Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Nicole Gets to Say Stuff

Sometimes it’s not easy to see who we are. My friend Maaike’s friend Kylie has a great blog in which she tells some deep things about herself. I’m not going to give you the link until Kylie’s ready for it to be a bit more public. Until then, I’m reading it and thinking how brave she is.

She should know I think she is brave. She should know I think she is good. She should know that I think she is one of the best people I’ve ever met on this planet (and others).

Kylie, you are brave. Anyone who gets to call you friend is so very blessed!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Nicole Talks About Suicide

I want to talk about suicide. Not because I want you to feel bad for me, or try to rescue me. And not because I want your sympathy. Actually, it’s called suicide because it has absolutely nothing to do with you.

I want to talk about suicide because I am tired of feeling. I don’t want to feel anymore. I don’t want to feel one. single. thing. I don’t want to feel empty, or sad, or single, or unwanted, or fat, or tall, or blind, or deaf. I don’t want to feel jealous, or worthless, or hopeless, or aimless. I don’t want to feel anything.

You’re still thinking about you, aren’t you? You’re saying, “Well, don’t I matter to you?” Of course you do, and when I’m gone you’ll make more friends and think of me once in a while, but your life won’t change that much without me.

I’m not going to commit suicide just because I talk about it. I think the worry would be if I suddenly stopped talking about it. I can’t commit suicide because of what it would do to my family, and because, like every other aspect of my life, I’m too chicken. I lack the ability to follow through. Because I manage to worry about how long it would take for someone to actually come looking for me if they couldn’t find me in the real world.

You know, I think I’d be very happy to get absolutely pissed drunk one day. I’d like to know what it feels like to feel nothing. I think that’s why I like sleeping so much. Sleep is like death…only it ends every morning. Sleep with a sleeping pill is best because there are fewer dreams and I don’t even have to feel those pseudo-emotions. Because if I feel stressed in a dream, I wake up stressed. Scary dreams pop me awake and then I can’t fall back to sleep. Dreams in which someone loves me…right…then I wake up and realize that no one ever does.

You love me, you say. I know you do. You’re a great friend. I’m not talking about friend love. I’m talking about romantic love. And having wished for it for more than 20 years and never finding it is maddening. “What about so and so? Didn’t he love you?” Nope. He didn’t. One of them did, for a short time, but someone convinced him otherwise. And if he was that easy to convince, how much did he love me in the first place?

I’ll keep living. You won’t find me slicing my wrists in the bathtub (I don’t have a bathtub). And I’ve used all those really good painkillers slowly month after month trying to curb the pains of menstrual cramps (those wonderful reminders of all that female stuff that’s not being used…sloughed off eggs from unused ovaries…an empty womb to compliment an empty vagina) there’s nothing really I could use to kill myself anyway.

Is this a cry for help? Am I asking you to rescue me? Am I hoping to change your mind and make you into my knight in shining armor?

No, it’s none of those things. It’s me, unable to sleep because my heart is breaking again and I can’t fall to sleep.

I Want To Hear Stuff

The writer's group did a play in installments all was supposed to be about the senses...but it digressed rapidly. I know I'm a prude, but I just didn't like where they all went so here's just my bit:

I Want to Hear Stuff

Blind Man
The Stripper Played by Rose

Because this is a scene about hearing, the silences are important. Don’t rush through them.

The blind man sits on a bus bench (outside of Rose’s peepshow) next to a new bread maker in a box. In his hand he holds a red hat. Since he is no longer blind, he’s looking at the trees that line the street. He closes his eyes and listens. Rose approaches and quietly sits next to him. He does not open his eyes.

Blind Man: I didn’t know my hat was red. I’ve been wearing it for years and I had no idea that it was red.

Rose: It’s a nice hat.

They sit quietly. He opens his eyes and looks at her.

Blind Man: This is my newest bread maker.

Rose: It’s…nice.

Blind Man: My daughter thinks I’m insane baking all this bread. But really, have you listened to these things?

Rose: No…I can’t say that I have. But when I was little and living at home, my mom used to bake bread…the smell would fill the whole house. I was sure Heaven would smell just like that. If I believed in Heaven, that is.

Blind Man: Sure, everyone talks about the smell of home-baked bread, but does anyone ever listen to the sounds of these suckers?

Rose: To be honest, I’m sure most people find it annoying.

