Archive for the public confessional Category

RUDE AWAKENING

Posted in public confessional, social commentary, writing with tags , , , on May 20, 2009 by kimmy

 

Years ago, my father told me that I was over-idealistic, that I didn’t see what was obvious.  “Everyone has potential,” he said, leaning back into his chair and looking thoughtfully at the ceiling, “but few people actually live up to it.”  I wondered if all the years of working as an attorney had soured him to human nature.  He never really enjoyed it, although he always had a quick smile and a witty story to share.  “People can misrepresent themselves at will, sweetheart; that’s their perogative.”

At the time, I thought all adults were somehow the magical keepers of rational thought.  It worried me that the ones I observed were no better than the snotty kids from third grade.  To whom could I turn for a ruling or understanding?  If they all were tussling about for dibs on the monkey bars, there was little chance they’d offer reasonable explanations of the mysteries of life.

“If you measure yourself by the standards of those around you, then you will become no better.”  Why did Dad always make sense of the nonsensical?  “In the end, the only person you’ll have to answer to is yourself.”   He was right, of course, but it took me half a lifetime to concur.  The first half was spent hanging upside down on those goddamned monkey bars.

IN THE END, IT’S ALL GARBAGE

Posted in musings, personal, public confessional, social commentary, writing with tags , , on May 9, 2009 by kimmy

As I hauled my worldly goods to yet another transient location, I had to laugh.  There’s something poignant, but ultimately hilarious seeing one’s life distilled to a couple of trash bags.  What was I holding onto… a dream, a handful of possessions, my security blanket?  As I hoisted them into the car, I wondered just how important they were.

Here’s a garbage bag full of winter clothes, ready to be stored until the snow flies once again.  I’m tempted to stop by the Salvation Army and leave it on the doorstep.  But of course that means that I’ll have to pick it up and move it yet again.  Surely there’s some poor soul who can use these fleece pants and shirts until the frost forces me back into them.

I never realized how many pairs of shoes I have.  I feel like Imelda Marcos.  Is it just a girlie affectation, or does the poverty of my youth haunt me still?  I cannot wear all of these at once, yet the thought of losing a single pair fills me with anxiety.

Why do I hold onto these dusty books?  I’ve read them over and again.  Is there some bit of wisdom that I’ll absorb by proximity?  How many times can I re-read Pride and Prejudice before its plot no longer captivates me?  No, I think I’ll keep it;  for the first time in my life, I understand why Elizabeth Bennet was so defiant in the face of adversity.

I want to throw it all away and walk unfettered into the next phase of my life.  Can I arrive unclothed and unshod?  Or must I carry these possessions like a talisman against the future?

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE LITERARY KIND

Posted in musings, public confessional, writing with tags , , , , , , on July 27, 2008 by kimmy

A very strange thing happened to me last summer.  As I was driving home from class one evening, I saw what appeared to be an unusually bright light in the sky.  I was waiting to merge into heavy traffic that night, so I spent some time looking at this thing.

Because my studio is situated on the southeast approach to Midway Airport, it’s normal to see a line of commercial aircraft hanging in the sky.  On that particular night, the August sky was very clear and I could see an unbroken line of jets waiting to make their descent into Chicago.  But the brightly lit craft hovering above my car seemed different than the rest.

For one, it had a huge bank of front landing lights, three rows deep, and no vertical stabilizers.  I stared at the thing, not quite sure what to think.  I was puzzled; it seemed too low for a Midway landing yet far too large for the nearby regional airport.

It slowly banked and headed north.  As it turned, I saw the underside of the craft.  It was immense, triangular and covered with multicolored lights, and the hull had a strange sheen.  It wasn’t quite matte and it wasn’t completely reflective.  It seemed to absorb the ambient light about it.

The hair stood up on the back of my neck; this was not a man-made space craft.  I immediately turned the car around to follow it.  It never occured to me to be frightened or concerned with my safety; this was a once-in-a-lifetime moment!  I couldn’t let it slip by.

