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Musings
Category

  • Not My Proudest Moment

    Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by life. My plates too full, and I’ve been on the grind – burning the candle at both ends because I’m busy as a beaver that doesn’t even have time to get waxed. Frowny face.

    When things get hectic, I tend to get in this manic state of rushing through life trying to get everything done. This chaotic energy makes it impossible to relax when it’s finally time to unwind at night. Rather than doing what normal people do… ie sleep… I stare at the ceiling sweating while wondering if my life will ever have any meaning. It’s not as peaceful as it sounds.

    The other night I was particularly anxious and thought, “Hey, maybe if I smoked some pot I would loosen up.” Because that is what grown ups do with their feelings – stuff them deeper inside so they eventually get colon cancer.

    I took a few hits and settled in to watch an old Saturday Night Live (when it was good) and within 20 minutes my body started to liquefy. My cells were so relieved to not be drowning in floods of stress hormones that all systems shut down.

    I was suddenly so tired my eyelids officially protested opening. My lashes clasped together like multi-racial hands in the face of a police barricade at a political rally. So I decided to concede to my body’s desires, and get up to go to bed.

    I stumbled into the kitchen to turn off the lights and then suddenly remembered I had cheesy crackers – THAT ARE FUCKING DELICIOUS WHEN YOU ARE STONED. Yet as much as I wanted to satisfy my munchies and mow down, my eyes still refused to open.

    So I did want any responsible adult would do. I ate an entire box of cheesy crackers standing up with my eyes closed.

    (Good thing I didn’t see the bag of cookies… or I would still be standing there eating those too)

    cheesy-crackers-blog-(i)

    May 27, 2015 • Adventures, Musings • Views: 330

  • Do We All Have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

    Ten years ago if I looked in the mirror and thought I looked good, that was basically all that happened. I would maybe make a face to myself, fluff my hair, and then probably fart because I was in the bathroom so why not? I didn’t call my friend’s to alert them. Nor did it occur to me to search through my room, find my camera, document my perfect pout, walk to the closest convenience store, drop off the film, come back a week later, look at the picture, and then show everyone I’ve ever met.

    Yet now with social media we feel the compulsion to share our dewy eyes after a day in the sun. We will even go so far as to cut other people out of the shot, and zoom in closer so everyone can bask in the glory of our new pixilated profile picture. But doesn’t my smile just look so cute?! YES IT DOES!

    Instagram and Facebook fan our vanity. It’s a virtual culture that feeds the ego, and the adoration is addictive – whether it’s sincere or not. I don’t ACTUALLY like everything I “like” that you post… nor do you. I “like” things because I want YOU to “like” MY things. It’s just the way it is.

    Even though there are positive elements of social media, it’s also fostering narcissism. Not just with the selfies, but also the insatiable compulsion to communicate our thoughts to our cyber audiences. We all have our fan base, as well as being fans of others. It becomes a feedback loop of self-importance, just like that snake eating its own tail – which I tried myself, but my feet really do smell.

    What we are ultimately looking for is validation for our existence. Look at my kid and tell me how cute. Check out my food and see how delicious. Gaze at my relationship and feel jealous because of its perfection. Hear my accomplishments and make me feel worthy. Weep at my sadness because it is now in your newsfeed while you are sitting on the toilet. It isn’t just about bragging or expression, but a need to be noticed and thus alive.

    In a way, most of modern society is battling narcissistic personality disorder…

    “Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.” –Mayo Clinic

    You may say to yourself “I don’t have a lack of empathy for others…” but how many times do you gag, roll your eyes, or make fun of someone’s lame status update? SHUT YOUR FACE I KNOW YOU DO IT!!!!

    Rather than denying the fact that this is a cultural phenomenon, we have to instead admit it, and embrace it. The only way to truly battle the contagious influence of arrogance is being able to laugh at yourself when you are seduced by it. It’s only if we are being real about our motivations that we will avoid being completely corrupted. Now go ahead and please “like” this post because if you don’t I will probably cry about it.

