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.

 

Warp

Every now and then I get sucked down a false nostalgia hole. I start wishing for things I never really got to experience, a childhood I wasn’t afforded, a passion I never lived.

It’s hard to get out of my head when I get like this.

 

So. Silence for now.

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.

Someone

Remember when I was really, really into things that people hated? Types of people who were thrown away, types of subjects that were avoided, just the bottom of the barrel. I still am, to a certain degree, and I definitely still support the unsupported. But there was a point in time where I really stood behind those ideals.

When I had my mohawk with the tiny sides:

 

 

Or when I was really into showing my boobs, or just some skin in general, even if I didn’t think my body was the best body around.

 

Dark-skinned woman with no shirt, blue jeans, and arms crossed in front of legs.

 

Just a lot of rebellion a lot of the time. It was comfortable. I remember being obsessed with not having to apologize for being me, and being loud about it, and being loud about it for other people. Feeling like I was the savior of all the other weird boys and girls of the planet. Feeling like the worst mom on Earth, feeling like I didn’t fit into any corner or space, and absolutely rotting from the inside out.

All those things at once.

I’m not all that different now, just…evolved. I made it to where I figured I wanted to be – by myself. Just with the young sirs. Away from Atlanta. Away from disgusting older men, away from a childhood plagued with loss and change, away from teenage years full of sexual abuse, confused promiscuity, and aching loneliness. I made it around all of that, made it through a car wreck, made it to this house and these words. And I did it with a small amount of help, with a huge amount of determination, and a never ending sense of unease.

I’m not the girl with the hawk anymore, but I am. I’m not sporting a huge fro, but I could. I’m not standing around in my underwear, tits out, licking girl’s faces after they take my pictures, but I might. There’s a lot left in me and a lot of time (or maybe not – I wouldn’t know). I see these photos and I feel like the same person in them, just less sad. Less afraid. Less hopeless. Less crushed. Further away from my father’s death. Miles away from the place I hated, the people I hated. I see these pictures and I can finally soak them in, and feel great about them, without the guilt. Without the stories of the scents of those people in that apartment. I see these pics and I’m in awe of MYSELF.

There’s a lot of baggage in my memories but I’m truly learning to strip them and just see me in them. See Urijah, see Rajesh, see Mashu. I’ve learned to blur and spot those ugly things out of my mind and just leave us. Just leave midnight trips to CVS in Buckhead, of me looking at the sky. Just see me sitting outside at the bus stop, outside the Darlington at 10pm, going to work at Loveshack. See me watching busses go by, feeling sick of the city but so in love with the way the night looked. The way it smelled. The way the people jerked about.

I can look back and just see myself crying in front of that interior design store, the one on the bottom level of that skyscraper, where I stood waiting for my connecting bus (5) to work. See myself staring into that futuristic model kitchen they had there, tears of absolute want staining me. I remember feeling like, yeah, will I ever have something nice like this? Or will it always be starter stoves and roaches? Will it always be another suitcase in another hall?

Shit, do you know I didn’t listen to ONE showtune during those years? Or sing one? From 2007 to 2013 probably, I wasn’t even the same Shaquana that loved Evita, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Little Shop of Horrors, Chicago. I wasn’t even the same fucking person. I’d completely abandoned myself in hopes of survival and all I had left of me was a love for the weird and downtrodden. I’d adopted sexual deviants as my family and I sold toys to them and laughed with them and screamed at them and protected them.

 

And now, here I am. That model kitchen doesn’t seem like a far fetched idea – it almost seems silly, honestly. I miss that night sky but I’m happy to have the showtunes. I miss the freedom to walk to the CVS at night but I don’t miss the pain that soaked every step.

I don’t miss those days at that apartment that I took those pictures in, the one that was before Buckhead even. I hardly think about that unless I’m daydreaming about loving someone else in the apartment instead. What MISERY that was.

But I like being able to look at all these pictures, all these versions of Trey, all these Shaquanas, and only see myself for once.

 

I remember these things as they were, but I enjoy them as they should’ve been. And I’ll take more pictures, and more pictures, and they’ll be RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

 

 

Vibe.

I can get into this peace.

At least for the time being. Today was full of sneaky rain, quiet skies lighting up with thunder, chillhop and lists. Even just sitting outside while Dude Ranch walked around, hiding his shoes in various dirt piles and chipmunk homes, felt like forever. The old lady that I have convinced myself used to live here really put her foot into this garden. It’s a template that I 100% intend to build upon, to make my own.

For a long time, I convinced myself that I didn’t have idols. Because ‘edge’. But one of my idols, that I can admit was an idol now, posted a link to her magazine feature and I felt my heart speed up. As long as she’s posted and invited people into her life (much less so for the past year or two), I’ve been watching and reading and absolutely adoring her. I find myself sifting even more comfortably in this vibe when I see her transforming. She’s become someone new, someone who also sifts and floats, and I know what I want when I look at what she’s achieved.

