Final Project Chronicles

The time has come for me to complete this very quick time with the U of C. I am currently finishing my last class. Well I am not finishing it, I have just started, but it all feels like a finale of sorts.

So, here is my project so far… bit-by-bit.

-Abstract-

-Writing 500-009 Creative Writing Final Project –

What Comes Before Comes Again

By: Dallas Barnes

 

“It does not do to trust people too much,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

 

I took one of those nonsensical quizzes on Facebook a few weeks ago, it guaranteed to ‘measure’ your personality traits by analyzing the myriad of multiple choice answers to questions developed to gauge your disposition – sounds legit, I know. After minutes of clicking and averting Facebook ads – my most dominant trait: distrust? Fantastic. Although some caution should be adhered to when dealing with any quiz and analysis created by a person with the user name areyouserious69, I knew that this result was 100% accurate. Trust is a slippery slope and I needed to work on that shit. I need to understand why I wasn’t normal anymore.

I never expected to be here when I was normal. When I say ‘when I was normal’ I mean when I was about 5. And even than, I probably wasn’t normal. What I am now, what I have become, what came from circumstances out of my control, was never desired, not even for a possibly crazy 5-year-old. But, nevertheless it is mine to embrace and cherish like a big hairy mole protruding from the tip of your underdeveloped (in my own opinion) nose.

The thing is, I am crazy. I own it. The word is mine. I am also fat, and I own that too, but that is for another chapter. There are those people that will call me insensitive, politically incorrect, an ableist, blah, blah, blah, but I really don’t care. I earned that badge – that crazy badge of honour. Us crazy folk are a breed like none other.

I was 30 when I was first introduced to Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I was in University, working on my illustrious education as a Women Studies major which resulted in a career in the equally illustrious retail management. I digress however because my shit career is not Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s fault. In fact, she is my source of light, my constant, the butter to my bread. Charlotte Perkins Gilman gets me.

She was a crusader, a feminist, an activist, and a survivor. Abandoned by her father she was raised by her mother and aunts, Suffragette Isabella Beecher Hooker, Uncle Tom’s Cabin author Harriett Beecher Stowe, and children’s education activist Catharine Esther Beecher – the powerhouse of early kick-ass ardour for the ‘lesser sex’. She wrote about the role of women in society. She spoke the truth about patriarchy and the inane state of affairs in American society. She spoke to me in 2003.

It was one of my most enchanting classes – Women and Literature. I never knew I wanted to write at that point in my life, I just knew that I found a sort of magic in the understanding and the communal sense of subordination of all self-identified women. Women and Literature was simply an elective in my previously mentioned illustrious Women Studies Degree.

My professor had us read a work of her choosing as homework each week to prepare for the next classes lecture. We were bestowed with such great works from the likes of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Flannery O’Connor. These were all works of art; however, it was the one andgb , only Charlotte that ignited my soul. The Yellow Wallpaper, written in two days in 1890 stayed with me even as I stare at this computer screen.

 

“And she is all the time trying to climb through – but nobody could climb through that pattern – it strangles so…”

 

That fucking pattern.

