April 6, 2018

the sacrament of laughter

Tanzanite. It's even
the perfect color.
My current obsession-object is a jewel shining out among the lengthy queue of former pedestal dwellers, stretching and winding into the time-distance.  The tennis racket, it turns out, has all these holes in it, and things get through, no matter how tirelessly I swing it.  Well, shit.

It's still on my cubicle wall, because I've had three people ask me, "Oh, do you play tennis?" and I say, "No," and they don't know what to say after that.

So the new tactic is to choose to laugh at every single manifestation of the mental distortion that has control of my brain right now.  To pay attention, call things out, point at them and make fun of them until they lose their power.  I proposed this, and the person is game and plays along beautifully, willingly, determined to help.  Already I feel some hope, against rather towering historical odds, that this will prove a good coping strategy, in lieu of angst and intense neediness and ineffectual sports equipment.  At least this time around.  Because this time around, I happened upon a jewel.  Maybe tanzanite, a rare and finite thing, like the pale stone set in the carefully chosen ring P.J. gave me at thirty. 

I write:

" ... When my brain does this thing, it's really relating to somebody in my head and not the real person, right?  So the real corporeal you, sitting there right now reading this, are doing whatever you are doing, and the 'other you' that is only in my brain has, like, the most completely boringest life EVAR, because among other things, you're about to sit in the middle of my driveway and watch me mow the lawn, and think the whole time that I'm really cool because of how I mow.  Later, you're going to watch me eat a slice of pizza (pepperoni and pineapple, in case that helps), and then become captivated by watching me type e-mails and a blog post, and spend forty-five minutes thinking I type fast and how awesome and amazing that makes me.  You're not even allowed bathroom breaks ... I need to objectify and laugh at all of this, so I might type shit like this at you, here in the thick of things.  Laugh with me.  What else have you got to do, other than watch me feed the dogs?"

Mocking myself makes me see how ridiculous it is, engaging this mental construct to feed my own need to be special, making a buffet for Lille, who often looks emaciated and like she could use some hearty meals.  I have to wonder if she's just sucking it in, for looks, or wearing an over-sized t-shirt.  I laugh at that, too.

Dark humor is best, I find.  I'm laughing now at my mental tangle.  I laugh at my suicide attempt.   "How long are you going to let this pot soak in the sink?  It's been here since yesterday.  If I was dead, it would languish here until it turned into a fucking Petri dish."  P.J. to me:  "Don't forget your Klonopin this morning."  Me:  "Why can't I take sixty-two of them?"

When depression takes me and I cannot laugh, it's the single most distressing symptom, and conversely, the litmus test for when I'm on my way out of the pit and back onto level ground.  It is ringing music when it returns.  A wafer on my tongue, received with something akin to reverence.  The reverence behind irreverence.

My tennis racket is full of holes and it leaves me powerless.  Laughter seems like a twelve-step-program Higher Power now, power I can tap into and use for transformation.  A sacrament, a paean to there always being another way, a third path.  P.J. believes there is always a third path, if one looks hard enough for it.  She is wise.

I wonder if my obsession object knows about sitting in the passenger seat of my car on the way home from work yesterday, covering the main vocals of "Take It Easy" and "Seven Bridges Road" while I sang the high harmony.  It was far more interesting than watching me put cardboard into the bin at the recycling center.  Damn, the short girl can jump high.

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