Thursday, January 16, 2014
I've been working on this one blog post since September. Sorry if it's confusing or badly formatted. I just need to let all of this stuff go.
There's only one hour and forty-four minutes left of 2013. It's been a crazy fucking year. I think I wrote more this year than I ever have before. Libby is also in great health, I like my job, I got to see my mom for the first time in many years, I watched a shit ton of Star Trek, I traveled a little bit and I became friends with a lot of awesome people. Sounds fantastic, right? Well, yeah, but I can't say that 2013 was full of peaches and rose petals.
The truth is, it's been a really rough year checkered with some amazing events. I'm sad most of the time and seem to cry almost everyday. But it's okay to feel sad, right? I've become an expert at dealing with sadness. Sometimes it destroys me and makes me stay in bed all day, but, mostly, I kick its ass by staying focused and trying to be positive. Before I get into why I'm sad all the time, here are a few of the reasons I keep trying to thrive:
- I interviewed John Hyams for Mubi. Writing for them was one of my dreams and I'm so happy I got the opportunity to interview Mr. Hyams.
- My 27th birthday was a great deal of fun. My husband, Jake, surprised me with a spa day and a bottle of my favorite perfume. Best birthday ever.
- I saw Tony Scott's Deja Vu for the first time.
- I made my Andy Kaufman/Mighty Mouse video.
- I conceived of The Vulgar Cinema while washing dishes one cold afternoon and promptly Facebook messaged my favorite dudes about the idea. We've sent almost 5000 messages now. Maybe we'll publish them someday. Becoming friends with them was definitely one of the very best parts of my year.
- Libby celebrated her 16th birthday!
- The Vulgar Cinema's first series was posted. We wrote letters to John McTiernan in prison. Here's my letter.
- Baseball season started!
- The Vulgar Cinema ran its Farrelly Brothers series. I wrote about Fever Pitch. We received a lot of nice feedback on this one.
- Saw Furious 6 opening day and took pictures with the big-ass billboard for the movie in Brno.
- A bird pooped on my boobs.
- I visited Edgar G. Ulmer's childhood home in Olomouc.
- I saw Furious 6 again.
- I watched Johnnie To's Drug War.
- Bought a new computer, but it's now busted and need to take it in to be repaired.
- Went to a few BBQs with some Czech pals.
- Made some new friends because of all the Vulgar Auteurism hubbub.
- Hung out with Meghan and Sweets in Brno and Prague.
- Met up with Mr. Matt Hannigan in Vienna for a whirlwind 24 hours.
- Visited Fritz Lang's childhood home while I was there.
- Celebrated being in the Czech Republic for one whole year.
- Watched a shitload of Sylvester Stallone movies.
- Wrote about and made a silly video for Dwayne Johnson at The Vulgar Cinema.
- Interviewed Outlaw Vern for The Vulgar Cinema.
- Picked my mom up at the Prague airport.
- Was mentioned in an article for the Roger Ebert website by Steven Erickson. That was cool because my mom and grandparents actually know who Roger Ebert was.
- I finished watching Star Trek: TNG.
- I started watching Star Trek: DS9.
- Took my mom to the Marilyn Monroe exhibit at Prague Castle on her last day of vacation. Cried like a baby when she left.
- Football season started.
- Celebrated my 9th anniversary with the Jakester.
- I interviewed Jake about his videos for the Incite Film Journal. Still waiting for it to be published.
- Watched oodles of horror movies and had a horror movie night with my best pal, Maggie.
- Dressed as Lt. Melanie Ballard from Ghosts of Mars for Halloween.
- Shaved my head.
- Saw Jerry Lewis' Smorgasbord on 35mm at Vienna's film museum.
- Colored my hair purple.
- Finished our Carpenter series for The Vulgar Cinema. I wrote about The Ward and interviewed Sandy King Carpenter and John Carpenter.
- My essay about Brian De Palma's Passion was published in La Furia Umana's online edition.
- I listed twelve of my favorite filmmakers for The Experimental Film Society.
- The Packers beat the Chicago Bears! They're now the NFC North Champions.
+ Jake made seventy videos this year. Super proud of him.
Here's a sample of what the rest of my year was like behind the scenes:
I don't feel well today, but I'm going to teach two classes later this evening. Tuesdays have become the worst day of the week in my home. My husband, Jake, has come to fear his Tuesday classes. He starts teaching at 7:30 in the morning and finishes around 6 in the evening. I don't know if he consciously does it or not, but he tends to wake me up 2-3 times in the morning while he's preparing to leave. Sometimes he wants me to acknowledge his fear and try to make him feel better. Other times he wants me to be a silent symbol of strength and goodness - something to look forward to when he finishes his long day. Wednesdays were the bad day last semester. Our 9th anniversary is this Saturday.
