Opera Rock Girl – Finds Her Rhythm

If you’re unavailable, I want to hear from you.  Naturally you won’t be inclined to communicate through text, video, Skype or any other of the reigning technical wonders, because you’re indisposed due to an emotional inability to connect; run from relationships like an elderly person from shingles; or have been trapped, since the 80’s, near the inner circle of thought. But I will wait for you, because I know that you won’t call.  I’m safe.  See, it’s simple.

My recent obsession is with a fictional character, Stacee Jaxx, the tormented Rock Star in the film version of Adam Shankman’s musical, Rock of Ages.  His complicated and brooding nature makes me wonder if there isn’t a compelling, deep man pulsing with passion and sensuality who is looking for me too.  Of course, he’d need to jump from the convolutions of an alleged fictional reality and materialize.  But could I stand that?

Stacee, played by Tom Cruise, (I know, I know,) but he simply sizzles in the role and is all about an unabashedly contoured chest and rolling hips that I’d like to roll into my bed. But he’s tortured.  Now that’s something that I understand.  He’s trapped by his talent and the illusions of fame.  His true desire – to communicate so deeply that his music will make people want to live – has ben obfuscated by his demons.  Anyway, one of his lines catapulted me into a nostalgia for the girl who sang opera with the full fury of her soul.

“I’m searching for the perfect sound, the perfect song, that will make you want to live forever.”

Usually I don’t want to live for the next five minutes.  But I know how it feels to be rocked with so much desire, the need to communicate my inner being, to lay bare the breasts of my soul, that I want to live forever, and take you with me.  Where is the man who could say something like that? Say something that pierces and reassembles my soul?  That’s what I’ve sought.  I sought it in opera where the characters’ passions were so outsized, so trembling with the ferocity of their emotions, that I felt at home there.  I felt immortal each time a phrase pulsed through my body.  It was a benediction and a blessing that some of the world’s most captivating music could, for moments, vibrate through my flesh and blood and convey all that I felt.

Imagine the joy that I felt when I sang Mon Coeur S’ouvre ta voix, from Samson and Delilah.  Literally, my heart opens at the sound of your voice.  When have you last felt that way about anyone?  I’m not talking about mothers and their babies, here. I’m very attuned to the sound of the human voice.  I know how the lead character in Jerry Maguire felt when she said, “you had me at hello.”  So when I speak to a man who emits a squeaking coloratura sound, all bets are off, even if he’s wrapped in a bod of sin.  Note: he isn’t.

Stacee Jaxx’s vulnerability was even more tempting than his body and diamond studded jock strap.  The character was so ludicrous that he seemed real, and inhabited, for a night, my imagination, ignited my  desire.  Maybe it was his confidence, that bought me to the knees of my passions.  Maybe it’s the performer in me who just wanted to follow the path of my desire to speak so intimately to an audience that I could, for a moment, change their lives.  Maybe it wasn’t Jaxx that I yearned for, but the unfulfilled version of myself that lived in me, and still does.

“I only know that summer sang in me, a little while, that in me sings no more.”

“I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride.  I’m wanted – dead or alive.”  That’s how Jaxx reveals himself to the woman who has caught his attention, focused with deadly precision.

Is it some inherent character flaw that I can relate to something so propelled by passion that it’s comical?  Yet that’s where I live, scouring the milky way for the extraordinary.  Mediocrity terrifies me even as it rules our world and governs our nations.

I’m a bubble girl, running around without the protection of her bubble.  Too sensitive for this world and the banal sentiments that reign, I find myself without a protective coating.  I’m really a performer at heart. I wanted to convey through music, the one truth, that could make you want to live.  For a moment, an eternal epiphany that let you know that you weren’t alone in the world.  Music does that for me.  I honor all great performers, rock, opera.  I honor their honesty and discipline.  And nothing, in my opinion, brings you closer to God or immortality, than music.

And maybe as I wait at the violet hour before Hurricane Sandy crashes into New York, I realize that I’ve always been drawn to men like Jaxx.  Those whom I’ve loved have had epic talents, insecurities and demons in hot pursuit. But when they were in the midst of creating, their confidence rivaled the gods, which is why they probably were burned alive.

