Monday, December 8, 2008

Virtual Accomplishments

I'm typing on a bite-sized computer that was bought because my brother took over the family one and my mother let him. I'm sleeping in a bedroom I share with my mom because we don't have enough money to each have our own space. I work at two jobs that demand more from me then they are willing to pay me for. And I am friends with people who don't usually want to hang out with me. So I go to therapy to talk about how small I feel I'm treated. The Teacher says he thinks I feel worthless. I say, not worthless but worth more than anyone can bare to see and confused that they can't see it. Frustrated that they can't even smell it. When I get mad at all these people I think, "they'd only be sad if they were at my funeral with their 'shoulda-woulda-coulda's." Like any good artist.... My artistry - my life... I wonder if it will be worth anything until I loose my mind in sadness, cut off my ear and pass away poor.

Distraction is our greatest aide, whether we realize this or not. In times of trouble, we mentally relocate and throw ourselves into work, meditate to green pastures, take on a hobby or project. Even something as small as walking into the scenary in our book, or loosing ourselves inside a suspensful movie... it's all there to turn our heads.

I suddenly realized that 'gamers' are no different. Eight to seventy-eight, all colors, all sizes flip a switch and the ping ping of a start up screen can flash away frustrations. Recently I connected my Nintendo 64 back up. I had to put it in the living room because the cables on my tv upstairs didn't work. So for many hours the last couple of days, I've been coming home from work and parking right there by the Christmas tree.

When work aggitated me and lectures followed me home about my high expections, my inability to leave room for peoples quirks and never having someone worry about mine, I couldn't help but stress the importance of beating the next level in Zelda64: Ocarina of Time.

I killed Link again and again, watching his body flash red as my fingers kept sliding off the joystick from holding it so tightly and sweating in sheir effort and anticipation. If I couldn't handle my friends right, if I couldn't figure my boss out, if I couldn't overcome my own obsessions and manage my own emotions... well I was dammed if I was going to let some big nosed ghost on a horse throwing fire balls at me, take me down.

The good news is, I beat the temple. I felt a sense of accomplishment I hadn't felt in a while. I tole myself, "wow, I figured that all out without cheating or giving up." I did get stuck on one part to which I ran upstairs and asked the boys what to do. But then again, so it goes for life... sometimes we can't do it ALL alone. And as crazy as my relationships with my friends tend to be... I get by with a little help from them all.

My grandmother was removed from her house 7 months ago. She was brought into my aunt's angry, cold household full of tough love and kids under 12. She lost her car, her house, her independence and her respect. Don't get all teary now, she was no angel ANY of her years of life. But as the Trungpa would remind us, "we all have basic goodness." And it's in that goodness that I see my grandmother hurting for real, feeling trapped and caged. Feeling terrible and unwanted. Her only friend, now too delusional to even hold a spoon to his lips, never mind hear her gripe just one more time... Now that she actually needs it.

I called her after thanksgiving for her 78t birthday and asked her how she was. She talked about alot but it wasn't anything. Food and wallpaper and how she thinks they are stealing her money. The ways she used to tell them how we did that to her... Only this time I think it's true.

You know that question you've all been asked... What would you grab if your house was on fire and family was all safe? Well, in a sense I asked that. In a 5 bedroom house chalk full of tapes and memories and pictures, I asked her if I could grab anything for her. Did she want anything with her that she was really missing. Do you know what she asked for?

She said, "Carolyn, please bring me my Playstation."

We are all the same. Wanting, needing, loving, loosing, growing, falling. From eight to seventy-eight.

She wanted to play Cesar's Palace. I said, "of course."