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I wrote this at night because I was listening to Les Miserables and felt like I needed to be in the band. I felt like the opera singer who has taken a deep, purposeful breath before his big solo, but with nothing to sing – nowhere to go. I wanted to try and express myself in some way and I haven’t written anything that wasn’t school related in ages, so I said to myself:
JUST WRITE let’s see how it goes
I’ve just gotta get out of this prison cell, some day I’m gonna be free – no. It’s not like that this time.
There’s a thing inside me, it wants to escape, it is literally making my heart skip beats, but it’s not depression or anxiety or a need to be outside myself this time, it’s a need to MAKE SOMETHING.
Some people sing, some people jam, some people make art, some people write. I’ve tried running when I get in these moods – full of unfocused energy, tingling, happiness, intensity, because nothing I can sing or draw or play on the piano is good enough is adequate gives this need in me release because I’m not good enough or talented enough or whatever, who cares? This isn’t a self-pity paragraph, it’s exploration. What happens when I just let myself write and fuck the rest? What comes out? This I have control over. I understand English, and the tools make sense, and they’re at my command. My voice is weak, I don’t know music theory or note patterns, I can’t make what I hear come out on an instrument and I can’t make what I see turn up on a piece of paper, but I can write what I feel.
For over a year, I have wanted to write a tribute to my dog. Let’s get that off my chest.
This is what I always thought it might be like to be high – uninhibited.
I asked my mom the other day – if creativity is supposed to go along with mental health issues, where’s my special talent that makes it all worth it? I WOULD USE THAT FOR RELEASE. Instead, I’ve been running.
I’m shaking right now, because this isn’t a plea for sympathy or support, I JUST WANT TO WRITE, to make something, to express something and see how close I can make to what I mean to say, and to see what comes out when I give myself permission to go crazy.
Fudge. I miss you. I love you. There’s still a hole where you left. Just because someone’s talked about missing holes and broken hearts and bursting chests before doesn’t mean that isn’t EXACTLY WHAT IT FEELS LIKE. I wish I could have known that you were ready to go. I wish you could have lived forever. You were more suited to immortality than any human – if you don’t question life’s purpose, you can’t question the purpose of its end. You would have been content to live and eat and play and be happy and be with your people for the rest of time. You were the only thing I’ve ever loved unconditionally by choice. I could see your imperfections, and they didn’t annoy me, they endeared you to me. Sometimes you had a silly little goatee and ridiculously bad smelling breath, and I know other dogs might have been cuter, but it didn’t matter, because you were my Fudge. You were better than them all just because you were you. It didn’t even matter to me that I wasn’t your favourite. I just wanted you to be happy. You taught me about love, and you taught me about selflessness. You were a pet, a friend, a family member, a brother, a child. You were so smart.
I loved that you weren’t a particularly social dog. You weren’t aggressive, and you were kind, but you cuddled when you were in the mood to cuddle, thank you very much, and just because you wanted to be in a room with people you loved didn’t mean you actually wanted to interact with them in any way. When we told you to stop barking, you always slipped one more in there before resentfully shutting up. My funny Fudgie.
You lay quietly next to me the summer of 2010 when I thought I was dying and wanted to get it over with. When for weeks at a time I tried to convince myself that the lump constricting my throat and my breathing was an anxiety attack and nothing more, but it wouldn’t go away, and the thought of living the next 60 years of my life in an endless panic was too terrifying to contemplate, you lay quietly next to me and let me hug you. When I felt like I was floating a foot above my head you grounded me. I never had to explain myself to you.
I have never forgiven myself for how I treated you when I was young. I was learning power. When you did something bad, and I smacked your nose, and you cowered and looked so sad and pathetic and adorable, I felt a thrill. I continued to yell at you until you ran from the room. I felt big. Whenever you were a “bad boy” – you went into the garbage or made a mess in the house – I was happy because I got to do it again. It wasn’t until I was older that I realised how sick that was.
You forgave me.
You were always so happy to see us. No one believes me, but I know you loved Let it Be. You weren’t a huge fan of my room, but when that song was playing, you wandered in and didn’t leave until it was over. I love that a dog had a favourite song.
You didn’t cower when I lifted my hand in your presence (but you cowered at everything else, my silly boy). I loved comforting you. I loved that despite the fact that you would never fully understand this big, ridiculous world with its stools and CD cases and thunder, just being held by someone familiar soothed you and made it better. That was why I wanted to be there.
