It has always fascinated me... maybe because I have these "snapshots" in my head of a person or a time and that basic picture will stay with me, even though time alters it, or time places other snapshots over the first one... but there are certain memories that remain frozen for me, posed, almost... no matter how much time passes:
- the dead kitty in the doorway the time Mima accidentally caught the animal's head in the door, trying to keep it locked in our Paris bathroom. I was two.
- my sister's smiling face peeking out over the bassinet on the plane from Paris to Jamaica when I was three.
- Mima teaching me how to do the "Penguin" in our living room in Jamaica when I was four.
- my grandmother and her friend visiting us in BullBay, Jamaica, walking in through the gate to our yard when I was eleven.
- sitting in Planned Parenthood with my then boyfriend when I was seventeen.
Then of course there are the "snapshots" I have of people who mean something to me... Mima, HighSchoolMathTeacher...
and it makes a really interesting, almost frightening contrast to the things I can forget, obliterate from my memory. Usually these things cause a great deal of pain when I do dredge them up to remember, but like a dusty book I can look at the jacket and know what's underneath, and put it back on the shelf to "lose" again...
- my entire 8-month marriage
- my four year relationship with the Sun's Dad
- moving from New Jersey to the Rock
- my sister's and nieces awful accident
- my trip to Vegas.
And Poppy losing his leg.
I realized with a jolt that I've lost about a whole year. It's almost a year since Poppy lost his leg, and I've been in a fog almost that whole time. It hit me because right around the time when Poppy's pain was at it's worst I got a good paying gig designing a logo for a restaurant. The job was being paid for by the Cuban, a love-affair gone wrong. And speaking of, for the most part I've obliterated the memory of that awful time. I got my payback with him so I can talk to him without feeling anything, which is a good thing since he pops up from time to time and can be useful to me. Cuz he owes me. But it's weird that I can do that, too, make myself numb. Like talking to someone behind heavy bulletproof Plexiglas, the kind of stuff they have in the ghetto liquor stores and chicken joints.
In any event, the Cuban gave me a hefty deposit to do this logo for a friend of his, but it was hard to communicate cuz the Cuban had no interest in the work other than the final product and so wasn't involved in the feedback, and the LogoNeeder wasn't paying so didn't care much for schedules. And Poppy was writhing in pain, so due to various things the logo got put on the back burner.
No one ever called, wrote, harassed. But I was determined to finish it, and I did finally. I was going to make a business card template and just send it to the man, calling it even. I went online to search out the business address and phone number, and made the rather horrifying discovery that the had business closed.
And I had no idea that much time had passed...
I don't like pain. And I clarify that by saying "mental pain", since physical pain I seem to be able to tolerate. My toe is almost healed. It didn't hurt that much to begin with; I didn't even use all the meds assigned me. The pin came out a few weeks back (and I never posted a pic so here you go--in case you cared)
and I can walk around the house barefoot, pretty much. I didn't need too much medication in childbirth (well, after they gave me Pitocin I did, but that was unnatural pain).
But mental pain I can't stand, and seeing someone I love in physical pain is a definite no-can-do.
Poppy writhing in pain almost broke me. I can say that physically, I didn't run this time; I forced myself to go visit him a few times even when his pain was really bad, and I didn't move to Jersey like I did when the building fell on my sister and my niece... but apparently I just checked out of my head. Which may explain why my life is a complete wreck about now. And at the moment I can't see myself recovering, but I digress...
I used to shield myself from pain. I still do, but not to the same extent. I learned early how to keep the soft mush inside of me locked down tight, but after awhile I began to suspect I was losing out on stuff--blocking out people and friendships before they even got in. Being able to lock myself away enabled me to endure a lot of things without breaking, but it also drove people away. And so a few years back I worked on opening myself, letting things in, with sometimes disastrous results. I survived. I'm still here, but I've no desire to continue to leave myself wide open. At least not to everyone. And you hurt me once you may not get the chance to do it again. "Forgiveness" I think is a very Christian concept, and since I'm not a Christian I've decided it's not up to me to forgive. I can make a peace, call a truce... but I'm not sure I'm required to forgive. Especially not if you hurt me on purpose.
So, time has passed since I last wrote, mainly because I've been spending time catching up on what I missed over the last year, putting away projects, trying to figure out where I go from here. And putting in time to me and the BigMan.
I said I loved him, and I do... but there is definitely a thick sheet of bullet-proof Plexiglas between he and I. There will never be another Scrub. But BigMan is patient... very patient, even when he's mad at me (which is usually because I've hauled off on him). He's earning my trust slowly, patiently, and I'm coming to rely on him. I even miss him now when he's not here. I don't even mind telling him that. After the whole BestGirl thing we seemed to come to an understanding of each other (although there was another incident and I flung a glass across the room after he left), and I'm trying to not let the things she does get under my skin. We all hung out briefly the other day; him, her, myself and my Sun and for the most part I could tolerate her and she behaved.
The other day, BigMan was leaving and he looked around my living room and said "If I move in, we'll have to move the drawing table over here" and I got a chill. "Why?"
"Because I need a work area and you see how much equipment I have."
He paused. "Or maybe we'll need to move someplace else altogether."
"We can't get this kind of space anywhere else."
"Maybe we need to move out of state."
The prospect of my life changing that much unhinged me and I said "I can't talk about this now."
So he left.
And I thought about it some more and I'm still not sure I want my life to change that much but it might have to...
Along the lines of my previous post of my resolution to let things "be", and to put right friendships that may be hampered by my inability to separate what I see from what other people see, I called up CNC and had her come over. And we talked... I told her my telling her off was only prompted by my desire to see her succeed, to grow, to live to her greatest potential. I told her I was happy for her and this guy she seems to like. She told me she loved me even though I was a bitch, and she knew that I cared for her. She even told me I hurt her feelings sometimes, and I said I was sorry, because I am.
And the next day when ShoeFly (who lives in the apartment beneath her) mentioned this guy was practically living with her I choked down my desire to call up CNC and tell her she was being an idiot. See? I'm learning.
Aside from the rent (now 6 months past due) and some assorted loose ends the only other pressing issue is fallout from the BigBurn. I'm still not past it. And I don't think I'm going to be, though I'm trying. It's that snapshot thing... the Burn hurt because it slapped me on about three different levels, the lowest one being that the incident prevents me from blocking out a painful memory. I can't just lock up the memory in that dusty-jacketed book, and lose it on a shelf. I'm put in the position where I'm frequently reminded of shit I really want to forget. And that pisses me off. Especially because I'd gotten to the point where I could look through the bulletproof Plexiglas and be OK. But now, everytime I have to be reminded I get angry all over again, even about stuff I'd put to rest. And I got reminded of that the other day, because I came across a name that reminded me of that awful summer and that awful blackness... I realized that my inability to bury all that was really fucking with me, and I really resent having to be reminded of something I want to forget.
But I'm trying. Besides... I have other stuff to worry about.
Here's the logo I finished, and underneath it is the inspiration I used...