young sir somewhere lonesome. Somewhere that is just us, except when it’s just us and The Boy Chin Wonder.

… … …

I won’t delete my social accounts again, even though I wanted to. I came close today. But I’ll try my best to stay off of them and in my own world. I’ll fight for my family, for us. I’m so sick of everyone – liberals and conservatives and everyone else. Adults and teens and anti-this and religion and just everything that exists outside of my home. I am sick of arguing and hearing arguments.

To be perfectly honest, I’d rather get a shotgun and a secluded house and argue with gunshots at this point. I’m tired of no one getting ANYTHING. And I think I’ll live in the philosophy that you don’t have to get anything. I can definitely GIVE you these hands/these bullets/this pain, though.

We can share.

Before I die I will figure out how to distance myself and still survive. I can’t imagine keeping in touch with people anymore. I’m done with it.

 

Let us depart.

 

Entitled to It

Is it my duty in life to feel something?

… … …

Nowadays, I’m often surprised when I get more than a little excited. It’s jarring. It feels like I’ve grown immune to these types of feelings, to truly experiencing anything other than survival emotions and extremes. You’re depressed. You’re euphoric. You’re engulfed in love.

You’re dying.

It was getting to the point where any feeling other than complete and utter panic was nonexistent. So it is really surprising when something like an episode of a show I like, a conversation, a thought, a game, a smile, when those things make me FEEL. They make me feel small snatches of something and I’m thrown off balance. Really, anything other than one terrible extreme after the other feels alien.

But I don’t mind being able to enjoy amazing stories again (hello Game of Thrones, Hi Man Seeking Woman, what’s good West World, nice hat you got there Stranger Things). I don’t mind reading great stories and loving characters (you’re awesome Saga, great reading The Good House, let’s chat again Youth in Revolt). Even rereading things I read while I was deep underwater is a treat.

There is so much that you lose in depression. In giving in to what other people think is right for everyone. I found myself in this big house in Alabama, in these rooms that I’m decorating slowly and awkwardly. I find myself in the clippings from extra books I have, from the second copies I purchased by accident. I live in dark, brooding paintings of squid or men with tentacles for faces.

These little things, they make up for so much lost time. Rajesh talks and I can truly laugh. I can stand with him in the kitchen and tell him stories about my childhood, show him a tour of bookshelves and explain why I like these books, encourage him to collect things. Urijah jumps in the bed with me in the morning and I tell him about the day we’ll have while we stare at the windows, at the ceiling, at the walls. We laugh and cuddle and then I carry him to the bathroom for his morning pee, and I open the door to his playroom so he can start his own adventures.

I can live like this. And I honestly didn’t expect this to turn out this way. I expected this war with my own self to be the great war of my life, the war I would agony over into old age. Maybe the war I would lose way before then.

I like these little feelings, these variations of feelings. This life.

 

Experience

The experience of life is not all about other humans.

They’re a big part of it. Most of your daydreams, and my daydreams, are going to be full of conversations. Sitting quietly with another human, all those long talks and robust hang out sessions catching up. There’s going to be a lot of discussion, a lot of just being, and a lot of failure and success in companionship.

But the other part of life is solitude. A garden early in the morning or too late at night, the sun fading away or brimming and spreading. It’s going to be about the violence in your head, the dreams of nothing but air and madness, the voices if you have them.

It’s going to be about the colors. The sounds of an animal panting to keep up with you (hopefully a pet). The thoughts that ruin your day or make your night.

Life is about those moments when there’s nothing around but you and the air you breathe. The plants that watch you. The chaos on the horizon.

I don’t think about life with others as much as I think about life away. Burrowed in a home that is too disconnected to be feasibly safe. Too on the outskirts to be classified as part of this human thing we do.

I’ve lived the part of my life where companionship ruled. I’m ready to see the rest.

Inhale.

It’s time to get up.

I mean that in a variety of ways. A bonfire of variety.

One way is that, well, I’ve been physically unable to do anything all day. That depression thing. Where you can’t do anything but sit and daydream about characters interacting with people you’ll never meet but would love to. Astrid being able to show her hallucinations to people, to a room full of people, and everyone being amazed. This is what your violent, overly sexual, terribly plagued brain is like? And plugging other people up to it and realizing that no one else has quite the same brain.

 

Is it a parasite? The ocean? Love, hate lust, etc? I’ve gone through this one quite a bit and it’s morphed in just a day. Chaunce hasn’t been in the most recent version of it but Joji and all those others have, regardless of me trying to keep real people out of it. I think it’s time to sit down and start writing and vomit my creativity somewhere.

