A Day At The Museum
With shuffling stomping out-of-shape masses who have a plan and a map and anxiety at the realization or just fear of the group metastasising, of losing their 6 year old daughter to the imaginary pervert probably lurking behind the Seurat probably scheming to take their 6 year old daughter to buy her ice cream (guilt that they haven’t) and play with her forever (guilt that they can’t.) With pretty forever-teenage Asian girls in skinny jeans posing on staircases giggling as if possessed by teletubbies. With a student painting a painting of a painting which is a fascinating process to watch, sure, but is it art? With Miro’s Circus Horse and Lefebvre’s Odalisque and whole rooms of Monets in nursery pastels that wash over my troubled soul like heroin or evening lilacs. With myself swearing an oath that I will never again visit the art museum with an artist and will never again feel bad about loving what I love because another ego demands it. With the desire to skip and twirl through the Modern Wing flooded with irrational winter sunlight and summer warmth to say aloud, “This is ours! This is all ours, don’t you see?” With two college kids pleading bewilderedly obliviously with an entry guard who has informed them they may not bring the pizza they’ve just ordered into the museum.
A personal General Strike.
A Kafkaesque Bureaucracy of Concern
You have to stay safe. You have to get better. You have to do the work to get better. You have to go to work. You can’t go to work. You can’t afford not to work. You can’t afford to worry about that now. Why aren’t you worried what will happen? I am so worried about you. You have us all worried. You worry too much, You have to find something that makes you happy. No one can make you happy. Happiness is choice. You are responsible for your own happiness. You are responsible for your own welfare. You are responsible for your own life. If I think you’ll hurt yourself it is my responsibility to have you hospitalized. These are your options. You have options. You don’t have a choice. You can’t do that. There is no such thing as can’t. You have to make your own decisions. No one can do this for you. Why do you think you have to do this on your own? Why are you so afraid to ask for help? Why are you doing this to us? Why do you think you are special? Do you think the rest of us don’t suffer? Everyone gets depressed but we get up and go to work because we don’t have a choice. You’ve made a choice to be depressed. You are not depressed, you are [lazy, self-pitying, irresponsible, weak, stubborn, self-involved, a wreck, generally pissing me off please stop calling.] Why do you want to die? Why can’t you see what I see in you? You are young and intelligent and attractive, warm and engaging, funny. You are brave and courageous. I admire your determination and willingness to face your problems. I admire your ability to take risks and be resilient. I admire your honesty and candor. Your writing is so beautiful it makes me cry. You better not be lying to me. Lying in bed and crying wont fix anything. You’ve lost a lot; it’s normal to cry. It’s normal to feel this way. It’s a normal reaction to trauma. It’s a normal reaction to loss. It’s a normal reaction to having to live in this world am I right? But you probably do have a chemical imbalance. You probably have a personality disorder. You probably just think too much. You probably just need a vacation. You’ve made a lot of progress. Give yourself some credit. Let me know if there is anything I can do. I’m sorry there’s nothing I can do for you.
Broadway Bus Exchange
Lady: Sweetheart, while you textin on you phone can you send Jesus a texmessage fo me?
Me: Ok. What should I tell him?
Lady: Tell him, “Jesus, I love you!” And I love you too sweetheart.
Me: I love you to. I don’t think I have Jesus’ number. Do you know it?
Lady: Haha! Yeah, send the text to JESUSINEEDYOU!
Me: If only it were that easy.
Her expression changed from urban goofball to urban voodoo woman. She raised an eyebrow and pointed a long fingernail at me. “Oooh. Oooh, you.” She shook her head in a knowing way. She got off the bus but kept looking back at me like I was a phantom.
I have (this is true now – I am not telling you a story) dreams in which I return to places I have only ever been in other dreams. Most recently it is a large grassy square, like a park almost, situated in the middle of a spooky old neighborhood. In the middle of the park thing is a large stone fountain, defunct, or a monument of some sort you can climb atop or hide behind. It is always dusk or night or about to storm, always cast in an eerie glow of deep blues and patina and wispy fog. It’s a type of place where ghost children gather to play mean games. Surrounding it on all four sides are avenues lined with Victorian homes and canopies of trees. Even though it is always dark and damp in this grassy square, if I walk down any street a block or further away, there is a late summer sun and golden leaves line the curbs and crunch under my foot. Every time I venture into the neighborhood I get lost. Every time. Eventually someone comes looking for me and takes me back. Every time I tell the mean ghost children in the park (they are like mean hipster ghost children, haughty and cliquish) I don’t want to join their games, they become cruel and taunt me. In my dream this is located on the West Side of Chicago. But it is also very similar the the neighborhood in the town I was born in and where some of my family still live.
“Thank you for your inquiry. If you come in for groceries, we will give you groceries. If you come in we will give them to you.”
Please check the one that best describes you:
A. I am able to form close meaningful bonds with one or more of the following: Parents, Lovers, Pets, Therapists.
B. I am able to form close meaningful bonds with one or more of the following: Celebrities, fictional characters, people I have only interacted with in online forums, myself.
C. I am able to form close meaningful bonds with No one.
If you answered C., congratulations! You have done the hard work to assimilate and adopt the values of your environment. Take that bonus and treat yourself to an island vacation (psst. the post-colonial, vaguely despotic ones have to-die-for beaches.)
If you answered B., know that these are not unusual feelings to have given the pervasive role media and social networking plays in our society. It is completely acceptable to care about the welfare of people on reality TV. Do not let anyone make you feel ashamed of this.
If you answered A., you may be suffering from an attachment to the person who brought you into the world, the person with whom you routinely exchange bodily fluids, small animals who have evolved to love you in exchange for food, or a person to whom you have told your most intimate thoughts and feelings. This is highly risky behavior and will probably result in an unhealthy self-image. Seek help immediately. But perhaps not from a therapist, you know, given your issues. In fact if you did that, it would be a clear illustration of the “rescue-seeking behavior” your kind are notorious for. Don’t get help. Should probably just off yourself. But tell someone if you are thinking about that so they can save you and blame you for being attention-seeking later. Good luck! You can do this!
ATTN!: I am not a licensed professional and you should not be taking advice from me. If you think you have a disorder get professional help if you want but you’re probably really ok but please don’t take my word for it but also don’t stress out about it either.
Thanks for reading! If you would like to make a charitable donation to the author, it is always welcome!