Monday, October 29, 2007

Envelope Ten--they haven't forgotten!

Envelope number 10 has found it's way to my grubby little hands!

Monika M. from Spain has sent me an envelope. Well, that's just too simple for Monika. Instead she came all the way from Spain to hand deliver her envelope to me here in Moscow, ID! Now, THAT'S a friend!

Okay, so maybe she was actually at a conference in Seattle and then made a little side trip to Moscow and just happened to bring the envelope and hand it to me. But still, it's an amazing story.

That brings me up to a 56%. It's not even a D yet.

I'm happy with the return. Although, I did have to have Daniel translate some of the Spanish for me. Vivan los pingüinos de queso! (or something like that).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Abby someone...Abby Normal

When brains were passed out in heaven I thought they said, "blame" and I knew it wasn't my fault so I didn't get in line. Then, someone told me it was "brain" and it was too late. I got stuck with this one. It's crazy. My brain. Not standing in line in heaven. That's actually well organized and rather pleasant.

My brain is crazy.

It's bogged down with depression and I can't make it stop. I'm on drugs for it. They're not helping right now. All I want to do is sleep--where the world doesn't exist or ask anything of me. I just want to stop existing--that's what sleep is; a socially acceptable way to stop existing.

I do have some people to talk to who understand how deeply depression can get a hold on me, though. For example, I've been talking a lot with my new friend Aleksander from Poland. We both enjoy the fact that there is someone who understands--profoundly understands!

In the meantime I fight and I don't know how to get out of bed because I don't care about anything. This morning when I woke up the first thought through my head was, "Dude, just give up." Now, the giving up part is sad, sure...but take into consideration that I called myself "dude". I think this is a strange manifestation of how I see myself. I am not a dude. Although, I think life would be easier if I were.

Now, I'm not going to "give up" although I'd like nothing more that to cease to be. (Don't Panic) I'm going to keep fighting. I've gone into my doctor. I've asked friends for support. I just need to talk about it. Get it out. And then go back to sleep.

When I try to talk to people about depression--those who do not understand it--they give me lame-ass advice like, "When I'm sad, I like to exercise." First of all depression is not the same as "sad". I know "sad". "Sad" is when Chase asked Bonnie to the dance instead of me. Depression for me is total and utter apathy. I don't care. I don't care if I fail my classes. I don't care if I lose my jobs. I don't care if someone comes and takes everything I own as long as I can stay in bed. I don't care if you miss me or need me or don't give a fart about what happens to me. I don't care.

And today. I don't care. I haven't cared for about 2 weeks now. I'm trying to reach out. I've sent an email to some friends. I've talked to my doctor. I'm trying to care. In the meantime, don't tell me how you "get happy" just let me know that you love me and that I matter in your life. Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't need you to.

Depression is devastating. Those of you who don't have to fight with it are so lucky.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Own Indelible Smallness

No one will believe me. No matter how I say it. Why won’t they listen? Do I say it with too much humor? Too much nonchalance?

You believe me, though, right? You believe when I say: I am not as strong as you think I am. I’m not even as strong as I pretend to be. Everyone looks at me and sees innocence. So, maybe I’ve never done drugs or drank a drop of alcohol but does that make me innocent? I’m a Scorpio people; you know it’s not really there. I just know how to let you see only what I want you to see. Even if I’ve told you, I can make you forget. It’s part of my power. Power I don’t really want.

Everyone looks at me when I teach and they see exactly what I put up there for them to see. They see confidence in the topic and in my ability to be up there talking about it. There’s no way to explain it, really. It’s just years of practice. It’s not really there.

Stop thinking that I’m strong. Stop thinking that I can handle things. Stop thinking that I can carry on. Stop thinking that there are great things in my future. Stop thinking of me as someone who can handle what life gives to her. Stop thinking and rescue me from this façade! I am not strong. Nor do I want to be strong. I want everyone to see past the nearly six feet tallness of me and see how small I am inside! Innocence?! Yes, but it’s hidden behind the strength you all keep piling on top of me! I am not strong. I need help to survive! Why will no one recognize that! Why don’t I cry? Really have you ever asked yourself that? Why doesn’t Maaike cry? I’ll tell you why…you can choose to believe it or not, but it’s the truth as I see it. I don’t cry because NO ONE wants to comfort the “big” girl. I can carry four bags and a petite blonde can carry two and men will rush up to help her. Why? Oh, Maaike’s big enough, she can handle it. A big girl cries and someone hands her a tissue. A petite girl cries and men rush to hold her in their arms. Being always the tallest girl in my classes growing up I learned this. Over the years it has become more and more true—so why would I unlearn it. I doesn’t matter how much my heart breaks, all anyone can say is, “She’s a big girl. She can handle it.” Why should I bother with tears.

