Friday, September 23, 2016

Indifferent gratitude?

This Mexico trip, while being incredibly conducive to the proliferation of my artistic expression, also served to make me aware of a shift in my personality.

It has been a fucked up road for me in terms of controling my self-esteem.
Considering the ridiculously extended period of time spent being told I was ugly... literally getting that shit beaten into me at times, it should come as no surprise that I'm pretty fucked up in the self-esteem department.
I don't understand why exactly I had people calling me ugly as a toddler... I see photos now and think I was quite adorable with my giant eyeballs and whatnot... but the fact that "ballooning" in third grade brought about the merciless fat-shaming for the next 15 years kind of makes sense in my head... I mean, as much sense as bullying and ostracizing the fucking shit out of a girl for YEARS just because she's larger than average can make. Those were my formative years... age five to 25 are goddamn IMPERATIVE in a human's development, who the fuck are we kidding? To think someone-- a gentle, timid girl-- spent those years completely abandoned and only approached to be belittled or shamed or... hurt... and having her grow into an even more timid, awkward, and downright FUCKED UP individual isn't so outlandish.

So I hear I'm ugly and get ignored, only get attention to get publicly humiliated or physically harmed, for roughly twenty years. I hear fat jokes, people oink and moo at me (or actually "Ew" me when I walk by... really... that sound fucks me up to this day... it's worse than getting punched in the stomach, seriously), guys completely ignore me (AND ONLY me) at social events like Quinceañeras and weddings (I might be the only girl from Hometown who never once got asked to dance during her entire adolescence. Today, I still don't get asked because I acquired the fame of "The girl who doesn't dance" as thought that was ever my choice-- to turn someone down), girls avoid associating with me in public because they find it easier to have nothing to do with the one girl guys mock OR ruthlessly ignore. Later in my adolescence guys do begin to talk to me... I am smart, witty, funny, knowledgeable about sports, cool, kind, considerate... I'm a homie... and only that.
I become thoroughly convinced I am the ugliest, stupidest, most disgusting person on the planet... the unworthiest, most-embarrassing creature alive.
THEN I lose weight. A lot of it. THEN I suddenly become worthy. Suddenly I am noticed. Suddenly people want to associate with me. Suddenly people are baffled by my rejection... "You didn't like me six months ago as a fat girl... I'm the same fucking human being on the inside... I am the same shy girl who begged to be noticed and comforted... why the fuck am I suddenly worthy because I dropped 80 pounds? You're telling me being FAT warrants that type of torture?!" It was THE WORST mindfucking of my life.
The suddenness in the change of treatment from others was too quick for me to adjust, for me to accept. 20 years of neglect and hurt... suddenly converting to laudations from others in a matter of six months. I was the kindest, gentlest girl I could be during my years of torment... I graduated on time with a biology degree, FIRST person in my family to graduate college... but dropping 80 pounds was WORTHIER to people than any of that shit.

I refused to accept the claims from others regarding my "newfound beauty." It wasn't me being humble or fishing for compliments... it was me genuinely NOT believing those who spent the majority of my life calling me "ugly."
After a few years, I found myself feeling guilty... arrogant... vain... conceited, whenever I thought positively about my appearance.
"Get over yourself, AnoMALIE."
I'd catch a glimpse of my high cheekbones, or how cool my thick lips looked in a certain shade of lipstick... or how huge and dark my bare eyelashes looked after a shower... and would stop myself cold in my tracks when the thought was positive.
"People PAY FOR THIS SHIT, AnoMALIE! AND YOU WERE BORN WITH IT! You lucky broad!... but... I mean... I'm still ugly... I mean... I can't make it work... and that's just some conceited-ass shit, idiot. Clearly you aren't pretty, or else guys would be all over you. Get over yourself," my conscience would wrestle.

Up until two months ago, I'd still blush WILDLY... activating coldsores... whenever ANYONE would allude to my "beauty." I'D FUCKING GET TEARY-EYED from the embarrassment of a compliment.