Am I wrong for feeling this way? Is this weird? I’m not trying to belittle my relationships with friends and family. But by virtue of them being human, those relationships will always be more complicated. Less pure? I don’t know. Is that patronizing? You were just a dog. 50% or more of what I loved about you was probably anthropomorphised. There was never any danger of you questioning my motivations. You don’t speak English.
I just want to express how much I miss you, and how much the 15 years you were with us is worth to me.
Ok, yeah, so:
I’ve gone to a Pride Parade. People there were so friendly, and even though it was 5 billion degrees, and many were carrying around squirt guns, no one sprayed me unless I clearly asked for it, which was very considerate, but oh my god there were too many people in one area, I don’t think I could do it again. It’s bad enough getting lost in a normal area, but when you can only move an inch at a time in any direction, and you tend to be known as the James May of whichever group you’re in…
I have gone to Jazz Fest.
And I’ve now gone to a Just for Laughs festival in Montreal! That was awesome, because there were less people, and it was only 100 million degrees outside. We saw shows by Tim Minchin and Craig Ferguson, and a Home Grown Comedy Competition hosted by Mark Little, in which Dave Merheje deservedly came in first, and Mark DeBonis was the rightful runner up, because they were both hilarious. Craig Ferguson was a last minute addition, which was lucky. Basically, being unable (and unwilling) to navigate the Just for Laughs mess of a website saved me $20, because I got the tickets cheap. Unfortunately, Ferguson was at 7, and Minchin was at 9, and as we have discussed, I have no sense of direction, so I spent a great deal of time amusing security guards, disproving laws of probability by choosing the wrong of two directions 100% of the time, running from one end of the complex to the other, being told I had gone completely the wrong way, and running back, skidding into theatre entrances, and being told that the show hadn’t started yet and I should relax. I’m a shorter, more female Kramer without the racism! Sigh.
Anyway, so Craig Ferguson (who I have had a crush on since the Drew Carey show, because I am THAT sophisticated, cool, and discerning) was introduced by Eddie Izzard, so I thought to myself, “Sweet! Bonus comedian!” But then it turned out that his show, Craig Ferguson’s International House of Comedy (which we were told by the announcer was part of their elite Gala Videotron comedy thing; so wooOOOOoooo), was actually full of bonus comedians (thankfully there was plenty of Craig standup as well): Adam Hills, Danny Bhoy, Nina Conti, Russell Howard, Ryan Belleville, and Randy Kagan. And then to Tim Minchin! Also, it turns out, introduced by Eddie Izzard. Perhaps because he’s the only comic who knows how to speak French? Anyway, he was making the rounds, because I left Ferguson 10 minutes early, and I still barely made it in time for the show. Although I did go the wrong way first.
I have also accidentally set a World Record! This wasn’t on my list because I’ve actually done it once before, with the certificate, shirt, and hardcover World Record Book to prove it (although we have since been beaten), but this is the first time I didn’t do it on purpose. Basically, we were wondering around Montreal on the way to the Homegrown comp, and we passed a bunch of people waving around green and red ukuleles while a band at the main stage sang Feliz Navidad, which, needless to say, caught our attention. So we ended up in a short line, someone shoved two red ukes at us, and the next thing we knew they were announcing that they had given away all 1000 of the instruments, and these were the chords we would need to play for 5 minutes to break the world record. Done and done.
We’re at 3:38.
And finally, the reason for the trip to Montreal in the first place, what I have in my notes as “Pixar thing.” This will get its own blog post later.
Is not working. So some picture links are broken, and I can’t fix them because the internet is intermittent and the computer is INFURIATINGLY slow if it ever works at all. So I’m updating on another computer that has none of my pictures on it, and from which I will soon be kicked off…
WordPress went down for a couple of days, and I fell behind with my blogging, but I’m back in Ottawa now, and will finish up the San Diego posts by the weekend. Before that, I have to go to sleep, so I can wake up for my 8 hour radio class, and finish a project due Thursday. See you then.
Mariska Hargitay’s voice sounds just like Chris Colfer’s, from Glee.
Richard Hammond from Top Gear looks like a mix of David Tennant, and a young Roger Taylor (from Queen).
James May looks like the lovechild of a threeway between Brian May, Janis Joplin, and Stephen Fry.
The songs Jesus, Babe and Ben from South Park are exactly the same.
My dog is adorable.
Well, this is a blog, right, and I am randomly getting more than 0 page views, so just popping in to say: there will be no more posts until after exams! Because I can’t time manage, and because 2000 words won’t write themselves, and neuroscience and Latin exams are harder to bullshit through than English ones.
But I still exist, is what I’m saying here, and one day, this blog will be updated with something substantial. I won’t tell you when – that’s the cliffhanger.