Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Denial: Not a river in Egypt, but just as nice to visit

You know how you can say something over and over until it doesn't even sound like a word anymore? That's kind of happened with "He's dead." I just feel a vague blankness now, even though--probably "because," rather--it's been running nonstop through my head since yesterday. I know that I'm sad, and that Lucky's not here, and that he's not ever coming back, but the ideas don't seem connected anymore. I think I'm slipping into denial, and it's a nice place. It allows me to be a lot more functional than I was this morning when I was walking around the house crying--I figured there was no point to sitting down somewhere and crying, because God knows how long I'd be there, so I just kept going around doing what I always do. Go downstairs. Go downstairs-downstairs and get some ginger ale, which is technically, as far as sugar content goes, a soda, and I stopped drinking soda because of the sugar. I said it was because of the caffeine, but I think what I really meant was, it's the caffeine that makes it so hard to quit, but the sugar that makes you gain or keep on the weight. I'm sick, and I want ginger ale, goddammit. And this way, when I'm not sick and I'm not drinking ginger ale anymore, it doesn't have any caffeine so I won't go into any withdrawal. That's why I can drink it right now, even though it's still on the should-not-drink list generally. Look, it makes sense to me. So I'm down on the basement/rec room level getting ginger ale, crying, and I go upstairs and realize that the toaster pastries I wanted are also in the fridge downstairs-downstairs. So I go back down, crying, and get those. I put them in the toaster, crying. I put some bacon in the microwave, crying. (Yes, I know, it's the healthiest breakfast you've ever heard of. Particularly for someone who thinks that soda has too much sugar.) I squeeze the packets of icing onto the pastries, crying. I take the bacon out, crying. I'm taking my plate into the den when I stop halfway through the kitchen. I actually said "His vent" out loud--the air vent he liked to lie against because the air was nice and cool on his fur. I eat, crying. I take the poms outside, and I really start crying. I go back inside and I dig up Lucky's favorite rope toy and the purple bandanna he actually wore on a daily basis for a long time, and take them upstairs. Sister Girl has his collar; I don't think she's giving it back.

I waded through my email. There was a lot of it. I made tentative plans to go out tomorrow night, although I didn't stop to wonder if I'd be well enough to go--the issue being that, if I'm feverish, I might be contagious. I don't know. After I got through my email and the new posts on the board I help mod, I took some more Allegra D and Tylenol and got back in bed.

I woke up when Sister Girl came home from work at one-thirty. For whatever reason, she didn't get off work early at all. I'm glad, because I think her having something to do, her not being in the house like I was looking at all the places where the image of Lucky persists, was helping. Mom went in to get a cup of coffee mid-morning like she sometimes does, and she said that Sister Girl seemed to be okay. Of course, as of now, she's off work and school until a week from Monday, with nothing to do but swim in the pool that's too cold and murky to swim in now, and play with the dog who isn't here anymore.

She and her boyfriend (thank God she's dating someone right now) have just gone out--to get something I eat, I assume. I just went downstairs, took the poms out, didn't cry, and microwaved a couple of slices of pizza from last night. It was nigh on nine pm and Sister Girl and I hadn't had anything to eat most of the day; she wanted pizza, and I needed something, anything, so I could take another Allegra. Mom didn't eat at all, didn't even try to. I don't think my stepfather did either. Mom said, "He just cried all night" while they sat in the den, ostensibly watching TV. She added, "I don't even want to think about what happens the day that something happens to Sam." The poms are his--I think of them as my dogs the way Lucky was his dog too, but in the technical sense, the poms are stepdogs--he raised them from puppies, he brought them to the marriage. When he and my mother were dating (they had actually been engaged when they were in college, so by dating I mean the second time around), they brought the poms to see me a couple of times at school. Meko's a sweet dog, and I have a definite soft spot for her, but Sam is cuteness incarnate. George absolutely dotes on him. I don't even want to think what it's going to be like for him when something happens to Sam, who at this moment is happy and bouncy and irrepressible and only nine years old. But then, so was Lucky.

