On getting robbed//The Vegas recap. part 2

writing

First night in Vegas, after the very tardy females (described in Part1) finally made their way down to us, we took the party to Tryst (gag), it was only the first spot on our nightlife itinerary. Once there I started jumping around to awesome jams in my usual overly bounding fashion which caused my tiny clutch to pop open, over And over, scattering its contents all over the floor. When i was finally sick of it, I proceeded to take it off of myself and placed it 3 inched away from my leg on a small white couch next to which my group was congregating. A couple of girls sat on the couch across my little couch and I paid them no attention. Between them and my couch there was a glass coffee table, on the other side of the couch was a tall glass railing, it was essentially a cul-de-sac situation.IMG_9197 I never moved from where I was, but I did get enthralled in some gratuitous posing and voguing with my friends in a group picture kind of scenario, the photo shoot lasted no more than 2 minutes, when it was over I reached down to grab my purse but all I found was the couch, empty.

My heart sank, it was gone. What struck me most in that moment was that I knew it to have been deliberately taken, stolen, right from under my nose, all within a single minute. It seemed hard to believe that just a minute ago it was there and all was right with my little world, but now it was gone, likely beyond recovery, and with it were gone my precious phone, my id, cc’s, all sources of money, my favorite eye liner and any chance of salvaging the trip…..The bag was a bit of a favorite too, a vintage thing I picked up in Paris many years ago, by a designer whose name rhymes with Janelle. Thankfully my car key was not in the bag, if it were, not only would I have no way of driving myself home, but it would cost a whopping 600$ to replace it and I would have been stuck in a Vegas hotel with no ID waiting for a backup key to be overnighted, it would have been an injury on top of injury kind of situation! The two girls from across the table were gone also. It all went down so quickly that I knew it was quite possible my eyes were still on the thieves, but I would have never been able to discern them from the crowd, so many people around us were buzzing and moving, music was loud, lights low, and I didn’t know what the two girls who sat across from us looked like at all.

The futility of the situation, the utter helplessness and lack of recourse were most disturbing. I just wanted to rewind to 3 minutes ago and NOT put my things down. The fact that I got preyed on in a careful and calculated way was another strange consideration, as I don’t believe I had ever experienced being targeted like that before. Victimhood left an instant oppressive kind of bitterness in my mouth.  The problem too with such a small clutch is that it can easily be hidden from sight inside clothing or even a slightly larger bag. There was no hope. My friend though didn’t panic, knowing that it had just happened she immediately mounted an organized pursuit. I could expect no less from her as she is certifiably a genius and as good an egg as one can hope to be. In her infinite wisdom she instantly popped on the Find My Iphone tracker app and started tracking my phone with her phone. To our amazement it worked, they did not turn off my phone, probably because we were close behind them and they were too focused on exiting the club rather than going through the bag. There it was, the tiny dot, a beacon indicating my phone’s movements on a map; as it traveled across her phone screen we raced after it. The chase took us out of the club and through the casino, then around it. I’ll be honest I had no hope, I felt that even if for a while we were close to whomever was in possession of it, there was no possible way that we could know exactly who it was, as the tracker is not that precise, so gaining on the thieves was essentially useless. But she did believe, she was certain that somehow we would catch them. She ran through that casino in her high heels as if her feet weren’t killing her, threatening to beat the bitches up, and that was enough to distract me from my hopelessness, to make me at least remember that of all the things I suddenly did not have, I still had an amazing, true, self sacrificing friend. At one point we found ourselves amongst scattered people in the heart of the casino floor, the phone had stopped moving, two girls seated at some slot machines stared at me from a handful of feet away, I stared back trying to scan them for any sign of my bag or anything else otherwise suspicious. I was not able though to be thorough as I had to be mindful of the apparent rudeness. One of them, having realized that they were staring at us and we were staring back, told me that she liked my dress. I muttered that we were tracking a stolen bag and that the phone tracker took us to that area and this was why we stared at them also. I don’t know why or where we moved to after this but we ended up running again and tracking again and never laid eyes on anyone else specifically.

My friend alerted every casino employee, called the police, a couple of frazzled floor guards ran around with us. The attending officer was obliging but entirely useless, he kept repeating that I needed to fill out a police report, which was distracting if not downright obstructing to our search. I kept refusing to do so and telling him that it was a useless proposition and an exercise in futility, we were stuck in a kind of struggle between staunch procedure and dogged contumacy. Shortly thereafter and rather surprisingly the phone had appeared to stop moving. Its location was pinged on the map as somewhere right outside the front door of the casino, where an abundant landscape of planters, trees, bushes and shrubbery was overwhelmingly lush, expansive and completely impenetrable to eyes. We suspected that as the thieves ran out the front door they hurled it into the shrubbery or one of many dozens of trashcans around the perimeter. It definitely wasn’t moving anymore. We looked and looked and looked, for hours, we climbed through everything we could, scoped out the trashcans, peered into manicured hedges, my friend even tried to sneak into the valet area, she was convinced that it was stashed away inside a parked car. All to no avail. Hours later I finally just couldn’t do it anymore. Although my friend was searching with no less enthusiasm than before, I told her that I was done, I was freezing, she was freezing, we had wasted the night. I had wasted her night and I felt terrible about it, as she is a full time student with a full time job for whom getting out of town for a few days is a seldom, well deserved and much needed respite. It was hard to give up, because we knew that my phone at least was somewhere within feet of us, and with it maybe even my bag, but it was time to give up. I went back to our hotel, asked for a courtesy reservation cancellation and started packing to leave first thing in the morning. For me the trip was over. I cancelled all my cards too. I turned on the phone tracking app on my computer and watched the same blinking beacon indicating my phone’s presence somewhere in that same area outside the Wynn, as stationary as it had been for the past few hours. It was possible too that it was in one of the rooms above the front awning, as the locator does not indicate latitude. Still, I imagined it laying somewhere in a bush or in a trashcan and for a moment wanted to go back and resume the search. But I was exhausted, upset and soon thereafter fast asleep. A phone call to my room startled me back into consciousness. I looked at the clock, it was only 40 minutes after I had last looked at it, 5:30 am. I don’t usually pick up hotel room calls, but I did this time. It was a floor worker from the Wynn, she was informing me that they had found my bag! WHAT?!?! How did she even know where to reach me?! It was completely unbelievable. She said my phone was in it. WHAT??!?!?! I ran out of the room, jumped in a cab and rushed over there. Minutes later she was handing me my bag, my phone was inside! so was my ID and my now useless debit cards. The eyeliner was dubiously gone. Where did she find it? Stuffed in the wastebasket of one of the many stalls in the ladies bathroom next to that exit where we searched. It must have been there all night. A bathroom attendant found it. I had checked that bathroom earlier and even looked into a few wastebaskets, but it seemed so unlikely and there were so many that I wasn’t at all thorough.