However, in the ten seconds it took to turn my car around, the strange thing vanished.  It absolutely disappeared from view.  In the wide expanse of prairie about me, there were no treelines to block my sight or hills to provide cover.  The thing had simply gone.

I was crushed.  My one and only close encounter and it was over before I even realized it.  I turned the car around once again and drove home thrilled, but disappointed.  What would I tell my husband?  Would he even believe me?  Would anyone?

My ruminations didn’t last long.  As I drove up a railroad overpass, I again caught sight of my strange quarry.  It was travelling north, lazily parallel to my own route, but the entire craft had turned onto its side, moving vertical to the ground.  A huge strip of tail lights, brilliant white, faced me in the dark.  But I was behind the wheel and couldn’t stop to gawk.

I spied it one last time before I turned off onto my street.  It was still following its north trajectory, heading for the south shore of Lake Michigan in a slow, unhurried manner.  I wondered why the people around me weren’t pointing and exclaiming, and crashing their vehicles in the confusion.  No one but myself seemed to notice it.

My husband ribbed me about my experience.  I don’t think he really believed me until we happened to watch this Discovery Channel program.  It seems I wasn’t the only person who had witnessed the appearance of this strange aircraft, albeit my own was nearly seven years afterward.

I have no lurid story to tell, no tale of alien abduction or weird experiments.  In fact, there is no proof that it was of extraterrestrial origin.  The only result of my encounter is that it left me with a compulsion to write and an unshakable conviction that we are not alone.

THREE’S A CROWD

Posted in musings, personal, public confessional, relationships, writing with tags , , on July 7, 2008 by kimmy

Can your inner life become an entity unto itself?  Is it possible that it can manifest into a creature that has to be reckoned with, as real as a living lover and just as cumbersome?  I was soon to find out.

After spending my entire life in a daydream, I woke up the other day to discover an unwelcome party encamped in my bed.  It was lodged firmly between my husband and myself, rooted to the spot like a petulant child.  It was a blob of self-created fantasy so big that it nearly pushed both of us out of bed. 

I immediately recognized my handiwork and that alarmed me.  How did the thing migrate from my head to partycrasher?  Aren’t mental scenarios confined to the brain?  Apparently, this one was not and it seemed in no hurry to leave the comfort of my marital bed, not a terrible prospect if this fantasy had actually involved  my husband.

Of course it did not.  This misshapen intruder was the result of countless hours dreaming about a life which did not include him, a life which bears no resemblance at all to the unremarkable life I live during my waking one.  It’s full of pathos, my blobby offspring; rich with torrid romance and exhilirating emotions, and topped with a gooey thick icing of maudlin sentiment and chocolate sprinkles.   Satin sheets, rose petals, bearskin rugs and red carpet strolls in haute couture, accompanied by a soundtrack of applause and a portfolio of expensive real estate.  It’s glorious, vain and masturbatory, like a secret addiction which is intensely pleasurable but destructive.

I needed an intervention.  So, I convened a group of my closest advisors -reason, judgment and common sense- and threw myself at their mercy.  They showed me none.  Harsh, cold and unmoved by my tears, they threatened to leave me completely if I chose not to take the help they offered. 

What else could I do?  I boarded the plane and flew away to rehab.  I only wonder if I’ll survive ninety days without champange wishes and caviar dreams.

NIKOPOLIDIS BROKE MY HEART

Posted in events, musings, personal, pop culture, public confessional, social commentary, writing with tags , , , , , on June 15, 2008 by kimmy

No, I’m not referring to the gaffe during the Greece v. Russia game this afternoon. I’ll leave the post-mortem to the hand-wringers and bloggers in Europe who must be either dead drunk by now or texting congratulations to each other.  Isn’t it just like the inept to take pleasure in the mistakes of their betters?  

