Archives For fuck my childhood

When my therapist advised me to check into a treatment center for a month, all I could think of was how wonderful it would be to go somewhere restful and sleep abundantly.

It’s exhausting fighting for every second of your life.

“Treatment center” is therapist jargon for “mental hospital.” I prefer the romance of “loony bin.” It comes from the word “lunatic,” derived from “luna.”

There’s something comforting in the antiquated notion that I, like vampires and werewolves, am simply the victim of changing phases of the moon.

 

I have an ongoing fantasy of electroshock treatments cauterizing the endless loop of negative voices in my brain. A high voltage solution to cleanse myself of stockpiled pain, almost primitive in its simplicity.

Insert rubber mouth guard, flip a switch, incinerate the past.

 

I long to spend a month in bland, sterile surroundings which provide no distractions. There, I can knit together all the holes poked into my psyche by the circumstances of my life, and the even bigger ones torn raggedly by the self-destructive ways in which I coped with those circumstances.

But life relentlessly beckons. I am not able to take a month off from the very same daily minutiae that I find crippling.

Instead, I’m doing intensive outpatient therapy, four times a week. Two individual sessions and two groups.

The course of treatment is 8 months; maybe longer.

Yesterday, despite it being November 2, I wore my Harley Quinn costume for a third day, including to group. As I entered the building, I wondered if the need I had to wear it three days; to the gym, supermarket, work; constituted being crazy.

 

Yes. Probably longer than eight months.

 

 

I didn’t expect my new therapist to be so adamant regarding my diagnosis, and even more so about how much treatment I needed to address it. Our first session she told me I was PTSD embodied in human form. She was surprised I don’t short-circuit even more than I do and lobbied strenuously in favor of checking me into the loony bin.

My therapist listed for me the major causes of PTSD, aside from active duty in the armed forces – terrorist attacks, natural disasters, rape, domestic violence, violent death of a loved one, childhood abuse and neglect…

On paper it scared me to see how many I was able to cross off an anti-bucket list of things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

 

Before finding her, I did the responsible thing and typed my symptoms into WebMD. I either had PTSD or systemic yeast overgrowth. I went with PTSD. I located a support group through an online network.

This is how I found myself, one Saturday morning, in a smoky room filled with grizzled war veterans. It was as if Pippi Longstocking had mistakenly stumbled onto the set of “Platoon.”

I told the story of how I lost my oldest brother, the gentle soul who raised me, to a brutal murder two decades ago; his brains and blood splattered all over his LA apartment.

As I spoke the room grew eerily silent, the kind of silence that only happens when people aren’t shifting in their seats or even breathing. The stoic faces around the room softened with the one thing I cannot tolerate – pity.

Afterwards I fled, never returning.

 

 

Last fall, my mother and a different brother died the same week.

I imagine I will die alone, since I am opposed to marriage. But I hope not to die alone surrounded by uncaring strangers in a bustling airport; clutching at my chest and dead before I hit the ground.

It was in this way that my brother died; ironically, on the way to my mother’s funeral. His death was so viciously unexpected that I went into rigorous denial. I invented exotic stories to explain his absence.

He was on an archeological dig in Papua, New Guinea. He was hiking the Peruvian Andes. I eventually floated so far away from the truth that I no longer felt connected to my own body.

One day I watched my disembodied hands typing at the keyboard and poured boiling water all over the right one, charring it with a third degree burn.

When I was younger, I self-harmed because my world view was derived from a damaged foundation. I’m renovating it, and it becomes sturdier all the time. But occasionally, the faulty misalignment at the base of my existence wavers, and I weave precariously out of control.

Now I go to therapy four times a week to somehow make sense of the unfathomable.

 

 

I have a steel cage around my heart.

My closest friends don’t know my real name.

I dare not hope for love for fear of being deeply, painfully disappointed. I date many rather than loving one. I ricochet giddily off one date onto another.

I am no longer the ugly bucktooth kid she left to rot in a group home. I’m not that desperately lonely teenage misfit. I’m the motherfucking prom queen.

I slip out of their houses in the wee hours to avoid the harsh reality of morning in the presence of another.

Sometimes I need someone to hold me so badly I think I might die.