It’s a start. Shit, it’s a save. I haven’t been up to anything but working lately, but even that is a bit of a save. Even that is more than before – I’ve been overworking but it’s kicking my ass into getting up. I actually made writing playlists today. I actually earned my keep this week.

I need to learn to draw, most definitely. I have a vision but I can’t keep telling myself I need other people to do it. There’s no one else. I’m not getting married. I’ll never be with anyone, not seriously and not long term. And I doubt I have a whole lot of time left.

So I’d like to draw, to learn to code, and to actively write again. I want to go ahead and take the amazing parts of me out of the trashcan and exist again.

So. I go.

Herself

She’s not herself anymore. I checked. Somehow, she’s gone.

So maybe I’ll be her, instead.

But then who will be me?

… … …

 

Sleep is becoming an annoying thing. It’s always either too much or too little, too soon or too late. I’m sitting here awake at 12:17am with no intention of going to sleep in the next ten to twelve hours. It’s really 1AM – I’ve been on Eastern time my entire life and I’m having trouble letting it go.

My head is always an hour in the future, an hour in the past. It’s tomorrow when it’s today.

It’s amazing how something as simple as hair can create a new attitude. Or unleash an old one. I haven’t felt so normal, at least normal by my standards, in years. But having these sides cut somehow makes me a real person again. It makes working easier. Even makes thinking up stories, reading, and enjoying solitude things again. Real, livable things. I like it. My weight may be way up there, my posture shit, my teeth eroding and dying in my mouth, but I am as close to being myself as I’ve ever been.

Age and hurt and lots of clippers, yeah?

I’m trying not to be so afraid, though. It’s stuck in me. I fear having the headphones on at night sometimes. That I’ll take them off and Urijah will be gone, snuck away by some unavoidable circumstance, some selfish person. His organs sold and his life meaningless. I literally worry about that, him or Rajesh being killed and having their organs sold. I don’t typically worry about myself. Not that I don’t find myself valuable, but I’ve lived.

Tons.

I’ve lived as a black American, at that, which is culturally the best you can be, though not emotionally if you really want to get down to it. A black woman, which definitely hurts emotionally but is such a win. I’ve been on the outside of a lot of fences.

Why am I listening to something as smooth and lulling as FKA Twigs right now? Sleep is tapping at me, poking, and I find myself wanting to slowly crawl over to chaturbate or something and distract myself with bodies. r/jacking or something. Obscenities and the people who love and share them seem to make me even sleepier, though.

 

This world is getting smaller and smaller for Urijah, for me, but it’s also getting fuller. I guess.

 

One would guess.

Boxes.

I shaved my head again. Well, the sides. Cut this hair, this hair that is longer than it’s been in years, and shaved in down to the lowest point possible without being scalp. Just the sides.

I didn’t leave my tiny sides this time. And now I have this odd samurai puff on top of my head.

… … …

 

I’ve been writing a lot lately. Just not in stories or any sort of fiction, really. No, I’ve been writing for work and in journals and on here. I’ve been writing about me and my life and my thoughts, writing email campaigns, writing press releases. I’ve been writing any and everything.

I’ve been researching as well. Reading about the past and present and future and never. All from my l-shaped desk. Or my bed. All from my back ‘porch’. All around this house, in this house, over this main floor. I’ve been existing a bit more.

In that existence, I realized I wanted to shave my sides again. And I realized I am pretty good by my dolo. And I realized I want to approach Urijah’s education a bit more…realistically. A curriculum. The one I want costs around $600, but it’s an investment I will make to ensure he learns both what I want him to and what he needs to.

I have narrowed my vision to the people in this house, these two intricate humans: Urijah and Mashu. Dude Ranch and Trey.

I have narrowed my goals to writing and business. Writing and skills. Writing and learning. Writing and writing.

I’ve become a person on the outside of the box. The beautiful outside of the box. The details are swarming me and I’m ready for it.

So here I am, outside this box, in this box, with this little boy, with our futures, becoming something new. With the sides shaved off my head. With the scale finding less and less of me.

 

I’ve been writing a lot lately, you know.

Stranger Woman

This month has been ambiguous.

It’s been terrible to me financially and romantically. It’s been amazing to me emotionally and mentally. It’s been record breaking in terms of happiness to finance ratios go. This month, I watched two amazing shows that put me back in the mood to write:

Man Seeking Woman

Stranger Things

I don’t think I’ve EVER seen anything as awesome, in totally different ways, as these two shows. I’m enamored. I’m drooling. I’m fucking waiting and wishing for more and I’m so happy to live in an era where these things exist. This type of abnormality and obsurdity (Man Seeking Woman) and this type of just grade A story-telling and acting (Stranger Things). Those babies are fucking AMAZING in that show. The adults are amazing. Every single aspect of Stranger Things had me screaming.

