Quiet, now.


This has been total hell. The whole spring-into-summer. One slow-burning, creeping infection that reinvented itself hourly. There was the hospitalization, of course, but that was just the beginning. That was only the spark.

It wasn’t like last time, this past time – again, June. There was no brandishing grand hopes of success or faith in newly devised treatments. Rather, I harbored a dreadful certainty that this scene would play itself out again and again, rippling its dark water into every corner of my life. Call it what you will, premonition or self-sabotage, but damn if it hasn’t been just like that. My entire basement is flooded, at this point – I’m draining it out a bucket at a time.

Things got really weird for a long time. It’s kind of like, “woah, what was in that brownie” and then forgetting you ever ate the brownie. You’re left unmoored, disembodied, completely immersed in a tilt-shifted world of your own making. It’s different – eerily hollow – but familiar. Then you wake up seven hours later wearing your roommate’s favorite dress, inexplicably covered with butterscotch ice cream topping.

Except that last part never happened. Not this summer, anyway.

Somehow the real-life aftershocks seem even more shattering this go-round, which is saying a lot, I suppose, since my last breakdown resulted in the end of my marriage. But it’s a true statement if there ever was one.  If I tried to list the ways this summer’s trials have screwed up my scene, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. And it would probably be super depressing.

I have a new therapist who specializes in DBT, and, for better or worse, I’ve given up trying to give up Abilify. It works too well, this designer-drug miracle, and pulls me together so completely. Having a new job helped a lot, that much I will admit – having to pretend to be OK sometimes leads halfway there.

So here I am, facing up to reality and moving along. Still pretending from time to time, but mostly just analyzing the cost of the metaphorical sump pump. Getting sick was expensive.

How to make a good impression:


1) Wrangle a situation where you’re staying overnight with your boyfriend’s grandparents, whom you’ve met only once or twice before.

2) Drink what could plausibly be considered too much vodka at your boyfriend’s brother’s wedding reception.

3) Wake up from a dead sleep at 8:30am screaming profanity.

Seriously? I *never* talk in my sleep – much less scream at the top of my lungs – but sure enough there was B!’s hand over my mouth, and sure enough there was that memory of the dream, and sure enough there was his grandfather shouting from the next room over, probably thinking someone was having a heart attack. I’d been a teenager fighting with her mother, and we all know how THAT can get (don’t we?), so it wasn’t surprising that what I howled, with all the force and hatred I could muster, was: “MOM! WHAT THE **FUCK**??!!”

Yes. Out loud. Out very loud, at 8:30am, in my boyfriend’s grandparents’ ranch-level house. It was a sheepish E$ indeed who emerged from the bedroom moments later, wiping last night’s makeup out from underneath her eyes, and a very confused Grandpa who blinked back a smile at her stammered apology. Let’s just say it was an awkward silence.

Marriage Is A Human Construct.


I considered posting this on Facebook, but quickly thought better of it. So why not post it on my blog, and THEN post it to Facebook. Amiright? Of course. So here it is:

I probably support gay marriage more than most people – certainly more than most people in North Carolina – but I have to say, I’m kind of over the “marriage as a human right” argument. Marriage is something we made up in our heads. I mean, think about it, initially marriage was just a transfer of property (daughter, dowry) between two families, usually to gain stature in the community. These days, it seems, it’s little more than a calculated risk made at a certain time in one’s life to fill expected roles and have a really awesome party. It’s not even a real thing, much less a human right. Like, I wouldn’t say that voting is a human right either. Voting is something we cooked up so we could elect a democratic government. It’s totally fake, like Columbus day. This is not to say that it doesn’t have importance or value, but, in my mind, it is not a human right.

Now, I spent a good deal of my parents’ money on my own wedding, and I produce wedding videos as a part-time job, and I was once married myself. I totally love weddings, and a happy union is life’s greatest blessing. That’s something that should be within everyone’s reach. The happy part is real. But the marriage part is completely made up.

Sorry to break it to everyone.

“Ides” sounds so ominous. But that’s neither here nor there.


So we’re coming up on March now, and that only means one thing: lots of reminders of my failed marriage. As you (may or may not) remember, Katsu and I got married on St. Patrick’s Day 2007. So, this time of year, reminders are everywhere. Before the wedding my mom stocked the house floor-to-ceiling with Irish Blessings and green ribbon. All my aunts bought me four-leaf-clover kitchenware. Even my own shamrock tattoo, which I got before I even KNEW Katsumi, seems to taunt me now with a hint of derision.

And yet.

I met with a couple this past Saturday who is having an Irish-themed wedding on March 9, and I felt compelled to share my own tale of Gaelic matrimony. Of course, one can’t tell that story without the punchline: “and then we got divorced”. I should be horrified – THEY were probably horrified – but truly, it was the happiest day of my life. Certainly the best St. Patrick’s Day. So why shouldn’t I share? Why should I feel this pall over everything? It happened, it was awesome, and then, like most things, it was no longer. But the echoes, the ripples, have such a large pool.

An Anniversary, of Sorts.


So I’ve never been much for Valentine’s Day, although I’ve never had a horrible one. I just don’t really need another reason to spend money on people, and they probably don’t need to spend any money on me. Given my ambivalence, it’s a little ironic that my self-selected anniversary with Katsumi fell on 2/14/02. Four years later, we got engaged. Remember that? I do. Vividly.

It seems an ocean of time ago.

And I’m sitting here thinking about it, and it’s kind of blowing my mind. We didn’t have Jake, things hadn’t yet fallen apart, and everything looked pretty damn rosy. Who knew then the way our lives would take us? It’s kind of cruel, when you think about it, that innocence. And it’s all here – it’s documented. Most of it, anyway.

But whatever. Onward and upward. Tonight B! made me broccoli rabe, which he hates and I love, and I’m sipping some Malbec and promising myself I’ll go to bed early tonight. It’s certainly not where I thought I’d be on that night ten years ago when Katsu and I first knocked chopsticks at Betty’s, and definitely not where I thought I’d be the night we got engaged. But it’s not all a downer. I mean, after all, tonight I *did* get the broccoli rabe.

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