One Foot In Front Of The Other.

It was getting late. Almost 11:30 P.M. This picture had been taken at least a full hour ago:

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The friends I met up with were starting to get incoherent, and, although I never mind not drinking around people who are, I don’t love staying around people who are drunk and keep drinking anyway. Especially in bars. I had driven myself to New Brunswick, so I had to drive home. Since I had driven, I hadn’t had anything to drink. That’s my rule and I always stick to it. I would never want to risk hurting anyone.

“I think I’m going to get going, everyone,” I said.

“Yeah, it’s getting late, us too,” another member of the group seemingly gratefully jumped on board. She was the designated driver for two other women in the group. They parked outside the bar. I had parked a bit away, but had always felt safe walking around New Brunswick alone, even at night. I was a smart kid.

“Hey! Where are you going?” the DD asked.

“Oh, I’m in the deck by the hotel. I didn’t feel like dealing with circling the streets and this deck is free and always has spots,” I answered.

“Hop in, we’ll take you,” she replied.

“Are you sure? I’m really okay,” I promised.

“Yes. Besides it’s freezing. Come on,” she convinced me.

She dropped me in front of the hotel as our two other friends drunkenly laughed and sang. “Thank you so much! Drive safely!” I said as I grabbed my purse off of the floor.

“Will do!” she yelled, and they were gone. I started walking to the front of the hotel, the best way to get to the elevators to the parking deck. My keys were out, the longest between my knuckles, just in case.

I walked through the lobby to the elevators which connected the hotel to the parking garage. Unlike when I had parked earlier in the evening, a party of some kind was going on and/or wrapping up in the hotel’s main room.

I waited patiently for the elevator. Soon two other couples joined me, waiting. And then, two men who had clearly had too much to drink and were looking to instigate something. I could literally feel it in my gut as they approached. They started to get louder and louder, looking for an audience. As they looked at me, I regarded them with caution, afraid at this time of night they might take an acknowledgment as an invitation.

The elevator finally came, and the two men went in first. Then the couples.

I hesitated, thinking to myself, just wait for the next one, you’re already nervous. Then, they are clearly watching me, so if I don’t get in, it might actually be worse. They could get off and try to wait with me, and then I’d be alone. At least right now there were four other people who would surely keep them calm. I’m the last in so I’ll be the first out. It’s only three floors. I reluctantly stepped in the right side so I could select the floors myself.

I hit “3” which lit up and asked everyone else, “which floor?”

“That’s us too,” said one couple. I relaxed a little.

“Us too!” said the second couple.

“Yeah, that’s where we’re going too,” said one of the two men, speaking for both of them.

I waited for the doors to close.

Then.

“Damn, girl, what you doin’ tonight?” I heard the man behind me say. My back was to him so I pretended he could have been talking to anyone.

“What? You gonna ignore me lookin’ like that?” he went on.

“Yo, check this out. She’s looking for attention too. She’s got that cute little outfit on. You like purple?” The same man asked.

“Whoooo-hoooo, she definitely likes purple,” echoed the second man.

I looked to my left and saw that the men had moved to a different spot on the elevator. How did they do that? And what is taking so long?! I looked at both couples. All four people, staring straight ahead.

“You got plans tonight!” said one of the men to me.

I looked at the couples again. No reaction.

They’re not going to let anything happen to me, I thought.

Okay.

Fuck.

You already know where you parked. You always memorize it. Keys are out. The second the door opens, you’re going to have to act not scared. Head straight for the car. Hit the button on the remote, get in, and lock the door. You can do this. You parked fairly close to the elevator. You’re the only old green Accord in the lot. Maybe only six to ten cars away. You know what to do.

I had a plan.

While I was thinking more heckling had been going on. The couples were getting more and more uncomfortable. The fact that they were between me and the guys comforted me. They would stop any attempted pursuit, right?

It was extremely clear by now that these men planned to try to talk with me — at the very least once this ride was over.

Floor three. This was it. The doors opened and I started taking large steps toward my car as fast as possible.

“Where you goin,’ sweetheart?” I heard a man say.

“Yeah, don’t play us like that. The night’s not over,” said the other man.