Unbelievable. This poor bathroom attendant lady found it and turned it in, just when my faith in humanity had completely dissipated she single handedly renewed it. Elated, incredible, amazing- are just some of the words to describe my feelings. It seemed unbelievable that they didn’t steal my Iphone 6 or even the clutch itself.

I didn’t have to go home after all. I just had to borrow money and reconfirm my reservation! Later that night I thought about how or why someone would hastily dump such a profitable score and theorized that the two girls staring at us were likely the culprits. If not them, then it was someone else who saw our energetic, pointed search through the casino and got scared. Although we never locked onto the thieves specifically, they must have panicked at the notion that we might shortly do so, and that they might get stopped or searched before making their way outside, so they bolted for the bathroom and dumped their bounty, as not to be found with it on their persons.

The fact that my things were returned to me is a kind of miracle really. An Iphone 6, a Chanel clutch…….nothing short of a miracle. The hotel worker located me because the bag still had my hotel key in it, she called the hotel and got them to put her through to my room, as she had my ID. An utter Vegas miracle. If it wasn’t for my friend I doubt it would have been possible, as it was her unrelentingly energetic pursuit that likely spooked the thieves and led them to abandon their scheme along with my property.

IMG_9217Ladies, never ever ever put your things down in Vegas, or carry a big ass bag with some bright, preferably neon! coloring so it can’t be easily snatched and concealed. The rest of the trip went swimmingly. We had a truly indulgent dinner at Delmonico’s, then watched the Britney show from seats so close I swear I could smell her. Although Britney herself is a bit anemic these days, her dancers are an utterly mesmerizing lot. The show itself definitely represents something vital from all our childhoods, it is nostalgia of the best kind, so we were beyond thrilled, singing along enthusiastically when not completely overtaken by uncontrollable shrieking and giggling. Etc. Etc. Etc.IMG_9233

We’re off to Vegas again in April, this outing will be exceedingly cool as the lot of us is converging from all over, 1/3 of the party is arriving from Miami, the other 1/3 from CA and I, of course roll in from Arizona, it’s a triad of gurlzzz, a trifecta, a triumvirate, triptych. Then I think there will finally be some legit travel in the official summer and into far away lands, right now Thailand and Spain are on the itinerary in the upcoming few months. There is also NYC as I will be ushering my baby brother off to college! I am definitely psyched. After all that I am finally relocating back to California TO LIVE, which is most exciting of all, because I miss my mommy and daddy something awful. Anyways…blah blah blah. This is me & my dad, just because. 😀

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Chapter 6.0 : Game over

writing

(other chapters can be found scattered throughout blog)

Ch 6.0

When I got back to my room I found it freshly cleaned, bed linens had been changed and the side of the covers was folded over with a little mountain of turn down chocolates poured out on top. The excessive amount of candy was an odd but welcome kindness from the maid, for a second everything seemed brighter. My encounter with the creepy little Lord Fauntleroy faded away as I bolted the doors and checked every window for cracks. All good, sealed and locked, my fortress was once again secure. It was the only home I had left. Just the thought of my apartment made me cringe, because no matter how I imagined it she was always there with her fork. But this room was all mine, free of everyone and everything, it allowed me to be myself at my worst without limitation. I ate mountains of fries with mayonnaise, drank unsafe amounts of alcohol, rolled around on the floor in hysterical drunken fits or laid passed out hugging a trashcan full of vomit, and no one, no one could judge me. One might say I had been overreacting, in fact had I found a more lasting sober moment I would have probably said so myself, but such a moment was not in the cards. This is the nature of downward spirals, at some point all that remains is the descent.

This space was like a tortoise shell, containing all those parts of me that were soft and unseemly. Now, freshly cleaned it bared no traces of the last four days, as if my disintegration never happened. I was being offered a chance to move forward. I emptied out my shopping bag onto the bed, its primary content, the Vodka bottle tumbled out with a thud and rolled onto the pillow as if to display itself. I proceeded to mull over my options. Having sobered up some, my common sense was resurfacing, telling me that it was time to pull it together. However with it came a jarring awareness that the future I had planned for myself was no more. It’s hard to explain what that felt like, but the words “loss” and “emptiness” seemed to best encompass the entire spectrum of my experience. I felt lost in every sense of the word; I lost my head, my dignity, my pride, my plans, my home.

Being sober for the first time in days I could physically feel the holes that had been punctured in my chest, I saw them in all their mangled sadness and immediately wanted to climb inside that bottle again. Instead I climbed onto the bed and sifted through my bounty, there was candy, gum, tissues, some over the counter sleeping pills, a key chain with wiggly rubber hairs and a bunch of other little junk. I shifted my attention to the pile of turn down chocolates and unwrapped them one after another, there was an astounding twelve of them in total. I tried to test my will power and having stacked them together meditated on how I was not going to eat them. A knock on the door broke my concentration, I didn’t stir, the knock repeated, I ignored it; counting that it would just go away. Instead it became more resolute and escalated into a kind of rhythmic pounding. Still I just stared at the door determined to wish the intrusion away. In a strange display of non-compromise I sat on the bed for at least five long minutes staring at the door from which came a persistent thud. Finally I became sufficiently unnerved and curious to unfold my legs from the yoga position they were curled in. I worried for a second that the weird psychic kid and his horrifying dog had stalked me all the way to the room, but then I reasoned that this was not at all possible as neither unsupervised children nor animals in general could have possibly slipped by the front desk. I slid off the bed and tip toed to the door, leaning against it I held my breath and peered through the peephole.

