In Memoriam . 1 February 2015

written earlier this year and dedicated to Jess Autumn Bannon and Alexis “Leki” Gotts:

She died not two weeks after you. I was beside myself again, and you were back, weighing on my mind. I wanted to write sonnets to my dead. Instead, I worried about whether my gum disease was aging my arteries, while picking at my skin in a mirror.

I could hear you mocking me from behind the bar. But you really grabbed life by the horns and even at the end, you made me wish I had the balls to choose as quickly.

Jess Autumn Bannon photographed by Sean Rayford
Jess Autumn Bannon photographed by Sean Rayford

She didn’t choose to die like you did. But she chose the drug that did the dying and I was still here with my mirror and my fear.

You and she–I gravitated to in much the same way, or was it you both that gravitated to me? How do you talk about being bummed that realistically the planet seems to have taken a turn in the wrong direction and you don’t see a way that things will ever be remedied, and you’re not even sure flossing will fix your gum situation, and I wish I could live my life or die my death like you much less be stuck in my own mind-Limbo.

Well, I won’t be stuck anymore. I’m gaining momentum. Your memoriam is my motivation. Remembering what my real dreams are. Don’t be nostalgic, just find your daimon, your true self, and then–Simplify. Don’t get caught up with worry or the details, just speak clearly and confidently. Focus on the present achievable task and then move on without judgment. Find fulfillment with little victories. Be content in this moment, which is all there is.

You both have left us here on earth. Perhaps Jupiter with her storms and rage is

Leki, Alexis Gotts, of Wet Nuns and BabaNaga
Leki, Alexis Gotts, of Wet Nuns and BabaNaga

where you reside now, just bumping into her for the first time. I bet you guys throw a raucous party.

I’ll let you both rest now, as an earth-walker I’m gonna stick to confiding in my cat and admiring children and learning to let go and have faith. It suits me better.

 

If you are experiencing depression and find you are considering suicide or don’t know how to continue living your life, please reach out to a friend or one of these resources. You are somebody. Don’t lose hope. “Your story isn’t over yet.” Your life is worthwhile, not only to you, but to the rest of us:

 

Your Story Isn’t over Yet – Project Semicolon

Save

US National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI)

NY Times on suicide

A great article on what suicidal depression feels like

“Requiem for a Dream” Aaron Swartz’s story in the New Yorker

excerpt from IRIS . 3 September 2015

IRIS is book I of Regulars, the novel manuscript I’m working on, told from 3 points of view – Iris, Jude, and Bazza. The entirety of Regulars is set in a dive bar, called the No. 9, at least, that is what I’m attempting. There’s a lot of flashback.

with no further rambling…

IRIS

EdouardManetYou live a long or a short while, depends on how you look at it, and what day it is, and what’s going through your head. That is to say we are never fully experiencing anything, until we relive it in our memories, and then it is usually a warped recreation checkered with delusions and imagination. The things we create through passion, grief, or over-drinking. We overstimulate ourselves even in the quietest of moments where we might find peace. In fact, this is one of the only places peace lives, and we avoid it with the meandering of our mind-sight—peering through opaque iced glass or foggy rearview mirrors.

I like to look at old movie stubs and go back there to each time and place—each date, matinee with a friend or lonely late-night double feature. Sometimes I can’t even see the face of the person sitting next to me in the dark—just a flash of their laughter or a heavy cloud of tension. Like in a dream, when you sense that the other in your dreamworld is your best friend, even though you don’t really know that face or you never see the person clearly.

It’s like that in my dreams all the time—when I’m having a nostalgic exploration christian-schloe-a-midsummer-nights-dreamof something that never happened. Maybe I wanted it to, or maybe it was a fear—but at some point I look at my dream companion’s face and I realize I don’t know this person. Sometimes their face morphs into another person’s. Sometimes this individual is a stranger. Or perhaps not; I must know him from somewhere. Can we create whole new people to inhabit our dreamscapes?

Even waking life feels unreal. —No, I’m not one of those people that supposes: Maybe this is all a dream and someday we’ll just wake up. No, perhaps my sense of it all is more like my life is a film, an old projector flickering on and off on the screen in my head. With new scenes being set up and shot all the time. I must have an endless archive of film reels up there, taking up rooms and rooms. Sometimes to make more room, I lock up some doors forever.

Don’t get me wrong—I don’t feel like we all have a script and it’s destined to be played out. I don’t believe in any of that. I believe in me, and in my head, I could be a great star, or at least a likeable character in an interesting story. That’s why I am trying to think about it more this way instead of less. I am trying to be an actress in the film of my own life, saying the right things and having the moment be the most enthralling thing going on. It’s the only way I can find right now to get through it.

 

 

Stay tuned for more Regulars teasers. If you’re into that.

art credit: (1) Edouard Manet – The Bar at the Folies Bergere
(2) Christian Schloe – A Midsummer Night’s Dream