Final Project Chronicles

Dorothy Parker: A Telephone Call

A Telephone Call
by Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)
Please, God, let him telephone me now. Dear God, let him call me now. I won’t ask anything else of You, truly I won’t. It isn’t very much to ask. It would be so little to You, God, such a little, little thing. Only let him telephone now. Please, God. Please, please, please.
If I didn’t think about it, maybe the telephone might ring. Sometimes it does that. If I could think of something else. If I could think of something else. Knobby if I counted five hundred by fives, it might ring by that time. I’ll count slowly. I won’t cheat. And if it rings when I get to three hundred, I won’t stop; I won’t answer it until I get to five hundred. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, forty, forty-five, fifty…. Oh, please ring. Please.
This is the last time I’ll look at the clock. I will not look at it again. It’s ten minutes past seven. He said he would telephone at five o’clock. “I’ll call you at five, darling.” I think that’s where he said “darling.” I’m almost sure he said it there. I know he called me “darling” twice, and the other time was when he said good-by. “Good-by, darling.” He was busy, and he can’t say much in the office, but he called me “darling” twice. He couldn’t have minded my calling him up. I know you shouldn’t keep telephoning them–I know they don’t like that. When you do that they know you are thinking about them and wanting them, and that makes them hate you. But I hadn’t talked to him in three days-not in three days. And all I did was ask him how he was; it was just the way anybody might have called him up. He couldn’t have minded that. He couldn’t have thought I was bothering him. “No, of course you’re not,” he said. And he said he’d telephone me. He didn’t have to say that. I didn’t ask him to, truly I didn’t. I’m sure I didn’t. I don’t think he would say he’d telephone me, and then just never do it. Please don’t let him do that, God. Please don’t.
“I’ll call you at five, darling.” “Good-by, darling.,’ He was busy, and he was in a hurry, and there were people around him, but he called me “darling” twice. That’s mine, that’s mine. I have that, even if I never see him again. Oh, but that’s so little. That isn’t enough. Nothing’s enough, if I never see him again. Please let me see him again, God. Please, I want him so much. I want him so much. I’ll be good, God. I will try to be better, I will, If you will let me see him again. If You will let him telephone me. Oh, let him telephone me now.
Ah, don’t let my prayer seem too little to You, God. You sit up there, so white and old, with all the angels about You and the stars slipping by. And I come to You with a prayer about a telephone call. Ah, don’t laugh, God. You see, You don’t know how it feels. You’re so safe, there on Your throne, with the blue swirling under You. Nothing can touch You; no one can twist Your heart in his hands. This is suffering, God, this is bad, bad suffering. Won’t You help me? For Your Son’s sake, help me. You said You would do whatever was asked of You in His name. Oh, God, in the name of Thine only beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, let him telephone me now.
I must stop this. I mustn’t be this way. Look. Suppose a young man says he’ll call a girl up, and then something happens, and he doesn’t. That isn’t so terrible, is it? Why, it’s gong on all over the world, right this minute. Oh, what do I care what’s going on all over the world? Why can’t that telephone ring? Why can’t it, why can’t it? Couldn’t you ring? Ah, please, couldn’t you? You damned, ugly, shiny thing. It would hurt you to ring, wouldn’t it? Oh, that would hurt you. Damn you, I’ll pull your filthy roots out of the wall, I’ll smash your smug black face in little bits. Damn you to hell.
No, no, no. I must stop. I must think about something else. This is what I’ll do. I’ll put the clock in the other room. Then I can’t look at it. If I do have to look at it, then I’ll have to walk into the bedroom, and that will be something to do. Maybe, before I look at it again, he will call me. I’ll be so sweet to him, if he calls me. If he says he can’t see me tonight, I’ll say, “Why, that’s all right, dear. Why, of course it’s all right.” I’ll be the way I was when I first met him. Then maybe he’ll like me again. I was always sweet, at first. Oh, it’s so easy to be sweet to people before you love them.
I think he must still like me a little. He couldn’t have called me “darling” twice today, if he didn’t still like me a little. It isn’t all gone, if he still likes me a little; even if it’s only a little, little bit. You see, God, if You would just let him telephone me, I wouldn’t have to ask You anything more. I would be sweet to him, I would be gay, I would be just the way I used to be, and then he would love me again. And then I would never have to ask You for anything more. Don’t You see, God? So won’t You please let him telephone me? Won’t You please, please, please?
Are You punishing me, God, because I’ve been bad? Are You angry with me because I did that? Oh, but, God, there are so many bad people –You could not be hard only to me. And it wasn’t very bad; it couldn’t have been bad. We didn’t hurt anybody, God. Things are only bad when they hurt people. We didn’t hurt one single soul; You know that. You know it wasn’t bad, don’t You, God? So won’t You let him telephone me now?
If he doesn’t telephone me, I’ll know God is angry with me. I’ll count five hundred by fives, and if he hasn’t called me then, I will know God isn’t going to help me, ever again. That will be the sign. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, forty, forty-five, fifty, fifty-five. . . It was bad. I knew it was bad. All right, God, send me to hell. You think You’re frightening me with Your hell, don’t You? You think. Your hell is worse than mine.