I looked back. The couples were almost out of sight heading in the opposite direction, there were other people walking in the lot but nowhere near me at the moment, while the men — were gaining on me!?

I snapped out of asking myself what kind of people, riding the elevators with their wives, or dates, or girlfriends, or husbands, or boyfriends could possibly let this happen exactly like it was happening.

RUN.

That’s all I felt. I went into complete flight mode knuckling my key even tighter hitting my remote over and over and over again until I could see my car’s lights blink, indicating it was unlocked. I kept clicking it just in case, moving as fast as I could. I didn’t look back again. But I could hear them. My running must have caused them to run too.

This is how I die, I thought. I’m going to get raped and murdered and no one will ever find me. My Mom, my Dad, Jesus.

GET TO THE FUCKING CAR.

I turned into the driver’s side nook cursing the car next to mine for parking so close. I got in and pushed down the lock holding it there as one of the men tried pulling open the door.

Put the key in the ignition. You’re getting out of here. Turn the car on.

The man outside started banging on my windows and hood. His friend had caught up with him but didn’t touch my car. The guy on my car was getting angrier. Screaming worse and worse things to me that I cannot remember. I was numb.

Holding down the lock with one hand (knowing that really wasn’t doing much) and having turned on the car, I used the other hand to put the car into reverse.

“Yo!” the further away man said.

“What?” the guy on my car yelled back. He put his hands on my trunk and stood there, looking at me through my rear view window. He wasn’t moving.

“Dude, let’s go find something else, she ain’t shit,” the further away man said.

Please work please listen to him oh my God please get the fuck off my car and go away oh God help me please God don’t let them get in.

The man on my car slammed his fists on my trunk twice.

“Yeah, fine! No one needs this shit anyway,” he said, and he walked away heading toward the other man.

I breathed for the first time since I saw the other people in the elevator letting this happen. My hands were shaking. I was terrified. When I was sure they were out of sight I exited the parking deck, certain they would jump out at any point while getting out of there. I couldn’t stop looking in my rear view.

You don’t want to wake Mom and Dad, I thought. They would be asleep by now. Don’t worry them. You’re fine. You’re fine! You made it. You did exactly what you needed to. You survived.

Still, I thought these guys might be tailing me all the way home, so shaken and paranoid that I couldn’t relax even after getting inside my house. I locked the door in two ways, something we never often did in my home growing up. I left my parents a note so they wouldn’t worry about the chain (or break it) and taped it to the doorknob in case they woke up before me.

And then, alone in my room, in disbelief, I drank.

I wrote the following Facebook post at 1:26 A.M., still completely shaken:

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Re-reading that, I remember signing up for the self-defense class my first semester of my freshman year of college. I had dated a guy very briefly who, as it turned out, had excessive control issues and major anger issues. I told you, I’m an anxious person. I wanted to make sure I was ready just in case. I remember coming back from class having bruises on my arms and shins from practicing so hard against myself.

And yes, all of the thoughts of self-defense came into my head at some point. Since there were two men, I knew that even if I was lucky enough to disable one by putting my key through his neck I might have to use the other techniques I learned on the other one.

I kept drinking. And drinking. Until I finally fell asleep.

How many times do self-defense moves ruminate in your mind while walking anywhere throughout the day? Are you always watching others? Getting a grasp on your surroundings, potential weak spots, people who don’t look safe, etc.?

Now, I say, “people who don’t look safe,” because of the second time that I was almost attacked. They didn’t look safe. And as it turned out, they weren’t.

But first, I promised you the responses to my Facebook post:

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I numbered (poorly) “1,” “2,” and “3,” because those people were out with me earlier in the night. “2” and “3” were in the car that dropped me off, if that’s at all relevant. The rest of the comments:

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Number “4” up there is the friend who dropped me off in front of the hotel.

I wrote the thing at the bottom with the yellow cover-up over it. My response was prompted by the person who I have written “nickname” near, above. (He used a nickname which would give away who he is — to probably more people than he’d like — so I had to kill it.)

But what the actual fuck?

Yeah, I should have done something differently. <– SARCASM INCLUDED. Jesus Christ.

I tried to walk to my car.

That’s it, people! I didn’t provoke, invite, or otherwise suggest I wanted any part of the rest of the evening of these men. So that was a totally fucked up response.

