Sunday, September 9, 2012

Way To Be

I swear, it already feels like it's been weeks since we went down to Bristol and rode the kiddy train in the rain and then let the boys play on the playground as the ground steamed and the heat rose and it felt like a sauna but it was only yesterday.

Are you kidding me?

Life seems to be speeding by like a bullet right now and I feel so behind on everything from laundry to floors to the refrigerator which is filled with leftovers I don't even know or recall the origins of to the guest room which needs to be tidied, the bed stripped and the sheets washed and oh, let's not talk about the dust or the garden or the compost thingee that needs emptying and the hen house where the chicken shit is rising in towers and oh my sweet little blog- I haven't answered a comment in days.

I have had company for the past three weeks and it's been good but, well, although dear Elizabeth referred to me as the hospitality princess I think of myself more as the grim dowager of the haunted inn.   I need to get busy and deal with the SHIT, y'all, the real and perceived. I need to chase out the ghosts and maybe a few of the spiders while I'm at it and it would be an excellent day to put on my overalls and fill my pockets with cleaning rags and cans of furniture polish and my hands with the broom, the dustpan, the dust mop, the red bucket and the wet mop.

Fabuloso! Oh, how I need to use you!

And then move on to the outside and deal with a few of the situations there. It would feel so good to have some of these things DONE!

I think I made a good start last night when, after the electricity had finally come back on (Thanks, White Man!) I woke up and thought to myself, "I feel so anxious. What do I feel so anxious about?" but really, it wasn't anxiety at all, it was a real and very physical reaction to the delicious red meat I'd eaten a few hours before and I had to get up and let me just say that I am probably at least a pound lighter than I was when I went to bed.

I sat up for awhile and inbetween trips to the bathroom I did some reading. I seem to be doing a lot of reading lately. I finished listening to The Elegance Of The Hedgehog and it was terrific. I am still reading that Stephen King novel but am over halfway through. Dear god. Will it never end? I'm also listening to what, so far, seems to be a fascinating book called Vulture Peak by John Burdett about a police detective in Bangkok which is filled with Buddhism and whores and a transgendered culture and oh yes, the black market for body parts. But the book I'm enjoying most is one I picked up casually from the library and you can laugh at me if you want but I don't care, I think it's terrific. It's Billy Bob Thornton's The Billy Bob Tapes, A Cave Full of Ghosts, written with that trickster, the Kinkster, Kinky Friedman.

Billy Bob is someone that we all think we know something about because of the massive amount of media attention he got when he was married to Angelina Jolie and his movie Sling Blade but believe me, we don't know shit about him. That man, who is about my age, maybe a little younger, has lived fourteen lifetimes at this point and he has a story to tell or rather, about a million stories to tell and he has a different sort of mind and the Southerner's natural ability to set it all out in a way that keeps me coming back, short chapter by short chapter. I mean, the very fact that a guy named Billy Bob from Arkansas who was raised up in poverty and who wanted to be a musician managed to became an actor and a screenwriter and a director in Hollywood is just a testament to something. The guy can hardly read due to his dyslexia and ADD and OCD and he went to California with about fifty cents in his pocket and worked at a Shakey's pizza for a year and a half and he and his roommate lived on one eight-inch pizza a day that Billy Bob got as a perk to his job and he knew nothing about the system and he had zero connections and when he went to his first acting class and was asked to do a monologue, he ended up talking for forty minutes instead of the 3-5 he was expected to do.
That man has worked his ass off and he's funny as shit. Every page has something on it that I think, Oh, that's great, that's rich, and I wish I was reading it out loud to someone because it's too good not to share.

In the chapter where he discusses his strange fears of gothic decorating and Komodo dragons (among other things) he ends up saying this:

"I went to a shrink a couple of times because whatever girl I was with at the time wanted to go to couples therapy. I found it to be horseshit, because you go to this person and all they're going to do is sit there and blame you for everything. All going to a therapist has ever done for me is to get my ass chewed out by two people that day. So I never really did understand that. Well, you know the old saying: you split that word in half and it's 'the rapist.'
All that stuff seems normal to me, it doesn't seem weird. I think crazy people are people who don't know what they're doing. They have delusions. In other words, they're too crazy to function in life. I just don't like some things. I don't go bonkers and not know who I am, or start acting like a chicken. I just say I don't like creepy old castles. Which is not that weird. So if somebody thinks you're crazy because you don't like Benjamin Disraeli- I don't know, people have thoughts all the time they just don't express. I make the mistake of saying them every now and then, that's the problem with me. I don't think van Gogh was crazy. Most people say, 'He cut his ear off, that's insane!' No, the guy was so passionate over something that in the moment he went too far, but I don't think he was a crazy person, just intense."

