Sunday, January 05, 2014

Please, I Want So Badly for the Good Things to Happen

I first found that Sylvia Plath quote sometime in the middle hours of last night, in between forming a girl gang and calling the suicide prevention hotline.

I should probably clarify that the girl gang is entirely in it's formative years and that we haven't actually done any awfully gang-related events so far, but we've got big plans. They mostly include buying people ice cream and beating up people who don't respect pronouns, but as the apparent founder of the gang I'm pretty open to suggestions. There's still some 50-60 applications for the gang that appeared in a blaze of glory last night just sitting in my inbox, but I really haven't had the time or inclination to go through them just yet. Evidently, I'd be the kind of gang leader whose more inclined towards smoking from a whispery little black cigarette holder and listen to Etta James croon in the background, rather than actually go through paperwork and pay bills or something.

As for the second while adventure I had last night, a close friend posted a suicide threat on her blog at around midnight. I actually haven't considered suicidal actions since Christmas a few year's past, and haven't had thoughts of self harm since spring last year, so! That's good. I guess. But the majority of last night's proceedings consisted of me sobbing breathlessly at my laptop screen and shivering alone at the kitchen table. It's funny how the shock of a suicide threat can make a person shiver for a good hour or two, even when you sit right next to the heating vent. I've never considered myself the shiver and faint kind of girl, but I guess we all surprise ourselves sometimes.

Long story short, I stayed up till 1 AM last night speaking to a hotline counselor named Karen and constantly refreshing my friend's blog. Then I walked my dogs in the bitter cold around the empty elementary school along our house, went to bed and woke up at 8 am the next morning to watch Sunday Morning. There was a segment on Parisian traveling trunks and another on Tootsie Pops.

After my sister left to go to church with her boyfriend's family (a new and similarly novel concept, but she's yet to really pull us aside for the Big Faith Talk [even though we've all realized she essentially converted some 5 years ago] and we haven't brought it up) and I sat by my mother on the couch and admitted that I'd spent the last night talking to a suicide hotline. I really only told her because Karen was very kind and extended her compliments towards my mother parenting, so I felt kind of obligated to pass the compliment along. My mother was full of good will and concern and kindness and other such positive adjectives and actually supported my sleep deprived, "stare at the ceiling fan on a cold night at 1 AM and randomly think about knitting your suicidal friend a sweater" idea.

Then I decided I needed canine therapy and I left to go volunteer at the animal shelter for an hour.

The animal shelter is also A New Development in the bustling lives of your typical post-divorce American femme-family, along with the fact that my sister, despite being adamant in her desires of us adopting two dogs back in Florida, has now decided she dislikes the dogs and claims they want to kill her. She yells whenever they jump up to hug her, and it sometimes seems as though she'd rather strangle herself with their leashes than walk them. My mother and I are united in our bafflement and concern regarding her sudden dislike of our dogs, but I guess it's her opinion and she's entitled to it- whatever circumstances that brought it about notwithstanding (and unknown).

I, on the other hand, have decided to hell with it all and begun volunteering at the animal shelter because heaven knows my sister's racked up enough volunteer hours for a small armada so I should probably also do something and wow I really like dogs and. Yeah, that was pretty much my entire though process. I haven't been certified to help with the cats yet, but the dogs are actual lumps of furry joy. I could (and probably will) fill this entire entry with nothing but excited jabberings regarding all the different dogs at the shelter and my nicknames for them and the volunteer politics etc. etc. but that's really not important.

Anyway, I got to walk dogs and then throw lipstick on and go buy some 10 skeins of yarn at Jo-Anne fabrics before stalling around in the needle aisle as I anticipated the reply of my friend as to which color she'd rather her sweater be; navy blue or cherry red. She chose cherry red, by the way.

Then my mother got a coffee from Panera and I took selfies that got 200 some notes and I profusely thanked and apologized to my mother for essentially every aspect of the day while she sipped her coffee and we worried over the encroaching rain clouds. On the way home I ran in to a grocery store and bought a whole can of vanilla frosting and received an email that one of my playlists had received a long-awaited gold achievement and then I went home, made a microwave cookies and doused the thing in melty Pillsbury frosting goodness.

This entire entry sounds horrifically vain and self centered and not at all the kind of blog post you'd expect to follow an intro that announces girl gangs and suicide threats. But all in all, today was a horrifically good and absurdly kind day and I'm really just baffled by it and desperately wishing I could send even half the lovely things I enjoyed today to my friend. I don't understand how I can be so lucky as to have an amazing day, following a night spent crying my heart out in broken pants because it seems as though one of my oldest friends is about to kill herself.

I don't know why today was so nice. I do know that I still haven't replied to any of the 50-60 applicants in my inbox, and I feel awful about that. I feel awful about a lot of things. Mostly, I'm just confused.

When I saw the Sylvia Plath quote last night it resonated so fiercely in my tear tired eyes that I felt as though someone infinitely more eloquent had somehow managed to summarize my situation in a single sentence without having any idea what the context was. I know that isn't the case, that I'm taking the quote itself out of context to fit my needs, but I think the majority of life is spent applying your situation to mundane things in a desperate bid to make it yours. I went out to breakfast the other day, and a woman found a penny on the railing behind her table. She asked the waitress about it, and the waitress explained that she had jars and jars full of them back home, so she liked to leave lucky pennies scattered for passing customers. The woman, slightly crestfallen, muttered that she'd thought it'd been a message from her father.

Life is full of pennies that could be from overworked waitresses or deceased dads. Sometimes, we're going to misinterpret things in order to help ourselves. We'll be illogical and vain and selfish in our needs, but sometimes that's okay.

When I saw that Sylvia Plath penny, I wished on the line like a prayer or a falling star or a lucky penny. I suppose my folly was in failing to specify who it was that I so frantically wished the good things for.

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