Sometimes I wish there were a reason to be as strong as people seem to think I am. A gun to my head and someone shouting at me, “What do you really believe!” Or “Who would you really die for?” Or maybe some type of apocalyptic event to make me prove myself. But this? This day to day stuff. This isn’t strength. This is a cover. This is me acting. Rest assured, 95% of the time when I say, “No, it’s okay…I’m fine.” Those are not the words my mind is screaming. Is it really always my fault that no one can hear?

That’s why I cannot do the scene I’ve been asked to do for acting class. It is a scene that would require me to LIVE OUT MY GREATEST FEAR IN FRONT OF A CLASS THAT IS THEN GOING TO CRITIQUE MY BELIEVABILITY.

This is not a scene asking me to become someone I’m not. This is a scene asking me to take down every carefully built wall around me and exposing all my weaknesses to strangers. Things I try not to even tell myself…or even my best friends! This scene is asking me to strip bare and walk into class knowing that every part of me is exposed to eyes that will see every flaw. Eyes I wouldn’t necessarily trust with the simplest part of me, let alone my greatest fear.

Let me play someone I am not. Then I will act. Let me be the strong woman who doesn’t need to be rescued. Let me be the gun-wielding psychopath. Let me be the mysterious stranger selling elixirs to the simple-minded peasants. But DO NOT ask me to be myself on stage, call me by another name, so that I can pretend that I am acting.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An Incredibly Simple—Yet Totally Unobtainable—Dream

We were both sitting on the floor listening to something that neither of us was interested in. I was tired so I laid my head on his lap. He touched my hair, played with it for a moment, then lay down next to me and held me in his arms. He talked about the stupid activity going and the fact that it didn’t apply to either of us in any facet of our lives. He was right, of course.

The truth was he could have said anything at that moment and I would have agreed with him completely. My mind was thousands of miles away, dancing a little dance, singing a little song all about how he was finally—FINALLY—holding me in his arms. He has no idea how happy I am at this moment. It doesn’t show on my face. My mind is far away, but my body is there, feeling his warmth. Feeling his fingers as they move down my arm.

It could have stopped right there…as a moment that existed apart from everything. Time could have stopped and left me in his arms for eternity and there would be nothing that could make me happier. There is nothing—no thing—that can make me happy. I don’t need anything. There is no dream to me that is more that this: to be held in his arms and for him to want me there.

This is, of course, the moment when Sleeping Beauty becomes most apt, “…he takes me in his arms and then…and then…I wake up.”

Curse you, Reality.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hi My Name Is

The very first play I ever had produced was in the 5th grade. It was called "The Monster at the Bus Stop" and featured me, Jeanette K., and Kurt C. I remember making my fifth grade class laugh, especially this kid named Reed. Anyway, I was hooked at that moment and knew that what I really wanted, was to make people laugh.

This is the cast that totally ROCKED my latest play called "Hi, My Name Is." (In the Photo back row: Matthew G. (Officer's Minion/Assistant Director), Me! (Gorilla Girl/Playwright), Ariana Z. (Afraid to Love), Jared H. (Selfish), Kate B. (Gave Up Hope), Kaleb J. (Pushes Others Away), Daniel M. (The Guy With The Pen). Front Row: Milo D. (most awesome musician!), Rose K, (Hannah) and John B. (Taz). Not pictured: David E-H (The Officer/Director)). I got the idea when I was listening to Milo Duke play some music at a local cafe. I thought, what if there was a play that had no words, just music and movements. I started working on it and eventually the characters started talking to each other.

When my professor asked me about the "worlds" that I create in my plays I told him, "All my bad guys are Republicans." It's a very simple summation, but it's the truth. In "Hi..." the world has been taken over by capitalism and people are no longer referred to by name. They are born, live, work, and die all in the same building, mingling only with the other occupants of that building. In a world of similar buildings. There is no fashion, there is no art, there is only work...and this one day in which Taz can ask Hannah about a possible "data merger" in hopes of forming a closer relationship.

The world is interrupted when a guitar player shows up in the middle of the lunch time meal. A girl with a wooden gorilla follows. Despite the fact that they leave the stage, the impact has already been made. Hannah wants to have her name back and reject her "worker's area designation" much to the chagrin of Taz who is desperately trying to ask her if she'd consider merging data with him.

Big Brother watches and waits for the slightest infractions...but once an impact has been made on someone, can it ever be erased?