My fear of abandonment is like a bomb suspended in the forever right before it detonates. I build walls to keep people out, convinced that once in, they will only leave, and days I am the cheeriest are usually the ones I feel most dead inside.

 

 

And thus I dream of the sizzle and snap of electricity rearranging twisted neurons and giving me a start as fresh as a child’s.

We are but specks in the infinite universe, finite and limited, but every action we take is to somehow create meaning despite our own brokenness.

This world was not meant for perfection. It is broken dishes; shards of glass. Fractured memories coated in shame and smoke and soot. Shattered life.

Despair and hope are yin and yang. One cannot exist without the other. Hope without despair is hollow and dishonest. Despair without hope is bleaker still.

And so I stumble forward.

 

Talk to me. I’m listening. 

 

Come hang out with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so I can have friends without leaving the house. 

Advertisements

tape-over-mouth-woman-480x279

 

I want to write about sex.

I want to write about the glorious way it feeds my creativity, and how deep pleasure is balm to my soul. I want to capture the absurd dichotomy of my existence as both single mom and sexual being, in long wet delicious sentences.

But then I would be a sex blogger. And I’m not brave enough for that.

 

I want to write about the tug of war going on in my brain, my anxiety and depression and PTSD and Imposter Syndrome.

But then I would be a mental illness blogger. I don’t want to be mentally ill, let alone write about it.

I’m inflamed with unexpressed ideas. It feels like sickness. Tender, feverish, swollen.

I want to bite off more than I can chew and chew longer.

I want to navigate the jagged edges of all my experiences, dance among the wreckage, celebrate the joy and the hideousness of every mistake I’ve ever made.

I want to write about the grief and anger that are spinning out of control, that feel like ground glass shredding me from the inside.

Instead, I am a phony.

 

 

 

Long ago I learned abuse and neglect as love. I am addicted to feeling never good enough, and the sweet momentary high when I’m mining for love and hit right into a silvery vein of approval.

Because in our first exchanges, you either criticized or ignored my writing, you felt like home. But this time, I WOULD be good enough. If only. If only.

If only.

 

I was new to the online world. And didn’t know that unwanted attention is part of the experience for many women.

You said it was because I had a sex blog. And that no one would take me seriously.

 

I turned to Brenda at Burns the Fire. Two years later, I have not forgotten how she saved me.

She told me, LOVE. Just, LOVE.

Yes, you are provocative, she said, and what’s wrong with that? Just LOVE.

 

I’m disconnected from what ever it is that people feel when they read me. When I sit at the keyboard all I feel is fear. The blood pounds in my ear so loudly all I hear is a verbal dance of madness.

 

I want to write stories of horrific post partum depression, the kind that makes you want to drown your own child. And how I crossed over to a love so deep, I’m the one drowning now.

But how tiring it is, that I need to share everything, down to the last blood cell.

I’m not funny on Facebook.

My rock tees are silly.

Bad things happen to me because I seek pain.

My beloved project was only popular because misery loves company. I left it over a year ago and once an arrow shot into the heart, it bled out.

 

I’m not a writer. I’m simply part of a cult that writes little 1000 word essays for other WordPress bloggers.

Yes, that is what I am. I have no evidence to the contrary.

Is that a bad thing?

*dances in a cult-like fashion around a WordPress statue*

 

I only use profanity because I’m a lazy writer. Yes, it’s an easy way to get a cheap laugh. Suck my dick.

 

I want to breathe fire into these keys and tear apart every fucking idea about what a blog should be

I want everyone to know that I’m crazy, and find it thrilling because it means I’m doing great things.

I want to Write Free!

Freedom feels like a walk along the ocean’s shore, accompanied by the cry of sea gulls and the briny smell and the wind blowing cooler than inland.

Freedom feels like a month in a loony bin inpatient treatment center getting electroshock therapy to burn this out of my brain, for once and for fucking final.

 

The wrong person at the wrong time can build a nest right inside your insecurities and confirm for you that you are, in fact, nothing.

 

I have learned the hard, soul crushing way that writing your deepest tragedies leaves you open to pain almost as fierce as the tragedies themselves.

When someone you cherish asks for the fourth time why you moved out of NYC. Or asks you how your beloved brother died, when you spelled these things out in technicolor horror on posts they, in fact, commented on.

I learned the painful way that some of the people I love most don’t read what I write, and that sometimes, people leave comments to keep up appearances.