I suppose we all fall in love with versions of ourselves. And even as I’m drawn to the Jaxx character, I know that that character lives in me.  She’s been bludgeoned by the mundane and unrelenting homogeneity that governs our lives, but she lives still.  Looking for love in all of the wrong places, that where I’ve been.  Maybe I didn’t want to find love at all, but needed to find my voice, or let my voice sing in the world.  The world has silenced my voice, temporarily, but I hope that I will be able to resurrect her.

That is the essence of the arts, they enable us to remember, even briefly, who we are.  They hold a magical mirror to our soul where we can briefly see ourselves illuminated in all of our imperfect glory.  If art doesn’t move you, it’s not art.  And on some level, we all want to move someone,  We want to know that for a moment, however briefly, that someone has heard us, that someone has recognized us and has borne witness to our journey.

Your Souls Are WIth Me Tonight

I was born with an ebullient soul believing that life was joyous, happy and free.  I believed that, at all costs, I needed to remain faithful to my blueprint.  I believed that life was kind.  But the ghosts are hammering and pounding at my soul’s door tonight. And may I say that I miss you?  My life has irrevocably changed since your passing and I’ve lost my bearings and parameters.

There is the brilliant flame who was my sister that I lost at 19.  Her soul and fire taunts me as I tread through a gray, misty landscape, bereft of her laughter and endless compassion.  There is the lover whom I have never forgotten whose heart failed in 2000, the year that I divorced.  Apparently the millennium demarcated a passage of solitude and fire that i could not escape. And of course there is my mother, a delicate soul who could not bear the burdens of her life’s journey.  She left me in 2011.

Vincent was a brilliant and poetic Emmy award winning film editor, whose soul was too sensitive to dwell within the human landscape.  Realizing his inability to cope or accept, I, seventeen years his junior, offered to take the journey before him.  So sure was I in life’s benevolent continuum, I wanted to go before him to lend a light to his journey.  But destiny dictated that he pre-decease me.  I’d had a nagging feeling each May 23 that the date had irrevocably changed my life.  When I finally had the courage to Google Vincent, I learned that his heart failed, May 23, 2000, the same year that I divorced.  Vincent understood the pilgrim soul in me and the changing sorrows of my face.  After drugs and self-destruction had claimed his essence, I left him.  I didn’t think that I would ever love again and chose a man whom I considered stable and loving.  He was a demon.  Vincent had begged me to marry him and follow his uncertain path to Australia where opportunities waited and where we would build a new life.  I didn’t believe in love.  I didn’t believe in him, or myself.  I later learned that a sycophant nurtured his nascent sobriety and folllowed him to Australia. She left, years later, saying that she could no longer live with my ghost  We inhabited each others souls in the silence and spaces that defined our destinies.

I hear you tonight, Vincent, and the cadence and familiarity of your voice and touch comforts me.  Were you my last opportunity to grasp completion’s golden ring? And years later when I met your tortured counterpart, I believed, that you’d come back to me in a healthier version. But he was as tormented and haunted as you.

Are these patterns that beg to be broken or are they remnants of past lives that beg for resolution?  I am deeply sensitive and lonely,yet, I can tolerate but a select few in the inner rooms of my life and psyche.  Still I search for you in stranger’s eye’s and hope that I will hear the melody of your voice.

And what of my mother whose gentle and innocent being was too sensitive for this world?  I wanted to parent you  I wanted to be your strength.   I understand that you didn’t want to live and you accepted the stroke that shrouded your beauty, with equanimity and peace.  Your beauty shone through a broken body that lay contorted and parlayzed, but you never complained.

You are all more real to me tonight than the shadow images and fleeting friendships that inhabit my life.  I wonder where you are and if you are faring well.  You have touched me in ways that I can not describe and your absence has defined the limits of my ability to love.

But you taught me through fire and pain, about life.  I will honor you in every encounter and say your name as a benediction, as a prayer.  You are with me always.  And I am stronger for your love.  I witnessed and treasured your lives.  And perhaps that is all that we can ask for.  Blessed be.

Beading my destiny – one colorful strand at a time

Reinventing myself, I find, is not as complicated as it seems.  It’s worse.  I’m at a skull and crossbones crossroad in my life, deciding whether I should follow the path of the skull or the other sign indicating poison.  Not pleased with either choice, I will allow myself to play.  I may be fiddling while my world is self-immolating, but at least I can listen to some wonderful music as I take the fall or jump to new heights.  Think of Pink’s superfab F’n Perfect.  Go to this link, dance and love yourself, because you are, I am perfect. http://tinyurl.com/cfu27pb

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So with more time on my hands than is emotionally healthy, I am avoiding rummaging through the trunks filled with memories, the shadows of regret, and clearing a space for self-expression.  I’ve been an opera singer, but stopped singing in an amazing display of self-sabotage, after my divorce.  I’ve written a paranormal romance series which I hope my brilliant agents will sell.  Recently, I added jewelry design to my toy chest.  I am passionate about personal adornment.  My accessories, the colors, shapes, textures, that I place against my skin please me far more than the men that I’ve been meeting, and the jewelry elements have more character and interest as well.

