Names and also Names

Well hello… you may identify me with the word “Nate”; I used to go by “Nat” which was shorthand for “Nathaniel”, because it rhymed with “Matt”, which was shorthand for my brother’s name Matthew. I recently learned that another shorthand for “Nathaniel” is “Niel”. Like “nathaNIEL”. I don’t like it, seems weird, but you do you Niel. I don’t enjoy the moniker “Nathan” because I don’t remember a Nathan I liked, but recently I remembered that there was a neighbor across the road from me that I enjoyed the presence of, and his name was “Nathan”. I feel that rather than not knowing a good Nathan, I simply don’t want to be called “Nathan” because that dude was always Nathan. One exists within a circle of people I knew so it’s their name, not mine. The Nathan Avatar, so to speak.

When I was 18 I was visiting my friend in Kelowna. We went with some of his extended family to a pub and bowling alley, and I ogled the lanes from where we sat in the pub waiting for food. Let me be clear: “Ogled the lanes” isn’t a euphemism for checking people out, I just wanted to fucking bowl but noooo I had to eat. So I made small talk. There was a woman in her mid-to-late forties with her husband and they sat across from me. He was a jolly sort of fellow, a bit rotund. Portly. He spoke up to make jokes. She was clearly the boss of the operations; she set the schedule and he agreed to it. He checked with her to order food, she took food off his plate, she looked grimly at his bad jokes (I laughed). She and I talked, and he chimed with jokes occasionally, though he was eating his food.

She asked what I did and what I wanted to do; I wanted to travel or go to school. Personally, I felt either would grow me in a direction I needed to go, and the choice really didn’t matter so long as it was one or the other. She also asked about my name; “Nat, is that short for Natalie or Natasha?”

I replied “Nathaniel” and her face grew red. I laughed it off to make her feel better.  I could see how she would thinking I was a chick; I had been visiting my friend out of town for a few weeks, staying at his place. My resting voice at the time wasn’t booming or overpowering, and wasn’t the lowest register (unless I was singing when no one was home). I’m fat, so rather than having a figure where my shoulders are wider than my hips my clothing looks more like a box. I had short hair, but it was as women were picking up the style more often.

It doesn’t bother me that much. So it does bother me a little. It bothers me that there was a me that people saw and said “Well that person isn’t a man. It makes more sense that they’re a woman.” The me they saw wasn’t me. But in a way, it was me. It was a younger me, a different me. An image of Me  that I struggled with when I looked in the mirror: not understanding why I didn’t look the way I felt I should have. I felt I couldn’t be loved. I didn’t fit an image that North American society expected me to fit, so I couldn’t be known in the way I should be. I know that it isn’t and wasn’t true, but often my feelings aren’t entirely rational, like having a panic attack because OH SHIT THE BUS IS HERE WHAT AM I GOING TO DO FUUUUUUUUCK.

Truth was, I never really needed to fit into anything. I can be whatever shape I want to, and the more I feel comfortable with it the better. And the less I feel comfortable with it, the better. If I wanna be a dodecahedron in a world of people shapes, then I can totally not do that because my body doesn’t warp into that shape. But I’m allowed to like that image and work towards it.

I wrote an email to my family recently: holidays notes and ilk. And usually I end “love, Nat” at the end because that’s how my family looked at me. But it’s not me; it felt wrong, worse than a lie. So I changed it.

Advertisements

If you enjoy pizza or this post like it

SO MANY THINGS

 

On a metaphorical level, I’ve completed a final. One of many finals, ones that have been set in front of me. I traveled with some fears (although I fully expect to never be able to rid myself of them. As long as I have the courage to continue on that’s all I need). On the other hand, I physically wrote one in the gym. Less exciting.

I’m at this weird place with my writing.  I like it. I know what it’s about. It makes me laugh or makes me realize things about myself that I hadn’t considered before, like the general malaise of existence or the golden, showering glow of awesome times I’d forgotten. It lets me remember AND forget, which for me is therapeutic. I can say “Well I did say that one thing about this place and that still holds” or “fuck that other Nate he’s dumb. A big dumb dumb who used big dumb words like ‘malaise'”.

The problem, however, is that I can’t guarantee others will get it. You, a reader, (and the reader may only be me in the future) won’t always understand everything. That’s fine. But it’s difficult for me to feel not understood, to understand why, and to be filled with trepidation about how to bridge that gap. Sometimes I think it’s unfair to others if I write what the source of a piece is, because often those people I’d write about are still alive and would be thoroughly bothered by how they effected me. Other people are cunts I don’t care about, so whatever.

Mostly, I’ve seen and felt pain before. I’m afraid when I share those experiences because I’ve seen people cry hearing or reading about my life. The last thing I ever want to do is cause another person stress or pain when I’ve seen a good chunk of my life filled with it.

Here’s what I mean. My mother had a nervous breakdown when I was 8 that lead her into severe depression for several years, which has now settled somewhere in “only mildly severely depressed” with other issues that I’m not sure how to categorize. This lead me to taking care of her or the house; making food, vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry, taking care of my brother’s pets, etc. It also lead to memories like this: When I was 13 she told my brother and I to move a metal blue shelf. We moved the metal blue shelf two feet like she asked. She broke down and cried for hours because we moved the metal blue shelf. And her crying sounded like she had just watched one of us die. So, I learned from that experience: “It doesn’t matter what you say to someone, they might just break down and cry. Everything COULD be a trigger for pain and confusion.” And that’s one of many experiences where something innocent I’ve done has caused pain in what was supposed to be a comfortable home.

It was only recently I looked back at that memory and said “It’s not my fault”. And I’ve said it until I believe it, and whenever I think about it I say it again. Because it’s surprisingly easy to write, but horrifically difficult to say even when only for myself.