    (PS this blog was inspired by a conversation between me and my brother… As we were discussing how everyone is a narcissist we then starting talking about ourselves and if we were narcissists because you know… narcissism).

    LOOK AT ME AND TELL ME HOW AMAZING I AM IN EVERY WAY!

    narcissim-blog

    May 25, 2015 • Current Events, Musings • Views: 206

  • Even Though I Love You I Don’t Always Like You

    We all love our families – or at least we feel the cultural pressure to say we do, and honor the obligation by pretending. I have an to uncle whom I sign off emails saying, “love Toni,” but in truth I think he’s kind of a dick. I have cousins I adore, and then one I think is a mega tool. Even though I guess there is a general aura of love around my family, I sure as shit don’t enjoy all their company.

    When someone is in your life, and probably never going anywhere, you can feel love for them – but that doesn’t mean you always want to be around them. Some of my best loving I do from afar. The less I have to deal with your bullshit, the better I can appreciate my love for you.

    Even the people I know I love a lot… I sometimes imagine the joy I would feel murdering them. Not the consequence of their actually being dead – just the initial satisfaction of choking the life out of them.

    Love may be unconditional, but liking someone is not.

    I LOVE my child until the ends of the multiverse – but I don’t always like her.

    Sometimes being around the people you love the most is the most annoying. When you really care about someone, the emotional juxtaposition of being sincerely irritated by them makes your feelings even more extreme. With my kid, my eternal love is so boundless that when she really pisses me off, I want to throw her into the outer edges of the atmosphere – and then toss those damn Frozen sneakers that she was making me look for right after her.

    I love The Munch everyday of my life regardless of her behavior, but the most exciting moments between us are when I really like her. Now that she is almost 5, The Munch is almost like a real person. She is less driven by her base animal instincts, and no longer does things like scream, “I hate you” because I wouldn’t open the box of cookies while driving – I was too busy texting. JUST KIDDING! I was looking at Facebook.

    As The Munch is growing up and getting to be more governed by her own moral compass, I have come to observe that she is a really good person. She cares about her friends’ happiness, and is always willing to share her leotards. She made me a Mother’s Day gift, and was nice to me all day because according to her “It’s important to do things for moms – they are so busy all the time doing things for their kids.” And the last time we had a picnic, she picked me flowers and offered me the BIGGEST strawberry.

    The Munch’s personality is also really developing, and I am learning more and more what I like about her every day – mostly how many things we have in common. We both are really into music, dancing, and of course trying to make people laugh. She tells amazing jokes like “Knock knock. (Who’s There?) A fart on your head because you just made a smelly poop.” I mean, that is some real comedy gold right there.

    like-vs-love-blog-2

     

    May 13, 2015 • 4 years old, Family Drama, Mommyhood, Parenting, Relationships • Views: 252

  • Dealing With Your Addictions

    I have never been addicted to anything, but I have abused a variety of substances. Even though my relationship to drugs and alcohol was excessive – and would lead to my doing things like being at a bar and falling onto a glass table full of drinks, breaking said table as my entire body became submerged in cranberry juice and vodka, then getting right back up to dance like that never happened – I never got hooked.

    So I can’t say I personally understand the struggle of addiction, but I do understand the urge to fill the existential hole in your soul with cocaine. It happens!

    I think the root of addiction lies in wanting to satiate your emotions with something outside of yourself. It’s a way to deal with the monotony of existence, or mask the pain of life. You turn to a chemical compound that will shake shit up inside your mind, and dull your heart from having to feel.

    I know my kid is only 4, but I want to set up good patterns of behavior even now. I don’t expect that The Munch won’t ever experiment with drugs. I am sure one day she will get super fucked up, hippy flip at a festival, and then have to vomit on her best friend because she mixed nitrous with an ecstasy acid combo. These things happen! I can’t shelter her from wanting to party in her youth, but hopefully I can build the groundwork so she has the mental fortitude to avoid being consumed by chasing the dragon – because that guy is fast!