A chill ran through me and I flinched, almost jumped. On the other side of the door there stood a man; he was a tall, slightly awkward looking person with shaggy hair and a short unkempt beard. I studied him more closely, from his sunken shoulders to his wrinkled shirt he looked like he hadn’t slept or changed his clothes in days. He didn’t look like himself, it was as if he was wearing a mask of a much older man. Seeing my husband in that state, mollified me in some tiny way. I watched through the peephole for another minute, as he continued to bounce his hand against the door. I felt relief. I was relieved to find that it was he because that meant I could finally ask all those questions that had been storming through my brain since the moment I saw her. Now the possibilities were endless, I could say everything that had built up inside me, I could release the pressure in my lungs, I could punish, guilt, forgive? I could let it all out and it would be done on my terms, in my house. I took a deep breath and told myself to be calm, to be dignified, but as these things happen, it was too late. My body had already shifted into a compromising high stress mode and well out of my control, my blood pressure had jumped and I could feel heat seeping out of every pore in my face. I realized that I had been tightly squeezing my fists but when I tried opening my hands my fingers shook so hard I had to close them back up.

This was one of those rare, but incredibly aggravating occasions when no matter how hard I tried to contain myself, my nervous systems betrayed me. It was completely uncontrollable and always embarrassing. Once in the middle of a business dinner I found myself so rattled by an insensitive comment made by a coworker that against my every effort tears started to roll down my face. The awkward silence which fell over the table in response to my inappropriate crying made me feel even worse and so embarrassed that in order to avoid breaking out into a fully fledged bawl I had to rush off into the ladies room. It took me months to live down the incident, I had to be all self deprecating and humorous about it around my coworkers. “Ahahaha those pesky hormones” In truth the guy who made the offending comment was an asshole and I wish I had it in me to tell him to stick a sock in it right there and then, rather than cry. I always believed that this was an example of why a chemical emotionality put women at a disadvantage in poker, business, and most importantly love, especially with the latter being a combination of the first two. I ordered myself to get it together, after all the timing was perfect. I was alright for the time in days, cleaned up and reassembled. My room was immaculate not counting the twelve scattered candy foils. It was a dignified staging. Despite these considerations the more I stalled the more self conscious I felt. In an effort to intercept the cowardice swelling inside my stomach I gripped the door handle and jerked it open.

He looked startled to see me, like the last thing he expected was for this door to actually yield. We stood opposite each other at a loss; locked in an awkward stillness. My whole adult life I believed wholeheartedly that I could never be an actor in this kind of theater, because my relationships were too evolved to be dragged down into such clichéd dirt. Now standing there all sweaty and petrified, a jilted wife and her guilt wrecked philandering husband, I thought it was unfortunate that there was no protocol for this sort of scene. Some sort of manual I could have studied to prepare for this possibility would have been nice.

The ironic thing is I never really believed in the sanctity of marriage vows, the frequency with which people broke them alone made it impossible not to keep a skeptical eye on the entire institution. I perceived marriage vows as just an exercise in romanticism and wishful thinking. They did not factor in the fact that with time people can change, grow apart and even fall out of love. Since none of these events can be foreseen, how could anyone make promises about the things still pending and unknowable? In my opinion it was the personal integrity and quality of the individuals involved which made for a substantive relationship, regardless of whether the eternal element panned out or not. My understanding of life and my values were built on this premise, a premise shattered by a barefooted girl in my kitchen and a fork. She created a vortex through which everything I believed in was funneled, my husband came out the other side a complete stranger, but what was worse I came out a stranger too, shapeless and uncertain of anything.

Chapter 6.5 : Buh bye

writing

(other chapters can be found scattered throughout blog)

Ch 6.5

Seeing him in my doorway I knew that he was a stranger, but still I was filled with want of him; my heart ached and did not abide the mind. I was suddenly filled with panic, dreading the possibility of actually learning some measure of his truth. My arm, entirely on its own, moved to swing the door shut, but he anticipated this and put his shoulder forward, the door bounced off of him. There was nothing left to do but to let go and let him inside. I walked away towards the bed signaling him to enter. He stepped forward; his tall lean frame seemed to have lost a foot of stature as he crossed the threshold of my room. Before anything could be said and against every rational inclination in my body, I knew that I would forgive him. It was a sentiment very contrary to what I ought to have been feeling, but I consoled myself with the thought that if there was anything that could serve as indisputable proof of true love, it was my willingness to forgive. Seeing him in distress completely overtook my own hurting and left little room for any thoughts in me other than those of reconciliation. He looked at me with guilty eyes for what felt like hours, but was probably only a moment, then finally spoke.

“Charlie, I’ve been so worried, I thought something had happened to you… I reported you missing to the police yesterday.”

“I have been here, Matt.” I padded my voice with indifference, hiding. I knew it was all over, but knowing that I would forgive him did not relieve me of my anger, it exasperated it. Punishment was not to be forgone. There was so much I wanted to say, so much scorn had accumulated in me over these past days and I just wanted to scream into his face until he understood me. There was a cannon ball in my gut and I couldn’t wait to hurl it at him. But above all, despite everything he did, I simply wanted to confide in him. The comedy of this was not lost on me. I felt like a lamb, which, having been mauled by a lion, seeks her assailant’s ear to complain of the wounds. He was my best friend, the one person with whom I had shared every detail of my life, with whom I foresaw all of my tomorrows, not being able to talk to him was perhaps the most trying element of the whole ordeal.

“Your parents have been worried sick too, I have been so sick about this, so mortified Charlie.”

I shrugged and sat onto the bed, reclining against the backboard. With him standing as he was, sheepish and small, I suddenly was calm. Stupidly, I then thought I had the upper hand. For a moment I relished it. A woman scorned seated before her licentious remorseful husband about to beg her forgiveness, it was the stuff of novels.

‘You are right.” He stammered “I don’t know why I am telling you this, it’s not important.” He paused as if he just didn’t have the words, then continued.

“I can’t tell you how relieved, how…. happy I am that you are ok, you have no idea, haven’t slept in three days, I am just so happy you are okay, I was so worried, I could never forgive myself, if something had happened to you, never “

He was talking fast; repeating himself, like a hamster caught in a wheel. I could tell that his nerves were getting the best of him, I smelled the blood, and pounced. The lamb became the lion.

“Something did happen to me” I echoed my thoughts with my words. “I don’t care. I don’t care that you are happy, or that you are apparently capable of some measure of guilt. I don’t care that you haven’t slept and no, Matt, I am not ok, you think I am ok? THIS is ok? You must be delusional as well as soulless and disgusting, Matt”

I liked saying his name. During our five year relationship we had always used terms of endearment when addressing each other, but now his name bounced off my tongue like rubber bullet.