So while I am exploring supplemental employment opportunities, and thinking about opening myself to an integral relationship that has yes, integrity, passion, a kinetic intellectual attraction, spiritual resonance and the ability to communicate honestly and openly (anyone see the unicorn running down fifth avenue with the golden horn?); I am also trolling through jewelry supply stores.  I am choosing beads that please me.  I imagine the story that each bead conveys.  I feel their texture, individual energy and shape.  I mentally place them in a pattern that tells a story that I want to tell.  I am in love with violet hues, red-violet, blue violet.  I want to create designs that have an impact.  I am often complimented on my accessories and feel that they express my inner warrior priestess.  I am attracted to pieces that have an impact.  They make a statement, as do I.  My personal statement has not attracted the situations or men that interest me, so I will create another world.  I can create a destiny with each piece.  Each element, color, texture, will co-exist with another until a personal parable is realized and executed through jewelry.

Validation is perhaps the most basic, primordial drive.  We receive this through community, family, relationships, work associations.  I’ve annexed myself from the family portion of the primal program.  I work from home as an independent contractor. And community is fleeting in New York, a city so vast, and with such a rapacious appetite that one feels as though they are eternally running with the bulls

A brief foray into online dating has elucidated another passion – boxing.  Yep, my experiences have been as disheartening and disgusting as swimming in a polluted pond.  But, I am admittedly picky.  Of the hundreds of men that I’ve dated, I only hold one or two in my heart and memory.  My ex-boyfriend repeatedly chastises me for being so picky.  I don’t think that I am overly selective, just discriminating.  I know what pleases me and thankfully, no longer have to apologize for my preferences.

I will construct my beaded bracelets like strands of destiny whose colors and stories will delight.  In this, at least, I have control.  To view my new store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/beadeddestiny/

Fifty Shades of Sex

Men keep asking me what I think about E.J. James trilogy: Fifty Shades of Grey.  I think that it is a successful popular culture venture.  Stop salivating.  The author constructed the protagonist with deft sexy strokes.  He’s irresistible to most.  Here’s a hint: women want men to take control  – sometimes.  Who doesn’t thrill to the idea of someone who understands your body and psyche so well that they can take you to the other side of heaven?  What interested me about the first novel in the trilogy were the shades of character flaws.  Christian and Ana understood each other’s nuances and were so attracted to each other that they didn’t run screaming, but were willing to compromise and yes, explore.  So don’t assume that because women are reading the book that you should trot out your assortment of BDSM ware and be welcomed.

Now I’m puzzled.  Is there something about my face or language that has been inviting men to talk to me about their physical predilections in great detail?  I’m just getting to know you.  Cataloguing your needs like Mozart‘s famous catalog aria sung by Leporello, in which he outlines the breadth and depth of Giovanni‘s conquests, is not turning me on.  Too much information.  I don’t need to know what and which pill and which toy and when and why you need a certain kind of stimulation for a satisfying encounter.  Have a little faith in me and yourself.  If I’m interested, I’ll learn about your needs in time.  Wasn’t sex simpler a few years ago?  Ah, the unadulterated freedom in assuming that everything would work, be in place and ready when you were.  Sure I worried if I had lipstick on my teeth, that my hair had detonated in a full frizz attack, but I didn’t have to worry about your body’s ability to convey stimulation.  Well I did date, I later learned, a coke addict – a brilliant film editor, but a disturbed man, who did have chemically induced challenges. He was my first love.  I still love him, even though he died in 2000, the same year that I got divorced.  So even as a nineteen year-old I understood the delicate male sexual psyche.

I’m only suggesting that you get to know me before you assume that I want to know your penis as a pet.  I don’t need to hear a full accounting of blood flow, what does or doesn’t happen in the morning when you wake up, and how you need 45 minutes notice before a possible encounter.  Geez, what happened to passion and spontaneity?  Don’t serve up your sex with an egg timer.  Get a clue and leave some mystery, men and women.  Excitement builds in 50 Shades of Grey because Ana doesn’t know what Christian will do next, but she knows that she trusts him and that she likes what he’s done so far.