I also wonder what it's going to be like for y'all, the audience, if/when I lose an actual human family member. My grandfather, the only person I have ever lost (other than my father, who isn't dead), died shortly after my parents, i.e., my mother and stepfather, got married and I then graduated from college. He either died that July or the July after, 2001 or 2002. I didn't start this journal until, literally, Halloween 2003. Y'all have never actually seen me go through this before, and I imagine that, while you as a group are reading or started reading for different reasons--the movie parodies, the Lost recaps, the linkspam, the random funny stories, the discussions of writing or books or movies or whatever--I'm pretty sure no one signed up to read about my grief on a daily basis. It's kind of why I felt bad when I started talking about my depression on a regular basis--I'm pretty sure no one signed up to read about that, either, but that was easier to be funny about and I could at least feel like it was a public service in a lot of ways, something that deserved to be talked about openly and not hidden, as long as I wrote about it in a way that let you observe, and sympathize if you wanted to, but didn't involve you in uncomfortable or manipulative ways. I never wanted you to finish an entry and sit there thinking, "Uh... should we contact LJ staff? Should someone be sent to her house to make sure she hasn't hurt herself?" I never want you to come to this journal and find me begging you to give me a reason to live. I'm veering off course rapidly here (or maybe not, actually), but it's kind of something I wanted to say anyway. I just don't think it's fair to hold an audience emotionally hostage like that: tell me you love me, validate me or the bunny gets it. So I just want to make sure you know that that's not what I want right now, either.

I've gotten a few comments to the effect of, "Wow, you are so brave to talk about [whatever] so openly like this." I know what they're talking about, but at the same time, I'm always a little puzzled. I mean, I guess the alternative is to not talk the bad times at all, but my feeling bad affects my writing--most of the time, the frequency with which I post--and it would be weird not to address that, given that a large portion of my journal is, in fact, about things I see or that happen to me in real life. And usually the things I'm so "brave" to talk about are things that people are afraid to talk about for fear of judgment. You kind of saw that yesterday with me being preemptively afraid that it was silly to grieve this much for a pet. I don't really have a problem talking about my depression (or bipolar... whatever, as we've apparently diagnosed it now) because I'm not afraid of people judging me. (I spent enough time in grade school being judged not to give a shit about that.) Mental health is just like physical health, the way I figure it; almost no one is ever perfectly healthy. And grief is kind of like a car accident--it could come out of nowhere, it's caused by outside forces, but it's a mental health issue the same way. So--now that I'm sure no one's going to start any U Stupid Loser drama over here (and I figured the law of averages would cough up someone who would do that, but it hasn't yet. And I have a longstanding, zero-tolerance policy towards trolls and/or drama: freeze threads, ban if necessary, ask no questions, engage in no arguments. It's worked for three years now, the few times I've had to use it) I don't really mind talking about it. I'm just afraid of driving readers away who are like, "She's a nice person and a decent writer and all, but The Grief Show with Your Host Cleolinda is not what I signed up for."

Still, I don't really see how that's brave. Would it be better to ride in on my drama llama and start flailing around? I don't see how that helps you or me. Would it be better to not say anything at all for days, maybe weeks, and let y'all drift away as well as depriving myself of the chance to write? I'm a writer; I write. I thought maybe I wouldn't be able to, and I'm still a little too distracted to work on Black Ribbon, but on the whole, writing here is helping me feel better--helping me process it a bit. So, you know... carry on, and such. I just wanted to say all of that.

P.S. The poem that's daily emailing delivered this morning.

By the way, re: espionage and fashion: do y'all know of any paintings of Madame du Barry that are online? I searched and didn't come up with anything; the painting on the Wikipedia entry isn't really what I'm looking for--the dress is too casual. It's basically for the plot point of, "We think she will try to have the couturier copy a gown of Madame du Barry's," and Rose Hannah will need to have a reasonable facsimile of it if she wants to pass as this woman (again: espionage). Now, I can fake it, obviously, but if I could find a real painting with a good court or ball gown, that would be fantastic.

(By the way, if you're writing a period piece, the aforementioned Art Renewal Center can be super helpful. I used a lot of Tissot, Sargent, and Millais paintings for visual reference when I was originally writing Black Ribbon back in '03.)

And just a little linkspam, so it doesn't pile up:

New movie stills: The Prestige (which is going to be totally awesome); Rescue Dawn (more Christian Bale); Little Children (Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson); Goya's Ghosts (Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgard); Stranger Than Fiction (Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Queen Latifah, Emma Thompson--I would say "Which one of these is not like the others?," but all of them are); more Casino Royale.

Cocaine Is It.

Unified Celebrity Theory Puts Britney Spears' Odds For Happiness At An Even 0-To-0.

Zooey Deschanel is Janis Joplin.

British business mogul Richard Branson said Thursday he would invest about $3 billion to combat global warming over the next decade. This is the same Richard Branson who pulled the Paris in Wonderland stunt, by the way.

Investigators Find 'Smoking Gun' Linking Spinach to E. Coli Outbreak: Now there's a headline you won't see every day. "Consumers should throw away any fresh packaged spinach they may have bought in the past few weeks and not buy more until the warning is lifted, the FDA said. It also said that washing the spinach won't help because the bacteria is too tightly attached." So... why were we having spinach lasagna pinwheels for dinner the other night? Does nobody in this house watch the news?

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Tags: art, black ribbon, grief, house of bark, movies, poetry, the prestige, writing
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