    I want The Munch to be able to express her inner being, and not feel confined by the confusion of the human condition. I figure the more we confront things head on, the less she will feel the need to escape later in life. Sure, I am not dealing with any hard-core strife right now. I mean, it isn’t that complicated to process your tears after losing a Frozen flip-flop. Yet I have noticed that when The Munch hurts herself, her first request is to watch something on TV to “take her mind off it.” And when she is bored, and doesn’t know what to do, she always asks for a treat.

    I decide that we needed to unpack these instincts so she doesn’t one day move to Tampa, Florida.

    Munch: Mom, my sunburn really hurts. Can I watch some Carebears?
    Toni: Munch, you don’t want to watch something just to run from being in pain. You need to face it head on.
    Munch: But I really wanna watch something so it doesn’t hurt.
    Toni: Yeah, but life is full of pain. And sometimes you have to just sit with it. That’s the only way to realize that you are not your pain, and you can overcome it.
    Munch: Can I overcome my pain tomorrow morning and watch something tonight?
    Toni: I’m not sure it works like that.

    THE NEXT DAY

    Munch: Mom, can I have a treat?
    Toni: You already had like 5 chocolates today.
    Munch: But I REALLY want another treat.
    Toni: Munch, if you have a treat every day then it’s not special any more. You are just eating sugar all the time and cultivating a sugar addiction. Remember when we talked about how sugar is addictive?
    Munch: Yeah but what does it mean again?
    Toni: Well….
    Munch: Oh right. Addiction is when you can’t control yourself and you just want more and more and more even though it’s not good for your body.
    Toni: Exactly.
    Munch: How about I have one more treat today and none tomorrow. I will work on my addiction, and I won’t have treats every day. Just sometimes. And a lot of them.

     

    addiction-blog

  • Do You Like Being a Mom?

    The other day The Munch and I were driving in the car and she asked me this question.

    Munch: Do you like being a mom?
    Toni: Well, I like you! I am glad you were born and I love you forever. But I don’t always like being a mom.
    Munch: Yeah, being a mom is hard. You always have to do things for your kid – like drive them around, and make them sandwiches, and find their socks… Then you have to make sure they do the right thing, and when they don’t you have to get into fights…

    EXACTLY MUNCH!!

    like-mom-blog-(i)

    May 7, 2015 • 4 years old, Mommyhood, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 493

  • Who Puts the “Just” in our Justice System?

    Say you are driving in your car, listening to music, eating a sandwich, talking to yourself about how you’re never going to amount to anything of significance and will probably wallow in a pit of mediocrity for the rest of your existence… whatever. Point is that you are doing nothing wrong, but suddenly a cop pulls out behind you. Now every time you look in your rearview mirror you see those lights perched on top of the vehicle like crocodile eyes. Do you feel safe? Protected by its presence? Or do you feel fucking terrified and wonder if you are going to get pulled over?

    It doesn’t matter what I am doing in life, if I see a policeman, my first instinct is to tense up. I’m scared of their power – of their ability to take me away at any moment. This fear is not because I think every cop is evil or corrupt, but it’s the system itself I don’t trust.

    The concept of a police force, and of a court of law, came from an effort to relieve ourselves from the personal accountability of maintaining justice. There was a time in human history when there was no organized method. We took justice into our own hands. If you killed my brother, I killed your son. Then your nephew would kill my daughter, and my cousin would kill your favorite cousin. That was how we righted wrongs. We just retaliated as vigilantes of our families.

    The famous Greek Trilogy, The Oresteia, written by Aeschylus, is tragedy about the house of Atreus, where the son Orestes sets out to avenge his father’s murder. Basically it is a story of two families who keep killing each other through generations of vengeance. A cycle of killing is formed because each murder is justified by the murder before. The story ends with the installing of the justice system in order to create a structure that rights wrongs, rather than leaving it in the hands of the people.

    For modern people, instead of having the social or personal expectation to vindicate your slaughtered loved one – an outside system would serve as that role.

    So for the last 2,500+ years, Western culture has surrendered the idea that we are individually responsible for revenge. If you killed my brother I would be SUPER sad, but I wouldn’t hunt you down and then stab you in the heart while I stared into your eyes as your last breath gurgled out of your disintegrating body then licked your tears of blood. I would instead hope the police found you, you went to trial, and 12 of my peers would convict you.