For some reason, reading this book has been very soothing to me.

So I sat there last night in the very wee hours between bouts of stomach-cleansing and read Billy Bob and it was actually a fine experience. It's one thing to ponder the meaning of compassion and it's another thing to read about a guy who is perhaps even more agoraphobic than I am but who has yet managed to do a few things out of belief in himself and his art and he talks like someone I would know and he did way too many mushrooms once in his youth and so did I, if you want to know the truth. I think it's comforting to realize that there is a very big range of sanity and there are as many ways to live on this earth as authentically as one can as there are people living on it.

Billy Bob hates the social media. Hates it. Here's a thing he said that cracked me up:
This Twittering shit has really got to stop.

So sorry, Billy Bob but I am using my blog to talk about you but I'm doing it in a respectful and honoring way and I hope that's okay with you.

And I guess I better go eat some yogurt and peaches or something and put on my overalls and get to work. Mr. Moon is already out there, unpacking his hunting stuff and cleaning up the boat and the air is clear and it's a little cooler and less humid and somedays you feel better because you meditated or went to a yoga retreat and somedays you feel better because you ate some red meat which cleaned out your system and read a little Billy Bob Thornton in the middle of the night and I say- whatever works is what works.

Gibson has yet another tooth and Owen and Waylon had a good time playing with each other yesterday and here we all are, doing the best we can with teeth and social interactions and dust and chicken shit and laundry detergent and power outages and the restoration of power and some people are putting on their church clothes and some people are scratching their bellies and trying to figure out whether to start in the people-house or the hen house and I'm pretty glad to be one of them, a person on this planet for today, at least.

Let's all try to remember that there is no ONE path, and I'm going to say right out loud that if someone tells you there is, they are full of horseshit and that believing in someone else's path is lazy and means nothing except that you aren't paying attention to the real world in which you yourself live which isn't like the real world in which anyone else lives.


Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Oh god, someone who agrees with me on Twitter. I signed up for it because all the cool people were using it. Nothing interesting or even remotely worth saying was ever said. "I am at the ABC Grocery store." "I am getting my hair cut." "My husband is golfing." It does need to stop. A waste of time and energy. Anyway, I closed my account. But, I guess if it works for someone and makes them happy then that is good. Who am I to judge? (But fuck, it needs to stop!)

  2. Amen to that and thanks for helping me along today.

  3. I don't do the Twitter thing much. It is supposed to be a kind of mini blog in 164 characters. But it just doesn't seem to be that powerful. And most of the time I forget about it. Then I will post a little there.

    I like biographies and autobiographies. I am reading a book about Castro now. I've finished reading about Che months ago but want to know more about the Cuban wars and the US embargo.

    I read about ten pages each night and then it's lights out.

  4. Amen. I've been to church here today.

    I get why Billy Bob soothes you. I love reading about folks who seemingly had the cards stacked up high against them, and just pushed on through, living their life they best way they knew how, and judging it A-okay. makes me think i can do the same with the hand I've got, which ain't half bad.

  5. A fine, fine sermon. I think I might pick that book up. (Do you remember a recent post of mine where, on a trip to my kids' dentist, we walked by a mass of foreign paparazzi who were waiting for Beeeeely Bob Thornton to come out of a building?). I can't imagine what it's like to live that way --

  6. Birdie- I haven't even had the slightest desire to get on Twitter. Honestly- WHAT THE FUCK?

    Bethany- You always help me. Thank you.

    Syd- I just can't go there. Can't. Won't. Biographies and especially autobiographies make me happy. And reading at night makes me very, very happy. I cannot go to sleep without a few pages first.

    Angella- He has not had it easy. From without or within. And he defines his own success, I think, which is a good lesson.