Unfortunately, it, and those like it, are not uncommon. A lot of people do this. It’s almost never appropriate. Victim blaming is NOT okay and it NEEDS to stop PERMANENTLY.

A couple of things.

I am SO MUCH MORE VOCAL online about things like this NOW than I was six years ago when this happened. I was still in shock when I wrote it. I had over 800 Facebook “friends” at the time. This matters only insofar as getting only eleven comments was pretty pathetic, I felt, especially at the time.

I’m not Facebook friends with ANY of the people numbered anymore. And I’m not friends with them in real life either. They know one of my rapists. And I couldn’t deal with that. Especially after I told number “2” about the rape, and subsequently saw her in photos with the rapist on Facebook afterwards. (See earlier blog posts for that rant.) Just like I’m not about to be “friends” with the rapist who sent me that request, I’m not going to be friends with people who are friends with my rapist, ESPECIALLY if you know he raped me.

So now, I protect myself. It is legal to carry pepper spray of a certain concentration and below in New Jersey. So I do. And every time I feel unsafe I walk with it out and opened. And one time, I thought it was going to be the only thing that saved my life. But one bedtime story is enough for tonight, kids.

Reliving all this trauma takes a toll on me that needs to be monitored.

I’ll share my second experience and my run in with “security” at the O.A.R. concert next time (probably).

NO ONE should have to exist in this world feeling unsafe just because they are out alone. Women don’t need escorts anymore, although, sometimes I think to myself, I sure wouldn’t mind a friend to make me feel safer walking everywhere I go. Maybe that’s why I pick larger men to date. For safety. Except they can turn that on you too, as I well know.

Just know, if you’re reading this, and you’ve never had to experience something like it, worry about it, etc., count yourself lucky and blessed. I have friends who get harassed weekly, if not more, on the street — merely for existing in public as women.

I ask that if you are a woman especially, but if you are a man as well, that you stand up and don’t allow that shit to happen. If you’re with someone who says something he/she shouldn’t to someone going about their day, take control and make it right.

All we have is life.

Peace.

So I Walk, Yeah I Walk.

Okay. I wanted to tell you why Friday night’s concert experience started off with a very livid me. I was going to start this post with all of the reasons I have to walk down the street with pepper spray out “just in case” — you know — because I was born with ovaries — and identify as a cisgender woman.

But.

My scheduled programming is interrupted as I just got a Facebook friend request from someone who I KNOW fucking RAPED someone I deeply care about — some years back.

Soooooo. THAT actually happened, in real life. This “friend” request. Jesus Christ.

And I don’t know how to process it all quite yet. I wanted to immediately reply via message “are you fucking serious? I know you raped __________. I’d rethink wanting into my life.

But I stopped myself.

It’s not my place.

It wouldn’t help anyone at this point.

And it’s not my story to tell.

So I won’t.

I just can’t fucking believe people.

I won’t click on his profile, but from the picture alone it looks like he has children since we were friends in real life. If my father was a rapist I’d be pretty fucked up, I’d think. I hope they NEVER know that part of him. 

We have a number of mutual friends in common. I’d love for them to know what kind of person he is — BUT I keep secrets I’m asked to keep.

To be 100% clear — I am not making any type of threat to him — about him — regarding him — however it needs to be heard/read/said to you. Because I will not let that shit into my life.

So, as I “pray” on THAT — so to speak — I need some time to finish writing my post about what I have to do now to feel safe.

Basically it starts with an incident not that long ago.

December 8th was the six year anniversary of me getting chased to my car by two men — in a parking deck.

People could have intervened but did not — and one of the men almost caught me. He wouldn’t get off of my car for what felt like an eternity.

I had never been so terrified in my entire life. Now, I know better. Well, to my credit — I already knew better then.

I am extremely anxious by nature which makes me super observant and hyper vigilant and a quick thinker in emergencies — situations which you never want to be in — well — at least I certainly don’t.

I was lucky I was able to make — and execute — a plan.

I’ll share the full story when I’m feeling less angry at all the above, but believe me I’ll share it soon. I hope tomorrow if I’m up to it.