Which is like, inviting you to my brother’s funeral, and you showing up in a clown suit.

 

My posts are too long. I violated the formulaic 700 word rule. What’s the point in tapping out this sentence when everyone stopped reading by the time I wrote “sentence”?

 

This will be another story that I won’t publish, part of the daily bloodletting.

I write daily but publish infrequently.

I fear being ridiculed again, hearing you sneer that not everyone writes about shoplifting and heroin, you know.

Yes.

I know.

Here. Here’s a recipe.

Vanilla Chai Frozen Smoothie

  • 1 scoop vanilla chai protein powder
  • I frozen banana
  • ½ cup almond milk

Put everything in your smoothie maker thing. Turn that shit on. Eat it.

 

There.

 

I often sob while I write. Out of sheer relief that comes with sharing my truth as transparently and vulnerable as humanly possible

Self sabotage is my comfort zone. I squander my life on drugs and terrible choices and people whose need to make me feel small meshes perfectly with my need to disappear.

 

I have been force-fed so many different versions of myself, there is nothing left but everyone’s idea of me.

 

He did not break me. I was broken when he found me.

He was just drawn to the glittering shards and could not help but grind them down into dust.

 

Please refrain from disparaging comments. Be encouraging. 
I need positivity. Talk to me. I’m listening. 

 

Join me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter . Or don’t. You do you. 

My Origin Story

November 10, 2015 — 117 Comments

subwayc-couple-kissing-nyc-c-1987

 

If I go back to the beginning, if I start all the way back…

maybe I can figure it out.

 

—–

 

I wasn’t always the happening chick you see on social media. I was a skinny unattractive nerd, a white outcast in an all-black neighborhood who got her ass kicked on the regular.

I grew up on Staten Island –  The Land That Time Forgot. It’s the only borough the New York subway system doesn’t run through, and this isolation from civilization has turned it into a caricature of itself.

Staten Island is like, New York lost a bet to New Jersey, and was forced to house douchicles cloned from the characters on The Jersey Shore. The amount of hairspray used on Staten Island is solely responsible for the hole in the ozone. It houses the world’s largest dump, the receptacle for all solid waste in New York city, so all of Staten Island smells like a rotting volcano with irritable bowel syndrome.

 

I grew up in one of the worst housing projects in all of NYC – The Stapleton Projects. My mom was a widow with six kids, and we were poor as fuck.

Fuck you, we had an elephant.

But fuck you, we had an elephant.

 

Mom did the best she could raising the six of us, and that best included beating the snot out of us. Mom was like Elasti Girl – her fist was attached to an arm that could reach around doors and under beds.

I got my ass beat inside and outside the house, so I suppose my childhood wasn’t very safe. I wasn’t aware of it then. Who has time to process psychobabble when you’re scrambling around, dodging beatings?

I do know that my mother’s approval was sacred to me, and I never got it. Nor any attention, unless it was at the receiving end of her fist.

This was how I began to mistake abuse for love. This was how I learned that if I just tried hard enough, if I did better, was better, I could make abusive people love me. 

 

You know how kids just LOVE hearing about their parents’ childhood?

Little Dude’s favorite anecdote of mine?

The time I was walking down the dark, dank staircase in my building. I was 7. As I rounded the corner, holding the railing, I felt something furry and warm. I focused in. There, sticking up out of the banister at the foot of the stairs, was a dead cat’s bloody dismembered head. Still warm.

Ah, memories…

 

Stapleton was made famous as the birthplace of the Wu-Tang Clan. They went to school with me and NO I DO NOT KNOW THEM.

Wu-Tang was a gangsta rap group, back in the day when gangsta rap meant you had a prison tattoo and an unlicensed gun, not a trust fund and a beach house. I was a flat chested nerdy ginger growing up in a gangsta rap video.

Pippi Longstocking meets Ghostface Killah.

 

I grew up confused. I possessed a white-hot rage, a desire to love and be loved, fiercely;  a profound appreciation for the underdog, and a project girl’s survival instinct. If you fuck with me, or my kid, I will Take You Down. My Stapleton instincts have quelled some, but not entirely. You can take the girl outta the projects, BUT.

