My boss came up to my desk and said those fateful words:
Can we grab a conference room? I have to talk to you about something.
This always makes my stomach turn – so we came into a conference room. Deep
breath. My boss and her boss had been talking and since I’ve been so accomodating
– working extra hours beyond my part-time hours – and that they were going to
give me a performance bonus in November. And you know what that means:
Woohoo! I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it… maybe the massive panic attack
I had in a meeting of a dozen people in a conference room meant for 6 actually
made an impact. It was bad – I had to leave it was so bad.
So Brigitte is driving Ron and I to Best Buy tonight to get me a laptop – we’d
gone to the one on North and I almost – almost! – bought the floor model since
they didn’t have any in stock or in their warehouse – the guy said he had four
of the them at the Best Buy on Howard. So that’s tonight’s adventure.
Plus, they forgot to mark me as part-time the past two pay cycles so I’ve gotten
full-time paychecks. I’m sending that extra to the credit cards directly.
And I’m wondering if this has anything to do with the fact that I went to Church
last Sunday. I don’t know what was with me – I went to a 4:30 mass at St. Something’s
on Belmont – boring-as-hell liturgy. I got panicky sitting there – remembering
all the panic attacks I had as a kid in church listening to the priests rant
about hell and damnation and knowing that I would be punished for my wrong thoughts.
That or worrying about screwing up as an altar boy and ringing the bells at
the wrong part of the consecration of the Eucharistic. I tried to keep the irony
of the words: “Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ” muttered with total
empty spirit by the mass of people. I do always love the phrase “as we
forgive those who trespassed against us” the collective hissing of the
congretation as all the ‘S’ sounds tumble over eachother as the words are said
in different rhythms and modulations. I still contend the best part of the part
of the Catholic church is the music and architecture – I also noticed a distinctly
yin-yang like motif in the molding of the upper border of the church.
I tried to go to church tonight. I say tried because I didn’t make it to communion.
As soon as I entered the church I started to feel a panic attack begin to build
up – I even went and sat outside to try and ebb the oncoming rush. I went back
inside and a slow burn of sweat and flushed face began and lasted through the
entire time I was in the church. I finally faked coughing on something to give
myself and excuse to get up and leave and I left the church and walked home.
Maybe this is because I was reading the book I never finished, Power Over
Panic. It advocates meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy to overcome
panic/anxiety disorders. Regardlesss you feel like a complete failure when you
can’t even stand to be in church for 40 minutes – I even sat in the very back.
And one of Ron’s friends, Moses saw me on my way out and I’m sure I looked like
I was going to stroke out right then and there.
I am starting to think that this might also be a seasonal occurence – it seems
every fall I start to have more and more attacks as the days get shorter and
shorter. It is so embarrassing and crippling. You feel like a complete fuck-up
that you can’t even sit still in an audience without flipping out. And of course
– reading the book about panic started to really make me realize how awful it
could really be – that eventually some people can’t even leave their own houses.
That they contract their life so much that they area shell of their healthy
I bought a laptop – I love it. It is a Sony Vaio SRX87 – the one I have been
lusting after forever. It is nice and small and light (2.7 lbs!). I also figured
out how to hook up a wireless connection so I can access my DSL and the files
from my desktop. I made a Briefcase that syncs up the files I’m working on each
time I get home as well as my MP3s. Right now I am listening to Lauryn Hill.
I’m holding steady at one coaching client. One sample session this week. The
one that agreed to last week hasn’t called back and a sample session last week
stood me up.
I talked to Winchell today – she is officially a lawyer – she passed her bar
exam. She and the Dougster bought a house out in Shelbyville – out in the rural
area. I told her that her wedding gift from me was going to be a cast iron skillet
and a gingham check pattern apron.
Had dinner last night with Brigitte’s family. The guy her sister had converted
to Mormonism for was in town to see her sister’s socker game – along with the
other Mormon that had brought his family to see her sister’s last game and had
proposed. Plus Brigiite’s mom and dad – we went to Leona’s. Yum yum. As Brigitte
encapsulated: “This is just like Dawson’s Creek, the
second season.” I think that that was the season where ‘Her choice changed
Brigitte had met her soulmate and they were out having drinks and of course
he turns out to be gay. Poor gal. She and Sara seem to attract the extra-fabulous.
