2018

If only I could translate sarcasm and cynicism into an active writing career.

… … …

The end of the year means a lot to me. I don’t find it as flippant and eye-roll inducing as a lot of people do. It means more to me than astrology and religion and a bunch of other if’s, and’s, or buts.

I can look back on a year and tell you how I felt with detail and emphasis. It’s just enough time for me to take a lesson, maybe one that I will ultimately ignore, and mold into something real. Looking back on 2017 feels different than looking back on 2016, than looking back on 2015, and so on. I find enough value in it to make sure that I write something, anything, on New Year’s Eve. There hasn’t been much to stop that from happening in the past 7 or 8 years.

This year was a lot of…nothing. Alabama was a mistake but one that I needed to make in order to move forward. This year started with a car accident and ended with a death. It started with a fresh start and ended right back where I was running from. But it did start. And it did end. And I’m not dead.

I made a lot of money this year. A whole lot. I think I made more money this year than I’ve ever made in my life (in terms of working – my Dad’s death obviously reaped me more money but that was lost as quickly as his life). I earned. I worked so hard sometimes that I wouldn’t sleep (or eat) for days at a time.

This year, I had two sexual partners. One that I’ve known for almost ten years and one that I’d only known a couple of weeks. This year I kind of lost the feeling that love gave me, the feeling that made me want to keep going back to it over and over. The feeling that made me deal with situations and attitudes I didn’t like.

The excuses seemed to fall from existence this year. The fear was immense. The desire to withdraw from humanity and become someone else, to live in my own head until my body gave up, that intensified. I’m going into 2018 understanding that I want to escape reality some way,  some how. Even if it’s just by doing well as a writer, moving somewhere remote, and dying in the woods of old age and romanticism.

I understand that my depression makes things up a lot. It tells me things that aren’t true. It takes things from me, things that help me cope: music, art, movies, love, lust, everything. But it can’t take my stories, and it can’t take my day dreams, and I understand that now. My fear of my writing dwindling and dying out have always been unfounded.

Writing will always be there for me. My characters will always be there for me. And so, I’ll take better care of them this year.

 

I don’t know. I go into 2018 as Shaquana Amanda Briggs, Trey Briggs, Treys Ludlow. I go into 2018 as the mother of Rajesh and Urijah. The sister of Tairina, Derrick, and Keith. The daughter of Denise Briggs. I go into 2018 as the on again, off again girlfriend of Wolf. I go into 2018 as a lot of old things, and also a lot of new.

 

I look forward to all the success, all the failure,  all the tears, all the fear, all the love, all the lust, all the writing and fantasies that 2018 will bring. I love being me. I love myself and all that I can endure.

I go into this year as a monster that I most definitely created, and I fucking love it.

Air

Someday, there will be nothing left but air.

And really, maybe not even that.

… … …

Unnatural things sit on my chest. I’ve been feeling this ugly, saturated heaviness ever since I put a sudden stop to my solitude. With the past sitting in my house, sitting around my house, laughing too loud all the time, drinking itself into difficult stupors, I feel heavy and salted. When I say anything that sounds like a real conversation, he grimaces.

Literally. His face quickly contorts and then he stares.

When I speak, he makes annoyed faces. Unless we are talking about popular things. Celebrities cheating or how ‘the gram’ feels or anything like that. He’s invested, then.

When I say, slowly and carefully, ‘did you check on that job’? He sighs. Eyes roll too quickly for confirmation. He nods.

“Yeah.”

 

This isn’t before. I am too old. I became too set in my solitude. And I had time to realize what was ME and what was the gaslighting.

 

So I already told him this wasn’t working out, and I already told him this is done. One month. And only that first day, when Dude Ranch screeched and ran about with him, did it seem like a good idea.

Other than that it was just a huge, ugly ‘I KNEW IT’.

… … …

 

But some lessons we learn hard and vicious. I learned not to take on family projects. From the difficulty of handling something for my mother, of telling her she wasn’t being clear enough, only to have her find someone else and be ‘clear’ with them. And the final product was, as I figured, only slightly like what she’d asked for. But she will never admit that, and I am too old to keep asking people to do such things. So I’m just going to stop calling.

People will wrap themselves around you trying to tell you how life is short. Forgive and yadda yadda yadda. I’ve been forgiving for a long time, my friends. And it’s never done anything for me, not yet. It has never eased any anger, has never changed any behavior. I forgive and remember and it still all turns back like a vicious circle.

 

I am quitting people. At least, when my solitude filled this home, I felt like a great human being. In the month that I’ve been ‘trying’ to communicate, I’ve been told how terrible I am, how abrasive, how angry and loud. And I’m over it.

 

Just us.

Goodbyes

I’m a monster.

And not the edgy, highly sociopathic kind. I’m the kind of monster that makes you feel nice and good about yourself. I feed you and eat with you and compliment you and help you gain a type of confidence that doesn’t seem to exist anymore. I move you in. I adore you.

And then I let you go. Suddenly. Most likely in an ugly, surprising way. You’ll feel like I hated you all along and why couldn’t I just act like that before?

There’s something off about the way I make and break relationships and friendships. I don’t understand it, never have. I absolutely don’t mean to do it, but it happens every time. I’ve become so close to people that they ask me before they make any sudden moves.

 

It’s this odd thing that is 100% me. Even when it could kind of be the other person’s fault, it really is mine. One small thing can happen and then this slow, ugly decline starts in my head. I don’t say anything, not at first. I let it keep sliding and sliding and sliding until I really can’t stand the person anymore. And that one thing can be super small – an attitude, a missed hello, a bad morning because of something else.

And I keep this up. It’s not changing. I want it to change, and badly. Wuff was the latest victim of it, and at this point he’s probably the oldest victim of it. He had huge flaws, yes, and he failed me a lot. But towards the end he was TRYING SO HARD. And it really eats me up. It eats me up that I get so angry at nothing and, the truth is, there’s no real answer but to leave when I get like this. It’s over. This spiral has hit a midway point and the next step is chaos.

I guess I wrote this to remind myself later, when I’m complaining about being lonely, that Wuff did try. He really did. He went to work and stopped drinking and you could see the wear and tear on his face, in the sunken in cheeks, in his lack of sleep. He talked about the future with me and the boys with so much spark, with so much hope, and I led him right into a wall. I tried, yeah, but I didn’t try as hard as he did towards the end.

And eh. I love myself. I appreciate me to a fault. And I know I will get up and keep moving and I can only hope he’ll do the same. The truth is, I don’t want a ‘situationship’. I know people love differently, and he loves in a way that we could just live together and make babies and be friends for the rest of our lives. He would be fine with that as long as I was happy, as long as I wasn’t angry out of nowhere, as long as I let him. And I really wish I could’ve made that happen, wish I could’ve just fucking let it work.

But I’m this type of monster. It’s a monster I like. But it doesn’t seem to want me to have anyone else.

This fucking thing.

I know there won’t be a next time. So goodbye, Wolf.

Eh.