“I am sorry, Lolly……”

“No!” I jumped up as if the bed had burst into flames.

“No! You don’t call me Lolly, you don’t call me anything, I don’t want to hear my name from your mouth.” All that calm I was feeling had vanished, I was livid and not in control.

I glared at him, a million things I wanted to say swirled in my mind but before I had a chance to speak again, he started walking over to me. Tears poured out and down my face, angry and mad for having lost my composure I put my hands over my eyes and broke into sobs. Hiding my face in my palms, I was, again, completely lost. All the things I wanted to say receded into an inaccessible corner of my mind and I couldn’t reach them anymore. Just one sentence hung in their place and I repeated it over and over.

“How could you. How could you. How? How?”

I felt something on my legs and looked down, through my fingers I saw him, having quietly gotten to his knees he was closing his arms around mine. I didn’t fight it. He pressed his face into my legs. We stood like that for at least a minute, slowly a new wave of calm washed over me. I wasn’t choking on tears any longer. The chaos of emotion I felt had obligingly compacted itself into a neat oppressive sadness and it hung over us like a black cloud. Finally he whispered into my knees.

“Lolli, there are no words, no words which could tell you how aware I am of what I have done…what I have done to you, to us. What I have done to us, how sorry I am.”

He released my legs but remained in front of me on his knees with his head hung low. I braced myself for an explanation. He didn’t lift his eyes, it was as if he was afraid to look into my face, but I wanted him to see me.

“Look at me.”

He looked up, his eyes were glossy like someone had brushed a coat of varnish across his face. I had never before seen my husband cry, it was as strange as the rest of it.

He got up off of the floor and took my hands into his, gripping them tightly and looking into my eyes, directly and intently for the first time since he entered.

“I don’t expect that you will ever forgive me, I am not asking that you do, but please know how profoundly I regret the way things happened.”

‘The way things happened” I thought. What does that mean, was there another way for “things” to happen? He spoke to me like I was a child, stressing each word as if to make sure that I register his exact meaning. With my hands still tightly pressed between his I started to feel dizzy.

It wasn’t right. He wasn’t begging my forgiveness. If he wasn’t begging my forgiveness then what was he doing? What was happening? Dizziness became nausea.

“I moved all my things out, please come back to the apartment, it’s all yours, I want you to have it. Lolli, I am so sorry, I am.“

“What?” I slid my hands out of his and backed away.

“What are you saying?” I was beginning to grasp what was happening, and it was a whole new kind of terrible. I realized then that through all this it had never occurred to me that he might actually want out. Never did I think past my own indignation to what his prerogative might be. This wasn’t a gash, it wasn’t a wound, this was an amputation.

“What are you saying?” I exhaled.

“I moved out Charlie, so you can come home, keep the apartment.”

“You moved out? Just like that? What?” He used to say that Love was the lost shocking act, but no, this was. It was his last shocking act. I could not believe it, it was unbelievable and horrible, it was so much more horrible than the girl ever was.

“You deserve better, I wanted you to have your home back.”

“What are you talking about?! You aren’t even fighting for me, not even trying…not for us?”

“I broke us. I know it can’t be fixed. I don’t deserve you and you deserve better, I don’t expect you to ever forgive me.”

It was like a bomb had exploded at my feet.

“Bullshit!” I screamed “ Bullshit! You are a liar! You don’t deserve me? I won’t forgive you? How the fuck would you know? Did you ask? How dare you give me this textbook crap, you, self-indulgent piece of shit. You are going to stand there and tell me that it’s the right thing, that I am too good for you, that this is not a choice you are making?! All noble and self sacrificial, how dare you?! How dare you, at least be a man and say it, scumbag! I understand it now. I do. You’re done, I am nothing to you. But this didn’t just happen right? You have been lying to me for how long now? Giving no indication of this, you didn’t prepare me, you didn’t do anything for me, you act like you care, but you did nothing to prepare me, to let this being anything other than a shock? Because why that might be distressing huh? It might get tense before you are ready. You have done what you needed for you, and now you’re tearing my heart out because it suits what you want. You are dirt. I don’t even know who you are?!”

I went on, losing myself completely in a burning venomous tirade. I dragged up everything I could think of that could hurt him. I didn’t even believe most of what I was saying, but I wanted to get him so bad I aimed for the jugular, vicious and unrestrained.

He stared at me gravely, taking in the barrage of my mutated heartbreak.

“How can you do this, tell the truth Matt, tell the truth!” A new wave of tears poured out of my eyes as my screaming turned into a plea, my heart had broken.

He stayed silent.

“Tell the truth!” I caught my reflection in the wall mirror and didn’t recognize myself. My face was so swollen from crying it looked like it had been rearranged. It struck me as being so impossibly ugly that I wondered for a second how he could have ever wanted to be with me. He didn’t respond, so I went on.

“You are a coward, I loved you with everything in me, no I love you the same even now, even now while you stand there and lie to my face, a cheater and a coward and a liar…and a disgusting human being.”

“I don’t want to do this anymore” He spoke under his breath as if fighting to push the words out.

I couldn’t hear him, but I knew what he had said, I could hear him in my bones.

“Louder, say it!”

“I don’t want to do this anymore, with you, I don’t want to do this.” He said it loud this time and lifted his eyes to meet my anger head on. It was the beginning of honesty.

These were terrible words to hear, but they were the truth. I felt them burrowing through my skin as if looking for a place to settle permanently. Having found it, those words would stay with me for the rest of my life.

“I don’t. I haven’t for a long time, you are right. I didn’t know it, I wasn’t sure, I had hope that it was a passing feeling. I didn’t prepare you because until you walked in I wasn’t prepared. I wish I knew how I felt but I didn’t till right then.”

He paused, asking permission to continue….I stood quieted, granting it.