    Elizabeth- He talks about that sort of thing a lot. I think it's why he doesn't like to leave the house much. You can read that book in a few hours. You might not like it but you might find some of it interesting. And it won't be a huge time-investment.

  7. Another lovely, thought provoking post, so much to ponder. I've always been fascinated by Billy Bob, he's an original, that's all I know. I'll add that book to my list.

    Oh twitter. Love/hate. I don't tweet much, but I use it as a news feed for the sites I follow, like, CNBC, some comics who make me laugh like Andy Borowitz or Jim Gaffigan, with a sprinkling of brain candy like TED or NASA, and a few celebrities I'm enamored with. The problem is, there are hundreds of tweets daily, just from the sites I follow, and it can be all consuming to keep up with all the info. On the plus side, not much happens I don't already know if I'm staying current, on the down side, the information never stops coming in. It's like having internet ADD, spazzing around trying to read it all, even when it all interests me specifically. I can't keep up. The only other plus for me is the direct complaint line to my Senators and Congressmen, because I follow their tweets and don't hesitate to respond if they motivate me to. (ie piss me off!)It can be a useful information gathering tool, once you learn not to follow people who tell you what they ate for lunch.

    Anyway, I need a break from twitter overload and need a good quirky and interesting read like Billy Bob.

    I'm with you on the mushrooms. I think it's one of the reasons I'm split wide open to the world, good bad and otherwise. Don't suppose I'd wish it were otherwise.

    Have a great day and thanks for sharing yours with us.

  8. I also like Billy Bob. Anyone who thinks outside the norm makes me happy. :)

  9. Hilarious evil stare on Gibson. And how much cooler is Owen than that little shaven headed kid behind him? Heh.

  10. Mel- Well, some of those reasons sound like Twitter can have its place but I can't keep up with what I've already got going on so forget it.
    It cracks me up that you maybe did too many mushrooms too. Hell, I'm glad I did. Thanks for that comment. I loved it.

    Rubye Jack- Believe me, he DOES!

    Jo- Hey! That's our Waylon! He's a very cool kid and remember when Owen got his head shaved? It's a rite of passage around here for little boys. Especially in summer.

  11. Now THAT was some good reading. Now I want to read more about ol' Billy Bob and I want to use some Fabuloso. Have I ever told you about how I just fill the sink with a little bit of hot water and a few splashes of Fabuloso when I don't feel like cleaning up -- just so that it will SMELL like I have? Not even kidding. It makes the whole damn house smell clean and Harry walks in and says, "It smells so clean!" and I just LOL from my computer where I am happily blogging instead of cleaning.

    You should try it. I'm just saying.

  12. gradydoctor- You might be a doctor but I've been a housewife for a very long time so yes, I know this trick. Here's another- clean off his dresser. Yes. Just his dresser. Dust it, oil it, and rearrange all his stuff on it. He'll think you've cleaned the whole house. Sssshhhh...don't tell!

  13. I have SO many mundane chores to be getting on with too - fancy doing mine when you've finally gotten around to yours? I didn't think so.

    Sometimes it gets me down but then I just try and force myself having fun doing it and realise how satisfied I feel after.

    Then it doesn't seem so bad :)

  14. I am so going to do the dresser trick. And how could I have thought for one second that you weren't all over this trick?

    You'd make a far more interesting "Real Housewives" show than the ones currently offered.

  15. I've never even heard of Fabuloso before reading your blog. I wonder if we have it here in England? I'll have to keep an eye out.

    I'm not much for Twittering either. I have an account but the only time I use it is when I'm stuck in traffic (so I haven't looked at it since I drove in the U.S.) and I want to find out why the road is closed. Someone who knows will undoubtedly have tweeted.

    I love that last paragraph. Words of wisdom. Seriously. It should be on a poster.

  16. hope you have no objection, i have used your last paragraph as a quote on my blog.
    "Let's all try to remember that there is no ONE path, and I'm going to say right out loud that if someone tells you there is, they are full of horseshit and that believing in someone else's path is lazy and means nothing except that you aren't paying attention to the real world in which you yourself live which isn't like the real world in which anyone else lives."
    absolutely brilliant!


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.