Friday, March 07, 2014

Showing Now -- in a Technicolor Prozac Dream Near You!

There are some downsides to Prozac.  I'm past menopause and it wrecks even more destruction on my libido (great for a writer with a book about dating coming out).  It makes my appetite uncertain and entirely black and white -- either I'm not at all hungry or I'm raging.  And it produces dreams Cecil B. DeMille would envy.

This morning I had a long, twisting dream about My Rival, who was recently profiled in a magazine.  My Rival is probably completely unaware of me and I am not a rival to My Rival.  But my rival is My Rival and seeing that was a pinch.  It was the last piece in the magazine I read so that I could recycle it immediately, which I did, telling myself to let it go...which I apparently did not.

In my dream, many former, mutual acquaintances were in abundance.  We were at some kind of camp, with cabins and arranged gatherings.  We were all happy to see each other.  I was stricken at seeing My Rival but found myself huddled in laughter with My Rival, transported to the old days of being best friends.  At some point the crowd had gathered and my former editor made a remark about my powers of revision.  I shushed her quietly.  I didn't want My Rival to think of me as a writer even though in my dream I was sort of holding that as a wild card despite the fact that my last book and the book coming up are not going to make any kind of splash.

It's been haunting me for the last nine hours. 
Daisy had to go out at 4.30 and I was blearily scooping up poop and wondering what it meant.  We slept late because of our little outing and I woke to a small Pigpen black cloud hovering over me that good coffee and cigarettes and a long dwelling on all that I have to be grateful for couldn't disperse.

One of the reasons I didn't blog yesterday was that I was suffering the panic of scratching together some advance praise for Love Sick.  I had tried a few Big Names but was really happy with the quotes I got because they speak so well to the book.  I spoke with one of my praisers and he told me that what he loves about my writing is the immediate intimacy I establish with the reader that is self-mocking but not over the top. 

That was a lot for a proto-agoraphobe to take in.  One of my current issues is with relationships, with how it seems, at 57, best to keep them at arm's length, to not count on anyone, which I proved to myself once again when I reached out to someone over that "you were attractive" incident.

Blame is not due regarding the silence I was met with.  I'm trying to learn that almost nothing is personal.  But if so little is personal in our expectations or hopes or dealings with people we think we're close to, then, you know, what the fuck is the point?  Better to talk to I-don't-know-who here or on Facebook where it's really not personal.

And yet yesterday I was given quotes that mean a lot to me, which were personal and which were exceedingly validating.  And then I dreamed of My Rival.

What stands out in the dream was the sheer joy of falling into our old silly interesting friendship, and how much I wanted to stay off the radar as a writer unless My Rival actually brought it up.

It's possible that My Rival did bring it up.  You can't trust dreams to stay together even when they're as narrative and vivid as this was.  If My Rival brought up my books, it was in an unknowingly slighting way, at the service of the massively successful career My Rival has. 

I often find myself muttering, "I'm not anyone" to myself when I think about people who have hurt or slighted me.  I know they might not have meant to.  I know it probably wasn't, as I said, personal.  I know I'm a small spark in the world rather than a raging fire and that my trajectory as a spark may be downward.  "I don't matter," I hear myself saying -- and I say it as a consolation.

Hunh.  I'm sitting here looking at that last sentence and the feeling "pleached" comes to mind.  Isn't that what orchardists do when they train a fruit tree up a wall?  How can that be a feeling?  Is the apricot of a pleached tree any less sweet than a tree growing freely, wildly?

Maybe.  But I think there is less fruit on a pleached tree, which would be true of me. 

Ah well.  It's all just a cranked serotonin induced dream brought on by a little attention, a little taking myself seriously.  I know My Rival well enough to know that if I wanted "revenge," which I don't, living My Rival's life would be revenge.  Most people are their own revenge, after all.  Me, too.  I'm lucky enough to have friends, here, to listen but not disappoint.  You're like priests.  I confess, you absolve by being human.  Win-win.  No rivalry.


bestgrandkidsever said...

You're someone to me!!

Anonymous said...

Fruit on a pleached tree is sweeter, less vulnerable to pests, and ripens more evenly.