Just last night, a friend posted online about a sixth grade boy who was frightening her 11-year-old daughter with talk of rape. Everyone advised her to contact the school. Me?

Not so much.

stealth 3

 

 

As I kid I was desperate to find an escape and an outlet. So I read. Constantly, because we were poor and books were available.

At 9, I tried to wrap my brain around “A Wrinkle In Time.”

A science fiction masterpiece of Inter-dimensional time travel and quantum physics. Reading A Wrinkle in Time is similar to taking a hit of really strong blotter acid. This book twisted my mind up to where 37 years later, it has still not fully recovered.

 

I came from a family of overachieving geniuses. Five brothers, all brilliant, all obsessed with music. My older brothers gave me an invaluable education in music, forever putting all the best of the best to my ears.

I also began writing at a young age. I filled notebook after notebook with ideas, fantasies, poetry.

And then-

In one of the true defining moments of my life, my older brother put a copy of Patti Smith’s debut single “Hey Joe,” into my 11-year-old hands.

Patti Smith. Skinny, brainy, gangly, unpopular, unattractive by society’s standards.

patti

 

In the 1970’s, Patti Smith put her poetry to punk music and was eventually crowned Godmother of Punk.

The B side of her first single is “Piss Factory,” an ode to New Jersey factory work, and the experience of getting her head shoved into the toilet by the other workers.

 

She became my idol. She gave me hope that I could escape, and transform into someone other than the strange nerd people used as a punching bag.

 

The only public transportation to get to Manhattan is via the Staten Island Ferry, which is like the Love Boat – only when you get off, you automatically have herpes.  Although now refurbished, when I was growing up, the ferry was seedy and dilapidated. It also sells beer and used to allow cigarette smoking. At 2 am on a Saturday night, it was filled with homeless people and drunken degenerates.

The summer of 1982, I was going on 13 and about to enter high school. I fell in with a group of older kids and we starting taking that ferry into Manhattan, the gritty, grimy, pre-gentrified graffiti-ridden city of the 80’s.

The Village was our playground. We bought loose joints and hung out with street musicians. We carried a boom box the size of a suitcase and blasted it as we roamed downtown.

We had a THEME SONG (don’t judge):

 

The following summer I enrolled in a New York City program that allowed poor slum kids to obtain their working papers at 13.

My first job – The Public Library.

The library owned every banned book – but did not circulate them. All illicit books were sequestered away in a super-duper top-secret file named “Banned Books.” I cleverly unearthed these nuggets of literary rebellion.

And read every motherfucker in that file.

 

I discovered On the Road, an American classic of crazy adventure and freedom, and riddled with drugs, jazz, drugs, sex, and drugs.

I tore through Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.

Naked Lunch? This isn’t a novel; it’s a twisted series of disturbing, drug ridden, sexually explicit vignettes. Burroughs wrote it while living in Tangiers, in a one-room apartment above a male whorehouse, strung out on smack and male prostitutes.

This was the shit I was feeding my 13 year old brain.

Are things starting to come together?

I thought they might.

 

We finally moved when I was in high school.  Were you hoping for the happy ending?

Not. So. Fast.

Back in those days, if you were “bright,” you got “skipped” so I was 2 years younger than most kids in my grade. Get the picture? No more scary gangsta projects.

Instead, we’re talking TRAINING BRA in the GYM LOCKER ROOM. I think my pal Ghostface Killah did less damage to my psyche.

So, to heal all those psychic hits on my ego? I read. I listened to music. I wrote.

And I planned my escape.

 

I eventually got out of the projects when I left for college. The very first summer, I decided I would stay in my college town instead of going home for the summer. What was there for me?

 

I never went home again.

 

 

If I go back to the beginning, if I start all the way back

maybe I can figure it out…

 

To be continued. 

 

Have you ever tried to figure out how you came to be who you are? 
Tell me about your childhood. 
Talk to me. I’m listening.

Mental-Illness 2

 

 

When you have a kid who’s “challenging” (euphemism for “major pain in the ass”), receiving a phone call from his preschool teacher at 8:30 at night is NOT a good thing. You know she’s not calling you at that hour to gush over what a little darling he is.

At 3, my son was defiant, intense, uber-intelligent, willful and aggressive. Hence the phone call from his preschool teacher, asking,

“Is there a problem in your family?”