Sex isn’t, in my opinion, a calculated clinical play.  It’s a choreography that seduces and retreats.  Don’t circumvent the most stimulating part – the build up.  If you want me tied in knots, physically , psychologically, or other, appeal to me as a woman and not just a body part.  I’m pretty responsive, but I don’t respond to clinical details.  Show me your vulnerability.  Let me hold you for a while.  Let’s talk.  If you give me an inch, I may hand you the rest of the rope.  Just chill.

You can’t make this shit up – Return of Nosferatu and other Rants

May I just say that the boomer market is a flat line. i’d like to announce to the brilliant marketers trying to monetize Gen Boomer, that a generation who prides itself on youth, is not, doesn’t want to, and will not ingest niche media for the “boomer market”.  They are reading mass media. I am consulting for a network of boomer sites.  The twelve year-old media planners are not interested.  I learned this yet again after driving to a late afternoon mid-town meeting at a high profile media agency.  I paid a small ransom for the privilege of parking my car for an hour and returned home in less than sanguine mood.

Nosferatu wanted to treat me to an evening that would relieve my stress.  I haven’t been deluged by offers, poems or other overtures, and Nosferatu is lonely – I accepted his offer.  I wondered what he had in mind though I wasn’t exactly “dressing” for the date. Nos met me in my lobby and we cabbed it downtown to where I’d just been.  Our destination, the top of the Empire State Building.  You’d have to meet me to know how much I detest crowds, standing in cue, and pandering to touristic sensibilities. I’d rather have stuck hot pokers in my eye and have shaved my head.  I plastered a tolerant smile on my face and trudged through the lines trying to dislodge Nosferatu’s guiding hand at my elbow and back.  I gracelessly flew past the photographer who wanted to memorialize our experience and stepped into the gale force winds on the 86th floor.I’m not bragging but I have spectacular city and river views from my apartment.  I didn’t need to slog through crowds, shuffle on high-heeled shod feet, and brave pneumonia for the privilege.  Nos confessed that he’d hoped it would encourage me to cuddle with him.  Am I seriously this cursed?

Finally we descended to terra firma and head for dinner.  He had a place in mind and I was still determined to conduct myself with civility.  After a 10 block walk in 30 degree weather I lost it.  Apparently his dining choice was some deli with a salad bar, that he couldn’t locate.( he just moved to New York recently – single women rejoice.) Thankfully, I’m not a violent person and don’t carry an assault weapon.  I ducked into the nearest subway and said that I was going home.

Nos followed me and witnessed my altercation with a nine-foot African American who shoved me several feet as I boarded the shuttle.  A fury of expletives were unleashed, mine.  Nos sat next to me and held me steady against the train’s halting rhythm.  The thought of a morphine laced cappuccino was very appealing.  I struggled with my inner bitch and politely suggested that we could “dine” at an all night diner.  As we trudged another 7 blocks, in the cold, Nos told me that he wanted me to join him in his small business venture selling Disney pins on e-bay.  We could travel to Florida two weeks a month and collect Disney pins from theme parks and sell them online.  Now I have a garage in my building and would have cheerfully asphyxiated myself at that point, but the garage is too large and I would have only succeeded in enraging the attendants.  That would have implied a higher holiday bonus, I suspect.

Luckily my nephew texted me and joined us.  My blood pressure had regulated to merely dangerous levels and his presence soothed me.  Nos is just looking for friendship, though he did suggest some physical distraction, to which I responded with gritted teeth.  I calmed down enough to discuss  Nosferatu’s failed marriages with empathy and compassion.  I opened a space for friendship. The boundaries are set there.

Sometimes I want to throttle the God of my understanding and say “really?”  Note to women:  Don’t allow a man that you don’t know well, plan a date.  Get the information.  Buy into the plan or nix it.  My idea of a stress relieving date is a helicopter ride over Manhattan; dinner at Le Vieux Bistro across from the Notre Dame Cathedral and a stroll through Ile St. Louis. Let’s kiss in the dawn on a deserted beach beneath a sky that looks like a jewelers display.  I’ve done that and highly recommend this with the right person.  Or, if I’m into you, come to my apartment, set about 20 candles aflame and let’s rearrange the 15 or so down pillows on my bed.  That would have relieved my stress. So until you’re ready to enter my life, I’ll just be blogging and soothing my inner bitch with the thought of you.