I intend to share snapshots of what I posted on Facebook about it six years ago, and what my Facebook friends commented in reply to that post.

I will, of course, protect their identities.

But it needs to be seen to understand the full story. People accidentally, I believe, or at least unintentionally, blamed me in some ways in those comments. And that wasn’t okay then, and it’s not now.

People say it’s the fault of a victim for what she was wearing. Here’s me that night. Think I was asking for it?

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I was only a victim of attempted assault then…damn.

Peace.

Of A Revolution.

O.A.R.

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Kings of live performances.

I don’t have the best pictures, and I won’t apologize for that, because it’s a lot more important for me to experience them than to capture them on my phone. I happened to have the best seat I’ve ever had to date which conveniently had a plexiglass barrier in front of it, so things wouldn’t fall over the balcony, I’m guessing, which made it really easy for me to record some of their songs without having to pay attention to my phone, so that was really a win win for me.

They have a cult following which I have recently (see: my Friday post) described as what feels like a religion. Marc, the lead singer, will, during “That Was A Crazy Game of Poker,” put down his mic, and hear a packed venue recite the lyrics, “gotta throw it all down and kiss that shit goodbye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Kiss it goodbye” are the original lyrics. But if you’re a fan, you know you should be singing “kiss that shit goodbye” by now.

As far as concerts go, I’ll never love seeing a band live more than O.A.R.

(Although seeing Eminem with D-12, Lil Jon, 50 Cent, etc. on The Anger Management Tour 14 years ago — (fuck me!) — was a dream come true, and I will always cherish getting to see D-12 prior to Proof’s death, boy-band dancing to “My Band,” Em showing his ass to the crowd, and the electricity when the entirety of Madison Square Garden was pulsing to “Lose Yourself,” an experience I shared with my sister, and will always treasure.)

I used to wonder why people would see a group so many times, especially a group that plays as many old songs as it does new ones — a group that sings things they wrote when they began, twenty-two years ago. Now I know. I get it.

Here’s me, alone, pre-show, taking an obligatory selfie:

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ON GOING ALONE

Well, like I mentioned in my Friday night post, I really wasn’t “alone.” As I said, I forgot that you’re never really alone when you go to see O.A.R.

And guess what! 🎶I met a guy, and I liked it!🎶 (Sung like Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” — just imagine it all right?! Hahaha, ahhhh I crack myself up.)

Actually I met several guys, all of whom ended up sitting near me and were also alone due to a variety of circumstances. They were all super receptive when I started conversations with them and, I think, grateful for the company between the opening acts. The show started at 7:00 but I left just before midnight — I’ve NEVER been to a show that was that long. It didn’t feel like five hours, but it was boring before my companions showed up.

The first guy I spoke to had never seen O.A.R. before so I told him I’d been to a bunch of shows and tried to explain what they were like. I think I did a pretty good job. I told him during certain songs people were basically going to go completely insane because it’s just like that. I told him I couldn’t really do it justice but he would experience it once the show started. During “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker” he leaned over to me and said “I get it now!” He really enjoyed them, which made me happy. It’s normal to be happy when someone you like — likes the thing you told them they would like — right? If it’s not that’s also okay because I’m cool with not being normal, as any of you who read this blog on any kind of consistent or semi-consistent basis by now well know.

The guy that I mentioned in my Katy Perry parody arrived, like, as O.A.R. came on stage. He was really awesome. He’s been to over sixty (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) shows! The man put me to shame! Although it had previously been my conversation starter with the first guy I met, I don’t recall exactly how being alone came up with him. Maybe he just noticed. But I must have said something because after the show he asked me if I was in a Facebook group for fans who basically just meet up and know each other and get together because they’re fans. I, of course, looked at him like a deer in the headlights, so he asked if I had Facebook at all. I said yes, so he pulled up the group and told me I should totally join and I did, when I got home. He was super sweet, even saying, “from now on, even if you’re ‘alone’ at a show you’ll never actually be alone,” and he smiled. Not that I needed taking care of, but it felt like he was taking me under his wing, and not in a condescending way. People who are fans of O.A.R. like he is, aren’t bad people.