“I moved out because I hadn’t felt right about things for a long time, I just didn’t have the guts to admit it to myself, and yes I thought that maybe I would get past it, maybe it was just a stage. You are hardly around anyways, I didn’t have to fake much of anything. And yes I am a cheating piece of shit, and I do regret it, I respect myself even less than you respect me right now, but in a way I am relieved, I am relieved you know, as I don’t know that I would have ever had the guts to tell you. And yes I am covering my ass, but still don’t you think you deserve better? Don’t you? I love you and I will always love you in a way, but I haven’t been happy, THIS is not what love should be, not to me, and maybe it’s my fault for not having spoken up, but even if I did when would you have had time to hear it. I am sorry, I am, but I am not happy and this happened because I am not happy, and we both deserve to be….. What happened is a terrible, awful thing, I am a scumbag for letting it happen, but….and I am so sorry to say this, but I am glad it did…..because I don’t want to do this anymore.”

“Go on” I growled.

He looked at me, begging for permission to stop. I couldn’t give it.

“I am sorry, I don’t know what else I can say, I hate myself for hurting you, but I don’t know what else to do. I know promises, vows were made, but I can’t keep lying, we owe it to ourselves to follow our gut, I know it’s hard now but it won’t be with time, and we’ll both have a chance to be happy again.”

“I was happy, I don’t understand when were we unhappy” I wined, dumbfounded by this distance between us. When did this happen, I thought? When did I lose him, how could I have lost a whole person and not noticed? Was he that good a liar, a pretender? Or was I just that blind, that out of touch with my own reality? I thought this must have been a nightmare, just a bad dream, and surely I’d be waking up any second and breathing a sigh of relief.

My knees felt week. I understood completely. To his credit he couldn’t have been more clear. He had hoped that after I found him with her I would be the one to end things, and was surprised that despite everything that happened I still wanted him. But I loved him too much, I loved him through his betrayal and I loved him no less still as he stood in front of me, a liar, a cheater, a coward and now a deserter. I wanted to fall into his arms and seek safety there, like I used to do. I felt pathetic.

“Charlie..”

I interrupted him raising my hand in protest.

“Leave,” I exhaled the word. I had been turned inside out. An unfamiliar hopelessness filled the room, filled my lungs, my throat. It was much worse than any pain I had ever experienced emotionally or physically. I couldn’t stand having his eyes on me for another moment. But he didn’t move.

“Leave.” I growled for the second time.

He turned around and walked slowly towards the door. His relief was palpable and as hurtful as the rest of it.

“Is it her?” I regretted the words as soon as they came out of my mouth. It shouldn’t have mattered whether he was leaving me for her or if he was just leaving me. I knew it shouldn’t have mattered, but it did matter all the same. I wanted to know, It was pure masochism.

The question stalled him mid motion as he was reaching for the door handle, the hesitation lasted no more than a second, then he turned his head and we locked eyes. His glance obliged me with an answer, a quick curtain of tears rose up in mine, obscuring sight. He proceeded to step out. The door shut behind him with a resounding crack and everything went very quiet. A tangible kind of nothingness filled my body.

On Vegetarians & Meateaters

advice, writing

Why Vegetarians want to eat Meateaters..or..Vegetarians are crazy & Meateaters are stupid

Yesterday, another blogger popped into the comment section of my blog after having read the “About me” (where I casually mention that I don’t eat animals), and tried to pull me into a debate on the subject of vegetarianism. I personally hate this debate (not to suggest that it isn’t a debate worth having). I don’t try to convert anyone, because  in some ways I have given up on man kind, in other ways I don’t believe that such conversion is even possible. Still, there I was being goaded into an a discussion. There is a marked flippancy with which meateaters usually start this debate and it is annoying as hell to me. Not to say there isn’t a righteous indignation with which vegetarians approach it, that can be frustrating for meateaters.

I do see both sides, as in some ways I exist on both sides, but I think that vegetarians have it harder. The reason it is especially vexing for them to partake in this argument is that their opinions on the matter stem out of true conviction, to their core the suffering of animals disturbs them, they see the injustice and move against the status quo in order to incite change. If nothing else their is a noble cause. Meateaters however are just arguing to argue, and are only as invested in the issue as their dietary proclivities go, additionally they are in the unchallenged majority. They eat animals because of a life long habit & because they taste darn good on the grill, moral considerations do not inform their eating habits. All in all the levels of emotional and intellectual investment when it comes to this subject are starkly disproportionate between meat eaters and non-meat eaters. Which is why this debate is always ripe with an off-putting righteousness emanating from the vegetarian side and an annoying flippancy/disinformation spewing out of the meat eating side.

The three main reasons the vegetarian debate is an exhausting one for me are:

  1. I am not THAT informed. I know that entering a battle without proper weaponry and armor can do your cause  more harm than good. I wouldn’t want to give anyone the satisfaction of a false victory simply because I came unarmed and in my bathrobe, this would only cement their erroneous carnivorous convictions.
  2. What’s the point, when the mental block erected in the heads of most meateaters on this subject is almost entirely impenetrable by argument, no matter how empirically sound the data. Why? Because the culture of meat eating and use of animal products is as much a part of us as is religion or family. We are indoctrinated into it nearly since birth. To recognize that history as a problem, to reject it, is both dispossessing and divesting, it would require a sort of rebirth. 
  3. I love meat, I am the most struggling vegetarian of them all.

As Item # 3 states, I am one of the most reluctant, tortured vegetarians I know. I LOVE meat. I am a foodie. Before I evolved into a rather bad Vegetarian this year, I had spent many years contemplating the glaring wrongs of the meat industry. I worked on building the connection inside myself between those wrongs and the meat on my plate, and it hasn’t been easy. I knew that to break years of habit and dietary preferences I had to incite a change of heart and mind within myself. During those years I was not able to move myself beyond contemplation and to take action for change, I had my steak and ate it too, with a side of guilt. But what it really comes down to is self discipline and attrition. Recognizing the undeniable truth even if it hurts, even if it means depriving one self of a way of life, to be replaced by another.I feel I had to sacrifice a part of myself in order to make room for growth and what is right. What makes it so hard, is that what we eat is not merely about what we enjoy or what’s available; eating is often about culture and family, it’s about tradition and a connection to the past. Our food choices are closely intertwined with our sense of personal identity, and trying to change them can feel like a kind of self annihilation, loss and even disenfranchisement.

In my effort towards a vegetarian lifestyle, I had to push past my mental blocks by treating meat eating as a routine to be replaced with a ritual of abstaining. My greatest obstacle has been in that I LOVE MEAT, and am unable to make an emotional connection between animal suffering and a hot dog. I am like Dexter i abstain via routine, because otherwise I always just want to eat the hot dog. When it is in the freezer or in the skillet I don’t see the grisly death of its source animal at all, I just get hungry.

