Heroes

They say you should never meet your heroes because you will inevitably be disappointed.  I suppose that’s true in some cases.  If your hero was Superman I don’t know how you could possibly meet him without being dumbfounded by his bulging man-panties.  You might not be disappointed, but it would definitely be weird.

I’m lucky though, I got to meet my hero once and it was everything I ever wanted it to be.  In fact I have seen him every year now for four years.  He doesn’t know I’m there, but I sit back in that audience and I listen to him read and inside I sparkle.

My hero is David Sedaris.  I had a brief, yet perfectly awkward, conversation with him once.  I had taken my mother to see him read at a theater down town.  We stood in line to have our books signed.  I barely remember any of it because several thousand butterflies seemed to be participating in a fight club inside my stomach.  I was so nervous I shook.  Literally shook.  I remember feeling sweat drip down my back as we waited, overdressed in the April heat of Texas.

When we reached the front I could hardly form a sentence.  I remember telling him I wanted to be him when I grew up, prompting him to inscribe my book with simply, “Dream Bigger.”  He asked me if I had any tattoos, which from reading all his previous essays, I knew to be a common query at his book signings.  I was disappointed to tell him no, I was uninked.  He said that was refreshing.  I can’t remember what I babbled back to him, but I do remember thinking I could never possibly be more star struck.

It took a long time afterwards for me to come down from the interaction.  I had actually spoken to my hero, not well, not clearly, and certainly not meaningfully, but I had done it.  I can hold those few moments in my pocket and know heroes are real.

David’s writing changed me.  When I first read his work a whole new world opened up around me.  What he wrote, and how he writes it is what I had always wanted to do, but never before known was possible.  He was really doing it.  Making people laugh, experience joy and grief right along with him as his told the stories of mundane, yet somehow miraculous every day events from his past.

His stories made all of the fish and pencil sharpener obituaries I had written make sense.   David’s writing made me realize the story about the marshmallow spit I managed get stuck to my ass and unknowingly wander about the house with could be real art someday.

So even today I sit behind my computer.  Clicking away at the keys trying to dance my way around the page with nouns and verbs to paint a picture worth reading.  Maybe someday with enough work David Sedaris may even read something I wrote.  Maybe.  I’ll keep trying.

I Suck at Being Patient

Waiting is hard.  Over the years I have developed a several coping mechanisms for your normal, average, everyday waiting.  For instance, I never leave home without a sock to knit shoved into my purse.  That takes care of those DMV lines or a wait at the nail salon.  You get a few strange looks as you juggle five needles while appearing to be crafting a tube out of yarn, but other than that sock knitting is a proven winner for many waits.

Sometimes larger weapons, such as books, are deployed.  Books are super because they keep my brain from thinking all the anxious thoughts for a while.  Thus when waiting for something that may be painful such as a full body wax or a doctor’s appointment they are ideal.   Books are even more handy dandy now that they fit inside my phone.  As an added bonus no one stares anymore because now they can’t see the cover of the hobbit filled, world on the back of a turtle shell, modern day wizarding, or dragon and fairy based fiction I choose to read.  Win. Win.

Not all waiting is dispensed with so easily though.   Right now I am waiting for some test results.  You know the kind.  The ole, you could be just fine, or you could be harboring a hideous and fatal disease, kind of test results.  Of course they are also the kind of results that take entirely too much time to come in.  The worst part is once the results are in you have to wait again to get an appointment to come in to have said results revealed to you by the every busy and time crunched doctor.  There is no book or sock for this kind of waiting.

Instead I peel the skin from my fingers until they are bloody, or graze on food all day long.  I binge watch television in the background, and force myself to clean the house.  But despite all that I can still feel a festering anxiety in my gut reminding me that none of my tactics are really working.  I’m still nervous.  No way around it this time.

Cat Pee Didn’t Stop Me

This may be the drugs talking, but I am feeling much happier and more relaxed today.  Despite discovering a cat pee soaked towel in the bathtub I am feeling pretty damn good, which is saying something.

The last few weeks uncertainty and self doubt have had me in a snare.  It’s felt  inescapable.  As soon as I would start to feel better about the rest of the world, I would find something I said or did to perseverate worry on.

I haven’t had a break from my own head at all lately.  Trying to stay busy helps, but then I find myself worrying about having to stay busy.  When I fall down the rabbit hole of anxiety I swear I become the most creative worrier known to man.  I can always find something new to freak out about.  I wish I were that good at ideation in the rest of my life.

With the help of my husband, prescribed pharmaceuticals, getting lost in a few books and movies, and some extra sleep I seem to be doing a bit better.  I know I will shake it off, eventually.  I always do.  Besides, the cat pee didn’t send me into a total panic, so ehhh maybe I am moving towards the bright side.

So…

I started to write a post today about the ridiculously hot November weather.  While it still remains true that it is nearly impossible to think of baking pies in 85 degree weather, I realized I was doing in writing what I frequently rely on in every day life when I don’t know what else to say.  I start to talk about the weather.

The truth is that there is a bunch I have to say, but I am too scared to say it.  Not so much scared of what other people will think as I am scared of the massive panic attack admitting my fears out loud will induce inside me.  My eye starts to twitch just thinking about it.

Ugh.

I have people all around me telling me not to worry that everything is going to be alright.  I cannot tell you how much I hope they are correct.  But I am a little ball of anxiety and there are not enough hot baths, medications, or soothing words in the world to help assuage my fears.  I am just going to have to lean into this discomfort and learn to live with it.

This must be a similar feeling of fear and uncertainty people have felt for millennia during wars, missile crisis, plagues, or various other horrendous events.  I guess I have just never been old enough during a major period of uncertainty before to know what it feels like to endure.  This is shitty.

I would now like to apologize if I ever minimized any old person’s experiences during times of panic.  I am so sorry.  I had no idea what it felt like.

Here’s hoping I am overreacting.  Here’s hoping I will read this post in four years and laugh.   Here’s hoping.

Anxiously Lit

Yesterday I went on an annual pilgrimage to the liquor store.  My city is dry, because of prudes, so getting the sweet nectars of Dionysus requires a bit of driving.

I filled my cart with all the holiday classics, including liquor for my favorite kind of drinking, breakfast drinking.  There is nothing better than a hefty pour of Bailey’s in your Christmas coffee.  Thank you baby Jesus for allowing me to get buzzed at 8 am!

My cart was full of all sorts of goodies, as one of my favorite gifts to give is booze.  I find it makes people incredibly grateful.  Since I only liquor shop once a year my cart looked like an alcoholic’s cheat day just begging for a trip to the emergency room.

booze

Pushing my cart up to the checkout is when I realized I still can’t look a cashier in the eye at a liquor store.  I am 35 years old and as soon as I start stacking bottles on the counter I feel guilty as shit.  For the love of god I don’t know why.  I never even drank underage and now that I am 14 years above age, I still can’t help but get all jittery and a severe case of diarrhea of the mouth.  What the hell is wrong with me.

I swear every bottle that checker scanned incited me to explain who it was for, how much they will drink in a day, and how I promise I will take their keys away if they get wasted.  Multiply that times the number of bottles I purchased yesterday, and you have the makings of a hell of an awkward one sided conversation.

As soon as I got to the parking lot I started making weird noises to shake the awkward off.  On lookers probably saw me and thought I had already been on the sauce… that or I had some sort of syndrome.  Maybe one day I will be able to shop for liquor like a normal human.