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September Surrender: Day 21

What I’m Letting Go: Loudmouth Loquacities

I just could not shut the fuck up today. Like some petulant child, I was whiny and cranky at everyone. I didn’t get to take a nap yesterday as I spent all day at my parents’ house. We got rid of their old mattress and bedframe so we can make way for the medical bed. But my dad and I had to carry mom into the spare bedroom, a difficult task for an 80-year-old man and his daughter with no upper body strength. But we made it, and she made it. I spent hours back in the third room and cleared out even more than I did last time. So yes, it was productive. But my lack of nap and grind to get all my work done really took its toll on my performance.

Really, I was in rare form today. I legitimately did not want to do the work they pay me to do, and I was letting everyone know it. I know we’re up against some crazy odds with workplace issues I’m not getting into here, but I didn’t have a single excuse for my display. At one point, I said out loud, “I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this, why do I have to do this.” I stopped myself and said how much of a drama queen I was being, and my senior verbally agreed. So I knocked it off for a bit. But down in the control room, I just kept going.

“No, no, no no no!” I wailed when we received a text from our host. They sent an old article featuring one of our upcoming guests to which I knew they were going to bring up. My senior again told me I was being too dramatic, and on some level I knew that. I also knew the segment was about to go off the rails with this text, which it did. But absolutely none of us had any control of that. I really need to not be like this again, no matter how tired I am. It’s not a good look for me to act like a brat when I can bring much better qualities to the stage.

But it was different today. It was like I was desperate to feel something other than what I’ve been feeling. Reality seems so far and away from where we currently are that I was shocked to even discover it was a Thursday. I can strive for a real moment in my life without disrupting everyone around me. I’m not a child, I’m an adult. It’s time to start acting like one, whether I’ve got my crown on or not.

What I’ve Discovered: The World of Why Nots

I actually went out with my friends last week. I was in a bar. There were drinks involved, though I still had none. But it was a nice change of pace to break my own barriers and cross the river into another borough. I had a great time and it was great catching up. One of the first things my friend asked me after not seeing me for three years was, “When’s the last time you had s*x?” I was only slightly taken aback but not altogether surprised, considering who it was coming from. He’s the kind of friend I get to call a little shit, tell him he’s being a rude c*cksucker, or that he’s acting like a f*cking asshole. I love that guy. He cracks me up. A good dude to have on your team. And yes, I answered him. “A thousand years ago,” I said, which I think took him aback. I simply told him I’m not a man and I have no need to release the valve. He paused, said, “I get it,” and we moved on to another topic.

When my other friends arrived, we had to do the check in on who everyone is dating. Since this guy was once a notorious lothario, we were all a little surprised that he was in what seemed like a committed long-term, long-distance relationship. Whether that means exclusive, I don’t know (and didn’t ask), but there was some care there we hadn’t seen before. He said he loved this girl. That he’s “probably” going to end up marrying her. That he’s learning all about her background so he can get to know her better. It was cute. A nice change of pace. But something in me just couldn’t help wondering how real he was being about it. He was describing it as just the next step in their relationship. A “why not” scenario rather than something with true passion behind it. A “might as well, it’s already here” kind of feeling. And I know I’m projecting a lot here. Either way, it’s not my life to lead. I just want to see him happy, like I would for anyone I call friend. And it dawned on me that some people just might be happiest with something laid out on the surface versus what actually lies beneath.

It’s still a hard pill to swallow for me, as I’m looking for something real enough to become rooted in my very soul. It may be impossible to find in this lifetime. I just know I’ll never stop searching for it. Whether everyone else does the same is not up to me. But I’ll know it when I see it. In the meantime, when I expressed my desire to have a baby, he did offer to help me out if it came down to it. We’d have a beautiful daughter, I told him, though she’d be hairy enough to want to shave her legs in kindergarten. He got that one too. I’m glad.

What I Hope to Find: The Whole Filthy Truth

I’m enjoying the time I’m spending at my parents’ house. It’s fun going through all my old memories as I clear out that back room, but most importantly it’s all to take care of my mom. I know she’s in a good place and it’s nice seeing my dad take on a parenting role. Growing up, my dad was just my dad. My favorite guy. The captain of the ship. But he, admittedly, let my mom do the parenting growing up. That means disciplining, doing homework, getting me dressed and cleaned, etcetera. He basically just made sure I was fed, as he was the only one who cooked. Now I get to see him take on motherly duties. He carries around the baby monitor everywhere he goes. He’ll feed her, clean her, make sure she’s comfortable. I’m back home with confidence that mom fell asleep happy.

When we’re not in the room with mom, it’s just him and I. We have the news on a lot. He’s the only one I can tell all my real “news theories” to. He then tells all his buddies about how much of a theater we’re all watching. It’s a fun little ripple effect. He’s still my favorite guy to talk to. We had the Merrick Garland testimony on, each of us on our respective laptops. He likes to give running commentary over anything he watches, be it the news, The Sopranos, or commercials. “You want some real entertainment?” he asked me, “Don’t look at the guy on trial, look at the guys behind him! They tell more of a story than he ever could!”

Sure enough, at that moment, the two young men behind Garland shifted positions. One very clearly put his hand over his mouth to whisper something to the other. Very theatrical in its own way. And there was my dad, acting like he was in an episode of MST3K. “Oh yeah, very professional, yes, this answer is good, don’t worry, I’ll play with your ‘braggiole’ later.” I snapped my head up at my dad’s joke and exclaimed, “That’s exactly what I was thinking too!” These guys had a real “buttslap” energy to them, so it’s funny my dad picked up on it. We shared a good laugh, a real laugh, my dad laughing harder than I’ve seen him laugh in ages, and I couldn’t just let the moment play out. It’s like it was too real for me. “Great minds, my love,” he said, to which I replied, “Yeah, great gutterminds!”

While it’s fun to keep discovering where I get my humor from, what I’m really after is finding more moments like that where I can just let go for a moment. I wanted to throw my head back in hysterics but just couldn’t do it. I felt embarrassed and weird in front of someone I love so much. I have yet to figure out what makes me cringe so hard, but perhaps I’ll find out the more I let myself just let things be real. To have a moment I can tell you about later. Or not. There are things only a fellow guttermind would understand.

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