I like to think I’ll be able to do something similar to what she’s done, maybe not from a big city point of view. I don’t have the travel bug as much as she does (I more so yearn for somewhere to settle down and evolve), but I imagine I can find beauty wherever I go. Building a brand is the hard part for me. The biggest part of my personality that never seems to die out is that part that wants solitude. It wants to hide underneath the covers. It wants to smell flowers in my own backyard, to drink in the vision of my own furniture collection. I’d love to line my walls with my own books, craft a wonderland out of the kid’s rooms, and make any place I live a true escape. I dream about this type of stuff more than I dream about being cool, wanted, desired. I dream about this more than I dream about escaping via other places.

I’m sure there’s beauty out in this world. I know it. But I’d love to be able to make my own spaces beautiful first. To know that I can make this a world worth living in no matter what’s going on beyond those doors.

So I’ll try.

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.

Oi.

Tornado warnings and wine. I’m for it.

Right now, I’m a bit buzzed whilst watching David Mitchell’s Soapbox (the youtube series) and finishing off a bottle of wine. I started this bottle earlier today and knew I’d be done before bedtime. Any time I indulge and decide to drink wine, I finish within the day. So this isn’t terrible, it isn’t new, and it isn’t worrisome. I’m not exactly sad about anything, so it’s even less so.

I do feel like watching Submarine. I’ve been using The Mitchell and Webb Look, and That Mitchell and Webb Situation, to lull me into a pleased and hilarious sleep for the last week or so, so I’m good on that. But Submarine-type dark humor is what I’m into at the moment, and so I’ll probably watch it tonight.

I’m in a inbetween mood. Not happy. Not sad. Not up. Not down. But very amused and very in the mood to succeed at something. I figure I’ll write a bit in Astrid, The Devil or The Circuit before the night is over, as well as get these two blogs for one of my clients done. Shit, I might do even more than that, who knows. I might actually get business done – CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?

Submarine is not on Netflix anymore. So I’ve opted for The Fundamentals of Caring. I’ll probably end the night with a bit of K-drama if I can.

The Fundamentals of Caring is interesting because, when I first started watching it, I was on a business trip. It was the absolutely worst time to watch it. And yet, it was the funniest thing I had seen in quite a while. Too heart-warming for a business trip where I was having God and Jesus and religion thrown in my face a lot, but not exactly hating it. It was a woman thing – lots of older black women there who may have been more religious than me, but were absolutely more experienced in life and into trying to get me up to speed.

I don’t experience women being more experienced in life than me a lot. Not at all. The stories they told around the campfire were enthralling and full of terrible experiences. It was amazing.

Note: Slim Jims are actually awful, no matter what any character in any movie tries to convince you. Absolute yuck. And ill-humored people aren’t actually interesting, they’re just ill-humored.

 

Today was not anything special. It’s nice, though. The panic of a tornado, the thrill of being slightly drunk. The normality of today.

 

We’re functioning.

Trouble

Sometimes I realize I’m not worth the trouble. A lot of my interactions, especially with men and potential friends, boils down to that. It’s not worth the headache for one reason or another, cool ass personality or not.

I’m getting that.

I hear over and over and over how great of a personality I have. How I’m ‘cool as hell’. How I’m interesting, how someone has had a better conversation with me than they have with anyone else, ever. I hear that so much I should get it tattooed in my ear.

You’re amazing, Trey.

You’re so funny.

You’re quick, you’re smart, you like the coolest stuff.

And then they follow it with all their buts and uh’s and um’s and I blank out a bit.

… … …

 

I’m not so bothered about being trouble anymore. Not in a real sense. It might jerk a tear of two and then I just kinda sit with my back against the wall and laugh. I’m too much or too little or too big or too small or have too many kids or not enough manners or this or that or the third.

I can’t make you cum or I can but that’s all.

I make you feel awkward or I make you feel nervous.

I’m ‘ambiguous’ or ‘intense’.

I get a lot. But I give a lot, and I’m kind of tired of regretting that giving. I’m starting to think I like giving a lot. And being a lot.

I’m starting to think I run people off for a reason.

 

And it’s okay, I think. Being trouble. Having those long gaps of time when I am no one and nothing and if a Trey falls in isolation, does anyone hear it? And if Urijah closes his door again, am I alone in the house?

And if Rajesh loses his phone again, am I not his mother?

And if everyone forgot I was here would anything be any different?

… … …

I’ve been going through water bottles. They’re everywhere. I drink them like I’m a worried alcoholic and they’re whiskey, and they’re scotch, and they’re buzzing in me. I’ve never had so much water in my life. I think about breast cancer and cervical cancer and liver failure and I sit with my back against some wall. There’s a lot of thought involved in this.

But I really like mirrors again, all of a sudden. And cameras. I like smiling really big and picking Urijah up and showing him that he can smile, too. I like listening to lofi hip hop and complaining about my life to myself. I like seeing that door as a wall, these windows as walls, this isolation as an opening.

I am okay with being trouble.

Maybe I am not enough. And it will always be just that way. But it’s really okay.

I’ll live until I don’t.

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.