So between the two of those guys especially, I didn’t actually feel alone except when I first arrived. We were on our feet dancing, singing, and really getting into the show together. I LOVE it when I’m near fans that aren’t afraid to go where their bodies take them during a set, because that’s just what happens to me naturally when I see O.A.R., and sometimes I feel self-conscious about it — something the superfan and I bonded over after the show was over as well. He made a comment that he was really happy to be between me and the guy on his other side because he’s usually on the floor where that’s pretty normal behavior, and in getting a seat he was afraid it wouldn’t be like that but it totally was. I completely agreed.

I would say that going alone, even next to this friendly cute guy I was vibing on, (is that a phrase? “vibing on?” — doesn’t matter) I have never felt less self conscious at one of their shows.

I just was. I existed. I moved how and when I wanted to and I sang how and when I wanted to, and it felt fucking amazing, truly. I just let go — so to speak. And nothing bad happened when I did. And THAT? Is beautiful.

Even if you went into a show pretty grumpy or pissed, I don’t think it’s possible you wouldn’t feel elation by the time it was over, whether they’re your jam or not. I actually did enter the show pissed for reasons I will detail later in this entry, so take my word for it.

Unless you’re like my ex who would (not unlike every other time I was around him) be on his phone the whole time and only told me after several shows that he didn’t even like them. I was surprised. Apparently he only liked one of their songs. I’m repeating myself but we never shared the same taste in music. Again, although I was open to his music, he hated the music I shared with him and would often tell me how terrible everything I shared with him was. Asshole. (It was a five year relationship, people. It still lingers. Especially the things like that which hurt me pretty deeply.) Like I said, I’m trying to quit writing about him, clearly I’m not there yet. But he was SUCH a buzz-kill at every concert I went to with him. I never understood that. Why go at all? It clearly wasn’t to “be” with me or try to enjoy it because he was never really “present” and he acted above it all.

I am so happy I finally have music back in my life almost all the time since he’s been gone. It helps me think, create, feel. It does what it does!

Although I LOVED the set — NO complaints — really — they did not play my “favorite” song of theirs. Favorite is in quotes because it’s not always the same. I like to hear them all. And I have 40 favorites. So, yeah. But, my “favorite” song to see them perform live is called “City on Down.” This post is so long even I need some visual stimulation right about now so here are some of the lyrics:

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I just took that pic for ya’ll. Sorry not sorry for my Christmas lights kind of being all up in the glare there. Sorry the picture itself isn’t good. I keep this around my apartment. It’s important to me for a lot of reasons. It’s not my best handwriting by a long shot but truthfully I was probably crying while writing it. I have a few others like this around, and here’s why: when someone close to me dies, I usually send their family some or all of the lyrics on a card just like this one, because it is a nice, and, I believe, calming, idea. Whenever I read it I get chills and it grounds me, and, well, to be blunt, encourages me to stop acting like a punk ass bitch when I’m acting like one.

I read the lyrics to this song during my Dad’s repast following his funeral (one month shy exactly of five years ago, today). My Mom remembers it as the song I wrote out for her after one of our most beloved pets died and I made, like, a memory frame for her. I guess I do a lot of really weird things. People always seem to classify them as “thoughtful,” though, so, no harm no foul?

Although I have been planning to get an “Of A Revolution” tattoo for a few years now (and I will as soon as I am certain on where I want to get it and how I want it to look), I don’t own a single piece of “merchandise” of theirs other than their albums — no t-shirts or stickers or anything like that. Just ticket stubs and albums. So I decided that since I was alone and wasn’t affecting anyone by browsing what they had for sale, I would. I am finally the proud owner of my very own O.A.R. t-shirt! I’ve never seen it for sale at their events before, and it’s all about the song “Peace,” another favorite. The lyrics to this song have always made me emotional, and I have this thing with gardening and my Dad and Mom so it was kismit:

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Speaking of kismit — my Mom, encouraging me to go to the concert had said to me, “maybe you’ll meet another guy there who is also alone and it will be kismit!” In many ways she was right. Thanks to the kind superfan I gained a lot which I did not have prior to going! So I guess I also get my E.S.P. from my Mom.