HUNTING

In fact as a vegetarian, you think I’d abhor hunting, but I don’t. I used to abhor it when i still ate meat and refused to acknowledge my own part in the rise and expansion of factory farming.  Not to say that I support hunting now, but a clean, quick death is a blessing to an animal, in comparison to how Tyson fills grocery store shelves with dead flesh. I now feel that the Animal loving community’s vitriol towards those who hunt is somewhat misguided and not necessarily rational, unless it is stemming from devout vegans. If we are condemning hunters, as morally bankrupt and cruel, then logically speaking we would have to extend this condemnation to every single person who shops for meat at a grocery store. Just because your average house wife doesn’t actively prey on animals in the wild, doesn’t mean that her impact on factory farmed animals is not equally as(or more) damaging. There is no doubt in fact that anyone who contributes to factory farming by shopping for meat at the grocery store is in fact supporting an industry of unmatched and abhorrent cruelty, one which far exceeds the violence of hunting in the wild. Every time we buy hotdogs, bacon etc, we fund a widespread culture of animal breeding for lifelong abuse, anguish and death.

First I’d like to offer the simplest explanation of why I think it is wrong to consume meat in the year 2014. In truth, as i indicated, my issue isn’t even meat eating, it’s the meat farming. It’s the treatment of animals raised or procured for food. It’s the apathy. In a word*, it’s FACTORY FARMING.The human capacity for torture, mistreatment and brutality of living things is hard to comprehend, the capacity to pretend like it’s not what’s happening is even harder to fathom. We read in horror about crimes committed in say, Africa, by people against people. We wonder how they can do such horrendous things as dismemberment of children, disembowelments, grisly maiming. How can they not feel compassion, take pity? Have they not hearts, no souls. Yet, around here, boiling lobsters alive, living creatures with long life spans and intricate social systems, is a completely common practice by decent, even animal loving folks?  How can someone see a creature struggle and writhe in a scolding pot, scrambling to get out, and not take pity I wonder, not feel like crying? We find it unconsciounable that in the middle ages people were often boiled alive, they would be slowly lowered into the cauldron by a rope. That wasn’t an uncommon form of execution or torture. It seems unconscionable now, like something out of a horror movie. Can you see the hypocrisy? That’s what really blows my mind. We are all no better than those rogues chopping up children in the less “civilized” corners of the world or the ancient people of the middle ages, in fact we are worse. For all our education, for all our purview of history and science, abundance of resources, ingenuity and claims on morality, we still can’t muster the obvious compassion due a boiling lobster or a factory farmed pig.

FACTORY FARMING at a glace

  • 97% of the 10 billion animals produced for food are tortured and killed each year are farm animals
  • In this country, roughly 29 million pounds of antibiotics — about 80 percent of the nation’s antibiotics use in total — are added to animal feed every year, mainly to speed livestock growth.
  • A typical supermarket chicken today contains more than twice the fat, and about a third less protein than 40 years ago.                                                                                                                
  • Sows are kept pregnant the entirety of their miserable lifespan in gestation crates – or sow stalls which confine a sow during her 114 day pregnancy and then the next and then the next. It is so small that she cannot even turn around, she is often chained to the ground as not to try and get up…her entire life.
  • Pigs, sheep and other animals have their tails docked (cut off) with a pair of pliers, without any anesthesia.
  • Pigs are often still alive, when being dropped into boiling water intended to clean/ soften their skin before butchering.
  • On average, to produce 1kg of animal protein requires nearly 6kg of protein in the form of feed grains.
  • Around 30% of the nitrogen that pollutes water in the EU and US is from livestock, more than 70% in China.
  • Male chicks are ground up alive

Don’t get me started on veal or foie gras.

Anyways, as I said, this list goes on and on, it is terrifying not only because of the glaringly barbaric treatment of animals, but also because of the crippling effects intensive farming has on the environment. In the end, it won’t be an atomic bomb that blows up the world, it will be intensive animal farming. Most people are blissfully oblivious of the horrors & impacts of animal farming. When there is an undercover video floating around Youtube or Facebook about Tyson Farms, they turn away, as not to get themselves too upset, as not to have their day ruined by disturbing images, then they trot over to the store and buy themselves a Tyson roast. This is willful ignorance and it is wrong. But blocking out the argument for vegetarianism is an infinitely easier than otherwise. It is a lot easier than living with the knowledge of where hotdogs really come from, what goes into them and the guilt associated with the brutality in which we have participated every time we chowed down on a juicy burger.

fa-factoryfarmpigs-0922117VB_7124067_orig

I don’t need statistics to know that factory farming is wrong, I know it viscerally, I feel it in my gut and and in my bones. If you feel compelled to protect a dog from an abuser, then you shouldn’t partake in the abuse of other, no less valiant or innocent beings. When I was 8, I heard stories of boys torturing frogs, they disturbed me deeply, I remember crying; when I was 10 I saw boys swinging a crab on a string and smashing him into the pavement, I pushed one of them off the dock, before getting punched by his friend (yes boys are the general source of all evil it would seem). It’s not the eating of flesh that disturbs me, it’s the suffering generated and endured in the process.

Meat eaters like to say that it’s a personal choice. Well of course it is, what isn’t a personal choice really? Kicking puppies and punching old ladies would also be personal choices. It being a personal choice doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice, the moral choice or even a choice equally as good as any other. Obviously a choice which in some way supports an industry of abuse is inferior to a choice which does not. At which point do we hold ourselves accountable? Maybe never, but if it’s never, then at least we, as meat eaters, should have some humility, acknowledge this reality versus argue against it.

Meateaters, don’t be flippant towards vegetarianism. I am not judging or perching myself above anyone, there is a broad spectrum of morality and I am not at the top of it at all. But I AM aware of my place on that spectrum, and I don’t wave off those who set an example of doing/being better. I do plenty wrong myself, my couches are leather, my shoes are leather, my car seats are leather, I am aware, I hope I can become a better person with time. Awareness is a necessary first step, if we are ever to make moves towards change, and every little move counts. It is not what it is, we should aspire to better. The platitude does not fit…

Now a quick summation of the annoying, clichéd arguments I hear all the time from the very flippant stupid meateaters who cheerfully accost me asserting that they could just never give up their pepperoni pizza.