Blind Man: Annoying? I’ll tell you what’s annoying…the dumb things people say, like “oh, you’re blind—you must be able to hear really good.” First of all it’s “hear really well” not “good.” And secondly people are so talented at stating the obvious that they think they’ve just told you of something you might otherwise have been completely unaware.

Rose: Maybe they’re just uncomfortable. I make people uncomfortable.

Blind Man: What, when they find your about your job?

Rose: Oh, did you catch the show?

Blind Man: Yeah, Mistress Clytemnestra, right?

Rose: (smiling to herself) Something like that.

She takes a cigarette out of her purse and holds it, but doesn’t light it. The Blind Man watches her play with the cigarette in her fingers for a moment.

Blind Man: Well, if your job, and my blindness make people uncomfortable, then they should unbunch their panties.

Rose: Differences make people uncomfortable.

Blind Man: Some people are blind. Some people are deaf. Some people are in wheelchairs and some people are just morons. That shouldn’t make them uncomfortable. Saying “fuck you” to a nun should make them uncomfortable.

Rose: Ignorance never is bliss.

Blind Man: But it doesn’t make them uncomfortable. Do you know why? Because they know that they won’t be a nun…or that they’d have to make a conscious choice to be a nun…but they don’t know if they’ll ever go blind. I’m a reminder of what may happen. That’s what makes them uncomfortable.

They sit quietly again.

Blind Man: When you hear a bread maker churning, it’s like listening to life.

Rose: Life sounds like a bread maker?

Blind Man: Life sounds like life. There are whirrings and churnings all around us. Besides I’m sure there’s something somewhere that compares bread to life. Then why not a bread maker to the sounds of being alive.

Rose: The intestinal music of a bread machine.

Blind Man: The heartbeat of the bread machine.

Pause. The Blind Man wonders.

Blind Man: Why did you come out here?

Pause. Reasons, excuses, but no answer. She throws the cigarette to the ground and stomps it out even though it was never lit.

Blind Man: My daughter bought me an Ipod.

Rose: That was very nice of her.

Blind Man: I don’t know how to load any music on to it.

Pause. He thinks about admitting his ignorance.

Blind Man: I don’t even know if it’s “upload” or “download.”

Rose: Upload.

Blind Man: Thank you.

They sit quietly. Rose reaches into her purse and pulls out a snow globe. The Blind Man watches her. She shakes it and they both watch the scene until the snow settles.

Blind Man: That was neato.

Pause. Rose quietly puts the snow globe back into her purse.

Blind Man: My turn. Close your eyes.

He closes his eyes.

Rose: What for?

Blind Man: Come on, are you saying you don’t trust a blind man?

Rose: I don’t trust men, blind or not.

Blind Man: Thank you for not discriminating. Now shut up and close your eyes.

Rose: You’re very pushy.

Blind Man: I’m old and have spent the majority of my life blind. It’s become kind of a superpower now.

Rose: Fine.

She stares at him for a moment…then closes her eyes. Pause. He opens his eyes to make sure she has hers closed; then he closes his eyes again.

Blind Man: Now listen.

Rose: To what?

Blind Man: Everything.

Pause. They listen.

Blind Man: What do you hear?

Rose: The traffic.

Blind Man: And…

Rose: …more traffic. What do you want me to hear?

Blind Man: Slow down. Forget the traffic.

Pause. She listens. Concentrates. Filters out the traffic. She hears…

Rose: I hear…

Pause, does she want to tell what she hears? They begin talking quieter.

Blind Man: What do you hear?

Rose: I hear…well, I don’t know how to explain it.

Blind Man: Try.

Rose: Applause.

Blind Man: Applause?

Rose: Far away a crowd is cheering.

He listens for the sound. He recognizes it.

Blind Man: It’s the quaking aspens.

Rose: The what?

Blind Man: The trees. The quaking aspen leaves in the slight breeze. It makes them rattle and they sound like an audience.

Rose: It’s kind of like ocean waves, too, isn’t it?

Pause. They listen to the applause. To the ocean waves. To the trees.

Blind Man: I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life.

Rose: Haven’t we all.

Blind Man: I’ve made many bad choices.

Rose: Again.

Blind Man: I had a son.


Rose: I’m a classically trained ballerina. Could have gone to Julliard if I’d had the money.


Rose: What happened to him?

Blind Man: Who?

Rose: Your son.

Blind Man: I abandoned him. I have no idea what became of him or even who he is.