END OF SECTION (UNTIL TOMORROW’S POST — A TEASER FOR WHICH WILL BE AT THE END OF THIS POST)

People who I try to tell about seeing O.A.R. live often react by saying, “so they’re like Dave Matthews Band.” No. Hard pass. I can’t speak for all of us, but there are at least two of us who feel insulted by that comparison for some reason. One person who I met at this last show and I laughed about having had similar conversations.

I guess what I’m trying to express, and not as well as I think I did in my Friday night post I might add, is that those of us who are basically addicted to going to see O.A.R. live do not have anything else in our lives that compares to those experiences.

I’ve NEVER left a show disappointed.

I’ve NEVER not felt better after seeing them live.

It is, in fact, a high that I cannot keep from seeking time and time again. And I don’t drink or drug at concerts. A lot of people do and that’s cool as long as you act right, but since I’m usually driving I just don’t. And I really don’t feel the need to relax more than I do through listening to their music. And that feels pretty fucking amazing.

I went to a concert to see Dan + Shay open for Rascal Flatts this past summer at PNC Arts Center. In my opinion it should have been the other way around, but whatevs.

Anyway, I only mention this concert because a funny thing happened that I think is one of the many ways you can tell a superior band from an inferior one. Rascal Flatts started singing, “Just a small town girl…” and the entirety of The PNC Banks Art Center sang the rest of the first verse and chorus of that song, even though the band had stopped playing the music behind it WELL before we stopped. Then, the lead singer of Rascal Flatts said something like, “Wow! That was insane! I was not expecting that. Now let’s hear that kind of enthusiasm for one of ours!” and they began to play. I didn’t know the song, and apparently I wasn’t the only one. It was nowhere near what had happened moments before, and I felt embarrassed for them.

One of my FAVORITE parts of seeing O.A.R. live is when Marc stops singing during LITERALLY ANY SONG in the set — ANY — SONG — and lets the crowd sing for ourselves. I like to think that there isn’t a better feeling for the members of O.A.R. than standing back and listening to hundreds and hundreds of people singing their lyrics back to them verbatim, in unison, with such passion. We have studied, memorized, and even worshiped their work.

This is the video I recorded of “Shattered,” on Friday, a song played on the radio, so even if you don’t really know who O.A.R. is, you may have heard it before. If you’re not interested in watching the whole thing — (shame on you! — just kidding) — go to minute 2:43 in to see what I’m talking about. You can hear the crowd almost as loudly as Marc throughout the whole song though.

You might say, “that’s true for any band, fans memorize lyrics and like to sing along.” It’s not like that for “any” band, or every band. I feel like I’m coming off a little elitist writing about them this way, but it’s not meant to be like that. I’m just trying to tell you how I experience them. And I know I’m not alone. I’ve been to dozens of other concerts, and it’s never the same. Not. Ever.

For a song you’re not going to hear on the radio, “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker,” well, it’s twelve minutes long so I’m having some issues uploading it (tonight anyway), but if I could, you’d be able to hear the fans sing alone to a song that most people cannot even figure out the words to, particularly non-fans (I mentioned it above). It is usually performed during the Encore, not always, but it was on Friday night, and this is what the floor looked like after the show:

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Yup. That’s thousands of playing cards because it’s a thing we do. The insanity that breaks out when the band let’s us know, (coyly playing with us before breaking into the song through a series of “maybe this is it!!!!!!!!!!” chords) that yes, it is in fact this song — is indescribable. It’s everything I ever want to feel. It’s better than the best feeling you’ve ever felt. (I guess it is a little describable.)

Thanks for reading! I’ll leave you with a few things. I wish you “Peace”:

🎶I just wanna make you laugh
I just wanna see that smile
Babe we’re only here, oh, for a little while
I just wanna hold you till, we fall asleep
I want love, I want us, I want you, I want me, and I want peace🎶

On a totally unrelated note, I locked myself out of my apartment tonight (car keys attached to the house key) right before I was supposed to meet my Mom for our weekly grocery shopping trip, and successfully “broke in” by climbing in through a window that is NOT close to the ground, but WAS my only option. I’m extremely proud of this as it was not easy and I definitely could have broken a lot of body parts. I didn’t even think I’d be able to hoist my fat ass but did. So, suck it, “haters!” I wouldn’t recommend trying to break in the same way if I were you. Fight Club Rules up in here, that’s all I’m sayin’.

