Little white pills.
(One and a half of them -
I cut them with a kitchen knife every other day.)
Little white pills
Treating to the numbers
(I never knew to notice but
Maybe when you're fifteen you don't pay the right sort of attention
The kid with the dissociation problem
Is not the best at body awareness.
They checked my throat,
Little pen marks and a tape measure,
And told me
"Little white pills, one and a half of them."
I stopped taking them
It didn't seem to matter.
When I had doctors
I would tell them
"I took little white pills,
One and a half of them.
I want you to find the numbers."
They found the numbers,
And sent me on my way.
I argued with one,
"These are the wrong numbers.
Here are my printouts.
This is what the new standards are,"
And she told me
My numbers were fine.
The one time they weren't,
She checked again,
And they'd changed.
Sometime in my late twenties
I found a bentwood cane
In an antique shop.
"Necessary tools should be beautiful," I said.
It was about the right height,
Red and knobbly and wonderful.
I didn't usually need it
But it was nice to have.
I took little white pills
For a while
They made me feel stoned
When I changed my dose
But the world didn't hurt so much
In my mind
And that was nice.
I had to stop
When I was pregnant
My knees never recovered
From the pregnancy
And stairs were hard.
I got a new doctor
And I said to him
"I had little white pills
One and a half of them
And I want you to check my numbers."
And he did.
And he said, "I don't treat numbers,
But your numbers
(The lab would say they're fine
Like your other doctor did)
They aren't good.
I would give you little white pills
Just for this
But look --
This other number --
Those are antibodies
And they shouldn't be there."
And he gave me little white pills.
Half of one a day, to start,
And I went home with a scrip
And told everyone I knew
"I have an autoimmune disease!"
And some of them understood
Why I was so happy.
There was a truckful of rocks to unload
And I took the kids outside
And I helped
Because I had little white pills.
The little white pills
Don't change my body
Into a body that isn't nonconsensually suicidal
But they start to take away its weapons
And I didn't notice
All the ways I felt better
Until the little white pills
And then I noticed
That my knees hurt again.
That I was so tired
Too tired to think.
All the things I knew before.
My appetite is gone because
My metabolism is fucked
It didn't go long enough
For my fingernails to shatter
But I bet when they grow a little more
I noticed I needed that
And I hadn't remembered
The last time
I needed it to make it through a day.
"I need new little white pills,"
While trying not to want to die
In a body that was trying to kill me
Having it all come back
The acne down my jaw
The way the pain kept me awake
And my ankles felt like tennis balls
Of flaking, brittle skin
With the fatigue
(At least my heart didn't go flipping out
Like it was doing before I got
Little white pills
That scared the fuck out of me
And I couldn't say
"I think I'm going to die"
I have kids
I can't leave them like this
I couldn't even tell the doctor
Which was stupid
But it was all the same damn thing
My life a ruin for a lack
Of little white pills
But I digress)
It broke me
And I could barely get out of bed
The day I was going to see the doctor
Who could give me
Little white pills.
(My grandmother took the pills
I don't know if they were little and white
I wonder sometimes
If that was why--
Or part of why--
But no matter.)
He gave me little white pills
I gave him blood
To check my numbers
He said "I'll call if they're really bad"
And I took my scrip
And yelled at the pharmacist
Until they gave me
Little white pills
Just one at a time
The ones that didn't work.
Today I had to have a beer
To make the pain stop.
I will take my little white pill
To be more than a little better than I was
18 May, 2013
Little white pills.
01 March, 2013
Last night I dreamed my teacher told me to get to know a goddess.
I thought that was interesting, so I did a little research. (The goddess in question has an odd intellectual presence in my life, so it's not totally random....)
That research was increasingly interesting.
And then I turned up that in her native territory, it is customary to burn offerings for her the first Friday of the month.
And I looked at the calendar....
So then I started looking up what gets burned. "Herbs", the internet tells me. I grumble a lot.
Then Little Foot comes home from the grocery store and hands me a pot of basil.
(I looked it up. Basil does grow there.)
I don't even know, man.
So I got my liege's assistance with applied pyromania and set up a little something.
Religion is weird.
21 February, 2013
I was thinking about this before I read Dver's post on Choice, but I think I have it articulable now.
20 February, 2013
I've been thinking a lot about nomes.
There's this illusion, you see, of a unified religion in discussions of ancient Egypt, usually a variant on the Heliopolitan cosmogony, with Amun-Ra instead of Atum-Ra, and sometimes with bonus Ptah in around the edges. The different myth cycles of each nome vanish in a kind of vague, generic lens of past culture unification. (Much like, I imagine, the particular mythologies of Athens dominate discussions of Hellenic culture, though for different reasons in that case.)