Thank you everyone who was in the show. And a special thanks to EVERYONE who came to see it! Thanks for supporting art! Thanks for supporting me! I love you all very much!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Today I Got A Letter From God

When I opened my mailbox today, I was hoping for
a package. Flannel sheets, to keep me nice and warm at night. Instead, I got a letter from God. Yes, it's true. It's not a usual occurrence so I thought I'd better share. I'm going to recreate it here so you can see what He has to say:

Dear Maaike,

I'm sorry it has been so long since my last letter to you. I have started this letter a hundred times but things kept coming up. First there was the fall of Communism, then the big AIDS epidemic thing, people starving in Africa, Reaganomics (don't even get me started), boy bands (had to put a quick end to that) and the Bush administrations (I don't know how they both got in there). Anyway, now that I have a minute I thought I would write to you before they raise the price of stamps again. (I haven't raised tithing since the creation of the world, but the United States Government can't keep stamps at a reasonable price.)

I just wanted to write and see how you were doing. I've enjoyed watching you the past few years. I've seen all of your plays; that's some funny stuff. Honestly I haven't laughed so hard since your old brother created the duckbilled platypus. That was a HOOT! You remember, you were there. Oh, I guess you don't' remember, but you were there.

I love you lots and miss you very much. Keep writing those great plays, and maybe consider putting me in one of them. (But make sure they don't have some deadbeat play my role. I don't care what people say, Charlton Heston is NOT GOD. George Burns, maybe, but NOT Charlton Heston.)

Let me know if you need anything. Stamps are pricey, but I accept knee-mail (I always thought that was cheesy, too). I love you, and even if I don't write again for a while I'll be watching you - in a fatherly, non-creepy stalkerish way.

love you,


P.S. Sorry I didn't include a bunt cake with this letter. Maybe next time...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Your Maaike Might Be Compromised!

Today someone who had never before talked to me correctly pronounced my name. It threw me for a loop! How does this guy know how to pronounce my name? So I asked him. “I had a friend by that name in elementary school.” Huh. It got me thinking that there may be a few of you out there with a Maaike somewhere in your past and I thought I’d set up this quiz for your safety—so you can be assured that your Maaike is the genuine article:

True or False:

  1. Maaike is allergic to walnuts. And onions. And most metal jewelry.
  2. Maaike pulled a wheeled-wooden gorilla on a string across the University of Idaho campus causing someone to think she was “slow.”
  3. Maaike will be driving 160 mile round trip to buy twenty Styrofoam heads from Value Village in Spokane.
  4. Maaike thinks French cut green beans are vegetables from the devil.
  5. Maaike once moved her mattress into the closet and sat there for 2 hours waiting to see if someone would notice she was missing. No one did.
  6. Maaike thought the song “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” was about her.
  7. Maaike wants to be either a Princess or a Monkey when she grows up.
  8. Maaike once cut in line at a very busy store at Christmas time because she was pretending to have an English accent and the people thought it was cool and let her in line.
  9. Maaike recently looked up a teen web-site for information on "how to get over a crush."
  10. Maaike is a Scorpio born in the hours of Scorpio and a Rooster born in the hours of Rooster.

Fill in the Blank:

  1. Maaike’s Dad called her ________________ from a little Dutch song about a girl riding her bicycle.
  2. Maaike’s Dad also called her ______________ because of a card game she always wanted him to play with her.
  3. Maaike’s best friends on the UI campus are _____________, the DJ of The Vegetable Patch, and _____________ the Mom of ________________.
  4. When Maaike was little she was afraid of her brother’s stuffed toy Grover because his _______________ glowed at night.
  5. Maaike’s bike’s name is _______________________.
  6. Maaike’s car’s name is ________________.
  7. Maaike’s teddy bear’s name is ______________________. And he suffers from _____________________________________ disorder.
  8. Maaike is the sixth ________________ because of a Pink Panther movie her father loved.
  9. Maaike calls her Mom ______________.
  10. Maaike currently owns ____________ sets of fairy/goth wings.
Okay friends, how did you do? Is your Maaike the real one? Here's how you can tell: All the T/F answers are TRUE. If your Maaike answers False to any of these, then she's not the real one. The, either you know or you don't. If you're curious ask me. If it's the real Me you'll get the real answers. I hope none of you have been compromised. I'd hate to think I have a viral version of you!

Monday, October 01, 2007

What If You're The Last One?

Today in acting class we were assigned the Gentleman Caller scene in The Glass Menagerie. Fine. Good. It’s a very intriguing scene between a girl who desperately wants to be loved and a boy who desperately wants to be seen as someone’s hero. It’s a very beautiful scene. I have no problem with the scene itself.

The problem I have is with the kiss.

Yes, the characters—Jim and Laura—share a kiss. I don’t have a problem with kissing. And it’s not that I wouldn’t kiss any of the guys in class. They’re all wonderful actors and good friends. The problem is… The problem is, what if it’s the last kiss I receive ever in my life?

