“Jerry, George, this is Stan the Caddy.”

I’m thrilled in anticipation of December 15, 2017.  I’m so excited I’m trembling.  I’ll bet Carrie Fisher’s daughter is feeling all the feels from watching this, too.  It’s going to level me in the theater (again.)  The Star Wars films are off the chart for overstimulation.  The soundtrack alone is practically more than I can take, it’s so incredible.  The franchise is deeply embedded in my world and has been since I was a silent child.

Leia Organa was the first (imagined) hero in my world.  Carrie Fisher evolved into a real-life hero while her life trained her like a Jedi.  Thriving with mental illness is very much like Jedi training.  You have to trust in The Force, or you’ll be too tempted to give in to the dark side (self-destruction.)  It’s why being literal-minded is something I treasure, (despite its tendency to annoy others.)

I need to start working out a plan to allow me to see it at the theater.  I’ll break it up into four viewings.  One thing in my favor:  The people who also love Star Wars will be there with me, and none of them made fun of me when I wept silently through half of Star Wars:  The Force Awakens.  Of course, I’m going to cry when I see General Leia again.  (It would be weird if I didn’t.)

The last time I was in Denver, I stayed at The Art hotel.  It’s lovely and ideally located in the museum district.  It has some fabulous art installations.  As I was entering with my R2-D2 carryon suitcase in tow, a woman complimented it, stating it was unusual.  The asshole she was with, (some random man) said it’s not unique, it’s intended for children.

I smiled at the woman and ignored the asshole as we got in the elevator.  I hate elevators.  They’re racist/hate detectors.  I despise the ones who freeze in horror when the doors slide open to reveal my beautiful brown skin.  Racists usually opt to wait for the elevator to return rather than sharing it with me.  It’s an incredibly revealing moment I’d prefer not experiencing again.  I’d rather endure three assholes who think Star Wars is a children-only world.

I’m glad I didn’t bother explaining to him how the story scales to the viewer’s comprehension. What was initially mind-boggling fascination becomes nostalgic and corny through older eyes.  But the story continues, and enchantment is renewed with each installment.  Episode I is the only film that made me physically ill in the theater.  The pod racing was so loud, I hurled, and my brother had to help me outside to recover.  Good times.

I love having an epic experience in waiting.  It makes me giddy every time I remember.  I switched routes for Meals on Wheels.  It’s unbelievable how challenging it is for me to navigate a new neighborhood with time constraints.  Good thing it’s not snowing yet.  There really ought to be a law regarding continuity of residential addresses, though.  I’m pretty sure I lost a layer of enamel from grinding through that exercise in frustration tolerance.  But you know what?  It’s okay.  Star Wars. 🙃

What does the little man inside say?

The Depression Monster is riding my back. It’s at minor annoyance level.  I’m a bit surprised by my suspicions of why I’m feeling low.  I think it’s because I’m studying Stevie Nicks, and I’ve come to a rough point in her past.  I’m at the overwhelming betrayal:  She was told she had to stop using cocaine or she’d die. Clearly, she stopped.  When she was recovering from addiction to cocaine, she was prescribed Klonopin.  It led to a worse addiction.  That’s a pretty big mind fuck.  I’m experiencing it retroactively, but apparently, my empathy didn’t get the memo.

I paused the documentary at that point to process what I’ve learned so far.  Fame is ugly.  It’s not new information, but watching Fleetwood Mac lose their innocence was hard.  I now know Rumours was created from pain.  They were all experiencing raw grief.  The successful album says a lot about their professionalism and abilities.  Most people don’t want anything badly enough to endure such circumstances.  They were about to make it big, but I don’t think they knew it.  They certainly earned it.

It bugs me something so sought after is basically a trap.  A trap for drug addiction, and a new type of loneliness exclusive to famous people.  It triggers my protective nature.  Fuck the universe for tempting so many people to strive for fame before revealing it’s true nature.  People don’t like to be fucked with, especially not after pouring everything they have into reaching for excellence.  Fuck.  Also, the men interviewed in this documentary are pissing me off.  They’re music producers from the late 70’s, which is probably enough explanation.

They’re accidentally doing a fairly good job of conveying how things went down, but you have to read between the lines.  They’re inarticulate and behave like frenemies at best, ex-lovers at worst.  Nobody is watching this documentary to hear about how butt-hurt the producers are decades after the fact.  Besides, Gen X women know misogyny speak fluently.  When men describe a woman as a bitch, diva, full of herself, bossy, and/or demanding, we are aware it actually means she was a formidable leader.  It says she didn’t submit to male dominance.  It means she’s someone worthy of our attention.

I’m noticing similarities between Stevie Nicks and Carrie Fisher.  They’re both survivors and storytellers.  They’re understandable to me.  I’ve probably stated this many times, but understanding is the path to love.  When you understand someone, you can’t help but love them.  Loving those who don’t know I even exist is surprisingly delightful.  It’s a safe secret.  I’m not very good at being a fan of famous people.  I rarely go to concerts because the other fans scare the shit out of me.  I’m pretty sure a lot of famous people have been traumatized by their fans.  We should rename fame.  It should be called Public Pain.  (I’m a huge fan of stating what’s meant.)

I can’t recall ever meeting anyone famous.  It’s a perk of living in South Dakota.  We’ve all rehearsed how we plan to act should it ever occur, but even my rehearsals haven’t gone well.  My imagination is kind of an asshole.  I’m barely able to manage it, (mostly because it amuses me too much to try very hard.)  The only famous person I’m confident I could meet (without regretting my behavior ever after) would be Michelle Obama.  I know exactly how that would go down.  She’d smile and offer to shake my hand, and I’d immediately start bawling.  I wouldn’t be ashamed because I know so many who would react exactly the same way.  (She’s probably used to it.)

