Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Someone Tell Me To Just Shut Up

I finished reading Swamplandia! last night and I don't get the hubbub over it. Sorry. For me it got bogged down in the swamp of it all and I do not know what the redeeming value of it was and maybe that's just because I'm ignorant.
I feel terrible saying something negative about a book that someone wrote with her very own mind but there you go. The truth is, there was too much, too much, way too much going on and it got to the point where I did not CARE what happened to these characters except maybe the brother, Kiwi, who had the good sense to escape the dank island of Swamplandia and leave the gators behind. It did not work for me on the level of metaphor and it did not work for me on the level of surrealism and it did not work for me on the level of realism. No one in this world could stumble around the everglades for days without water or food or bug repellent and not come out dead or at least in need of hospitalization and what the fuck was that Mama Weeds character all about? Or the red gator for that matter?

Ah Jeez. I should just shut up.

It's probably just me and this eternal grayness we seem to be consigned to like being consigned to a cold, damp hell of a tin cup for a world lined with damp paper towels and put into the refrigerator.
I think I probably have mold. Well, still, that beats the hell out of being lost in the Everglades with a bird-man rapist on your tail and nowhere to hide but a gator nest.

Thank god for small favors, eh?

I wish I had something witty to say today. I wish I had something pithy or enlightening or god, what's that word? INSPIRING! yeah, that's it but I don't.  I'm just in one of those phases when it takes everything I have to face the reality of life, even if it's a cushy-ass reality and the reality IS that I need to go to town and DO THINGS which I vaguely have an idea about but not really.
I swear- where do these moods come from?
I went to a website for survivors of childhood abuse and they all talk about "triggers" and I am thinking and thinking but I can't think of a trigger one lately, I just went to bed happy on Sunday night and woke up in deepest funk yesterday morning and that's the truth of it. No rhyme, no reason, just there you are, here's your breakfast of cold, gray grits, YAY GIRL! you washed the sheets and cleaned the nests in the chicken house, here, I've done my job, let me sleep.

Well, I can't sleep any more today (that's a lie- I could sleep all day long) and I better get off my ass and fake it 'til I make it and when you're smiling the whole world smiles with you, baby. I need to go off on a quest, perhaps, find the meaning of the red gator in the Underworld, thirst for knowledge, for meaning, for water, sweet and pure, keep my eyes open for buzzards circling overhead, for the rescue plane which could appear at any moment, either one.

Here's all of this and five dollars and forty-seven cents, go buy a cup of coffee.

Stay out of the swamp, don't trust a man dressed in a coat made of the feathers of dead birds, don't believe in the Underworld, don't believe a thing I say, it's all in my mind which is a swamp unto itself, filled with snakes and gators, filled with sawgrass that'll cut you to ribbons.

I think I'll go to the mall/take a walk/spend all day knitting in front of the TV/sleep until my skin falls off/take up crew rowing/find an open bar at ten a.m./get pregnant/go buy apples and a rotisserie chicken/make the bed.

I think I'll run away but no, that never works, you always take yourself with you and besides that, the Rapist Bird Man is an excellent tracker.

"Woof," says the dog and Santa Claus is coming to town and I'll bet he's at the mall right this second, waiting in his faux velvet suit to be spat up upon, to be cried on, to be adored and pleaded with and lied to about how good we've all been this year. Maybe he'd make room for me on his lap. Maybe he'd let me tug his beard, tell him my lies.

Maybe I need to shut up and plug in my Robert B. Parker book and go take a walk.

Yeah. I'd be a fool not to.


  1. Rapist Bird Man, eh? Well, I read a Romantic short story once with a bird man in it, and it was not my thing at all. Well. I dunno. I just didn't think it was very good.

    I have the feeling anything I say today would just make you feel more pissed off, so, well, I just hope the cloud passes swiftly.

  2. I cannot imagine telling you to shut up. I might tell you to shut up about you telling us to tell you to shut up.

    I think a rapist (bird man or otherwise) maybe would be a trigger for me.

  3. As a friend said to be recently, it is probably all neurological or hormones. Anyway, I never bought into the trigger thing either or the CBT or the DBT or the anti-depressants. I would be interested if I ever met anyone to where I could see it made a difference in their life for more than six months. And so I join you in this sweet cloudy day Ms. Moon.

  4. Dear Ms. Moon,
    I think swamps are a good metaphor for people - perhaps someone will do a better job writing about it in the future. I've heard of the book, but haven't read it.
    I think there may be a fog all around. I sometimes wonder if creative-types are all in the same ocean, feel the same currents.

  5. Jo- You can't piss me off. Well, you probably could, but you won't. Love...Mary

    Stephanie- I did consider that Bird Man as a trigger. Who the hell knows?

    Rubye Jack- Well, I've been on an antidepressant for years and it has made a difference. Every time I try to get off of them it just is not a pretty sight. I wish I could. I want to. Badly.

    Rachel- You might love the book. The woman can write a phrase that'll delight you, that I guarantee. You may be right about the currents. Sure seems to be true sometimes, doesn't it?

  6. HA! You're a better woman than me. I read a few chapters and put it gently aside. Now I will totally NOT feel guilty since you've actually read and eviscerated it. Have a good walk.

  7. It's probably just me and this eternal grayness we seem to be consigned to like being consigned to a cold, damp hell of a tin cup for a world lined with damp paper towels and put into the refrigerator.

    This made me laugh it's so freaking good.
    I love when you write your funk.
    Darling, I'm rooting for ya.

    xoxo love d

  8. Elizabeth- Knowing you did not like it gave me courage to feel what I truly felt about it. Thank-you, love.

    21k- I gotta tell you, that comment cheered me immensely.

  9. This time of year I try to read something light, happy, upbeat. The shorter days, gloomy weather can lay to heavy on me. So what am I reading? "Drowning Ruth" and I am enjoying it even with the less that happy story line. But before this book I was reading "Blessings" so I think I have balanced the light and happy.

    Next...? I do think what I read can affect my moods though.

  10. Any book title that ends in an exclaimation mark is suspect.

    Robert Parker and a walk sound just right.

    If you ever shut up I will die from missing you.

  11. I am reading Blue Nights by Joan Didion. So far I am not getting depressed by it.
    I think that the book sounds interesting. But I have to be in the mood for fiction, and it has to be really good.

  12. I didn't care for it either, but can see what others might have enjoyed about it. They sell it (or used to sell it) at Anthropologie, which I think has something to do with it. People get drunk with pretty trinkets in there.

  13. Ellen- Of course what we read affects our moods. Books user us into different worlds and we swim back and forth between them and the "real" one.

    Bethany- The day I shut up is the day I die so don't worry, sweetie pie.

    Syd- Yep. I want to read that one. And I will.

    Chrissy- That explains a whole fucking lot to me. I wonder how many of those Anthropologie buyers actually READ it.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.