1) If I wasn’t meant to eat it, I wouldn’t have canine teeth.

Answer: Most animals have canine teeth, herbivores and carnivores alike, and the most ferocious canine teeth actually belong to herbivores. One of such examples is the hippo, another is the guerilla…the list goes on.

Additionally, we are built for all kinds of violence, our capacity for causing harm has nothing to do with whether or not it is right.

pygmy_hippo_mouth  

2) A chick I knew became a vegetarian, lost all her hair and nearly died.

 Answer: A steak loving guy I knew had a major coronary incident at 38 and nearly died. Oh yea and he had gout. The fact is leading government and public health organizations worldwide agree that humans do not in fact require animal products to maintain optimal health! One can eat poorly and cause harm to their health whatever their dietary culture.

American Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, the U.S.’s oldest, largest and foremost authority on diet and nutrition, also recognized that humans have no inherent biological or nutritional need for animals products: “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

vegan-chart

 3) My body craves meat, I am a man, I can’t ignore it.

 Answer: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com.There is a slew of top fitness athletes who partake in the vegan lifestyle, so that’s just nonsense. Vegan protein powders alone would completely eliminate your needs for the consumption of dead flesh. Your body has a habit, so does your mind, which is where the cravings come from, and if you wanted to break the habit you could, just as I am trying to do, not because it is easy or feels natural, but because it’s right.

images

In conclusion, there is so much more that gets thrown around to defend the eating of meat, and it might have worked 300 years ago, but in the age of information, science and factory farming it simply doesn’t fly. And it’s all fine really, because regrettably the human race is not ready, just like we weren’t ready to recognize that black people are people and not slaves, objects or property until the 19th century. Just like we didn’t want to know about the Holocaust, allowing it to annihilate nearly 20 million lives of men, women and children, before the world decided to look up and take notice. Just like we thought homosexuals were mentally ill, disturbed, unequal or depraved until 2020. Today, we are still committing so many atrocities against each other, that animals don’t stand a chance…yet. But one day, if we hadn’t blown ourselves up, we’ll look on this age just as we look on the age of slavery or the Holocaust, with shame and horror. I am just trying to get ahead of the shame. 

lisa-vegetarian

Revolt, escape, FREEDOM!..or..Reclamation of SANITY!

writing

Today I decisively reclaimed my sanity. I showed up at my stable at 7:30 am. Tacked up my horse. Jumped on her back and rode out of that hellhole, without a word to anyone. Sayonara bitches! I do not have a trailer, and did not have the time or want the hassle of arranging for one, so I grabbed a map and devised a route. We rode 4 miles through the city to my new barn destination, would have been 3.5 had we not gotten turned around. Some would say radical, but it was mostly just liberating. I’m sure it was a weird sight, a giant horse toting around a girl through streets and suburbs. But for me it was perfect, until, despite all of my planning, we got lost. At first it seemed a lot like a set-back, until we came upon a ravine I had never seen before, concealed as it were in a wash, below and between streets. Green at its floor and wide open ahead, it beckoned we lay foot to its soil and reconnoiter. It wasn’t a setback, it was a gift…and we accepted. There was gallop. Hooves bouncing rhythmically from grass, warm waves of air brushing against skin, blood rose to head and freedom to mind, sanity was once again firmly within our grasp.

 In my recent blog entry titled “Proximity over sanity” I had described the unfortunate circumstances of my horse’s lodgings. To sum it up, due to considerations of proximity I had subjected myself to continual indecency from the two “women” who own/run the stable. These two have over time proven themselves to be completely deranged, mostly rude, never helpful, seldom civil.

 For months I had walked on eggshells, tolerated being the subject of untrue gossip, endured castigating outbursts and unfounded suspicion. Boohoo, poor me. I know. Stay with me though. Riding had taken a backseat to escalating anxiety, to keeping a low profile, to worrying about the welfare of my equine child. I don’t mean to come of as a victim, but there is a frailty to my composition, which stems from being raised by good, decent, intelligent people. That’s the thing about a stable upbringing, it can be a hindrance in an unstable world. It precludes people like myself from developing the coping mechanisms necessary for fending off those people unlike myself. I should have thicker skin by this point, as my world-the horse world, is full of folks who would greatly benefit from a spell in a mental health sanitarium or, at least, a lithium prescription. But I don’t. I think in this way I’ll always be a bit of a delicate flower :P.

Being treated like dirt, it just doesn’t become me, and, on the few occasions in the past, I tried to fight fire with fire, mean with mean, insult with insult, but I felt so much unlike myself that it was not even worth it. The trouble is, somehow the ratio of crazy to sane is sorely disproportionate in the horse world. The greatest, most unifying flaws in horse people character are, in my opinion, lack of humility, perspective and restraint, in the worst-case scenario they are vicious too. In general, I’ve found also, that those, who lay claim to being paragons of kindness and compassion, tend to be the worst kind of snakes, most proficient at inflicting hurt. I am no saint, but I simply can’t attack people, not even in retaliation. I don’t want to wound them, to hurt them using their shortcomings or insecurities. I just don’t, I can’t. CAN ANYONE RELATE? This leaves me feeling defenseless and without any recourse, short of avoidance. But being a horse gal, I don’t have the luxury of avoiding horse folks. Sigh. Anyways, I digressed. I’ll have to expatiate on all the reasons for which I dislike human kind in a separate blog entry, eponymously titled Misanthropy Misunderstood. 😀

Thanks for reading.

Blogging for affection..or..How to avoid the cat vomit curse!

humor, writing

IMG_7311.PNG if it’s not entirely obvious, I am new to the blogging endeavor. My original intention was to write for myself and for relief. I am afflicted, like many others I’m sure, with the trouble of excess thinking. Blogging presented an attractive avenue for relieving that pressure in my head, which gets built up by thoughts, feverishly multiplying with no regard for the spatial limitations of my dainty, girly cranium. Blogging whatever, whenever, but on a daily basis, seems also like a good writing exercise and a fun distraction not without therapeutic value.

