009 | still on the hunt.

Every night I fill up the humidifier on my bedside table with a large plastic jug of water, up to the marked line indicated by a sticker holding up its own against the well of water and moisture, and have the same thought, “Sarah’s no longer alive. You won’t see her again.”

And every time my brain retorts, “Well, that’s absurd.

“But yea, that’s accurate.” And then I get scared.

Because it is so very absurd and it came true. Five months post-“the news that night,” six weeks of weekly therapy sessions in, I’ve gotten to a point where the daytime finally again has its distinction from the nighttime. The daytime, the lightness, the sun and even dark rainy clouds, offer the opportunity of time and space to focus on the here and now and do my taxes, the hunt for joy through collaborative fulfilling work, and feeling panic ease away as I engage in daily sessions of relaxation– Disneynature documentaries are the current drug of choice. Observing animal behaviour we’d ordinarily never otherwise have a chance to witness really drives home that oh-so-healthy notion of not being alone, that what we are and feel is universal, no matter how we all do it, and will continue to evolve and change, in that I won’t always be stuck in this glue.

But it’s that nightly routine of wrapping up our days and bringing it to a close, and we naturally incline towards an unconscious review of our day and assign a satisfactory grade or a disappointing sigh. An exuberant excitement in the past five months is something I’ve yet to etch into my brain during this examination period. And that’s a given. But it’s a yearning that’s popped up in the past week that I can’t seem to squash. Like a teasing ray of sunlight from between the cracks of heavy dusty window drapes that I can’t seem to locate in this room. I want to whip them open and feel excitement and love and a thrill that I know will be contrasted by the most depressingly low of the lows the following day– because that’s how I interpret my deservingness of joy, apparently; a mandatory immediate return to a balance of debts and credits. But I still want it. I’ve felt the lowest of lows, the bottom-depths of pressure exploding from within your temple kind of hell. And now I want the high. I want the high that makes those lows… not “worth it” but more… acceptable.

Because if anything, I know there’s a balance. That low I was at, it could not be sustained. That low might revisit me, no doubt it could, but my ultimate fairy-clouds hopes and dreams on Gumdrop Lane would be to have achieved and experienced a joy like none other before the next lowest of lows.

My last post (008) was me attempting this post and topic, but redirecting and ending in a quick joke. So I’m back, trying again. I want joy. I tried to find it in savoury puff pastries and Toblerone chocolate tortes and countless other delicious temporary hits. No. I’ve felt joy. That wasn’t it at all.

I listened to the recording of my set on my phone that I left with you. It was all of you laughing.

Cathy Boyd, after her stand-up set at Comedy Bar

Then I embarked on funny videos on the internet, a classic for a reason. I’ve gut-busted a few times and the fact that every instance of those belly laughs was a remarkable moment is depressing on its own, when you are in fact known within your comedy community as the one to invite to your show if you want the audience to immediately get on your side. Professional Laugher will likely be my backup career, that’s how loudly and easily it comes to me, to the dismay of my mouse-like parents (which they are not, so I don’t know where this detriment built from). Numerous times I’ve apologized to my colleagues for accidentally sitting next to the camera and almost making their footage unusable, but they swore I made it sound like the audience was completely onboard. I don’t know. I think most room acoustics and recording devices would prefer such outlier sounds be evened out by a mid-room placement. Yes, I will sit right up front in the first row and be your proud mama hen.

I heard your laugh after our first joke and immediately thought, “Oh, phew, Bree’s here! We’ll be fine.”

Rob Michaels, after sketch comedy troupe Woke ‘n’ Broke’s first Fringe performance

I want to feel good. I want to crave amazing something so badly.

Do you have images in your head of memories long gone… but they’re of scenes from books you read (or fanfic) or TV shows (or fanfic)? Might not even be a significant scene, but the rush of memories you feel from the emotions tangled up in the tiny details of how a character stood, not knowing what to do with their arms, or an overarching theme of implications of the moment. Sometimes it feels easier to revisit Sarah through those scenes. It’s got me hunting for an Ugly Betty fanfic about her loving the heck out of an ugly blue and yellow sweater that Daniel loathes, then comes around to loving because it simply makes her happy. I think it’s gone, taken offline in the decade since I absorbed the images into my cortex through incessant re-reads. But I just have to accept it. I have to accept that I won’t have certain things in my life again. I have to accept that my most enthralling and weirdest and fulfilling relationship ever took a nightmare of a detour, dragged eighteen months, and then before even a hint of closure or a gift of resolution could be felt through her own unique Sars-like ways, she died. Of all the loved ones grieving this human, how am I the one left with this particular mess. I don’t get why, after decades of cherishing this human, I’m left holding this godawful bucket of vile fish heads gaping up at me in horror and fear, all wondering the same, why the fuck did this happen to me.

-The way to repair a rupture-- in your case, a massive gaping hole-- in your fabric is through communication, leading to receiving an apology.
-What happens when the person is mentally not able to and you know it so you were never expecting it. Or, what happens when the person dies?
-Then... well, ideal would be communication--
-What happens when they die.
-You accept it.

Sourcing out joy, v.2.0 didn’t pan out. I’ll try again in a future post. For now I’ve got a flock of flamingos to go get lost in on the Disney+ app.

Oh no, I just noticed you’re filming. Should I move?

Me

008 | a quickie.

I need a huge rush of pleasure. A delicious takeout? A day of purposeful laziness? A tax-refund gift-to-myself splurge? Or, you might be inclined to respond, “Sex? I am correct. You require sex.” But it’s cool, I’ve gone this long, my fear of covid peaked, stabilized, and now in our third lockdown, has circled back to heightened precautions because long-haul covid sounds downright horrifying. PinkCherry satisfied me with their early-pandemic “You must be clawing the walls” promo codes, so now I’m just waiting for the post-pandemic era of STIs galore. The wild west of urban singles with sorely-battered communication skills meetcute’ing freshly quarantine-divorced possibilities who had to move back from the farmland property they pandemic-purchased with their former sweetie amidst their WFH productivity-peak wonderland. The mismatches, the desperation, it’ll be a thing of wonder, sprinkled in fairy dust.

“Why don’t you hop on the apps and try video-dating?” I don’t know, why don’t you go eat your own butt. I don’t know, I’m barely in the state of mind to handle someone asking me how I’m doing, let alone the steady stream of conversational opening lines from seemingly well-adjusted members of society with respectable answers in the Occupation field (something besides mysteriously-douchey “entrepreneur”) very seriously inquiring about my experiences and, if so, my immediate desire to reacquaint with anal.

I don’t know, why don’t you go eat your own butt.

Good job, boys. With that level of confidence and assuredness of your preferences, I’m positive you’ll find a partner to fit your every need. Why it’s the ones who are straightforward with their needs and wants that grab it all in this world. Modesty and shyness are a thing of the past. Why can’t I learn that already.