But I digress.  Tonight, I’ll leave my knife in the drawer because I’m not complaining about Saturday’s dismal performance.  In fact, the game didn’t interest me at all.  It was so lackluster that I fell asleep a few times.  But what troubles me is the cruel blow that Nikopolidis dealt me today.

Martina, my BFF in Germany, posted a series of pictures showing said goalkeeper in action and I suddenly realized that the cornfed men of my sturdy Midwestern world would no longer suffice.  I cannot live with the predictability of the blue collar man or the vulgar pretensions of the white.  I am ruined.

And Antonios is to blame for my misery.   Before the revelation,  I was resigned to mediocrity.  My world was narrow and expectations limited.   Who has time to dream anyway; the pressures of life suffocate them.  But now it’s too late.  I’ve started dreaming and plotting and envisioning, and I can’t seem to stop!  It won’t be long before I bust out of my cell…

What’s to become of me?  I can feel that question bubbling up like a canker sore, the last vestiges of the Calumet mindset nagging at me.  Doesn’t life have to be laid out like a grid before you, each step carefully constructed and every contingency preplanned?  What if the sky should fall in?  Shouldn’t plenty of worry and anxiety be factored in?  There’s nothing like despairing over a future that will never be realized to make you feel like a true Midwesterner.

Everything has changed now.  Nikopolidis broke my heart from its confines and I don’t know where it’s headed.  But for the first time in my life, I don’t care.

JAMES PUREFOY KILLS CORPORATE ZOMBIES DEAD

Posted in musings, public confessional, writing with tags , , , , , , on June 3, 2008 by kimmy

I can remember rolling out of bed one day and turning on the television.  What was featured, I don’t recall because I’ve grown numb to the barrage of network pablum pandered about as entertainment.  However, my attention was pulled away from its usual wandering and focused happily upon a face in the pixels.  Why, here was a man who behaved like a man should, or at least like the men I had read about in Regency literature.  This was not one of the blown-dry corporate skeletons that have been rattling about on my screen.  In fact, I imagined he do rather well swaggering into a room and destroying a four-poster bed without even breaking a sweat; unless of course, a sheen of perspiration, properly backlit, might lend itself to the glamor.

Have I become so inured to the parade of emos bleeding onscreen that when an actor refuses to spill his guts I suddenly sit up and take notice?  There’s something to be said for mystery, isn’t there?  I don’t need to know everything!  I don’t want to be coddled by film industry opiates; real life is bad enough. 

I don’t know every last filthy secret of my best friend; nor do I want to know.  The same can be said for my imaginary friends in book and screen.  They behave in ways that are contrary to mine and that’s fine.  I don’t live in a perfect Seuss-like world where the inhabitants labor selflessly in a group singalong.  My world is populated with ruthless men and woman who advance themselves by stepping on the heads of others. 

If James wants to shoot all the corporate matinee idols and laugh in the face of our collective uneasiness, he has my blessing. I don’t mind being slapped out of my stupor.

WINGING IT

Posted in public confessional, writing with tags on May 23, 2008 by kimmy

Like being caught between a rock and a hard place, I jumped in here to post my scribblings because more and more people, for some unknown reason, were asking to read them.  So then I had to ask myself to where would I send these would-be readers of mine if not the fansite cocoon where they’d been festering for months.  But not all readers have an appetite for compulsive behavior and mindless devotion to persons far away.  What was I to do?

Purge my conscience in a public forum!  Drag my hothouse fantasies out into the open where they can be properly dissected, devoured or ridiculed.  How long can I sit alone with florid scenarios streaming into my mind?  My head is ready to split open!  There’s only so long that an aspiring writer can silence the mob of voices.  Eventually they’ll clamor loud and long enough to be heard outside one’s head.

And why wouldn’t anyone choose the (relative) anonymity of a public blog?  It’s not like one’s obliged to orate before a bored, or worse, audience.  Maybe the sweaty palms and nausea that used to accompany my stage fright will recede from memory as I leave, one by one, the burdens that plagued me.  Whether the reader decides to pick one up or kick it away is entirely up to them.