See, there was a relationship once with a man I now refer to as Voldemort. He kissed me and I didn’t want that memory to last with me, so my friend Daniel R. in England kissed me. That way, I could remember my last kiss as one from a friend who truly loves me. Everything about me. Enough so that he would kiss me so I could have a good memory.

Now I’m worried that this character kiss may be the last kiss I ever have. What if the last kiss I remember when I’m shuffling off this mortal coil is the kiss that was assigned to me in acting class? How can I look at myself as anything when the last kiss I get to remember is that someone had to be ASSIGNED to kiss me?

I don't want that to be my last kiss. And it is a MAJOR block to my being able to do this scene. Should I talk to my professor...would she understand the desperation I feel? Would she think it's nonsense? Would she say, like many of you are thinking, "oh, someone will kiss you someday! This won't be your last kiss!"

Then it starts to terrify me and it starts to seep into other aspects of my life. I wonder, "What if you're the last man I ever have a crush on?" I mean, I don't have much of a track record and as far as real crushes--ones in which I wasn’t compromising part of myself--before you, the last good one was 14 years ago. What if I don’t meet anyone again for 14 years? What if I never meet anyone and you're my last one?

I don't want my last kiss to be as Laura getting kissed by Jim. I don't want anyone to kiss me. Today I was partnered with inarguably the most handsome guy in the class (James). And the first thing I said to him, "Don't kiss me today."


"Because I woke up late and didn't brush my teeth."

That's a reasonable excuse.

Maybe now you can see why this is so hard for me to let go. I know it's doing me no good. But can't you see? I'm afraid it will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

I Don't Want To Be A Superhero

Superheroes—no matter who they are—start out by not wanting their powers. It’s an enormous responsibility and if you think about it, it would be so much easier to stay home and watch Jeopardy! than to go out and save the world. When you have a Superhero who risks his or her life to save another, eventually society will demand more. “Why did you save so-and-so and not my brother?” “Where were you when the busload of nuns got hijacked?” “What do you mean you can’t be everywhere at once.” It would seem easier to deny your powers and just stay home.

Science Fiction author, David Brin said, “It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.” From this quote at least learn that I am sane. I don’t want power. I’ve never wanted it. In fact, I’ve always wanted to be quiet. Quiet? I know it confuses you. I’ve always wanted the loving husband, the kids who’d bring their friends over. The little house with the yard that everyone would hang out at. And I’d be quietly contented. I’d have a simple life with a love that I’d be certain of.

Despite the fact that I have never wanted nor sought power I still possess it. It seems that there is more to me than I would like to acknowledge. Power that keeps getting pointed out to me: "You are a great teacher." "You bring such happiness to those you contact." "You help others feel valued." I don't want power.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.” –Marianne Williamson

Daniel M. said that people like me. I told him that I don’t know why. I told him that I didn’t believe him. I told him that no one really likes me, they just want something from me and once they get it they’ll go away, like everyone else does.

That’s not true. I push them away because I don’t want to acknowledge that I mean anything to anyone.

Daniel R. said, “Men are intimidated by beautiful women, and that is why you don’t get asked out on dates. You are beautiful and men are dumb.” I told him that I don’t get asked out on dates because I’m too tall. I told him it’s because I’m weird and too forward. I told him that God’s punishing me for some unknown thing I did or said.

That’s not true. I don’t date because men can see the power I have within me and either know that I have a greater destiny that to be someone’s arm candy or they are, as Daniel said, intimidated by that power.

I tell everyone “It doesn’t matter if I’m here or not. No one would notice if I’m gone.”

That’s not true, either. I happen to know that I have touched people’s lives. I’m not saying that as self-aggrandizement. If you know me, you know that I’m much better at self-deprecation.

I don’t want these powers. I don’t want to make a difference in someone’s life. I want to have my little house with my husband and my cookie sheets and my birdbath. I want to make beds in the mornings and do laundry on Saturdays. I want to get my family dressed up for a photo and decorate my Christmas tree with a skeleton on top instead of an angel. I want to live in the background and just make a difference to him and the kids. That’s what I want.

Why are Superheroes always lonely? Because they know—they KNOW—that they have to make a difference to someone other than themselves. They know they can’t save everyone but that they can save someone. They are lonely because they have to be.

Don’t trust me with these powers. I don’t want them. I don’t want to be a superhero. In fact, I’ll give away everything I have: my earthly possessions, my talents, and my superpowers, to spend my life with you, in that little house where together we own a pygmy goat. And maybe some chickens. And no one expects me to save a busload of nuns.