It had me peaking around the corner (seriously) to check to see if anything without a face was lurking, trying to get my Dude Ranch.

It had me missing The Boy Chin Wonder so badly. Man, I want nothing more for my children than for them to be complete and utter dorks. Nothing more. I imagine The Boy will ease into this if allowed – I need a car bad. I want to pick him up on weekends and support this outcome. The Young Sir will ease into it well enough if I can figure out a way to communicate better with him. And then get him on that damn toilet once and for all. And find a place for us to plant ourselves so he can find friends who are like him and rule the world.

Writing is getting easier and easier. I feared I’d drop back off the face of the planet because of the Ael fiasco – nothing like your sudden motivation for diving back into the writing world using you to take his virginity, hating it, and then stuttering his way to the blocked section of your life. Nothing like wasting a bunch of time and sending him a bunch of stories and trying to find permanence in temporary situations. Nothing like planning for your business and home decor only to never talk to him again.

Nothing like finding a cool place and not being able to go back to it because now you might run into his ass.

But somehow, SOME FUCKING HOW, this was a blessing. It was something I needed. And now I’m binge watching beautiful shows, lonely but so content, broke but somehow rich with emotions and feelings and just wanting to do these things. The Young Sir actually sat with me for a second, sleepily watching these awesome kids doing things kids could only do pre-90’s.

Who knows where we go from here. The Young Sir and The Boy Chin Wonder (sometimes) and Mashu. But I love this little family. I love my little complicated life. I love being stuck in this house, being stuck in my head, being challenged from afar.

This is where I’m supposed to be.

Lives.

I’ve been so many different people.

Just like everything else, that’s been crossing my mind a lot lately. I’ve been so many different types of person, lived so many lives, experienced so many different emotions. I’m 29 but I’d been about twelve different people by the time I turned 21.

A whore.

A saint.

A liar.

A thief.

A lover.

A lesbian.

A bi-sexual.

Adored. Hated. Molested. Raped. Beaten. Cared for. A mother.

I’ve been all types of Shaquana, all versions of Trey. So many best friends and boyfriends and girlfriends and duties and jobs and everything. It’s wonderful when I really just sit and think about it without crying about it. It’s a lot, so much, but it’s perfect.

I sit now and wonder what I am at this second. You never know until it’s over. You never understand your place in the world (at least I don’t) until you fit in a different way. When I look in the mirror now, I’m happier than I ever was – even at a weight bigger than ever, even with no relationship (and a bunch of failures under my belt), I feel immense happiness. I see myself filled with life and love and honesty. And I find myself dangerously attractive, which is a giant change.

But what life is this, now? And where will it lead me?

I wonder and I smile.

29.

Then again, maybe I won’t. 

… … …

 

I already know I won’t sleep tonight.

Urijah is up and bouncing and fully energized from a deep sleep I woke him up from. Talking to Blu, I struggled a bit. He is in an odd place in his life, and me in mine, where it’s hard to talk about things we care about. It’s hard to form words around what we are and who we are and where we belong in each other’s lives. He struggles to latch on to the humor I used to have. I do the same.

In that struggle, I woke Urijah.

I’ve been sitting her the past…hour? Maybe two? Reading this comic book Bham Ael lent me. That’s the blog nickname I’m giving my current maybe-eventually-who-knows-what. Ael. I like that so that’s it now.

It has all these interesting, vivid, violent, grotesque, over-the-top horror comics from the 50’s. An introduction by R.L Stine. Pretty much everything I need in a book. I have a ten hour loop of a fire burning in a Christmas-decorated fireplace, the sounds lulling me into a brief calm. I’m sitting in my birthday gift from Tai, a beautiful round couch that has wheels and is huge and just swallows me up. All I need is tea but, eh, maybe later.

I already know I won’t sleep tonight.

… … …

There is nothing significant about 29. Nothing to cheer about or get weepy about. I look forward to 30. I like aging, believe it or not. I probably won’t once I hit those long years that bring more ends than promises, but for now I like it. I imagine myself gray and it’s interesting. In a way, I’ve been growing back into the personality of my youth. I’m the life of the party but also the cave hermit. I’m pulling out of my mind a bit and giving Astrid a rest when it comes to bland celebrity stories. She’s been wrapped up in a scenario with Chaunce and Paloma, which I prefer.