Yours truly,

Inner Bitch Alert

Royalty-free Image: Sexy woman in blue

This year I’ve been broken open – by life – by circumstances – by the economy.  I went through the phase where my heart was an open pulsing wound that felt and empathized with everyone’s painful process.  Shelter animals positively reduced me to rubble.  A stumbling osteo-arthritic elderly person evoked loud sobs.  I’ve missed my mother, who died recently.  Still.  Always.

I’m the woman who paid the  fares for drunken persons who staggered onto the bus exuding alcoholic fumes and confusion. I’m the woman who always held the doors for strangers and who stopped to speak to the elderly in my apartment building. Who gives money all the time to the man outside the bodega dressed better than I?  That’s right, you’re getting the hang of it.  I’m the friend who helped friends find work and paid the check when my friends faltered.  I’m not mean spirited a la Real Housewives of New York Aviva and Ramona feud.

Of course, I’m an anonymous blogger and you have your opinions. I can only blog my truth.  There are exceptions, for instance,  I wasn’t all fuzzy toward my ex-husband when he deserted me and stole my money. I did not however, call the police after he’d thrown me around the apartment one evening like a dog toy.  I didn’t hire a forensic accountant to find out how eleven years of  his income had mysteriously disappeared accompanied by the $150,000 bonus that he received prior to our separation. Stupid, I guess, but not mean spirited.  I sued the employer who fired me upon being owed $25,000 in commissions.  I’m empathetic, not a complete chew toy.  But the universe has had other ideas.  And she has helped to unleash a honking, smack talking, impatient, better-not-give-me-that-look bitch, bitch. My inner bitch is clawing furiously with manicured nails, and she is demanding attention now.  I’ve never been a mean girl but watch out!

My tender tendencies somehow morphed into a general impatience and yes, rage.  Now I honk and flash drivers who are too slow to react or if they have the temerity to rubber neck – a disgusting habit.  I resist the urge to run down the jay walking, texting pedestrian oblivious to my green light.  I’ve no patience for the online date who calls 7 times a day when I’ve told him that I’m interested in friendship only.  Then I berate myself.  Why am I angered when someone is offering friendship and solicitation?  Is that such a terrible thing?  Maybe it’s because I know that there is a distinctive ulterior motive.  I’ve listened politely as he expanded on how our relationship will blossom.  Nice words.  Wrong guy.  I think of the online misfits who said they’d call, then disappeared.  The man who emailed me three times after our first date to tell me what a wonderful date we’d had and how we would do it again soon.  Now I was attracted to him.  Did he call, email, text, or send a carrier pigeon with missile in beak to my apartment, five blocks away?  No.

I called an old friend who I bailed out, took out, celebrated and generally propped up more times than the USA has supported puppet regimes.  I told her I was down.  I listened to a 45 minute tirade on how she’s all about “manifesting”, and how she just manifested a neck lift. Clearly, my “manifester”  was off and I was, in her opinion, subsequently failing at life.  I listened to her ranting, after all, she knew how to get her neck lifted.  Forget that she has a younger, high earning new husband paying the bills.  Anyone can sock away $8000 when they’re living rent-free.  Was she really telling me that I should learn from her about life manifestation when I needed support and friendship?  Tell me that you’ve cured MS or was blind and can now see.  Don’t be talking elective surgery smack to me when my heart is on the thrashing floor – blood run out.

So I bite my tongue when I hold the elevator door for you, your toddler and cute old dog.  I know that you’re juggling a lot. But so am I.  I’m still overly impatient on cues and don’t abide the 8 foot tall person who sits in front of me in an empty movie theatre. I have to physically restrain myself from catapulting my body at them in a full frontal attack.  Please don’t talk on your cell during the movie.  Don’t cut in front of me on the street then crawl as you start a protracted conversation with your gynecologist, BFF, or other.  Don’t complain about your mom, you’ve still got one.  I beg of you not to walk in front of my car when the light is green. Avoid from clearing my plate while  I still have a piece of linguine stuck in my tooth and when I’ve been waiting for a water refill for the entire meal. Don’t tell me that movie prices have risen, once again.   Don’t complain about your job, your raise, or about how the economy forced you to forego one of your six vacations this year.  Don’t steal my mail, unless it’s a bill.  And please don’t talk about how one million dollars won’t cut it for your retirement fund. My retirement plan is a quick heart attack.