Mrs. Katz-  in your vast experience educating 3-year-olds, have you never encountered this type of kid? Even the best 3-year-olds make you want to drink in the daytime.

I’m sure it’s hard to be an underpaid, overworked preschool teacher with Little Dude in the room, making his weird-ass noises and destroying furniture and what not. But, lady – this is your JOB.

Did she really think I was going to sigh with relief, and say, “Oh,  YES” and then have a heart to heart with her?

I’d explained, in detail, to the the director of the school that my son had already been diagnosed with ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. So, please don’t give me shit about “is there a problem in my family?” We’re FINE.

Or are we?

 

In 1990, I lost my eldest brother, who raised me. My Protector.

My EVERYTHING.

He was the funniest, kindest, gentlest man anyone ever knew, and when he died, I curled up into a little ball and died with him.

I stopped eating and sleeping and when it became apparent I would need hospitalization, my uncle took me to a psychiatrist who treated me for severe depression.

The psychiatrist spent 18 months looking for the right psychotropic cocktail; one that would give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

He also articulated for me a childhood of abuse and abandonment that I filled with overachievement and a quest for constant approval. A deep abyss of sadness that I covered with a comic facade and a sharp wit.

Is there a problem in my family?

I have 4 other brothers.

One of them lives in Florida with my mother. He is a brilliant patent attorney who graduated first in his class from NYU Law School. He was the poster child for “the best and the brightest” but somewhere along the way, the delicately constructed wiring inside his brain short-circuited.

He suffers from bipolar disorder which he treats successfully with strong chemical concoctions.

10 years ago, when he decided he no longer needed his medication, he suffered a frightening psychotic break.

He changed personas daily, eventually becoming convinced that he was being persecuted in an elaborate government conspiracy. He decided every member of our family was part of the conspiracy. He threatened us in extended, hostile, middle-of-the-night telephone messages.

Fleeing faceless demons, he drove up and down I-95 at 130 miles per hour, burning out his transmission and enough brain cells to land him in two different psych wards.

His doctors were finally able to help him chemically wrangle his illness into submission. He remembers nothing of his psychotic fracture.

He only remembers that he spent a year afterwards in his bathrobe, watching “The View.”

Is there a problem in my family?

My third oldest brother has a relaxed, likable personality. He laughs easily and makes a fabulous uncle/playmate to my kid.

He is retired military. He was in the army over 20 years and was deployed to Somalia.

He NEVER discusses it. If pressed, he will shrug it off.

When he visits, he pretends to sleep on the fold out couch in my den, but only dozes.

Wakes up. Has a cigarette. A soda. Watches some TV. Dozes again. I hear him downstairs, moving around all night.

The sound of the patio door sliding open, then closing; the refrigerator door opening, the swoosh! of the soda can opening. The sigh when he settles back on the couch. The TV channels changing, changing, changing.

He has been diagnosed with PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder – which is a convenient way for the government to say, “We sent you to war, you saw unspeakable things, and now you’re completely fucked up.”

He toughs it out without meds or therapy.

He’s never been the same.

He has an impenetrable shell of nonchalant behavior, acting normal when nothing is normal.

The man has not slept in 15 years.

Is there a problem in my family?

My youngest brother is a lung cancer survivor. He works too hard, plays too hard, and even after losing a lung, still smokes.

He’s a frustrated musician masquerading as a Vice President at JP Morgan Chase. He’s a confirmed bachelor because he cannot deal with intimacy or relationships.

He has bottled up rage against every single member of my family. His grudges date back to events that transpired over 30 years ago, events no one else remembers.

He’s brilliant, erratic, emotional, fiercely loving, and astonishingly gifted. He can listen to a guitar solo ONCE and duplicate it, note for note. 

All he’s ever wanted to do is play guitar, and somehow he ended up in a corner office, his essence rotting like moldy fruit.

He takes a cornucopia of anti-anxiety medications to cope with a life that crept up on him when he wasn’t looking.

I am certain that his lung cancer was caused not by cigarettes but by the fact that he’s an acutely lonely man who spends all his time alienating those who would love him.

A frustrated artist emotionally eroded by spending the last 22 years at a job that’s killing him.

Is there a problem in my family?

 

Did I bring a child destined to mental illness into this world?