    This system has allowed us to have a much different relationship to our humanity. The pressure isn’t on me, and I don’t have to be hardened by having to slaughter anyone. I can stay protected from having to enact violence by trusting in this organization that was ideally designed to represent justice for all.

    Even thought the Ancient Greeks spent a little too much time dry humping little boys, they are the fathers of modern democracy and our political configuration. The fact that we are currently in a state where we feel such little trust for these systems is relevant.

    When I hear solutions like “the police should all have cameras on their uniforms” my first reaction isn’t a sigh of relief, but rather wondering how easily that footage could be manipulated. Or how in poorer districts the equipment would be too faulty because of lack of funding. All I can think of is how if we have the illusion of accountability, we ourselves will be less accountable. The fact that citizens make the risky effort to film police wrongdoings with their camera phones is probably one of the most profound advantages of technology in the last 50 years – that and the ability to share this content on the Internet.

    There are still many examples where cops can murder an unarmed black man in broad daylight, and, if someone films it, they still get acquitted. However, the national anger and commitment to be heard is having an impact. The more we keep filming, keep talking, keep incessantly sharing, keep organizing dissent, there will be more instances of culpability. Where justice is actually served.

    We are kind of back where we started in the times of the Oresteia. For so long we felt unburdened to maintain justice, yet here we are, again we are responsible. Yet the difference is that the strategy has evolved. The answer isn’t as simplistic as kill me and I’ll kill you back, but rather acknowledging that we as a collective have to uphold the systems that we have put in place.

    A protester throws a tear gas canister back toward riot police after a 10 p.m. curfew went into effect in the wake of Monday's riots following the funeral for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    A protester throws a tear gas canister back toward riot police after a 10 p.m. curfew went into effect in the wake of Monday’s riots following the funeral for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    May 4, 2015 • Current Events, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 159

  • Getting Frisky On Kevin Allison’s “Risk!”

    I spend a lot of time alone, in front of my computer, and staring at a screen. I guess I have a LOT in common with porn addicts, but my keyboard is sticky from tears. The life of a writer is lonely. Hold me.

    Even though I am pretty comfortable being emotionally open on paper, that’s because I’m not with you when you read this, or aware of your reaction. I don’t have to sit next to you to hear if you are laughing as you peruse through the 90 different euphemisms I use for my vagina. I am actually watching you from outside your window, so I can’t hear anything. OPEN YOUR FUCKING WINDOW ALREADY!

    There’s a safety to being hidden behind a screen because I am semi-protected from your response to me. Of course there are people who comment on my articles and say mean things, but don’t have to read those. I can just pretend everyone loves everything I say. Who cares if “bonertown23890947567839847” thinks I’m a dumb cunt who should be taken out back and shot,” because I never even read that comment! (*Chokes back more tears).

    Then last week my friend Miriam sent me an email saying how Kevin Allison – the comedian who started the podcast “RISK!”– was looking for submissions for his Boston show. At first I was like “Eh, every time I submit to things like this I get rejected, so what’s the point?” (*Tears of self-pity). It sat in my email box for days, just staring at me, reminding me of my insignificance in the universe. I noticed the deadline was soon, and said fuck it. I submitted this story about how my parents sent me to the Transylvanian Alps when I was 14, because seriously who the fuck does that?

    So it turns out that my story got selected to be on the show! Now here is the thing. I’ve never been on stage before, except for dance performances. My friend Grace was like, “just think of this as a noisy mouth dance,” which even though that made perfect sense, I was still SUPER intimidated. The weekend before was the first time I had ever spoken into a microphone! I’m on the board of the Monadnock International Film Festival, and I was giving out a grant I had created for a high school student filmmaker. I wasn’t nervous at all until I got on stage and saw all these people looking at me as if I was supposed to say something. I was a mess. My hair was in front of my face, and I looked like a 17-year old stoner who called myself Gangja Breath. I had no idea what to say, and was like “Uhhh I made this grant because education is good and stuff. Kids should like, make movies by trying to make movies or whatever… (long pause) San Dimas High school Football RULES!”