I mustn’t. I mustn’t do this. Suppose he’s a little late calling me up –that’s nothing to get hysterical about. Maybe he isn’t going to call–maybe he’s coming straight up here without telephoning. He’ll be cross if he sees I have been crying. They don’t like you to cry. He doesn’t cry. I wish to God I could make him cry. I wish I could make him cry and tread the floor and feel his heart heavy and big and festering in him. I wish I could hurt him like hell.
He doesn’t wish that about me. I don’t think he even knows how he makes me feel. I wish he could know, without my telling him. They don’t like you to tell them they’ve made you cry. They don’t like you to tell them you’re unhappy because of them. If you do, they think you’re possessive and exacting. And then they hate you. They hate you whenever you say anything you really think. You always have to keep playing little games. Oh, I thought we didn’t have to; I thought this was so big I could say whatever I meant. I guess you can’t, ever. I guess there isn’t ever anything big enough for that. Oh, if he would just telephone, I wouldn’t tell him I had been sad about him. They hate sad people. I would be so sweet and so gay, he couldn’t help but like me. If he would only telephone. If he would only telephone.
Maybe that’s what he is doing. Maybe he is coming on here without calling me up. Maybe he’s on his way now. Something might have happened to him. No, nothing could ever happen to him. I can’t picture anything happening to him. I never picture him run over. I never see him lying still and long and dead. I wish he were dead. That’s a terrible wish. That’s a lovely wish. If he were dead, he would be mine. If he were dead, I would never think of now and the last few weeks. I would remember only the lovely times. It would be all beautiful. I wish he were dead. I wish he were dead, dead, dead.
This is silly. It’s silly to go wishing people were dead just because they don’t call you up the very minute they said they would. Maybe the clock’s fast; I don’t know whether it’s right. Maybe he’s hardly late at all. Anything could have made him a little late. Maybe he had to stay at his office. Maybe he went home, to call me up from there, and somebody came in. He doesn’t like to telephone me in front of people. Maybe he’s worried, just alittle, little bit, about keeping me waiting. He might even hope that I would call him up. I could do that. I could telephone him.
I mustn’t. I mustn’t, I mustn’t. Oh, God, please don’t let me telephone him. Please keep me from doing that. I know, God, just as well as You do, that if he were worried about me, he’d telephone no matter where he was or how many people there were around him. Please make me know that, God. I don’t ask YOU to make it easy for me–You can’t do that, for all that You could make a world. Only let me know it, God. Don’t let me go on hoping. Don’t let me say comforting things to myself. Please don’t let me hope, dear God. Please don’t.
I won’t telephone him. I’ll never telephone him again as long as I live. He’ll rot in hell, before I’ll call him up. You don’t have to give me strength, God; I have it myself. If he wanted me, he could get me. He knows where I ram. He knows I’m waiting here. He’s so sure of me, so sure. I wonder why they hate you, as soon as they are sure of you. I should think it would be so sweet to be sure.
It would be so easy to telephone him. Then I’d know. Maybe it wouldn’t be a foolish thing to do. Maybe he wouldn’t mind. Maybe he’d like it. Maybe he has been trying to get me. Sometimes people try and try to get you on the telephone, and they say the number doesn’t answer. I’m not just saying that to help myself; that really happens. You know that really happens, God. Oh, God, keep me away from that telephone. Kcep me away. Let me still have just a little bit of pride. I think I’m going to need it, God. I think it will be all I’ll have.
Oh, what does pride matter, when I can’t stand it if I don’t talk to him? Pride like that is such a silly, shabby little thing. The real pride, the big pride, is in having no pride. I’m not saying that just because I want to call him. I am not. That’s true, I know that’s true. I will be big. I will be beyond little prides.
Please, God, keep me from, telephoning him. Please, God.
I don’t see what pride has to do with it. This is such a little thing, for me to be bringing in pride, for me to be making such a fuss about. I may have misunderstood him. Maybe he said for me to call him up, at five. “Call me at five, darling.” He could have said that, perfectly well. It’s so possible that I didn’t hear him right. “Call me at five, darling.” I’m almost sure that’s what he said. God, don’t let me talk this way to myself. Make me know, please make me know.
I’ll think about something else. I’ll just sit quietly. If I could sit still. If I could sit still. Maybe I could read. Oh, all the books are about people who love each other, truly and sweetly. What do they want to write about that for? Don’t they know it isn’t tree? Don’t they know it’s a lie, it’s a God damned lie? What do they have to tell about that for, when they know how it hurts? Damn them, damn them, damn them.
I won’t. I’ll be quiet. This is nothing to get excited about. Look. Suppose he were someone I didn’t know very well. Suppose he were another girl. Then I d just telephone and say, “Well, for goodness’ sake, what happened to you?” That’s what I’d do, and I’d never even think about it. Why can’t I be casual and natural, just because I love him? I can be. Honestly, I can be. I’ll call him up, and be so easy and pleasant. You see if I won’t, God. Oh, don’t let me call him. Don’t, don’t, don’t.
God, aren’t You really going to let him call me? Are You sure, God? Couldn’t You please relent? Couldn’t You? I don’t even ask You to let him telephone me this minute, God; only let him do it in a little while. I’ll count five hundred by fives. I’ll do it so slowly and so fairly. If he hasn’t telephoned then, I’ll call him. I will. Oh, please, dear God, dear kind God, my blessed Father in Heaven, let him call before then. Please, God. Please.
Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twentyfive, thirty, thirty-five.
Dorothy Parker: A Telephone Call