Rose: You’re kind of a bastard.


Blind Man: When I listen like this I can hear my own heart beating. Can you hear yours?

Pause. They listen. Everything gets quiet. Rose waits. With her eyes still closed, she smiles. She speaks in a whisper.

Rose: Yes. I can hear it. I can hear my heart. My own heart beats like this: Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Lub-dub.

The Blind Man opens his eyes and looks at her.

Blind Man: The Zojirushi X20 bread machine has a heartbeat at its center. If you listen close enough.

Rose: Lub-dub.

Blind Man: I miss the old days.

Rose: Like when you were a little boy?

Blind Man: No…back when I was blind.

Rose: You miss being blind?

Blind Man: When I couldn’t see how empty the world is without my wife in it.

He closes his eyes. Rose speaks quietly.

Rose: Lub-dub. Lub-dub.

She listens to her heart. Suddenly she opens her eyes.

Rose: I really just want to dance…to…to dance as an art. But no one wants art anymore. All they want is sex. So I dance to sell them sex. But they don’t see the dance…the art form. I love to dance. You might hear a heartbeat, but I hear the eight-count tapping out a rhythm.

Blind Man: Slow down. Listen.

Rose breathes in deeply. Sits quietly for a moment. Closes her eyes.

Rose: Lub-dub. Lub-dub.

Blind Man: My heart beats and I think… I think that maybe, just maybe, I can fix some of those mistakes.

Rose: Do you really think you can?

Blind Man: You’re making me into a spider, miss.

Small pause.

Rose: I have no idea what that means.

Blind Man: Me neither. Now shut up… Listen.

They sit quietly. Eyes closed. Listening. Fade Out.

Nicole Wonders If She Can Ever Face The Truth

Who am I…really? Deep down. What do I hide?

I’m afraid.

But not of the dark…I like to sleep in pitch blackness.

I am afraid of thunder and loud noises.

I hate bugs and spiders, but I can deal with those if I have to.

What if everyone finds out that I’m a phony?

What? I’m a phony?

Yes it’s true…I’m false.

I’m not happy. I’m sad a lot of the time…because I’m alone.

I’m very selfish. I don’t want to give anyone my time.

I don’t put as much time into teaching as I should…but I’m good at faking it…at making people think I’m good at it.

I don’t want to be alone. I hate walking around by myself. Never feeling someone’s arms around me…never having him hold my hand.

I read somewhere that women are attracted to men who look like those in her family. That makes sense to me. My father, my brothers, my uncles, my grandfathers…all wonderful, kind, gentle men. Why would I not be attracted to that? And for that reason, why would I not be attracted to you. You’re funny and sarcastic like my family’s humor. You’re kind and gentle and accepting of others. I do love you. So very much. I wish you could feel it. Or that I couldn't.

There are things I can’t write down. I can’t write them in my own handwriting…and sometimes I just write them with my finger. No proof afterwards that the words ever even existed. Mostly…what I write…invisibly…are my hopes that are so fragile, so heart-felt, that if they’re in words at all they may shatter and never, ever come true.

He told me that he wasn’t interested. He told me kindly, gently… And I’ve tried to get over him. I have. I really have. But he’s so…good. He’s kind, gentle, handsome and all the things that I have always hoped for. And everything new I discover about him makes me less and less inclined to get over him. I wish my head would tell my heart that it’s no use to hope.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Loudest Emptiness

“There was a disturbance in my heart, a voice that spoke there and said, I want, I want, I want! It happened every afternoon, and when I tried to suppress it, it got even stronger.” —Saul Bellow Henderson The Rain King

This same feeling has been beating within my heart over the last couple of days. My heart, my soul, something is feeling strangely empty…

It started quietly…and I could fix it with a piece of chocolate, or a hug from a friend. But it’s been growing…spreading…becoming more than I can deal with.

I tried to buy it a few more things, every time singing to myself, “What can I buy to make the sky turn blue again?” I guess whatever this is inside of me knew that it wouldn’t be satisfied with things.

For a few days I was able to ignore it. Becoming so busy with life that it just seemed to disappear. But here in these quiet moments when I’m working on my art or my homework or my writing, it peeks around the corner and, finding no immediate resistance it leaps. Teeth bared, claws raised and it begins ripping into this emptiness, making it bigger and deeper all the while screaming “Fill me! Fill this empty space!”