    I did a recording of my story so Kevin could give me notes. This is my favorite part of his email “One of the things that pops out at me about your story is this. It seems like most parents would be very careful about sending their 14-year old girl overseas without a chaperone or a highly reputed exchange program with references. Eastern Europe has been notorious for decades for culling young girls into sex slavery. At the very least, you could have been raped by the soccer playing boys you met over there. Most young people traveling overseas without guardians are at least college-age. And most American kids who travel go to stable, 1st world cities like London or Paris. Parents of the 90’s to today are constantly criticized for being way too overprotective. But your folks seem to have something else going on in this story.

    So it’s worth unpacking all that more. Because the audience will be thinking, “What was going on with this girl’s parents? How much good is it going to do for an American kid to get in touch with her Hungarian roots?”

    HAHAAHAHAHAH you bet your sweet ass I sent that to my parents so they could give me answers!!!!!!!! My mom was just like, “You were born in the 80’s – what do you want? I didn’t put a helmet on you to eat breakfast.”

    When I got to the venue, Laugh Boston, and realized that this whole event was part of a comedy festival and everyone performing was a PROFESSIONAL FUCKING COMEDIAN, I started to have a panic attack. I felt like I had to both explosive diarrhea and projectile vomit. It was a full house of over 200 people. Thank god my friend Grace came with me to be my moral support/self-confidence/person to alert me if my anal leakage was showing.

    I couldn’t admit that I was a total virgin to this experience, so I pretended that I at least finger-banged and gave rim jobs. As Grace left me in the Green Room to watch the show I was left alone, and started to shake. The comedienne that was going on before me, Robin Gelfenbien looked like a nice person, so I started talking to her to see if we could form a co-dependent relationship. She reminded me that being nervous was normal and to just be myself. She then checked to see if there were any brown stains on my pants, before going through her notes for her story. She had the genius idea of writing hers down, and bringing a printed copy. I was like FUCK FUCK FUCK… what is this story again? Why didn’t I think of that!? Grown ups do things like use printers!

    Kevin told his story and killed. It was about the time he got crabs, which reminded me of the time I caught Cuban crabs. (Technically it was body lice, but you know where they settled). Robin then went on stage, and I paced like an enslaved lion in a zoo. I tried breathing, but it just turned into hyperventilating so I stopped all together.

    Right before I almost passed out I remembered something. “Toni – you have a body! You should use your body on stage and say things with it!! Let your body help your story!”

    Thinking about my body got me out of my head. Kevin then introduced me, and I walked on stage. We shook hands, and he gave me the sweetest smile. It totally disarmed me, and I just started to tell my story. A story I have told countless times at the dinner table, whenever my parents are around and whenever they have guests… because seriously who sends their 14-year old daughter to the Transylvanian Alps to a place called Camp Commando?

    PS my parents totally did come to the show, so they could hear the story for the 400th time.

    PPS Here is my Dad’s reaction to the show.

    “Dear Toni,

    I haven’t yet written you to tell you how much I liked your stand-up.
    You have a real knack for live performance.
    Also, you were great at the microphone. Excellent distance… I didn’t hear a single puff into the audio. Wow, you’re a real pro.
    And I loved the material, even if I was the major foil.
    On the content, my only tweak… Camp “Kommando” is a vestige of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, I believe. So it has nothing to do with
    Nazi death camps. The closest thing to Nazi behavior was that of the Romanian “Iron Cross” between the two big wars. My info on all this is wobbly, I grant you – as you know better than anyone, I should have done more homework back then – but, I’m pretty sure about Kommando. Even I wouldn’t send you to a death camp.
    Love,
    Dad”

    (Me getting ready for the show… I guess adults aren’t supposed to sleep with stuffed animals either. Fuck I really need a printer).

    risk-blog-(i)

    April 27, 2015 • Adventures, Old School Stories • Views: 455

  • If Straight Dudes Ran the Fashion World We Would Solve So Many Problems

    Do you know how much money women spend annually on clothes? 750 billion dollars! To put that in perspective, ending extreme poverty worldwide would cost 175 billion dollars per year. We could literally solve most of the world’s problems with the kind of money that ladies throw down on bags, skinny jeans, and high heels that make your butt look like a cat in heat.

