/VENT

“Room—room—let me off!

As I attempt to get off an undersized elevator that has just gotten four people too (and four men) too crowded, I try and get my way off of it when suddenly I hear the guy explaining the fact that the lady freaking out is a PTSD survivor get interrupted by this chunky, scruffy-looking bastard suddenly speak up:

“Ignore that bitch, she just don’t like people, with her dumb-ass, black-legged, uppity—”

“Hey, man, don’t talk what you don’t know!” I snap back.

“Shut yo’ nappy-head ass up,” the dick says.

“Man, fuck you!” I say as the elevator closes. I can still hear him when the elevator kicks up and moves again, so I fire off a last “Fuck you!” for good measure.


My next door neighbor—both of them, actually—would probably be very confused had they heard me cursing like that when I finally managed to get onto the eighth floor and into my apartment. Fact is, once the rage at that narrow-minded wide-assed prick wore off, I was terrified again. There were a few too many people on the elevator, and no matter how much I tried to say that this reaction my body was having was all in my head, it wasn’t working. If there hadn’t been the second elevator coming, I would have climbed up the stairs—all the way from ground level—just to avoid being shut up in small crowd again. Righteous fury died off as soon as I got into my unit, and I was glad I spent my $8 discretionary for the paycheck on Bob Marley sodas and my meds.

It’s not wide knowledge in my building that I’m a PTSD survivor—no one needs to know that sort of thing unless it’s asked for or if…well, if something like that on the elevator happens again. And if it happens, I ask that it not be bandied about, because there will invariably be dicks like that guy. …if he finds out I’m going to bullshit something about a hard and fast tour of duty that wrecked my head, because he had that same air that I got off of my ex—the one that eventually escalates into “Just freeze, and it’ll be over faster and you won’t get quite as hurt by it.” (Disclaimer: THAT DOESN’T WORK.)

My mind keeps blanking out now. I’m not sure what I should do or if I should do anything in the first place. I’m kind of wanting food, but after that I kind of think the egg sandwich this morning might be enough—but then I remember how that could go all slippery-slope on me and that I need to keep fed.

…see, this is why Bob Marley sodas were invented.

*pops a top*

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Appropriate Wintertime Jubilations!

Appropriate Wintertime Jubilations: A holiday greeting, once purely tongue-in-cheek, that a friend currently serving the country came up with when it was realized that the usual group contained three different flavors of Christian, a Daoist, a couple of agnostics, one atheist, at least three pagans, and a black chick who actually acknowledged the newest of the holiday seasonal festivities.


The fact of the matter is, saying “Merry Christmas,” while traditional, can be a bit exclusionist. No other faith has its holidays so publically acknowledged—well, excepting Hanukkah, and we have Adam Sandler to thank for that. The above greeting began as a kind of hipster PC greeting—and somewhere along the way my little group started taking it fairly seriously.

A few fairly horrendous things have happened this year, to me as well as other parts of the country (Hell, I feel like my trouble is small potatoes to some of the things that are going on), and any holiday greeting seems to feel a little bit forced as long as you have no idea that something horrendous has happened to someone else. The nation reels from mass killings and a war that we’ve all been tired of for half a decade; I’m still battling that bothersome thing in my head that goes by an acronym that, when read as printed, sounds like a rim shot. (Seriously, actually pronounce ‘PTSD’ and tell me it doesn’t sound like a rim shot.)

However, a bit of Pagan!perspective helps me to remember what this season means (besides cold feet, warm cocoa and entirely too much food). As originally observed, the general temporal area we’re in right now is a chance to observe the triumph of the light over dark; the year wanes, but the light waxes, and we prepare for the veritable explosion of life that awaits the warming of the land. This light is not just a literal light: the sensation also ties to the body, as anyone suffering from seasonal-affective can tell you—we feel good when there is more light. …well, most of us. I’ve been battling a migraine that has me literally recoiling when I sense light. ANYWHO, the point is that when the light returns, we can be like the green sector of our planet’s life—renew and rejuvenate while the days lengthen. With this sort of thing going through my head, it’s easy to forget atrocities like the shootings and the utterly reprehensible things that a man of god can spout about a TINY segment of the population.

I wish Appropriate Wintertime Jubilations on all, now.

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It’s over =D …Well, sort of, anyway.

I’m sitting here on the edge of my bed, glasses off, and half blind. Food is starting to make me feel sick as a dog, but that is because the only caffeine I have taken since validating my word count was the caffeine that woke me up from my ill stupor earlier—a head-cold has had me groggy, sick to my guts, and woozy most of the day. I don’t plan on taking more caffeine besides what’s in my medications and vitamins.

I’m reading a book that I downloaded from the Nook store almost immediately after finishing the validation count. It’s kind of a bookend moment—it’s the second book in the series that was the last thing I read for pleasure before the competition started. (In fact, here’s my review of that one.)

It feels good to be reading again, feeling the squee at the moments where I really notice how many scantily-clad pretty boys there are, the heat of the romance (surprisingly, in a het pairing), and the laugh-out-loud moments that are liberally sprinkled through Heroine Protagonist Rae Wilder’s journey.

I feel so good reading and I stop to think, then, that I hope that my own writing has the same effects on some readers out there. I know that there will invariably be the “I HATED THIS AND DIDN’T EVEN FINISH IT” sorts, but I know that there will be other readers who react as enthusiastically as I am now to this book that I am reading now.


I…am going to have one HELL of a time adjusting to the sudden reduction in caffeine intake. I spent most of this November neck-deep in either a bottle of energy drink (most of it Sodastream, half a litre at a time [?!]), an espresso, a restaurant coffee drink, or in a few cases a bottle of caffeine pills, violently throwing my way shoulders through in the long stretch of time that the ink was flying around. Several times I thought that I wouldn’t make it—there wasn’t enough time, there weren’t enough words, there wasn’t enough CAFFEINE—and then, working on a fight scene, validating the count after every few paragraphs…I win.

I make it.

I didn’t want to put my hands to a keyboard for the next few months. I didn’t even want to celebrate my victory—premature as it is, the story isn’t done, not by a long shot—and I didn’t want to look at WORDS.

…then I realized that I could read. I could read for fun.

Like everyone else.

I’m going to resume reading now, probably put together a bottle of plain seltzer because the caffeine withdrawal nausea is HELL right now…but diving into a story that another writer put together, pouring her effort, time, frustrations, and joy into it…I remember why I want to do this in the first place.

 

I’m going back to my reading, icing my aching head.

I can keep writing AFTER the caffeine withdrawal wears off.