It’s not my fault.

I know if she ever read this she’d lapse back or want nothing to do with me. Her emotions are justified, but she would never acknowledge her actions hurt me. So writing is the therapeutic method I use to understand what happened, BUT there are ETHICS involved that I am unsure how to broach. There are worse things too, far worse than this event that have happened. But I will save those for other stories. I still need to make the ones I’ve made make more sense for those without the memories.

BY THE WAY, I’m still gunna keep writing in this blog. I don’t know it’s exciting, but it is an interesting way for me to consider my thoughts and express myself. If you are reading: awesome. If you’re not, that’s cool.

A Game!

It’s honestly not much longer than a scene in short story, but neat still, I think.

Thiiiiiis link should work.

 

IF NOT, you can download the file from google drive; it’s just an HTML. Load it in any browser and you can start playing. The alternative was spending time to make my own domain, then linking that domain page to this one; if I get more into this program, that’s what I’ll do. BUT FOR NOW.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1DSJuBcd6QsEMPM-JRI6dMbqPBT7FEeVl

If you’re happy and you know it, swim with fish

(Note: Gunna post something cool next week. This is just a story, melancholy)

We went to school together. I don’t remember what got us talking, but we did. Slowly, at first. Little things like homework. She said she liked my art, but it was probably that I was sorry, and so was she. She was my first kiss, but we never went further than that. We started walking to school together, and we’d walk to where her street split from mine, just past my house. We never went to her home afterwards. Usually we stayed the park.

One day I invited her to my place to see my art. When we were in my room, she told me about the rumors. She didn’t have to, because I knew they weren’t true. I’d had rumors about me too; that I secretly used blood to draw pictures, that people who went to my house went missing, or that I liked bananas a little too much. She didn’t say what was true, but I could tell–I saw what we looked like in my mirror. After that day, she disappeared. No one said anything, and eventually a counselor came into class and said she died.

I got a video from her a week later. “I wanted you to see this, and know that I’m happy. This is what I want.”

I played the video. She was in a sort of aquarium, sitting on a rock. There was an octopus around the side of her body, stuck on her. And what looked like a manta ray on the other side. She smiled and tilted her head. I could see her eyes looked different. Not like mine anymore. And she looked so serene, with the light hitting her face. Her blueish yellow hair was pulled together, wrapped around her front, but when she swam it spread out and I could see the water in between each strand, and the neon pink and yellow of the coral reef around her. The manta ray kept close for a little bit, but swam away into a small cave hidden by seaweed. The octopus didn’t let go. She looked back.

I could see when her eyes became dull. Her brown eyes.

She floated a little, at first. Her hair followed forward like a school of fish. When the octopus pulled her down, she sunk until she was hidden in inky blackness.

—–

I woke up, brought back to life with a sudden gasp of air. I felt heat first; something warm smothered my body, and cold tendrils ticked my feet. Then my vision cleared. I had no idea where I was. As I looked around, I remembered; I’m me. This is my room.

 

Yuletide

Her: I hate this Christmas stuff. It’s November First, and they’re shoving it down our throats.

Me: Yeah, I know what you mean. It’s supposed to be half-priced candy and halloween decoration day, not FELIS NAVID DAD and Christmas trees on e–

Me: *I pause, and look around the store gingerly*

Her: Huh? What’s wrong?

Me: Do you smell that?

Her: … the kid that just walked by?

Me: No. It’s… *sniffs short a few times, then slow and long*. Spices. Cinnamon–

Her: Oh no.

Me: Nutmeg. Vanilla. *My eyes narrow, and I look towards the frozen food section at the back end of the store*

Her: Nate, don’t do this. You do it every ye–

Me: This is not the time for words.*I speedwalk down the aisles, quickly sidestepping everyone I see*

Her: … *she sighs*

Me: Prepare yourself sister, and collect a cart–no, two. The hunt for eggnog begins.

*Fast Forward 24 Hours. I’m half asleep on a couch and wearing a reindeer sweater (the one I’m too ashamed to wear in public), shirt pulled up a little too much, bags under my eyes, mumbling. The mid-afternoon light beams into the room, my skin a pale reflection of it. My phone goes off, vibrating an empty carton off of it. I reach out for it, and seven other cartons fall off the table*

It is too early for eggnog. But I love it.

At the peak of a pillowy mound of mashed potatoes

(Quick Note: I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I don’t remember posting last week. Oh well. This is kind of a quicky thing, cause I feel like I’m inbetween states of mind. I’m in Idaho but I’d rather see California)

 

Let it be done.

Let it be finished.

Let the ravengale carry the black words to our summer straw-bedberry grove and let us be ended.

Let us die.

Let us be forgotten.

Let the long yet to be present find our notes carved deep into the forgotten apple core forests and remix them into reverie.

Let it be finished, that I might rest.

That I might find comfort;

That I might find peace;

That I might find closure.

Let it be done.

Let the world find our progenitor breath that created a spark of mayonnaise.

Let me be Frank,

And you Cecil.

All I’ve wanted for you is happiness, and success by YOUR definition

Even if that excludes me. I expect it excludes me. I want it to now exclude me.

You have never reciprocated that.

You would see me fail if it meant more time under your banner.

You will not like this.

You never do.

I want to be done with you,

But you still need.

 

 

That’s great.

Now pass the fucking salt, Jeremy.

Malaphors

We’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.

Don’t bark up the wrong bed of roses.

Bite the leg!

From A to hit the road.

It takes two to drop a dime.

A hot potato for your thoughts.

Don’t count your chickens before the devil’s advocate.

I really screwed the beans.

One is the loneliest elephant in the room.

That was off the bucket!