I’ve stopped talking to Alyssa. Again. I’m sure this time she’s over it and strolling along to the beat of her life. I have no idea how to keep up and that’s not getting any better, no matter how much I want to. I sit in a spot in the sun and look up and it’s a spot in the moon. No time to call, to text, to talk. I thought it was still January until I remembered my birthday.

Today. 29. I’m rambling a bit.

That’s okay. It used to be okay, so it’s okay.

… … …

There’s a lot I can say about how I want this year to go. And I will. I don’t want to stop saying things just because they might not happen. Don’t want to stop dreaming just because it’s all in my head. Don’t want to NOT date just because dating always fails for me. I want to live as freely, as unbound, as possible. I want to enjoy every inch of my life, happy or sad or failing myself miserably, and I’ll do that by making those promises.

This year, I want:

  • To write a comic.
  • To finish Astrid, The Devil and maybe The Circuit.
  • To get Dude Ranch on the damn toilet.
  • To read and read and read.
  • To do VERY well in my business.
  • To transform my business into a creative agency.
  • To rely solely on myself.
  • To love someone vividly.
  • To be loved vividly.
  • To lose the weight that makes me avoid mirrors.
  • To learn to cook better.
  • To collect: socks, graphic novels, figurines, notebooks, headphones, corsets, lingerie, art
  • To continue to support The Boy Chin Wonder in his art.
  • To create magic with my hair again.
  • To get a sleeve to cover the abomination – either a cluster of deep black flowers or bands all the way up.
  • To breathe.
  • To study.
  • To write in general.
  • To relax.
  • To build my personal brand again (and not delete it).
  • To grow in Birmingham and separate myself from Atlanta.
  • To better understand friendship.
  • To drink good ass coffee.
  • To be fucking amazing. Like I am. Like I have been. Like I will be.

 

These fireplace noises are awesome.

I worry about the thing with Ael. Because I’m very good at getting bored and burying myself alive. The smallest thing makes me panic – I don’t know what I want, and that should be okay, but I feel like it leaves a large target on my chest. I don’t want to want everything but I fucking hate wanting nothing. It’s confusing.

But I like it enough. I felt myself pulling back today but I caught it and decided, yeah, be quiet today but talk tomorrow. Stop thinking about it. Stop avoiding it. Just let it be.

… … …

I’ve checked out in a big way on world events. I don’t register them lately. It’s really like I’ve found that cave and I’m living in it, away from all the people and places and noises. It feels like I’ve been building a world, a tiny world, inside the bigger one. And it feels like this is the direction I always wanted to take.

I’m 29. The Young Sir is 6. The Boy Chin Wonder is 10. And life is going and going and going.

Wake up. Wake up. It’s me, the moon. 

I already know I won’t sleep tonight.

Have a good night, Shaquana.

Stories

I’m missing a story. That’s what it is.

No matter what happens, I surround my mind with stories of characters. If I’m lusting after someone, real or imagined, it’s Astrid who gets to meet them. To enjoy them. To hurt from and with them. It’s an Astrid fantasy and I remove myself from the equation completely.

I do this often and have been for a long time.

Astrid has lived a million lives and died a million deaths and loved a million loves. She’s my go-to. Yeah, sometimes it’s Chaunce or a Astrid/Chaunce hybrid. For the most part, though, Astrid gets to be the center of my mind when I wish I was part of things.

I do not have a story. Not really.

Even growing up, the story was never about me to me. I push it on others. It’s a story about my Mom being depressed or my Dad dying. It’s a story about men who didn’t treat me well, about how women were harder to talk to, etc. But it’s very rare that the story is me. I ignore my reflection in real life – that’s not a size thing. I did it when I was 100 lbs smaller. I did it when I was a teen. I ignore my reflection and I pretend I’m someone else.

My personality is pretty cool but I have detached it from me completely. Pretty much everything that is the actual Shaquana Amanda Briggs is rotting somewhere in New York or in my dad’s grave.

It’s interesting to figure that out. Things happen to me but I don’t feel like I have an actual story – just notes. Car Accident. Break ups. Big moves. It’s all just written in the margins and there’s a blank body, a blank page, that I haven’t even tried to fill.

Knowing this made me feel better. I got out of bed today (late as hell but I did). I’m sitting and planning out this year. I know I’ll keep denying myself a story if I don’t unmuddle my mind. I have to understand and appreciate myself and this is the year I’m going to do it. Skill building. Solitude. Writing. Taking photos.

29 is going to be the year I regroup in case I make it to 30, to 31, beyond.

I’m going to use this Bama solitude to get the story back on course.