wishes under a cloud of unbalanced seratonin

  • TW: depression, anxiety, suicide

 

I wish I was normal like you

I wish I didn’t have to run away all the time

I wish I didn’t feel like swallowing a bunch of pills would be a better alternative than dealing with a broken heart.

  • or drinking to oblivion
  • or just laying down, shutting off my brain, and hoping that someone will just take me somewhere so I could breathe

I wish we didn’t fight all of the time

I wish she never cheated on me twice

  • I wish I had listened to my gut

I wish Christmas was normal again

I wish I was a famous writer

I wish I could be normal like you

  • smile
  • be positive
  • be at one with the universe

I wish you would be willing to die for me and never let me go

  • because I would in a heartbeat

I wish I wasn’t terrified all the time

I wish I didn’t cry every day

  • for no good reason
  • maybe because I am tired
  • tired of fighting with tiny neurons and atoms and chemicals that impede on any ounce of normalcy

I wish I realized how lucky and priviledged I really am

  • and all this ridiculousness

I wish I wasn’t such an open book

  • I wish I wasn’t only able to just write my thoughts
  • But not say them
  • Unless I drink wine

I wish I didn’t drown my sorrows in carbs

I wish I liked going to the gym

I wish I was smaller than you

I wish I was stronger than you

I wish I could stand in my underwear without having to turn out the lights.

I wish we hurt each other less

I wish that the bill collector would stop phoning me

  • I wish I could answer the phone

I wish I could do my volunteer work for a living

I wish I had someone to come home to

I wish I could ease your mind

 

 

 

 

 

wishes under a cloud of unbalanced seratonin

Except My Own Confusion

13124459_10156824376485177_1486234443534930541_n

 

 

As I sit here searching through quotes of those that were just as angst-ridden, crest-fallen, bat-shit crazy, and fucking confused as I am trying to find something or someone to explain to everyone where I am at – at this very fucking moment i contemplate why I posted this one. It hints at where I am at – slightly. But than, as I read it over and over again.. analyzing its every word, connotation, and style I realize that it is not where I am at this very moment. It can’t be. I didn’t write it – Jack Kerouac did.