Sometimes I get jealous of people. I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't been the first person in my immediate family to go to college. I wonder what life would have been like if I'd had a real wedding, one with family and friends close by. I wonder what life would be like if my husband didn't have bipolar disorder. I wonder what it would be like not to be married to an artist. I wonder what life would be like to be alone.
My husband told me three times this week that he was either going to kill himself soon or was actually already in the process of dying. The pain he feels is so visceral, overwhelming, and consistent. Extremely consistent. Sometimes he walks down the street and feels like screaming or crying because of the noise. Sometimes he can't get out of bed because being alive is so stressful. I'm the only one, and I mean the only one, who has seen what this monster is really like.
But, ya know, I'm sick to death of talking about my husband. I'm sick of hearing him talk about his endless brilliant projects, how he's dealing with being mentally ill, all of it. I love him more than anything else in the world, but I wish he would stop talking about himself sometimes. Being self-absorbed is both a trait of being an artist and a symptom of bipolar disorder, so he was dealt a double dose of that when he was born. I know I'm the only one he has to talk to, but he's also the only one I have to talk to. He talks so much that I don't want to talk anymore. His disorder and his artistry have almost completely taken over my life. I'm interviewing him about his work for a magazine, I'm submitting his movies to festivals, I listen to his pain, suffering and poetic detailed descriptions of his videos every fucking day. I can't handle working, taking care of a senior dog and mentally ill husband, being a video artist's secretary AND somehow work on my own projects at the same time. I'm too worn out, mentally and physically.
I have a great work ethic. I guess I get it from my mother. I skipped work at Whole Foods as often as I could because I was miserable there, but I've only missed one day of teaching since I moved to the CR because of illness. However, I'd say that once a week or so, I go to work and everyone looks at me and says something like "you look so tired, Sara!" I tell them I don't feel well. I use that phrase a lot because it encompasses many feelings. It could mean I have a cold, a headache, cramps, whatever. I usually use it when I don't feel well emotionally.
Libby is curled up next to me because she knows I had a bad day. A really bad day.
I'm so bored talking about all of this crap, though. Who cares about my miserable feelings and bipolar husband.
I feel like talking about something positive. I need more positivity in my life.
I recently started teaching an eight year old boy named Adam. I usually hate children, but this kid is awesome. He could barely count to ten or tell me his name when I started teaching him a month or so ago. Now we're working on simple present question forms. He learns very quickly. I teach him twice a week for forty-five minutes at a time. He usually comes to our lessons straight from school where he's been sitting and learning for 8 hours. The Czech school system sucks the life out of children. They never do anything fun; just memorize facts and write down everything the teacher says. The teachers hardly ever directly talks to the students. When Adam's in my class, though, he acts like a real kid. We talk about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Avengers and hot wheel cars. I want to get him something cool for Christmas. It's such a relief to act a little like a kid when I'm teaching Adam. Life feels light for a little while.
"If our bosses cared about me, they would fire me. If you cared about me, you would leave me. If my parents cared about me, they would have drowned me when I was born."
I think I'm alone in the apartment. Jake woke me up today to ask if I needed to use the bathroom because he was going to work in the hallway and needed total darkness to do it. He seemed uneasy and anxious, but not horrible. I said no, but regretted what I said ten minutes later. I rushed in to use the bathroom and he was annoyed. Ten minutes later he came in and started having an episode. He left because he didn't want to hurt me with his words. Ten minutes later he came back in and started punching himself. He left again, I followed. I discovered he had ripped his favorite t-shirt off his body into a few pieces. He was sobbing and asked me to leave his office. I did. He came back in, started talking about his desperation and I said all the wrong things. I feel like a monster. I don't know where he is.
We were supposed to go to the ballet tonight.
It's January now and the first two weeks of 2014 haven't been very nice. Jake almost died last week. I pulled a razor out of his hand and watched him whip himself with a belt. He jumped in front of some speedy cars and regretted it at the last second. He took a shower with me for the first time in years today. Sometimes things feel like they used to, which scares me because I know I'll be punished for feeling happy sooner or later. Things are either wonderful or god fucking awful now.
It's 2:00 right now and I'm on the verge of having a panic attack because I don't know if I'm a person anymore. I think I'm just a blob of sorrow.