Furthermore, I had devised a theory, that blogging every day could be a gateway mechanism to writing every day. It is simple enough right? To date, my creative process has been exclusively governed by fickle caprices of inspiration. I have been wholly at her frantic whim. What better tactic is there for revolt, than the establishment of a writing routine. If I could only form a daily ritual of writing, develop a habit, then maybe I can be free from inspiration’s mercurial clutches and finally finish that cursed book I’ve been writing for over five years. This was the plan, it was a good plan, until I started receiving the occasional “such & such has followed your blog” email. Those I did not anticipate, neither did I foresee the regrettable effect they would have on me. Suddenly I am confounded with the shameful realization that I want more of those emails. I thought I wouldn’t care about that element of blogging, the audience, but in all honesty, I find that I do. It has come as a surprise. It runs quite contrary to my Misanthropic conformation, presenting with the potential for a full-fledged identity crisis. Oh ok, ok, so I am exaggerating, not a full-fledged crisis, I am not that brittle, but it is very troubling. I now seek the approval of strangers?! Is that a pig soaring through the atmosphere?!

Suddenly I find myself concerned with such things, as whether the randomness of my writing runs counter to my new ambition of having/gaining readers, readers who “Like” “comment” and generally participate. Do I need to pick a lane? What is my ambition exactly anyways? Do I want all the readers I can get my hands on or do I want to reach and resonate with those who are most like myself e.g. the misanthropes, the misfits, the over thinkers, the creatives, the hermits? Trolling around WordPress this past week, I have found that lots of bloggers talk about the importance of a consistent blogging tone and subject, they even apologize to their readers if ever they opt to change their writing style. God knows that won’t and can’t be me. I will always reserve the right to unapologetically rant about whatever, whenever, however. Does that mean that I won’t be successful at finding an audience? Oy. Additionally, I wish bloggers who are about some kind of marketing, SEO or otherwise, would STOP “Following” me. I will not follow them back or subscribe to their services. It is a deceptive and intrusive practice and I completely hate it after just a week of my stay in the Bloggisphere. It is SPAM!

Bottom line is, if you read to this point, then obviously you find my prose irresistible, so you have to “Follow” my blog, OR ELSE….or else your cat will get a serious case of upset stomach and throw up partially digested mouse parts all over your house. A pungent stench of catguts will indelibly permeate your residence, forcing you to move out and decreasing the value of your home by at least 40% from its current market value…..or worse, rendering it entirely unsellable. That would be a real shame wouldn’t it? No one wants that to happen to you, less than I. ;P

 

On Blogging for unblocking

writing

I don’t know yet how I feel about blogging. I certainly find myself having lots and lots of thoughts, I consider myself almost afflicted with too much thinking. Many a nights excess of thinking keeps me up well past my body’s preference, and to the detriment of my ability to function in the following day. There is no real unifying theme to this annoying, unruly thinking surplus. Furthermore, the thoughts are not even cohesive, there is hardly ever a story told, an idea fleshed out or a resolution found. The mind has become increasingly lazy, unwilling to build anything of value. It feels like fishing for say salmon, a nice fat fish that a jolly fat chef will pay handsomely for at the market, but instead all that burdens the fishnets is by-catch. Random, small, unappetizing underwater creatures of not much substance or consequence. My thoughts have lately become mostly by-catch. I have theorized that the sluggish fisherman that is my brain is so because I have failed to exercise him, to nourish him, to love him even. I’ll confess I have stopped reading. Having spent most of my life an avid reader, I now feel quite paralyzed about it. I bought a book at the airport last week, but I can’t bring myself to start reading it. I don’t know what this obdurate resistance is about. It is as if my brain is afraid to be stirred, having settled into a slumber. Is the hibernation so sweet that it won’t allow itself to be roused. I think in some way blogging is perhaps the first step to finding out what has been blocking me. Whatever it is, it feels like an unwinding of a yarn, like an undoing of some kind. If all cells in the body are renewed every seven years, then I think this current version of me is quite different from the other four. I feel like I am evolving and devolving in this 5th cycle, simultaneously.

But I don’t know that I should be quite so candid on a public blog, this is the other thing which has always stopped me from writing in one, I am almost terminally honest, honest about myself. My flaws & weaknesses have never bothered me, and I never cared if they were seen. I am proud to say that I have seldom been governed by my ego. Most people have a shell, it is formed of a survival instinct, which instructs us that it is beneficial to be perceived a certain way. I know the ways I ought to be perceived, the ways which would be most beneficial to me; erudite, educated, sharp, keen, informed, charming, witty. I am not most of those things in my current self assessment, maybe just half of some of them.  I could fake it, although increasingly I find it harder and less rewarding. But if I want to commit to a blog, for the purpose of understanding, exploring and most importantly unblocking, then I have to give in to the potentially dangerous impulse of being even more honest than usual. Expose the by-catch. Radical honesty, although claimed by many, is not at all common or easy, because it’s counter intuitive to that most primal of instincts i.e. survival. Even as I write this, I wonder who comes through between my words, whom would a random person reading this blog see in it, can I be honest and still seem impressive or interesting? I’ll confess, I always found myself interesting, but do less so now, still I have the urge to write with at least that one superfluous consideration, to seem interesting. I’ll be trying not to. My only consideration should be the truth. Although that might be dishonesty already. I can’t self examine this thoroughly just yet. I know however, that I don’t want to construct some careful reflection of who I want people to think I am. If there is any pleasure to be found in this blogging experiment, then it has to be about the truth of things.

I might not be able to start reading again yet…… I think the death of my grandmother has something to do with this by the way, but I can confess that the reading had tapered off long before this earth shattering event. I digressed. I might not be able to start reading again, yet, but I can start writing, start working on that fisherman, on the salmon….or even just the by-catch. I read recently in some article, I still read those on occasion, that there is an increasing trend in fine cuisine to actually use the by-catch as apposed to waste it. Chefs are becoming hip to creating delicious nightly specials out of these random, previously unwanted sea offerings. It’s respectable and trendy, it aligns with the apparent necessity for conservation. The planet can only take so much abuse from its most heinous parasite, the human. Again I digressed. Perhaps I don’t need to catch the salmon to put a good meal on the table, perhaps I can just work my way through the by-catch and cook up something good too. This blog is already making me formulate my thoughts to completion. I feel accomplished. It’s like the equivalent of getting back to the gym after a long hiatus and walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes. It’s not much, but it’s a step in the right direction. Soon enough I’ll be running on that treadmill, or catching big fish…or cooking by-catch. Tonight’s dinner special, a smorgasbord of mixed metaphors. It’s a mess. Welcome back, brain.