So, it was a perfect night — that is — once I actually got past “security.” And do I have a HELL of a story for you about THAT for tomorrow. Pepper spray WAS involved, party people.

Depression; it’s what’s for dinner.

I forgot to have dinner!

I didn’t get to finish my O.A.R. post tonight because of extenuating circumstances. I was doing good deeds and got home really late. My brain hurts and I need sleep.

Plus, going to that concert last night really kicked my ass.

Fucking chronic pain. Fucking depression.

Stay tuned tomorrow night for the real deal.

Peace and love.

And The Way It Used To Be, It Was.

I’m too worn out to write a full post about the O.A.R. concert tonight. But I will say this: I forgot. I forgot that you’re never alone when you’re at an O.A.R. concert. It is an impossibility. There is so much love and camaraderie between the members of the band and those of us who paid to come see them, all united in a vibe that is almost, if not actually, inexplicable. It’s the best therapy ever for those of us who follow them. I try to see them at least once a year, but, if I remembered how I feel right now more often then maybe I would try to see them more than that.

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Experiencing O.A.R. live for those of us who “get it,” is like experiencing religion. It is like everything is better. It is like a pep talk through lyrics and music and understanding. It is what I hope dying feels like. It’s the best feeling in the world when they play a set you love (and you always love the set if you’re a fan, no matter what it is). It is like a Holy experience, if one ever existed. I definitely feel like humanity is worth investing in after seeing them. Every single time. It renews my Faith in everything. Seeing hundreds of decks of cards being thrown around is a better Communion than any I’ve ever received at church. If that doesn’t make sense to you, I’m betting you’ve never been to see O.A.R. live. If it does mean something to you, we should be friends.

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Look, I’m not trying to shit on church. But ESPECIALLY lately, after this new “‘priest’ in charge” came to the church I have belonged to for thirty-three years, that is, my entire life, I don’t believe in anything that is said or goes on there. I just don’t. He has killed my Faith in church. (I used to be a member, independent of my Mom, and because of this “priest,” and how he handled several situations, INCREDIBLY poorly, and not at all like “a man of God,” I killed my membership, and he was HAPPY. What a fucking horrible way to be.) Forget that asshole. He’s not a good person. All he seems to care about is politics, like the politics of the town — not being political with the parishioners, otherwise he would not have been so happy to lose a member of a church who takes pledges from only about twenty people a year. THAT’S IT! TWENTY! So why the HELL would I listen to ANYTHING that came out of his hateful, self-serving, stupid fucking mouth? I wouldn’t. I don’t. I couldn’t respect him LESS.

So, when I go listen to O.A.R. sing “Heaven,” a favorite of mine, I kind of think about my life and where I am and what I’m doing, and aside from cursing, a lot, and hating people like this “priest,” I think I’m doing pretty fucking okay as far as being a good person goes. If I died tomorrow I’d be okay with that. (If you’re surprised by that, feel free to tell me why. I welcome commentary as long as it’s reasonable.)

And when you’re at a live performance like I was tonight, that’s Gospel right there. I used to have a Priest whose teachings were in line with the below lyrics. That’s why I’m so angry about what is going on right now with the church I used to know. Those lyrics are fucking beautiful. That’s how we SHOULD feel (whether we go to church or don’t. NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!) That’s how I want to feel. And when I see O.A.R., I do feel that way.

Bedtime for me. But a little teaser for the full O.A.R. post, I absolutely loved being there by myself.

And a VERY SPECIAL shout out to my very best friend, who literally tracked and watched me walk to and from the venue/my car via an app to make sure I was safe. You are truly an amazing human being and made me feel so loved and cared about tonight. I cannot believe I am lucky enough to have you in my life. I know that if you could have been there with me tonight you would have. You’re THE definition of THE BEST <3!!!