Did I selfishly ignore the familial signs so I could give birth to a child who struggles with heightened emotions and diagnoses full of letters?

He is my child. He is my heart.

I want him to be HAPPY.

 

At night, we cuddle and talk over the day.
“What was your ‘sad’ today? Your ‘glad’ today?”

Our ritual for years. It’s his safe place to open up to me about his world.

But does he?

 

Dear God, I want to know,

Is there a problem in my family?

We walk home from school as he chatters happily about his day.

It’s hard for my 10 year old kid to sit still all day. I like him to blow off steam before he sits down to his homework.

Today, it’s out to the trampoline in my backyard. He loves that trampoline; his sensory issues assuaged by the movement, and all his bottled up energy released.

 

Today I want to talk.

Today, I am writing this, and I am troubled.

Today I need to know that he is having a having a happy childhood.

Today, I want to know,

Is there a problem in my family?

I go out back.

But he’s not talking.

He’s not saying a word.

 

He’s just jumping.

Jumping,

reaching,

arms outstretched,

flying,

so high.

It looks like he’s touching the sky.

Yes. Like this.

Like this.

 

Do you have a child like this? Siblings like mine?
Talk to me. I’m listening.

Enhanced by Zemanta

wu-tang221113

The real title to this blog entry is “How Reading Saved My Life.”

Fat chance you were going to check that out, Sean and Don.

I’ve decided to embrace the whole “Google search term” thing.

No use fighting it, or trying to class it up with highbrow intellectual titles.

Nope. I’m giving EVERY BLOG POST a lascivious title.

Otherwise, how will I continue to attract the meritorious people of the Interwebz who are looking for,

“wife is always dry with me but if she reed sex stories she gets wet.”

(this is just a guess, pal – but maybe she would be a little moister if you weren’t a complete illiterate).

But now that you’re here, stick around. I promise to jazz up the story with the pottymouthed language and sexual innuendos you come here to read.

Because I led you on, I’ll provide sordid details of  my deflowerication at the end.

Which did not happen, contrary to the post image, with the Wu Tang clan “en masse” (French for gang-bang.)

I wasn’t always the Happening Chick you see in my saucy gravatar.

saucy gravatar

saucy gravatar

I grew up on Staten Island, the forgotten borough.

The New York subway system doesn’t run there.

You get there via the Staten Island Ferry, which is like the Love Boat – only when you get off, you find out you have herpes.

I've always thought the ferry looked like the cover of a Doors album

I’ve always thought the ferry looked like the cover of a Doors album

I lived in one of the worst housing projects in all of NYC – The Stapleton Projects.

I had this lovely view just outside my front door.

So cosy- like Auschwitz.

So cosy- like Auschwitz.

We were one of the very few white families residing there.

Stapleton was made famous as the birthplace of the Wu-Tang Clan.

They were a hardcore gangsta rap group, back in the day when gangsta rap meant you had a prison tattoo and an unlicensed gun, not a trust fund and a beach house.

Staten Islanders believe the Wu Tang symbol is their own private bat signal

Staten Islanders believe the Wu Tang symbol is their own private bat signal

In case you’re wondering why we grew up there – my dad was a cop, and we moved there when the projects were built for city workers.

Unfortunately, dad died, leaving mom with six of us.

The projects morphed into Section 8 welfare housing, and mom couldn’t afford to move us out.

So there I was… a skinny nerdy white girl growing up in a gangsta rap video.

Pippi Longstocking meets Ghostface Killah.

Even I long to beat this child up.

Even I long to beat this child up.

I got my butt kicked on a regular basis.  Learned how to project fight – “hit them hard, fast, and FROM BEHIND.”

Being tough – awesome.

Feeling like an outsider your entire childhood – not so much.  I was desperate to find an escape.

So I read.

Constantly, because we were poor and books were available.

Fuck you, we had an elephant.

Fuck you, we had an elephant.

I didn’t know it yet, but I was actually working on one of the defining characteristics of my life –

RAISING MY CONSCIOUSNESS.

At 9, I tried to wrap my brain around “A Wrinkle In Time.”

A bizarre science fiction masterpiece of Inter-dimensional time travel, quantum physics, and plucky heroine Meg Murray fighting the iconic battle of good vs. evil.