This trip to Hometown, I experienced two instances which helped open my eyes to a possible shift in this fucked up, low (more like "nonexistent") self-esteem of mine.
On my third day, I went to the "city" to get my broken filling fixed (I was so furious a couple of weeks ago, I ground my teeth hard enough to break off one of my porcelain fillings). After the thirty-minute procedure, I proceeded to walk around the city with my parents as they did some shopping in various locations. Mom and I were fed up after about an hour of perusing through little shops in the city plaza, killing time as Dad had his boots shined.
Mom decided to grab some barbacoa tacos, while I sluggishly waited, standing next to her with my fucked up, swollen, numb mouth hidden from the general public who were enjoying their morning stroll in the plaza.
"Don't move your face... your right side is paralyzed... you will look crazy the moment you attempt speaking or even smiling... but don't look like a homicidal sociopath," I thought.
Originally, a chick was helping mom with her tacos. I looked away form the taco stand, searching for dad, and when I looked back at my mother, a young, green-eyed man was hastily making his way over to us, quickly asking mom what kind of beverage she would like.
"Uh... a... Coca-Cola," Mom said.
I couldn't help but smile, bringing a hand to my lips the moment I remembered about my half-paralyzed mouth. Mom had sworn-off soda before our trip, I bet her she wouldn't make it through this trip without a drink.
The guy looked over at me, holding out a chair, and invited me to please take a seat.
Fuck... I gotta talk...
I tried my hardest to "smize" (smile with one's eyes) a la Tyra Banks. I held out my left hand and shook it as a negative, immediately bringing that same hand to my lips when I felt a smile escaping as I thought about how dumb I must look with a half-limp smile.
I tried my best to gain my composure, and stood as... "nicely" as possible while my mom finished her tacos. I tried looking "nice" and not intimidating or angry as I stood without moving my mouth (that shit's hard when you're naturally scowling like I am. I need to overcompensate with a permanent smile so other don't think I'm ready to uppercut the shit out of them). I looked around and people-watched for about ten minutes, while listening to the green-eyed guy talk to his coworker about the upcoming dance he so desperately wanted to go to.
When Mom finished her tacos, I finally once again looked over at the young man and serenely watched as he pushed his female coworker out of the way in order to be the one who gave Mom her change. The guy fumbled with the coins for about thirty seconds, dropping and sorting through the 1's, 2's, and 5's, fucking up his math. The commotion made my sight shift to his hands, then to his blushing face.
"Here is your change. And pardon me for the fumbling... A guy gets... nervous," he said after giving Mom the correct change, smiling while briefly making eye-contact with me.
I smiled politely, softened my stance, and calmly walked away.
I did not blush with embarrassment, I did not roll my eyes in irritation.
I felt... sort of sorry for the guy... for letting my presence get to him. He was sweet, and not in the least bit vulgar in his behavior towards us... he was sweetly nervous.
Sweet kid... little does he know I'm damaged beyond repair, totally unworthy of the attention.
I'm dead inside. Well, no, it's more like... I felt tenderness for the kid, for still possessing that ability to feel for someone else at first sight. However, more importantly, his attention did not anger me, or embarrass me, or even flatter me... it just made me feel bad for him feeling I was something out of the ordinary. "Bless your heart!" sort of thing.
And I moved on. Calmly.

This type of... serene... resignation (to loneliness) was my response to all expressions of admiration from people.
A second instance of "blatant admiration" occurred the night of the big patron saint festivity, the 9th.
The evening is spent attending an hour-long mass dedicated to the Patron, and at the end everyone files out and down the hill, eats street food until the sun goes down (usually about an hour of fucking around to one's content, be it drinking tequila straight out the bottle until the world can't stop spinning, stuffing your face with cobs of corn or pancakes or churros or tacos or tortas or cotton candy, or playing various carnival games), then finds a good spot to watch three-hours-worth of live fireworks... really fucking intricate fireworks, set to live music.
View exiting the church.
That two-story house down there with the red "pop-outs" is my much-envied balcony seat.
Originally, I wasn't going to participate in the activities (except church, because I'm a fucking nun), but as I was exiting the church, a cousin whose house is at the foot of the hill (upon which the town's church is located) invited us to watch the fireworks from her roof.
Church on the hill, behind the pyrotechnic "trees"
This meant I would not have to mingle with the drunken crowd, and I'd have the best seats in town.
Just as the time approached for the lighting, rain started to pour, and everyone down below rushed below the stands and proceeded to shiver the night away, watching the workers struggle with the fireworks.
After perhaps half an hour of staring at the messed up fireworks display, I started to zone out. I sat in my chair, under my umbrella, gazing at nothing.
Never too rainy or windy to party.
Meanwhile, I live out my destiny to be the Mexican version of Quasimodo.
After another twenty minutes, I began to feel eyes on me. I felt a guy in a red shirt, standing below, at my periphery, intently staring at my face. The gaze felt hot on my face, but as calmly as I've never been, I looked over and made eye-contact with the culprit: Cos... my childhood friend... the little boy who always kept me company when I'd hang out at "el alamo" with the summer gang (don't get me wrong, those memories are without a doubt the happiest of my life, but not without its share of excruciatingly painful and sad... like when the girls of the group started turning into gorgeous teens and I only ballooned into a fatter, more pathetic nerd, and the girls proceeding to go out without me, disassociating with me so as to not scare away any boys). I love this kid, madly, but with no romantic feelings whatsoever. I love him for having a heart, and taking pity on me at a time when he was a sweet little kid, a 9-year-old with a platonic crush on a weird, funny, kind, chubby, (five-years) older girl who was mistreated by jackasses who failed to appreciate her strengths. When we'd play games that required a partner, and before there was time for me to stand alone for even five seconds, I was his go-to girl, this nine-year-old's first pick. He'd hug me, and sit next to me... and give me random little gifts that his nine-year-old little hands could find-- plastic bracelets, flowers, lightning bugs. This child saved me many, many tears.
He's now a 26-year-old honorably-discharged marine... with severe PTSD that he acquired during his two Afghanistan tours. Townspeople avoid him, because he's "weird" and doesn't talk... often says hello and randomly drifts off, walking away from everyone. He prefers to remain in solitude.
I've never been scared of him, never judged him. I've always loved and appreciated him.
However, this visit I had not seen him whatsoever (since he was not home the day I visited). Watching him watching me... felt... warm, but... cold. He stared, with the same kindness in his eyes with which he has greeted me since his childhood... that same level of admiration. His gaze did not leave my face for... what felt like an eternity (more like five minutes, because it lasted a song and a half). How do I know he was staring AT ME? I was the only person on the roof... everyone else was in the safety of the ground floor-- indoors. I made eye-contact with him for about five seconds, only to make sure I was the object of his cocked head. Once I saw I was indeed the object of his attention, I continued with my activities (filming one of the pyrotechnic "trees" which one of my family members ordered).
I was not being indifferent... I was just... being myself... my quiet self. No blushing, no irritation... just... quiet resignation.