So shoot me.  My bitch has finally been outed.  Some may say that it’s about time.

The important thing is not to Freak Out

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New York State taxes believe that I owe them an additional $1,000.  American Express never received my $658 payment for July. I have two holes in my mouth, think broken crowns, that coordinate nicely with the enlarged holes in my overwhelmed head.  My tidy little sum of unexpected expenses is now approaching $4,000.  Can I freak now?  Oh and my recent debt consolidation at 0% interest shows an additional $4,200 that I didn’t borrow.  This is too much for an underemployed girl who hasn’t had a proper vacation in five years.

I summon my inner goddess but she’s too busy screaming to hear me, think Edvard Munch.  I take a deep breath, from a cigarette – unfortunately – and weigh my options.  Is is time for a clean sheet of printing paper and hastily composed suicide note?  I’ve already sold my jewelry.  Dog walking?  But I’m a cat person with no boundaries.  My cats are dominant and they tell me what to do.  Though I’d lose weight walking dogs and make lots of new canine friends. Then I think of the predictions for a snowy winter.  I’m not that hardy.

I’m glad that I don’t have a BP machine handy because my pressure is escalating to dangerous levels.  Really, we weren’t designed to live with this level of stress.

I just narrowly missed out on two career opportunities.  Surely another one is just around the corner holding a tin cup with a sign, but still solidly standing.

When you feel that life has you by the throat enumerate the people, places and things for which you are grateful. Be generous and creative here.  Count your fingers and toes. Hell, count your hairs if you really need time to calm down.  Grab a cat and insist that they cuddle with you until your breathing slows.  Have them declared an emotional needs animal so that they can accompany you everywhere.  Call your last boyfriend or x-husband and tell them how well you’re doing now that they’ve vacated your life.  Take a tour of a nursing home and challenge a senior to a three legged race.  Tell them that they can use their wheelchair only if strictly medically necessary.  Ask for a refund from the well dressed man in front of the local bodega, you know the one always begging for change, the one to whom you’ve always given a dollar. Take a stroll through the local emergency room for perspective.   Write a long and rambling email to your therapist enumerating the problems that you’ve yet to address.  Ask him//her for a refund. Laugh out loud simply because. And remember that someone always has your back and you hope it’s God.

Don’t stress the small stuff.  But this seems global warming proportions huge.  I’m trying everything to supplement my income and have the sleepless nights and darkened eyes that attest to my earnestness. So when you’ve done everything that you can think of including taking a hard line with your expenses, put the cursor to rest and allow yourself some restorative sleep.  Hmm a massage would be nice, but that’s not in my budget.  Living isn’t really in my budget, but what’s a girl to do.

Okay, I am speaking with two people about jobs tomorrow.  Surely that is a good sign. Fluff up your pillows and tell yourself that you mean business.  Spray your sheets with some alluring but comforting aromatherapy that will aid the sleeping process. Turn that scream into a smile and remember that your best day, best job, greatest score could be just hours away.

Sleep well!

Don’t be fooled by the moniker, unemployed. Not working is hard work. In fact, it’s downright exhausting. I’ve been looking for additional work to supplement my consulting income, for one year now. I’ve been hired then told that they had a hiring freeze. I never learned how you can have a hiring freeze on a commission only job. But that is one of life’s mysteries that will remain unsolved, like why men are attracted to bitches or why blondes don’t really have more fun.

How can I be so impossibly, someone just kill me already, tired, when I’m not working?

Don’t be fooled by the moniker, unemployed.  Not working is hard work.  In fact, it’s downright exhausting.  I’ve been looking for additional work to supplement my consulting income, for one year now.  I’ve been hired then told that they had a hiring freeze.  I never learned how you can have a hiring freeze on a commission only job. But that is one of life’s mysteries that will remain unsolved, like why men are attracted to bitches or why blondes don’t really have more fun.

Last year I had more work than I could handle and more energy to meet the demands of clients all screaming for more business.  I haven’t had a break in my schedule for well – over twenty years.  Let’s just say that free time is not free and it’s not fun without money.  THere are just so many times that I can walk into the Met Museum and flourish one dollar for my entrance fee before the guy giving me the fish eye demands that I pay the suggested price.  See, it’s not so amusing finding amusement in New York when you’re worried about petty things like retirement (LOL).  I just figured they’d roll me from my desk, with my hand clenched around my i phone trying to make my next deal, right into the wooden crate that I’ve allowed for my remains.  It’s hard to get serious about retirement when you’re not working.  Retirement presumes assets, wealth management and other grown up phrases that elude my current reality.