But each region had its own myth cycle, its own stories, its own emphases, its own take on things. A book I'm reading at the moment had a Roman-era mention of a fight breaking out between delegations from two different towns on the subject of crocodile veneration or crocodile smiting - the subtext of which was "honor Set" vs. "execrate Set". And that isn't, as is usually handwaved, the "Oh, Set's reputation tanked as one went on in Egyptian history", that's two contemporary groups with profoundly different theologies.
And every so often I run into someone who is deeply agitated about some bit of myth - often Set, not always - and I am coming to think that the perspective of "You have to be okay with this god, here's why" is a bad idea. Or at least an unnecessary one. The ancients certainly never sorted that shit out, if they were having slapfights about it while bemused Romans took notes.
Here's a complete approach, entirely supportable by mythos:
The regular workaday patterns of the world are a seamless whole which must be preserved. Into that smooth fabric of being, disruptions are introduced, things that do not need to happen: the storm blows your roof in, or someone dies, or some other needless and painful moment happens. This happened in the sacred stories, too, and restorative justice only goes so far: Wesir was not returned to his wife and family, but was established in the Duat. Set becomes the beast of burden, confined to the polar stars so that he may not threaten the fragility that he created, one whose name is cursed.
Not only is this or something like it functional, supportable, and findable in multiple places, it's something that satisfies most people's needs. Wrestling with the question of those unnecessary disruptions does not require tangling with grey areas; they did harm, so we cast them out, we curse them, we make wax figurines of donkeys to go with our wax figurines of snakes, trample them and burn them.
Here's another complete approach, also supportable by mythos:
An unchanging system is a stagnant one, a vulnerable one, and its weaknesses will reveal themselves in time. To be powerful, it needs to be tested, prove itself, and overcome that which challenges it, and thus the function of challenge is essential to the health of the system. Whether it is Heru-Sa-Aset winning the potency, cunning, and self-determination required to become an archetypically powerful king, or Wesir himself learning the secrets of rebirth rather the hard way, the road to revealed power cannot go the easy route that has no conflict. The workings of Set, while not necessary to the functioning of an ordinary stable reality, are signposts marking the way to a change of condition.
This is a road for revolutionaries, for kings, for spirit-workers in the shamanistic style who are torn to pieces and put back together by the spirits, for those who can afford to imagine a different world and for those who can't afford not to. Those are the people who need Set, or something like him.
I tend to figure most people don't fall into either group, and they can choose which they feel more aligned with - or something else entirely. Theological conformity isn't that important.
19 February, 2013
Last week my liege and I took the kids and went to visit his grandmother.
This is always an exercise in barely-contained chaos, really, and at one point the three adults were sitting in the kitchen while the kids chased each other around the loop of the house, shrieking and bellowing with glee.
"They're so girly at this age," commented his grandmother, perhaps because Little Foot - upon hearing a comment on her shock of hair - paused in her orbits and brushed her curls forward into her face to show them off, before of course whooping and charging off again like a very perky hound of hell.
At least, that's our only possible guess as to what might have been meant.
It's stuff like that that makes me feel like an alien anthropologist. "Tell me about the customs of your quaint little planet...."
13 February, 2013
Because really, having my previous post about my state of crisis being constantly barraged with the sort of spammer who shits on the most recent post is bothering me.
I am making a post just for the spammers for a bit. Maybe I will be less personally disconcerted by spam here or on subsequent posts when I have something of substance to say.
05 February, 2013
Sometime, a lifetime ago, I was severely depressive.
I know, I know, a big shocker that.
But one of the things that happened with that depressive episode is, basically: I never fully recovered from it. I spent a lot of time denying that, and it didn't do a whole hell of a lot of good, because it wasn't actually true.
(Reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it.)
Life has changed a lot from the late nineties. I am not sure I entirely recognise who I was then. It's a complicated old world, and a lot has happened between then and now. But there are scars.
I'm a whole lot healthier, in so many ways. Having an assortment of medical conditions that can be treated with pills and potions treated with those pills and potions can do a lot for sheer physical resilience. The kids don't seem as heavy as they used to, even. (Well, Little Foot feels like she weighs about a fucking ton, but she's a big kid, and it's a smaller fucking ton than it used to be? Dunno.)
Maybe I can dig back enough to unearth those old wounds and try to heal them true this time.
Maybe I can forgive myself for who I used to be. And for the years of denying that it mattered.
(That's always a tough one.)
Just pinged a therapist. We'll see if she works out, eh? Or I can try another. But inertia is the thing, and I kicked inertia by writing the one. (I still like my old therapist but I have moved further and further away from her, and with the kids the transit is just unworkable. I would like to drop by and see her sometime, introduce Little Foot, but when the fuck am I anywhere near Brookline? Never.)