    Here’s the thing. It’s not our fault that we feel pressure to look good. Most of us are conditioned to care about beauty from childhood. Society values you more when you fit into the Barbie mold. There are impossible beauty standards that insist that if your thighs touch, you might as well drown yourself in menstrual blood.

    Of course it’s hard to ignore the influence of every magazine telling you that your wrists are too chunky. Shopping is a way to gain control within this arena because if my scalp isn’t soft enough, at least this skirt is short. I’ll take two please! Unless you live on an off the grid yurt, chances are you see multiple advertisements a day reminding you of all the stuff you need to be anyone else but you. But these pervasive and relentless ads are intentionally designed to manipulate us!

    The father of modern PR and propaganda, Edward Bernays, was actually the nephew of none other than Sigmund Freud. Through his guidance, the world of advertising embraced the effort to influence the masses into the concept of false need. Bernays’s prevailing philosophy was that through mass production, big business could fulfill the endless desires of society. He believed he could tap into the existential hole we all have, penetrate it with material objects, pump in and out with his throbbing knowledge that we all feel incomplete, and then erupt his man juices into the deep abyss of insecurity that we aren’t good enough.

    Bernays was well aware of the workings of the inner mind and how so many of us struggle with matters of identity, self-love, and acceptance. He knew that by reminding us of this deeply inbred doubt, we would feel confused and empty. We would look to material objects to save us from ourselves. “I have to buy these wedge shoes with matching clutch; this is the only way someone will ever love me!”

    Of course you don’t want to go around looking like a frat boy’s diarrhea after a night of binge drinking, but dressing nice doesn’t mean we have to spend thousands of dollars a year on clothes. And if it’s men you are trying to look good for, then you are totally wasting your time buying into every trend. The notion that fashion actually matters to the guys we are trying to impress is about as absurd as drinking champagne out of your fishnet stockings.

    Guys don’t care about your bracelet matching the inner lining of your raincoat. They care about your warm gooey hole and if you’re going to allow their penis in there. If heterosexual dudes and bros ran the fashion world, women would realize that all they need to look good is a t – shirt with holes cut out around the tits. Then we could save all that money for things that really matter like feeding the hungry, and weed.

    Check out this Video to see how dudes like Gavin McInnes would dress you if they ran fashion!

    April 22, 2015 • Musings, Vagina Stuff, Women's Business • Views: 777

  • Getting High On Weed and Processing Death Is Maybe Not The Best Idea

    I started smoking weed when I was 14 years old. It was a fateful Thursday evening. My older brother was hanging out with two girls, and they figured that if I was ever going to get high, the first time should be in a safe environment. I got off the phone, took a few hits, then went back upstairs and got back on the phone. I talked a on the phone a LOT in the 8th grade.

    Looking back on it, I am really grateful to my brother and these two vixens for giving me this life experience. As a young girl, you want to be careful about who are with when partaking in mind-altering substances. Let’s face it; I was the kind of teenager that was going to get into that stuff. This way I knew what was going on, what to expect, and would less likely lose my shit with the wrong people in the wrong situation.

    My best friend Bitty and I had previously made an oath that we would NEVER smoke pot EVER. Probably because we were 13 at the time, and had both suffered through D.A.R.E lectures at school. Can I just say that “daring” kids to not do drugs is probably the least effective psychological strategy of all time.

    When I finally saw Bitty, I admitted what happened.

    Toni: Bitty… I smoked pot with my brother.
    Bitty: So did I. Do you know where we can get some?

    That summer Bitty and I smoked a lot of weed together. In the years to come, I smoked a lot of weed. A Lot. So much weed I can’t remember how much – which is par for the course I guess.