I know it exists because my sisters’ outline their assets in the midst of remodeling and refurbishing their homes.  They’ve assured me that they have no room for me.  Thanks sis, hope I can return the favor sometime.

So I keep haunting the job sites and sending upbeat updates while camouflaging the fact that I’ve nothing new or great to report, to my contacts.  It seems that we’re in a recession, depression economy, which doesn’t respond favorably to experience, work ethics or anything else.  Is it any wonder that I’m exhausted?  Worrying tends to cut my productivity by about 50%.  But that’s not news.  Frankly there are days that I just don’t want to get out of bed, permanently.

There’s a new job trends.  It’s called commission only – nice words for a dirty business – working for free.  Everyone has a job, but it’s commission only.  Seriously?  What Romneyesque genius decided to start a trend where the people who are keeping your business well, in business, shouldn’t be paid for their time?   It’s a remarkable phenomenon and about as interested in job growth and career satisfaction as Bain Capital.  But hey, a corporate raiding parasite is running for President so maybe it’s not just me.  Maybe, just maybe, everything is as fucked as it seems.  I’d be able to deal with all of this if I wasn’t so tired.

Seventy Shades of Sadness

Sadness has a sound and color. The sound is grief, the color – mist.  Significant shadings cast the tone that eventually settles into a distorted self- image.  It is not an image that I want to carry or acknowledge.  Security is something that has eluded me during the span and experience of my years.  

I collapsed emotionally last year, after losing my mother, step father, and 2/3 of my income to an unforgiving and unrelenting economy.  I’d cried to a God of my understanding to have compassion, but his arm, it seemed, was stretched forth in continuous retribution for wrongs that I’d not committed.  Was it the Roman Catholic upbringing that cracked beneath a withering onslaught?  The marriage that I’d worked to secure had shattered a decade before.  My profession, media sales, was under attack.  Jobs were scarce and men were rare.  I listened as my sisters’ discussed their firm futures with husbands and savings in place.  I envisioned myself years hence shuffling through a welfare hotel, sharing cans of cat food with my precious pets, who bore witness to my anguish and comforted my sleepless nights.

Pain was a constant companion as I tried to work out the angles of an incongruous, impossible equation. How was I going to find the wits, the skill, to rebuild my life again, in my late forties?  I started selling pieces of jewelry, grateful that my obsession had been for something that retained some value.  One cherished piece after another was placed onto the scale and weighed in the balance.  The ring that i bought in Mykonos, the bracelet that my mother had given me the first Christmas after my divorce, the weighty gold chain that my mother had pressed into my hands, saying that this was an expensive piece, cautioning me not to lose it.  Could any of my negative selves have imagined that I’d be bartering these memories for another month’s mortgage, maintenance? That I’d be negotiating time with time, hoping that I’d get another job before my gold had run out?

Where do you go when you feel that your options are slim?  I’ve tried to go to grace and hope.  I’ve promised myself that I will do my best each day.  I will respond to appropriate jobs, go to the gym, be patient and kind to myself.  That is challenging.  If I take the right measures, then surely right results will follow, I think.

My sister berates me from the depths of her secure throne.  She hasn’t worked in ten years but she offers career advice.  Find another profession.  Do something new.  Go back to school, she admonishes with a sting in her voice.  Sure, and I’ll bring you back a golden unicorn horn at the end of my journey.  How easily one can dispense advice when calling from within the shelter of an over protective, solicitous husband.  She tells me that she no longer feels any connection to our older sister and my small family fractures a little further.  The holidays loom, silent and unforgiving.  Where are the packages and lights, the people from earlier years?  She is not judging but she reminds me that our eldest sister did not attend my mother’s funeral mass.  I was too numbed by grief to remember.  Could that possibly have happened?  Did she really not come to my mother’s services?  No, she didn’t.  A splintered family splinters further until no shapes are left but the breath of ghosts.  How have we been so diminished?  We were rarely happy but we had a small devoted unit that managed to survive the dysfunction and chaos.  We are now the older generation, having laid our cherished and flawed elders to rest.  Who will now lead the way?