There is certainly gratitude, but...  saudade... because it's undeniably kind of anyone to admire a wreck such as me the way they do, but sad that in no way do I deserve it or can "reward" them for it.
DO they even want to be "rewarded?"
Is indifference truly what I feel... now that I've typed all this shit out and finally analyze it for myself?

Gratitude... but... I don't understand what the big deal is... just carry on, my friend... carry on.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Back in Peru, Spence and Bone commented how we needed to find a way to bottle my resilient, stubborn drive and use it for the greater good of humanity (this came up after our hike which, again, I will eventually elaborate on. However, to summarize, I shocked everyone because I fucking murdered the trek, at times out-pacing the guides... because I'm a fucking beast... with long legs and a seemingly never-ending supply of ATP... and all because people infuriated me, that shit giving me the drive I needed to go forth and beat everyone... all of this solely because everyone underestimated me, which GREATLY pissed me off. "You're telling me you can do all this shit, go from 0 to 100 ONLY because people pissed you off? We need to bottle this shit, AnoMALIE, and use it for the greater good of humanity," to quote my companions).

Vegas seems to mute this quality of mine, this strange ability to go above and beyond expectation to rock the shit out of something.
I am so lackadaisical, and timid in my natural state here in Vegas, that even those closest to me become skeptical of my abilities. In turn, though I KNOW I can do some pretty cool shit, I begin to believe other people's skepticism... much to MY OWN--and ONLY my own--detriment.
However, the moment I go to Hometown, I'm suddenly rushed by so much ambition and motivation. I become a busy-bee... a busy, artistic bee.
I will read two or three books in a span of five days (here in Vegas, you'll probably catch me reading a three-page internet article once a month... at most), which this time around included a 19th century novel, a new release "young adult" novel, and a Spanish (Argentinian) compilation of 21 short stories (TWENTY-ONE SHORT STORIES. IN ARGENTINIAN colloquialism. The goddamn book was SO fucking enthralling, that I didn't quit half-way through the first story, but instead burned through the book in one day. Stories of love, horror, or death... goddamn magical. I had forgotten how much I fucking adore short stories, in whichever language they may be).
I will doodle sketches every morning. This ten day vacation saw me finish two sketches which had been left unfinished for three years... that's pretty fucking miraculous.
I will write. In a span of five days (which was the total of legitimately "free" days), I summed up 18 pages-worth of what I call "skeletons"... aka short story outlines... which... is kind of exciting.

Hometown inspires me, when I'm not even looking to be inspired... I just go to unwind from the pent up aggression and anxiety I acquire here in the States, and come out of it with all sorts of creative trinkets, so to speak. While I do suffer from sadness out there... and I do cry nearly every day at least once... I cannot control my creative impulses. The tears are usually not provoked, they just randomly occur... even when people have been nothing but kind to me... or even when I've had a guy or two compliment me... I STILL find myself quietly crying as I sit in the living room of my house... or drinking my sleepy-time tea before bed (the walls of my Mexican home are painted pastel pink, pastel peach, and electric yellow... AND STILL, I'll cry because the fucking colors will elicit a childhood memory-- happy OR sad). I'll cry, then go off and do some shit like burn through a book, doodle, or scribble some words.
There's hardly any interference from the outside world, since any bit of rain causes the television signal to go out... and there is no wireless signal for phones... so I am left to my own devices when it comes to entertainment or even human interaction. Wanna talk to someone? Go outside and physically look for someone. Want to hear some news? Drive half an hour to the nearest "city" and visit an internet cafe.