Meg – trapped and unseen in a family of brothers, wild curly hair, braces, glasses. too smart for her friends, alienated at a young age by her lack of patience for utter BULLSHIT.

She was ME. My literary doppelgänger.

Reading A Wrinkle in Time is similar to taking a hit of really strong blotter acid.

This book twisted my mind up to where 35 years later, it has still not fully recovered.

download

But in a GOOD way.

A New York City program allowed poor slum kids to obtain their working papers at 13.

Yes. Isn’t that enviable? Instead of attending rainbow parties at 13,

Yeah, No.

Yeah, No. Not this kind.

like the entitled brats where I now live, I was told,

“Happy birthday! Now get a job!”

My first job –

The Public Library. Surprise, surprise.

The library owned every banned, highly coveted  book – but did not circulate them.

The banned book has a longstanding and ludicrous history.

Did you know that the innocuous Where’s Waldo was banned?

Amongst those thousands of characters a tiny woman on the beach showed microscopic side boob.

Some degenerate with a magnifying glass and a propensity for comic book erections actually found this.

The library sequestered all illicit books away in a super-duper top-secret file named “Banned Books.

I cleverly unearthed these nuggets of literary rebellion.

And read every motherfucker in that file.

I discovered On the Road by Jack Kerouac. It’s an American classic of crazy adventure and freedom.

It’s positively riddled with drugs, jazz, drugs, sex, and drugs.

I tore through Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.

Naked Lunch? This isn’t really a novel; it’s a twisted series of disturbing, drug ridden, sexually explicit vignettes.

Burroughs wrote it while living in Tangiers, in a one-room apartment above a male whorehouse, strung out on smack and male prostitutes.

Awesome.

I’ve decided to go the next school board meeting and demand that they put these on high school reading list.

Naked Lunch must be made part of the new “Common Core.”

common-core

The ONLY reason to see “The Notebook.” There is no reason to read it.

We finally moved when I was in high school.  *sigh of relief*

Were you hoping for the happy ending?

Not. So. Fast.

Back in those days,  if you were “bright,” you got “skipped.”

The misguided educators actually put you a grade ahead with kids a year older, forgetting about social, emotional, psychological and physical (especially physical) development.

I also have an end of the year birthday, so I was almost 2 years younger than most kids in my grade.

Get the picture? No more scary gangsta projects.

Instead, we’re talking TRAINING BRA in the GYM LOCKER ROOM.

I think my pal Ghostface Killah did less damage to my psyche.

So, guess what I did to heal all those psychic hits on my ego?

Yep.  I read.

Alongside Holden Caulfield, I gave “phonies” the metaphorical finger.

I still do. Some things never change.

I found a new doppelgänger in Lorraine in The Pigman – zero self confidence, intense desire to write, compulsive pathological liar…

(Am I? There’s lots of speculation in the blog world on THAT one hehe).

I knew the loss and alienation of “Anonymous,” the 15-year-old author of Go Ask Alice.

SHIT GOT REAL WITH THIS BOOK, YO.

This book had been banned for its graphic depiction of homelessness, prostitution, rape, and a stint in a mental institution,

everything this girl endures once she becomes addicted to drugs.

Her family finally rescues her.

And then…the Epilogue.

The frickin’ Epilogue (SPOILER ALERT) tells us that 3 weeks later, she’s found dead of a drug overdose at her parent’s home.

I was shattered.

The only chance you have of surviving the pain of being different is to find like minded souls- even if they only exist in books.

The true gift is this – reading will raise your consciousness.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of letting society determine your values.

No one wants to be the one who doesn’t fit in.

I know – hell, I live that shit.

So, you can do/look/be/act like everyone else.

Or you can RAISE YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS.

And possibly make a difference in this world.

You can expand your mind, one book at a time.

Luckily for me, I shed the nerdy cocoon in college. Or maybe, it was just cool to be nerdy.

Either way  – in college, I really hit my stride and began my outward development into the deeply hip woman you now see before you.

Just remember – I created her.

One book at a time.

Oh, right!  The virginity thing.

I promised if you stuck around, I’d get into it at the end.

I lied, perverts.

Go read a book.

Were you a nerd, or a cool kid? Did you “fit in?”
What were your favorite books when you were growing up?
Talk to me.  I’m listening.

Enhanced by Zemanta