Part of me knows what this apparition is seeking. Another part of me won’t listen to that—because it knows that no matter how it protests there in nothing in my control that will allow me to fill its ravenous need.

If I could have anything…it would be the ability to turn off my emotions and not feel a single thing. Why don’t I ask to fill the emptiness? Simply because if it isn’t filled by the will of someone outside of me then it will become forever insatiable.

How can I continue like this? How am I, filled with this void, supposed to look you in the eye without your seeing the emptiness behind them?

“Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.” —Eric Hoffer

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Goin' Goofy-Foot

So, I tried skateboarding for the first time in my life. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve skateboarded before…sitting on the board and letting the slope and gravity propel me to the bottom of our neighbor's driveway. But this is the first time I’ve STOOD on a skateboard.

It was fun. And when I say it was fun…I’m also lying. It was a BLAST! I’ve been thinking about it this whole week…and definitely about how I think I've figured out that I can turn.

Last Saturday Daniel thought I should give skateboarding a try. I spent most of the time going in a straight line…but I think I can turn now. I discovered that I’m “goofy-foot”…that means although I’m right handed, I skate left-footed. (I bat left-handed, too. But I write and cut with scissors with my right. But I’m left-eyed and left-footed. Who knew?) Anyway, I had a FABULOUS time.

Skateboarders have their own lingo and I made up a word: grumblies. On this particular day it was where they’d used tar to fix the cracks in the asphalt, but I figure it works for anything that keeps me from rolling rocks or sticks or the cops.

As was bound to happen, I got stuck in the grumblies and I fell down. Just once. Kind of hurt my elbow, but I didn’t bonk my head, of which I was quite proud.

I’ve never been good at sports…always chosen last for the teams, you know how it goes….I’ve always enjoyed baseball, though. And swimming as long as no one cares if I'm tan or chubby. And now, I think I really like skateboarding. I’m hoping D will take me again soon…and this summer, I might have to get myself a board!

Thanks, D, for including me in your adventures. Thanks for not thinking I’m too much of a geek to hang out with. If only you knew the truth.

Mom likes Kylie BEST!

Kylie is my best mean friend. She thinks she’s mean because she teases me about being old…and about anything else. But she’s really not mean. In fact, she’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had in my whole life. She worries about me. I love that about her. She worries if she doesn’t hear from me for a while. She calls me to make sure I’ve gotten home safely when I travel. She brings me medicine when I’m sick. AND…she cooks me food.

Yep. I don’t cook. I don’t like to cook. And truth be told, I’m not much of a cook anyway. I like to bake cookies and brownies and such. But I hate cooking dinner.

So, Kylie has made me a BUNCH of stuff. She told me to clear out space in my freezer for the stuff. I said, sure…I can move the ice cube trays over to one side. That’s all there is in my freezer. Oh, some freezer-pops in the door.

I try to complain to mom about stuff…but she won’t listen to me…because she knows Kylie is taking care of me. In fact, Mom’s adopted Kylie as her Daughter and Ted as her Grandson. Sometimes I think Mom likes her best!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I don't know, but I googled one in Japan

Hey, here's the BEST site for getting music. They have a small selection, but they have the BEST service!

They have great customer service. My favorite artist I find through them is Joe Purdy whose song "Wash Away" still moves me no matter how many times I hear it. And they've also just introduced me to "Cake Bake Betty". Her CD "Songs about Teeth" is worth taking a listen to.

CD Baby...I love you!

Beautiful Empty

I’m supposed to be doing a play analysis of the opera “Elektra” but it’s just not in me! Instead I’m reading and writing and cutting and pasting and NOT analyzing.

So…Rob Caisely told me about some play or something he’d read that talked about the idea of hell being a love triangle consisting of two women and one man. He loves her, but she is in love with the other woman, and that woman is in love with him. No one’s love is ever returned. It is cruel and piercing. But it’s true, isn’t it?

I think about him and wonder if he’ll ever think of me that way. While he thinks of her and she’s already gone with another him. (Or he’s already with another him. Whatever the case may be.)

This is hell. Knowing that his empty and my empty can’t ever cancel each other out.

I wish they could.

“And every occasion when a mask was torn off, an ideal broken, was preceded by this hateful vacancy and stillness, this deathly constriction and loneliness and unrelatedness, this waste and empty hell of lovelessness and despair, such as I had known it.”

Hermann Hesse