Lingering Affect AKA Token Monsters
At some point during my childhood, my uncle gave my mother two, soft (probably cherry) wood, Ethan Allen television tray tables. She kept them looking nice by placing cloth runners over the top. On cleaning days, I would always offer to spray the furniture polish and wipe them down because I was a helpful child.
Just kidding. It was because I was randomly lifting the cloth and carving into the soft wood with a ballpoint pen and I didn’t want her to find out. (Before you ask why I would do such a thing, I’ll state, I don’t fucking know.) None of it was worthwhile or awe inspiring. My initials, some iguana looking thing, squiggle doodles, smiley faces… I was a horrid kid apparently. I don’t recall the reprimand of my wrongdoing but needless to say, I currently own both tables; the iguana defaced one is used as my writing desk.
As I began writing notes for this particular blog on paper, I unconsciously tapped/ poked my ball point pen into the wood creating divots (old habits die hard). I don’t normally jot blog notes on paper. I use my phone or laptop. My notes had no relevance either. “I like the smell of PaperMate ink pens.” True, but irrelevant to my blog. “If you don’t like the way I talk, than why am I on your mind?” Dua Lipa Lyrics. Amazing. Still irrelevant to the blog I was attempting to think about.
I was unconsciously avoiding writing this particular blog. It’s not easy to be an introverted person who writes a blog about personal shit. I’d like to think I write the blog because it pertains to my art and thought process but most likely, I think I write it only because I’m currently compelled to do so.
Someone probably sprinkled some Hoo Doo magic in my coffee. I seriously woke up one day and thought, I should write shit down. Who knows, maybe I’m just unconsciously punishing myself via emotional embarrassment in order to mold into a better person.
Also, I’ve attempted to read other people’s blogs before and GOOD GOD, many of them are fucking boring. If I’m on the prowl for people’s inner most thoughts then I’d better be willing to cough up my own. Amirite…
Anyway, after all this time, a particular emotion will still strike me at random. I feel my throat constrict, my eyes immediately swell and my breath hitch. I hold it. All of it. The physical and mental pain receptors switch off. My face winces, I expel a hard breath and shut down everything except thoughts of art, cartoons and puppies. The flash of a moment passes, I switch back on and I continue with my day as if nothing happened.
Sometimes, however, the moment does not pass. Tears spill out, as sobs momentarily escape my throat and wrack my body. It hurts to breathe and I squeeze my eyes shut to think about art, cartoons and puppies; my fucked up mantra of calm. It’s never more than a moment before I’m able to regain control and swallow it down. It’s not a common occurrence but it does still happen to this day; especially if I’m exhausted. My emotions are weirdly more fragile past 10pm. This folks, is the lingering remnants of my grief.
I used to be unable to talk about it at all. People would attempt to reminisce and I would only nod and turn my head away, or leave. Opening my mouth would result in betrayal. I couldn’t control the grief back then. One time, someone pressed me about it and I croaked out, “Shut. Up.” then left the room.
Obviously, I sought professional help (which CLEARLY has made me the WELL ROUNDED individual I am today) and I’m much more capable of explaining my sorrow. But just because I can explain it doesn't mean I always feel compelled to do so. It’s such murky waters to discuss grief and for me, it’s extremely embarrassing.
Years ago, I lost someone very dear to me. We were both cut from the same Libra cloth (our thoughts pinging on a different frequency than most), we shared DNA, our respect was mutual, our email correspondence spanned years and I still feel untethered by the loss. It sucks. This year is significant and I’m honoring the moment by writing it down. Also, let it be noted that the last thing I said was, “Hope you enjoyed your burrito.”
Depending on my mood, I either love or hate that it was the last thing I said. Depending on my mood, I love or hate that I carved into ETHAN ALLEN furniture. Depending on my mood, I love or hate how controlled I am about my grief. Regardless of my mood, love lingers.
In case you were wondering, I usually think about Basquiat, Invader Zim and French Bulldogs and I’ve been a deviant doodler since I was a toddler. One time, before I was old enough to attend kindergarten, I scribbled pen in the back seat of the car. No one noticed and later that evening, I felt guilty and randomly volunteered to go “Windex” the car without stating why. Kids say and do the darnedest things.