I rented Paragraph 175, a documentary about the persecution of homosexual
men and women in Nazi Germany. What was crazy to see was the swiftness at how
Hitler was able to implement and escalate his control of the entire country
– and eventually Europe. One of Hitler’s top officials was a widely known gay
man, Roehm. Eventually he would be executed with many of Hitler’s other top
officials for treason and betrayal. The character of Weimar Berlin – the Berlin
of Cabaret between the World Wars, was a city of decadent permissiveness,
where Paragraph 175 was largely skirted and ignored – until the arrival of the
National Socialists. Archived films and photographs of men and men and women
and women holding hands and dancing together in the Jazz Age was something so
interesting to see when American LGBT history is so transfixed with the Stonewall
protests and the resulting rights movement. 10,000 men and women were deported
to the concentration camps and many of them were exterminated along with Jews,
political prisoners, criminals and Jehovah’s Witnesses. And none of these men
or women would receive reparations on the scale Jewish survivors did.
Also rented, Bamboozled, an absolutely stunning and indendiary satire
from Spike Lee. Damon Wayans plays a buppie TV producer who decides to sabotage
his job and create the most offensive show possible and he and his assistant,
Jada Pinkett Smith, dream up the New Millenium Minstrel Show, starring
Savion Glover as Man-tan and Tommy Davidson as Sleep ‘n’ Eat. Other characters
were Aunt Jemima and Li’l Nigger Jim. It is the kind of film that if I was a
black man I’d make – something totally outrageous and wicked. It is similar
to The Producers – except the comedy is totally corrosive. By the end
of the movie a multi-ethnic audience is cheering and laughing in the studio
audience – all of them in blackface and proclaiming why they are ‘the biggest
nigga” in the audience. This coupled with the intercutting of films and clips
from Amos ‘n’ Andy, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Judy Garland and Andy Rooney
in blackface, Shirley Temple dancing with blackfaced dancers and the variety
show’s fictional sponsors: Da Bomb, a booty-shaking soda pop and black youth
touting Timmy Hillnigger jeans (OUCH!) make the movie as much of an irritant
as possible. And I think that it is an important documentation of the permissiveness
of the entertainment industry that still refuses to believe in the value of
minority characters and families as anything other than fodder for comedy. The
movie was a little too long – but when it is sharp it cuts really really deep
I feel like a complete asshole. I was sitting here at a table at Borders and
there was a guy reading books who got up to look at other books. A guy comes
by and grabs his seat and I mention that there was someone sitting there but
I don’t know if he is coming back or not – so he goes off and sits a little
aways. Then another guy comes up and sits down and I try to explain the same
thing – he compalins of his aching back and then sits down. The original seated
comes back and tells the guy that the chair was his. I feel like an asshole
on many levels. The first guy that tried to grab the chair was black and then
the second guy was an older white guy. So I’m just convinced that he’s thinking
I’m some stupid uptight cracker. And then the original seated guy thinks I didn’t
have the common courtesy to save his seat. And the older guy – well – I’m sure
he’ll think of some reason to curse me before he goes to sleep tonight.
We also rented Best In Show, which remains one of the funniest movies
ever. So damned funny. Ron had never seen it before and loved it. I love when
the rich lady says (regarding her near vegetative state husband): “We both
like soup. We both like talking. And not talking. Sometimes we could talk or
not talk for hours and still not run out of things to not talk about.”
So funny. And then when the guy is hassling his partner for packing seven kimonos
for a 48 hour trip: ‘How many tea services can you do in two days?’
We also watched Monsters, Inc. which I still think kicks the shit out
of Shrek. So damned funny. I just love Roz, the gravel-voiced secretary.
Read Euripides’s The Bacchae on the stationary bike a few days ago.
What a crazy nutty play – since no one is properly worshipping Dionysus all
the women go nuts and ravage the towns and villages and farms – ripping apart
cattle and eating them with their bare hands… I imagine the Tasmanian Devil