Posts Tagged ‘existence’
I went to see my psychiatrist when he returned from his three week vacation. Before I could make a peremptory statement about my hair, he said brightly: “New Hair!”
He had no idea what I’ve been through, hair-wise. This is the new corrected hair, a desperate follow-up to the horror of the Real Housewives hair. It is so much better, right? But still a shock to my system and a challenge to my identity.
I started to say something about the hair and he continued happily, “It’s a softer look.”
Naturally, I took umbrage and we talked about hair and self-image for the rest of the psychiatric hour.
I don’t want a softer look, first of all, because that implies that my former look was hard, or harsh. I don’t want a softer look because I don’t want to project “softness.” If I have to project anything, I would choose tough. Then he confused me further by calling my former look “forbidding.” I argued that I wasn’t trying to look forbidding but merely “attractive.”
Then we had to define the audience I wanted to appear attractive to. I explained that I wanted to be attractive to the guy in the next lane if I wanted to cut in front of him. If I’m attractive, he will smile and gesture me into his lane. Being attractive is a tool in one’s social arsenal.
We talked about black hair and red lipstick, which I defended as a classic look, citing Snow White, Betty Page, and Veronica in “Archie” comics. If you have black hair and pale skin, you need to work with what you have. You’re not going to be a California blond, after all. The way I look is pretty consistent with how I looked at eighteen. Clearly, in the eyes of my shrink, I looked like a kooky Goth or maybe a biker/dominatrix.
I had to deconstruct my appearance and think about the message it sends to the world. We are all attempting to project something with our hairstyles and fashion choices. I’d rather not think about it but I discovered that above all I want to look attractive, while still being true to who I think I am. I want to look fuckable and intriguing but I don’t want to look fashionable and I don’t feel comfortable in prints or high heels. I don’t want a Softer Look. I hate change. If I’m not projecting the right Me, I will have to dye my hair black and find a new way to distract myself from the bludgeoning pain of existence. I will also have wasted a fucking ton of money.
Thoughts, confessions, insults?
First of all, that Hermes lady is fucking nuts about her photos. She doesn’t want her photos used to mock her. They are there for praise only! They are there for gloating, not for you internet people to copy and ridicule. I found this picture on flickr, Hermes Lady, so relax.
I wasn’t able to force myself to go through 30something pages of her boasting about her Hermes purchases and the attendant ass-kissing. But I think I got the gist of it.
Here is the situation. Hermes is a symbol of wealth and success. Nothing more or less. A woman who spends a fortune at Hermes and then documents it online is a person desperately in need of love and self-esteem. There isn’t enough Hermes in the whole world to assure her of her intrinsic worth. It’s a mug’s game.
Consumption at this level is very sad. All shopping is a defense against the knowledge of our mortality. It’s a stupid distraction that exists to enrich corporations and to numb the appetites of the soul.
Look in your closet and think about which outfits would make you happy if a family member died in a car crash. Look at your shoes and then look at this picture.
The Hermes Lady is a picture of insecurity, distorted by money and self-delusion. She is a waste of our time. Turn your eyes away from that lady and her ridiculous merchandise.
You already have everything you need to be happy.
Don’t worry about shoes or handbags. Listen to music, look at some art or have sex instead. You’ll thank me later.
This photo, for me, is the ultimate in street-style douche-girls. Is there a name for female douches? I’m sure she’s a very nice person in real life. I’m just saying, the thing she projects to me is “Look! I’m a douche.”
Obviously, I’m on a really negative roll. It was nice that others were able to share my existential nausea re those two It Girls. Are you feeling me on this, too?
Looking to cause my self more pain, I kept at it and clicked on some person’s new “girl crush” and found the very special blogger pictured above.
Ombre hair, stupid hat, rosary, too many bracelets, over the knee boots…what’s not to crush on?!
I’m having trouble with Being Present. I find that whatever I’m doing, I’m somewhere else in my head.
This isn’t good. It causes a lot of household problems, because I don’t remember what I started out to do. The only time I am fully engaged is when I’m reading a book. Even reading the New Yorker, I manage to think about something else, or just think about myself trying to take an interest in the article I’m not interested in.
I’m still doing physical therapy for the broken hip, and today I noticed that while I was exercising my leg, I was thinking about my son’s elbow.
I want to be present, but I’m absent.
Is this due to old age, or all the drugs, or the result of the Internet destroying my attention span? How can I learn to be present without getting the tattoo-reminder?
If you’d rather think about Rumer Willis than my existential malaise, try watching her lesbian kiss from some TV show where she plays a lesbian (ha!) and looks just like her dad.
Mr. Capote shares a room with Max and has the side with a window. It’s also the side with the television. I used to assume that the window side was reserved for V.I.P.’s (i.e., people with better insurance) but now I have no idea how the beds are assigned.
We want Mr. Capote to leave, so Max can have the window. I don’t want him to die, just to leave.
At first, Mr. Capote was just an obscure and disgusting nuisance. He is 79 but looks much older, with a bald bullet head and hunched posture. Every so often, he grunts “Son of a bitch!” with great feeling. No one comes to visit him. Ever.
Most of the nurses and aides have trouble with his name. They call him Mr. Caputo, Mr. Capoat, and at least once, Mr. Cooper. He never corrects them. He sits at the edge of his bed for hours at a time, dozing off and leaning sideways very precariously. He has breathing treatments and physical therapy. I believe that the toes on one foot have been amputated. He pees in a big plastic bottle that he keeps on the tray where he eats.
For the first time in two weeks, a caretaker engaged him in conversation. He is from central California. In other words, he’s an actual person, not a thing to be warehoused in a gray room in a pretend hospital.
Today, I asked Mr. Capote if I could use the lounger chair that had migrated from Max’s bedside into Mr. Capote’s side of the room. He said “Sure, go ahead.” When I had trouble moving it due to my walker, he even made a move to get up and help me. I told him, “No no no, I can do it. We don’t want you falling and ending up like me!”
Where is Mr. Capote’s fucking family?! I still want the window, but when Mr. Capote is discharged to god knows where, it will be a hollow victory.
I came upon this essay today, and it reminded me to try to remember every so often that I am alive. It describes that shock of existential clarity when you suddenly experience your self in the moment. It’s such a weird epiphany….sometimes exhilarating or sometimes terrifying, in my experience, anyway. It’s the feeling of “Shit! I’m alive! But not forever! How have I forgotten this?!”
Read the essay, it’s short, and read the comments as well. There is something poignant about the discussion, and it’s entertaining in a nice, unpretentious way.
For sheer existential dread, on the same topic, go here. The original essay, “There is a Secret World” has been expanded and is followed by some impassioned manifestos about how to reject any limitations on one’s personal freedom. I think. Here is a quote from one of them:
Kiss with every tooth in your mouth, fight with your heart on your sleeve and blood in your eyes–it helps, I promise.
If you’re not feeling too jaded, the romanticism will offest the dread.
Long live rebellious spirits everywhere (except Austria, of course)!