Some of the lyrics of “Heaven” as I heard them tonight

“Maybe I should take my time
And build this life by my own design
With no direction that is in between
Everything I love and everything I need
So bring it back, all I want is understanding
To live my life the way that I planned it
Wouldn’t change a thing
Man, it feels like Heaven underneath my feet
So you take the left, I’ll take the right
Under arrest, we’re undivided
Oh oh oh oh
I don’t wanna go to Heaven if I can’t get in
You take the low, I’ll take the high
You lock the gate, I hear the cry
Everybody got a problem with the way I live
I don’t wanna go to Heaven if I can’t get in
So raise ’em up, raise ’em up
All I ever wanted was a shot at your love
I know, and I believe
Everything we got is everything we need
Oh, love will get you higher
I set my heart on fire
I know, it’s what you see
Don’t wanna go to Heaven if they don’t want me
‘Cause I’m no criminal
I’m not your enemy
All I have is life
And I don’t wanna go to Heaven if I can’t get in”
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Peace.

What. A. Loner.

Oh, change the “n” in “loner” to an “s.” That’s better.

I made a promise to myself that I would be candid and honest in this space. If I cannot be honest in my writing, where can I be? Besides, I truly do believe that pretending everything is one way when it’s actually another, causes a lot of problems.

That doesn’t mean everything sucks, or is scandalous. It’s just true.

Full disclosure, I am a loner. Big time. My entire life I’ve simultaneously wanted to be left completely alone (which makes this living-on-my-own set-up pretty sweet), while also wanting to be surrounded by friends and family and people who love me. I have almost no luck, if any at all, with the second part.

I’ve been asking everyone I know (including, humiliatingly, on social media, and people who I know because they work at places I frequent and we’ve talked and become close) FOR WEEKS if they would accompany me to this concert I’m going to tomorrow, for O.A.R., my favorite band.

I’ve solicited “dates,” but I wasn’t expecting something romantic. Just ANYONE who cared enough to not force me to be alone…anyone who cared whether I was alive or dead. Anyone willing to come with me who is part of my life would have been awesome, if not a complete relief.

Guess how many people got back to me? ZERO. NONE. ZILCH.

Do YOU, Reader, know what that kind of non-feedback does to someone like me? Someone who already thinks she’s a burden to be around, because, why the FUCK would ANYONE like or want to be around ME?!

I guess they don’t. I guess they wouldn’t.

I haven’t written in this fucking blog in over a week.

I’ve had some exceptional struggles with my depression the past four days. One of them being that I can’t get out of bed because my body won’t let me while my mind is turning on itself. Another is speaking with my ex, and realizing he doesn’t fucking give a fuck whether I live or die.

And this shit?! This shit certainly doesn’t help.

But the worst?

The worst feeling, is knowing that I have NO, that means ZERO, persons in my life who want to give up a Friday night for me.

Who can’t do me a solid.

Who can’t make me feel loved, or safe, or not like a completely alone loser (waiting to die, way past my prime to find a husband, and to start procreating which puts a bigger and bigger hole in my chest every time I think about it, and all of that shit).

Not a single fucking person reached out to my plea of “please don’t make me go to this concert alone.” I have a $300+ dollar ticket which I am not asking for anyone to pay for to go with me.

I just wanted a companion, so I don’t have to walk to and from the venue, alone, at night.

I WILL feel unsafe. I will feel unloved. I’ll probably cry throughout the whole fucking thing.

Who has two tickets for themselves?

And I guess that’s because I am a loser.

But I’m going anyway. Because fuck all of you assholes who wouldn’t volunteer.

FUCK. YOU.

I swear to God that if something happens to me, at least now I know I won’t be missed.

And don’t you dare say I’m being dramatic. You wouldn’t last a second if I actually tried to be. I’m being level-headed. There’s no way someone is well thought of and also intentionally disregarded. Maybe this will be my last post.

So, thanks, world. Thanks, “friends.” I couldn’t feel worse about myself. Sleep tight.

In-ie or Out-ie?

This is going to blow your mind. But I realized something today.

When we are lighting candles on a birthday cake we are told to light the candles farthest away from us to the middle candles finally to the candles closest to us.

But.

I realized, when I was pouring my Pedialyte powder into three water bottles tonight, that it’s essential to put the caps back on the water starting with the bottle closest to you, and working your way out to the bottle farthest from you.

Opposite.

So that’s a thing I thought about.

I think I’m wiped out considering I find the above interesting. And also because I thought about it at all.

Weird until the end, folks.