So where am I right now? Well, it’s not going to be summarized in some Haiku-style work of art like Kerouac could do. Mine is much more detailed, and messy, and exciting, and devastating. Kerouac couldn’t write this shit. I am not certain that I can either – but I am going to try.

If there is one thing that I have learned throughout this two years of self – preservation, self-hatred, self-discovery, self-care, and just being by myself is that no one person can make me ok. I have to do that. You can’t be anything for anyone authentically unless you are nothing but authentic to yourself. This is actually that just came to me while I was having sushi with my dad here in Comox about 20 minutes ago.

I am an analyzer. I will tear down one idea until it is nothing. This is some parts my personality and one part my crazy. I have explained the crazy over and over again and am, quite honestly, tired of explaining it. But anyways.

I wonder about my actions. I wonder what other people think. I always wonder what other people think. I ruin great days by over analyzing text messages that I sent and that were sent, or times between texts, or Facebook messages, or Facebook posts that I do of great writer’s quotes. I wonder if other people will read it the wrong way. For example, Kerouac’s quote above. What does that quote say about me? Am I confused about other people? Am I unreliable? Am I a bag of shit?

No! What I was trying to say is.. I am ready to just get going, I want to get going.. but I have baggage .. so please be ok with me working through it. Not much magic in that quote so you can see why Kerouac won in the quote department.

So.. here is where I am at right now for all those that want to know…. including myself.

I am happy, I am sad. I am confused, yet calm. I am terrified at potential because I am terrified that it will backfire over and over again. I am certain that I question your intentions not because of you, but because I question my own authenticity. I am only learning how to stand up for myself. I am only starting to peel the layers I have built onto my self to reveal that heart of who I am. This authenticity is new .. and I am only learning who I am right at this moment. I know that I am in this inner turmoil of questioning only because I am not happy with my current situation. And I am changing.. right as I sit here. I am losing my comfortable madness to uncomfortable goodness, and I am scared. And I am grieving. And I am lost in this new found beauty of self discovery.

It is necessary. It is necessary to scare myself this way to keep going. It is necessary to keep going this way to test my trust issues. It is necessary to be vulnerable to prove that I can fucking do it.

And this is where I am.

 

 

Except My Own Confusion

Hurting and Healing and moving the fuck on…

So here’s the thing…

When you are crazy (and I am, and it’s mine and I fucking claim the word), you question everything about yourself.

Some questions that have actually occurred:

I know my throat is raw and I can’t breathe but seriously depression does that right?

Did I really make plans to go out tonight or did I just make that up in my head?

Who am I?

Where am I?

I can’t believe I said that.. is she going to hate me forever?

Am I the only person in this world and everyone else a part of my imagination?

Why am I the ugliest person in the world?

So when you are in the here and now.. wanting and working your fucking ass off to be better.. (day by day) you really have to figure your damn head out in order to function like a human.

The problem lies in your ability to be ok with yourself.  When you question everything around you, you forget how to understand yourself as a thinking thing,  a human, a valid voice. You forget (in fact may have never known) that how you think and feel is ok.

When you are sick. . You are sick. .fucking period. You didn’t make up the 103 degree fever or the constant stream of…well you get the point. You did not make this up because you are not some superhuman with the ability to inflict imaginary germs on yourself.

When you are upset.. you are upset. Your set of okness values were not met.. you’re sad, angry, frustrated. To feel that is ok.. more than ok. When you close off your heart for long periods of time to avoid potential cataclysmic events that most people call life (you just can’t deal) and have the fucking courage to open your heart up and it be stomped on by all means.. MOTHER FUCKING CRY! Cry for your delicate yet powerful heart for its ache but also for its courage to open itself up to possibility. . To beautiful life! You have become a part of the majority (but are so happy that your still a little weird).