So... I have all of this potential... and I have zero ability to harness it and manipulate to my liking... no clue how to control it. Just like my creepy ability to sense when someone close to me is going to die (or have one of their loved ones die), but no knowledge as to how to pinpoint WHO is going to die, I can go off and be a prolific "artist" but not whenever I want to... and there's always that strange side effect of going about, hiding in dark corners, crying my eyes out.

This shit feels like donating blood... where the life is literally drained out of you for the greater good, but you spend a while fainting all over the place as your body tries to recuperate.

This is all disjointed, isn't it? Like, what's my fucking point?
Basically, I'm hemorrhaging creativity and there's so much shit going on, I don't know where to point the gushing lifeforce before I'm drained and back to my catatonic, boring phase that lasts godknowshowlong.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


"Write, you fucking animal!" my mind screams at me.
The manner in which life switches shit up on me is ridiculous... it honestly goes from lackadaisical days of (calm) monotony to sudden fucking explosions in my face.
Seems like anytime I decide to take a break, wether for mental health, or physical health... it winds up being a bad idea because life gets crazy and my more comical or interesting posts have to get tossed aside because someone is dying or fighting or... destroying someone's life.

I'm back from Hometown... sick as fuck, AGAIN, but fuck it, I'll write.

This break was sudden. My brother came to town after finishing his two-year Athens post, on the 23rd of August... or something close to that.
He brought his Greek friend with him... who drove me insane because he was the most stereotypical Greek man-- misogynist AS FUCK. I wound up giving up my side of the house, so the dudes could feel comfortable and whatnot (I'm too goddamn considerate). Once my brother left on his ten-day cross-country drive (showing his Greek friend around this wonderful country), I returned to my side of the house to see the fucked up mess the guys left behind. To keep it short, I'll just say I was barfing while scrubbing snot off the walls of my shower (if you blow snot-rockets, let it be known I fucking HATE your deplorable, disgusting ass... you fucking inconsiderate animal).
ANYWAY, while my brother was in Vegas, his conversations with family members encouraged him to go to Hometown, despite being heavily frowned upon-- uh, almost illegal-- by the State Department. SO, on a whim, with exactly four days before the date, we decided to drive down to Hometown, and have my brother meet us down there by air.
SOOOOO... in four days, it was decided that we would all be going to Hometown for the Patron Saint festivities.
Fast Forward to the night prior to my departure, and you have me receiving that text from my friend, my adoptive brother (I have a few of them, but he may have been the first). That text fucked. me. up.
His mom is the one who received the terrible news... and I fucking love that lady... like, she's one of my all time favorite adults... fucking BEAUTIFULLY sarcastic, but also so loving and caring, it fucking hurts (this soul has been trampled in the most traumatic way... how can she still cary so much kindness in her heart?).
The shell-shock followed me for about four days, it had me clinging to my parents like a newborn baby.

Mexico was a welcomed breeze of serenity... with the ever-present saudade that place elicits in me.
The place is greener than EVER, with cascades of water everywhere (probably commonplace back when the Spaniards "discovered" it in the 1500's, and why they named it after the Basque country... totally not what it has looked like these last 30 years). I'd wake up to a sweet view of morning fog rising from the enlarged river, and went to bed to the sound of a rushing river... or raindrops-- there was hardly a night where my nostrils weren't treated to Hometown's enchanting petrichor.

The festivities were quite subdued due to two deaths in town... and as previously mentioned in older posts, Hometown funerals gut the fuck out of anyone with its achaic traditions (the different styles of tolling the bells for a death is haunting. The sound resonates through the entire town for about ten undisrupted minutes each time). The nine days of festivities (actually, it's more like 12) passed by without much drunken debauchery from the men, unlike the ridiculously frustrating disaster from last year.

So... things were mellow... and melancholy. I had the break I didn't know I needed, and my sadness was quiet and calm, rather than the chaotic frenzy it can sometimes be.
Though I arrived home sick as all hell, I was not sick at all in Hometown. My sickness was only lightheadedness after vomiting my brains out at the start of the trip (though violence down there is basically down to zero now, I still find myself nervous out of my mind when I think of driving though that sierra in the dark. While they seem to be venerated in the states with all the fucking shows, real life narcos are goddamn motherfucking terrifying and hardly as amusing as the Netflix shit).

Now to pick up on where I left off with real life... where does a girl even start?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Deserve to know

Greatly underestimated how fucking horrible this feels...

This year has no qualms dethroning past "worst year ever"s...

On my way to Hometown... And I've been crying every other hour as I recall this text from last night.

I said I wasn't the one having the shit time this year, but it's not any easier having to sit here and watch everyone else's world violently burn to the ground.