    When Bitty died in 2000 I had to take a break from smoking pot. This loss was so intense, that I was unable to add another texture to it. I knew pot would not help numb my reaction, but actually intensify it. It would be like putting a magnifying glass up to my broken heart, and burning it with the sun. It was all my mind could think about. I was too afraid of being high, and having to face all the pain. I couldn’t make sense of her death. The irreversible and final nature of it was killing me. I felt so helpless that I couldn’t go back in time and stop it from happening.

    After a few months, I eventually started “partying” again. I was 20, in college, and being totally sober was just as alienating as my constant crying. I had to shut off the part of me that was so deeply connected to the sadness in order to relate to other people. No one knew how to be around me when everything would make me weep.

    Mourning is a life long process. You never truly get over the death of a loved one – but you live with it in a new way. You learn to obsess less, and eventually disconnect from being able to access your feelings about it – at least some of the time. I always knew I was miserable she was no longer with me, but I couldn’t always feel just how distraught I was. There was so long that I mourned Bitty, that when I started to mourn her less, I missed the mourning just as much as I missed the person. The lamenting kept me connected to her.

    Now that 15 years have passed, it’s almost like I have gotten used to her being gone. I of course wish this wasn’t true, but the acceptance has settled in. I live ½ a mile from Bitty’s grave, and visit her weekly. Yet even though there are these rituals where I am reminded of her death, I usually don’t attach to it. It just is this thing that is.

    Last Friday was her birthday, and I wanted to visit her grave, and smoke a joint with her. Now let me add here, that I stopped smoking in 2008 and didn’t get high at all until a few months ago. I am obviously not the pothead of my past, so the few times I do smoke, I have been very carefully to only be very sparing. One hit, and that’s it.

    Yet at this point, I was feeling like my brain had gotten used to weed, and there wasn’t any real threat to my bugging out or losing my mind. So I took maybe 3 hits with Bitty, and then had a plan to celebrate her birthday by going out to dinner and seeing some live music.

    As I was leaving, I started to wonder if she felt it when people visited her grave. Did her soul, or spirit-body get an extra zap? Was there a specific comfort to knowing that someone was paying physical tribute to the place her ashes were buried?

    I got in the passenger seat of the car, and as soon as we starting driving I realized, “holy fuck… I am way too high.”

    I was suddenly transported into a Twilight Zone of distortion. It was one of those moments when the reality I knew, and the reality I was experiencing, were so distinctly different that my brain almost busted a fuse. Nothing was making sense. It was a really dark foggy night, and looking out the window, nothing felt familiar. The outside world was totally foreign, and my inside world was completely melting.

    I was also having a forceful physical reaction where I felt like my body could not contain all the feelings I was feeling. It was this profound buzzing that almost felt like an anxiety attack, but not as painful. It was as if I was channeling too much emotion for one skin sack to hold in.

    I kept trying to return to my breath. During those long inhales I was okay, but as as soon as I let it go, I would lose it again.

    Toni: Uhhhh there is no way I can be in public right now, and I’m pretty sure I have to go home now.

    The drive home we listened to Jimmy Hendrix, and I tried desperately to bring myself back to a place that I could control. All I could say was “I’m just feeling too many feelings.” Yet the second we pulled into my driveway, it was over, and I spent the next 2 hours eating.

    Okay there are a few possibilities about what happened that night. The first, and most obvious, was that I got too high.

    Yet I think something else was going on. Weed opens you up in a specific and unique way. I think because I was at Bitty’s grave, I was hypertensive to the energies at play. One being my own feelings about her death, and the emotions I have learned to enclose in order to survive. The bodily sensations I experienced were like I was releasing all I hold onto in order to function.

    The other energy I felt was tapping into the human part of Bitty. Not her higher-self that exists through infinite space and time while floating through the quantum muiltiverse on a bed of vibrating strings, but the human part of her that actually still exists underneath the earth – and still has feelings about her own death.

    Ultimately the whole night felt like a gift even though it was intense. There is something freeing about losing your mind, heart, and spirit and then having to find it again.

    (Here we are, 14 and fearless…)
    bitty-blog-(i)

    April 15, 2015 • Adventures, Musings, Old School Stories • Views: 493