Laura asked me if I was going to write on my blog today. I asked her "Why?" She said, "So I know what you're feeling."
I've always perceived of myself as this big walking emotion. Transparent. Well, this may have been a perception developed over years of hearing others say, "You're so sensitive." Or, "You're over-reacting." When I became a litigator, my colleagues (the ones who actually cared) warned me to "build a skin" or I'd get eaten alive.
I did build a skin - a deep, dark skin where my flagrant emotional responses were caught, netted, internalized into the under-fabric of my soft skin. If an opposing counsel wanted to thrash around in there with me? I usually came out the victor. After all, what they wanted was ego conflict - to win one for their own gipper. Me? I was fighting for my life.
Since my RDP broke up with me, I've become remarkably introspective. One might even say that I've flipped from extroversion to introversion. I suppose all that begging for a little attention - one word even (no, I'm not exaggerating) - and I've finally realized that if someone neither cares nor wants to make an effort to know you, then they don't care nor want to know you. No matter how much loving, yelling, crying, patience, pleading, reasoning or even guiling will do that trick.
Let's pull a word out of my mind after writing all that. "Juxtaposition." Nah, make it two words. "Disconcerted." Juxtaposition is the "the act or placement of two things (usually abstract concepts) near each other." (Wikipedia.) Disconcerted is "to upset the self-possession of; ruffle." (thefreedictionary.)
Can you build self-possession out of a cesspool?
There is another term among lawyers that describes the process of not taking the job personally: letting the shit slide down one's "duck feathers." In other words, there is shit. The shit is shit. Duck feathers will keep you from wearing the shit.
Begging for attention, for love itself, feels like a bestial act. Primordial. A slow exhalation resulting in the twisting of shit from cotton skirts into a tight rope that curls around and around and somehow forms a remarkably strong kitchen rug.
On the other side of things, unfurling duck wings feels like a ballet. Not Swan Lake of course. Another, Joffrey-like choreography. Not old, but not quite contemporary anymore -- and therefore worked down to its bones, i.e. one highly efficient and effective tool.
Both approaches have produced practical amenities inside my navigational system of a mind. But I think I have finally exhausted the former. They were beautiful flights of human vulnerability, but alas, I now have muscles to pull my skirts up out of the shit. Duck feathers it is!
Look at this amazing Mandarin Duck! I mean, seriously - look at this bird. It's like a Zebra-lion-woodpecker-tropical fish-punk rock-can't possibly exist in nature freakazoid! And it swims and flies. Awesome.
It's a boy of course. Boy birds are all froo-froo in order to capture the attention of the girls - who don't need to be froo-froo because they make eggs that make babies. Obviously more important in the larger scheme of things. (I know, I know, you need both...)
Another added benefit is that it smells better to let the shit fall of one's duck feathers into parts unknown. Every room in Laura's condo has essential oil (the really good kind) diffusion sticks. The oils are custom, or suited, for the room in which they waft: rosemary in the kitchen; lavender in the living room; patchouli and sandalwood in the guest, i.e. my bathroom; eucalyptus in the master bath; and lavender-vanilla in the guest, i.e. my room.
Get this - she even asked me what smells I liked, listened to me describe my favorite smells, and then went out and picked oils that matched my specific desires with her specific aural sensibilities.
There is also incense burning most days, Tibetan incense intended to "alleviate symptoms caused by disturbed rLung* energy like stiffness of shoulder muscles, dryness of mouth, insomnia, sudden fits**, resulting in profuse perspiration, stiffness of limbs, numbness, emaciation***, yawning, non-clarity of speech and all kinds of mental stress & strains."
I'm thinking that Laura's got it all covered here in New York...
**i just wanted to double star this because it was funny, but in that "oh, yeah, I relate" sort of way, not necessarily just in the ha-ha way
***i sort of wish it didn't solve this one