Saturday, May 23, 2015

500 Words, Day 3 -- Hitting a Wall Already?

Conclusion: There's a reason I don't write every day ordinarily.  I basically have nothing to say.  Looking back over half-hearted half-started pieces, thinking I can cobble 500 words together and call it meaningful.  But all I really have to go with are notes from The Nightmare Years.  Do people really want to read more about The Horror?   Am I getting boring?  Yes, Mina, god, we get it, your ex is a drunk, your daughter is an asshole, her boyfriend is a monster.  Enough already jeezy freezy lemon squeezy.  Isn't it time to be moving forward?  

That's a wrap.
The answer may or may not be "yes on all counts."    BUT WAIT.  THERE’S MORE.  

I repeat myself when under stress.  Thank you, Adrian Belew.

Exhibit A
Shakily, her hand moves the phone around the room, peering into the corners, throwing light on the wreckage that surrounds her.  She narrates.  Here, Your Honor, is the garage.  Clearly a fire hazard.  The junk piled up against the door.  Someone who needed to use this for an escape route wouldn't have a chance, would surely perish.  And here, Your Honor, see how the furniture bars entrance to the bathroom, see how the paint cans keep the door from shutting.  Do you see a toothbrush here?  No, you do not.  Neglect unto abuse.

Her therapist has advised her not to re-enter the house because exposing herself to the wreckage will trigger what she considers to be PTSD.  Except it's not clear when, if ever, there will be a P to this T.  Nevertheless, when (dear god would he please sign the papers so he can officially be) her ex travels overnight on business, she is of course eager to return, to put everything back to normal for her son, for at least the time that they can be together without HIM.

Curiously, it's not neglect in the sense we normally use that word.  It's not as though he was out gambling, or smoking crack.  It's not as though he left young children alone for hours with nothing but the TV and a box of Cheerios.  More an almost moral neglect.  Benign neglect they call it.  Just through his clueless inaction, through his passive indifference to the mundane details of basic living, he has turned their home into a frat house.    One of his favorite movies has always been "Animal House."  And there you have it.

I’ve been farting around on the dating website called “OkCupid” and it’s been a great comedy-writing workshop if I do say so myself.   Many many many sets of 500 words.  Big plans, big dreams.  But the reason I bring it up today is this:  You’ll be reading someone’s profile and come across something that makes you say, “um, no.”  So you hit “hide” -- and the message you get is “Well, they can’t all be winners.”  And three more profiles of guys EXACTLY LIKE THE ONE YOU JUST HID.

Sometimes social media is like real life on steroids.

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