When you question your set of values.. just stop. Your values are your own. When a girlfriend (now ex) tells you that you are ‘too gay’ (she was the one with the mullet) or another one tells you that ‘you are just too much to handle’.. fuck ’em. Fuck them and their bullshit attack on who you are. Fuck them for not embracing the everything that is you. You earned this badge  .. you fucking earned it.

When you think you are not good enough and feel like you have to hide so you won’t be hurt.. go out! Test yourself, force yourself. Not everyone is going to like you and even if you go on some manic tangent (because you are after all deliciously crazy) don’t fucking worry about it. Not everyone is going to like you, but those that do are yours for life.

When your girlfriend (s), now ex (exes) cheat on you once,  twice,  three fucking times.. get out. Don’t hate yourself because you went back… you went back because you believe (and still do) in the sanctity of commitment and love. You were willing to fight for it even when it wasn’t pretty. You loved and loved hard and were willing to try… but don’t lose faith in your potential to love and be loved back. Your person(s) are out there.

When you look in the mirror and seriously fucking hate what you are looking at (and may go for days without ever looking) don’t beat yourself up. Just live.. maybe without looking for a while until your ready.. (baby steps). You hate what you see because you are not looking at yourself.  That person is not you. That is the sad, beaten down, and exhausted you. You are hiding in there.. you will come out.. (still working on that). Remember that this reflection is what is holding you back from doing things .. being alive. . Drinking with drag queens, protesting bullshit homophobes,  dancing until you forget that there is gravity, loving and being loved by your people, finding those people you desperately yearn for.

The problem lies with the fact that you have not been to be ok because some ridiculous piece of shit chemical in your brain is tearing you apart. You have been fighting for so long just to walk out the door and survive.. you’ve gotta fight. You have to fight for yourself.. for your rightful place in the world. No one is going to do this for you.. but if you let them,  the good ones will help you along the way, but you have to let them in. You have to trust the process. You have to live. You have to fight.

And if you feel like your whole world is going to crumble.. because it will.. we aren’t immune..fucking cry.. Cry alone, cry with friends, just cry with every ounce of you. And than take a breath… and get up..

Hurting and Healing and moving the fuck on…

…..

When I don’t know what to say… i say it with dots. When I don’t know what to say, I write it here. When I don’t what to say, I write. I want to be heard, I just don’t know how to say it with my shaky and uncertain voice.

I have been perusing through my posts lately, trying to figure out where and what I am trying to say. There is a direction there.. and it is so glaringly clear.

The thing is.. I have never felt so vulnerable as I do now. Never.

And I want to be heard. I want to do everything… I want more.. so much more than I have ever allowed myself to do.

This past month has challenged me in so many ways. So many perfect, and scary, and amazing ways. It has taught me patience and a will to fight for what I believe in.. wholeheartedly, without my somewhat selfish and terrified soul in consideration. My fear and extreme self doubt has taken second place. And this has never happened before. And it is good. It is what I have been fighting for my whole life. A belief in something greater than me.

These recent chaotic, brilliant moments have allowed me to practice my authenticity. To declare loudly that I am vulnerable and strong and worthy of love. That I am not afraid to say with the written word that I am ok.. I am better than I ever was because I am not afraid to fail.. or to try. That I have had moments that have made me melt in so many delicious ways.. and I am not afraid to talk about it or feel like I am not deserving of it.

So with this, I am going to continue to just go… go forward and hope and fight for all things deserving. I will continue to take the needs of others close to my heart and welcome them, because we are all the same really… just looking for love and acceptance and meaning in this world. I will practice patience and above all else respect for those that I simply adore.

And, above all else.. I will write.. unashamed, unafraid.

…….

 

 

…..