I know I’m rambling on and on, but I can’t help myself.  I haven’t spoken to anyone but my cat in a few days.  (It was deliberate, but I’m an inch away from too weird, to begin with.)  So here we are.  I still have a profound sense the end of my life is impending.  It’s been over six months, but the feeling hasn’t waivered.  I hate to admit it, but I’m enjoying the planning process.  (I think it’s just that I like planning in general.)  I’m at a point now where I recognize I need to write a short story about my childhood nightmares.  It’ll be a cleansing.  I’ve always been reluctant to write it because it’s a horror story and it’s not reality.

I would suck as an author.  I have the discipline and imagination.  I don’t have the thingamajig required to convince anyone a fantasy is real.  The things I love most about novels are things I’m only capable of recognizing, not reproducing.  I’m pretty sure identifying them is more fun, though.  I don’t do the foreshadowing dance anymore, but I still get a burst of joy every time I recognize it on a first read.  That’s a lot of mileage considering I was in primary school when I learned of it.  But as a writer, I don’t foreshadow, I announce in advance.  Sigh.  Sophistication is a bitch.

Why give me comprehension without the skill?  That’s fucking mean.  But I’m not complaining, just rambling.  I’ve managed to put off this short story for most of my life.  I guess it’s time to purge it.  I’m extremely curious about what comes after life if anything.  I’m mostly sure the answer is nothing.  The thing I like most about that possibility is its nature; there can be no regrets.  The itsy bitsy chance someone imagined it right, or even close, is still enough to get lost in for a while.  It bothers me a bit that I’m not grieving, though.  Does it mean I’m ready?  We’ll see.  I’m off to beat my drums.





I didn’t do it on purpose, my foot fell asleep.

I picked up my new glasses today.  I’ve got an adjustment headache.  I wore them home, which was a mistake.  The improved vision is making everything seem surreal, and it’s messing with my depth perception.  I struggled to stay in my lane all the way home.  That hasn’t been an issue since I was a teenager.  I realize my internet glasses were a bad idea.  I guessed on a few options I’d never heard of and weren’t included in my prescription.  I need to get these readjusted.  I hope it’s just that I was impatient and didn’t let her adjust them correctly, and not that the frames are poorly designed.

I’ll go to the VA on Tuesday and get in line.  I don’t mind waiting if I bring my 3DS and headphones.  The woman who adjusts glasses there is excellent.  She’ll like the frames I chose, too.  She’s the one who introduced me to funky frames in the first place.  Lots of non-South Dakotan veterans are moving here for better care.  I’m glad they’re able.  It means longer waiting times than in the past, but that’s infinitely better than reading about a veteran dying in the shower and being discovered 9 hours later in a shitty VA hospital.

I’m exhausted.  I haven’t been able to sleep the last few nights, and have managed about 2 hours in the last 48.  It’s because I’m tense all the time now.  I have to keep my mouth open to prevent clenching my jaw.  When I read about Carrie Fisher’s heart attack, I burst into tears and started threatening the universe like I was going to kick her ass if she didn’t give her back immediately.  I’m still a little worked up but relieved to report she’s in stable condition last I heard.  I thanked the universe and retweeted all the tweets about this disturbance in the force.  My favorite said,

“She survived alcoholism, addiction, depression, and bipolar disorder.  If anyone can survive 2016, Carrie Fisher can.”

On New Year’s day, I’m going to make a big cardboard 2016 out of Amazon boxes and beat it beyond recognition, then set it on fire.  If I had the equipment, I’d relieve myself on the ashes for good measure.

On a more pleasant note, I hope you all survive the holidays without losing it and threatening to beat up the universe, or something.  At least there will be cookies with extra sugar on top.  And candy canes you made into little pepperminty spears to fight rogue elves sitting on shelves.  Just remember to excuse yourself every so often and find a safe place to exhale and catch your breath.  It’s going to be alright.

Carrie Fisher is Cooler Than You

I read earlier that some people are upset that Carrie Fisher looks like a 59-year-old woman.  She is a 59-year-old woman.  This is the kind of shit that makes me entertain the possibility that I’m on the wrong planet.  I’ll admit, my immediate reaction to this “news” was unkind.  I secretly wished that the fleas of a thousand camels infested their junk.  But then I recognized that it’s best not to pay attention to delusional behavior.  It’s not to be encouraged.

Carrie Fisher is a cool person.  I saw a show she did on HBO that was hilarious and thoughtful.  I saw her in the original trilogy, and she was one of my favorite characters.  It was the first movie I can recall seeing where a woman was portrayed as strong, in a leadership role, demonstrating incredible bravery, and carrying the 2 male leads.  I understand that hormones interfered with the brain function of many males who fell in lust over her gold bikini poster in 1983.  But grow the fuck up.  Carrie Fisher changed the world for me as a child.  I haven’t forgotten this as an adult.  When I saw her, I cried with a mixture of joy, honor, nostalgia, and delight.

The part of Leia that was created by Carrie Fisher is her wit, her strong will, and her subtle air of royalty that she completely ignores.  These traits are also part of Carrie Fisher, the real person.  I think that’s what made her character so powerful.  It was based on truth.  I feel sorry for anyone who missed all that over a gold bikini.