Deadly Diseases,  General Lunacy

The Cat Lady, AKA Kurtz

Man, have I been in a weird place lately. I’ve spent the entirety of 2013 sick, what a mind-trip (never mind that it’s only been seventeen days, who asked you?). Being sick for weeks at a time, pretty much since Christmas, definitely plays tricks on your head. I’ve been like Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, modern film’s answer to Conrad’s maniacal anti-hero. Last night I wrote this really heavy post about mortality, meaning in life and not wasting away precious hours slaving at a job you hate to be part of the rat race, or as I like to call it, the treadmill of capitalistic despair. I’m not even joking, I had pictures of Hamlet holding Yorick’s skull all ready to go.

Derek Jacobi as Hamlet – see, I wasn’t kidding. Life is bloody short, huh Hamlet?*

Juuuust as I was about to post it, some tiny internal nudge prompted me to take a break and do some therapeutic yoga. This isn’t a sweat-inducing workout – mind you, I’m still hacking like a chain smoker – but more like stretching that alleviates some of the excruciating pain in my back, which accrues from sitting in front of a computer screen for ten hours a day like a caged chicken. When I came back refreshed, ready to finish it up, *POOF*, the Internet was gone. I called it a day, shelved my doom and gloom for the remainder of the evening and watched Portlandia with Mike, which really just makes everything better.

Today, I’m at the local coffee shop, enjoying some tea and free Wi-Fi (the hacking has subsided to harbor-seal-levels tonight), and I can see that by putting a bullet in the internet, the universe spared me from posting something that would seriously have bummed everyone out, including me. See, a classmate of mine from high school died this week at thirty years of age. He had cancer. I hardly knew him, but I could pull memories of him from the aging dust pile that is my working brain.

But pondering his death, coupled with weeks of feeling like complete and utter crap just put me in a morose frame of mind. Whatever poured from my soul into the keyboard was brought on by sorrow over this life lost so young, and panic over life’s brevity and my inability to dive in fully, as I so desire. You know, imagine my usual anti-establishment rants and frustration over the state of the American quality of life, except this was the high-octane version. No one wants to read my saturnine outpourings.

I’m not negative, just misunderstood. And batshit crazy.**

I’ve successfully pulled myself from this funk for now, and am sitting on this rather comfy chair, listening to the canned jazz piano and overhearing the other patrons quietly chatting over lattes, trying to pretend that this sort of coughing volume is completely normal and is not whooping-cough. Just that I have the energy and means to be here, writing again, fills me with gratitude. Not everyone takes a chance at an unconventional life, and I feel terribly brave and alive.

Plus, I’m not in a Vietnamese jungle or holding someone else’s skull. So that’s always a bonus.

– – –

*Photo Source

**Photo Source


  • Enchanted Seashells

    I really feel bad laughing at your recounting of your illness, but it’s just so darn funny! I hope you feel better and that your bark dissipates cos if you are anywhere near me in public and I hear that, I’ll put my scarf over my face and give you a dirty look just in case you’re still contagious!

  • Lindsey

    I love how you can even make sickness sound sharp and interesting. Sometimes I even have to look up a word or two from your posts, like saturnine. Spot me some brain cells? I’ve been out of school too long.

  • Abby

    I used to work at a grocery store similar to whole foods. We had organic deli meats…I wish I could laugh at that clip, but to be honest I think it triggered some PTSD and memories I had buried from working there lol

    • Natalie the Singingfool

      That’s how I feel about when I used to work at the bakery – taking cake orders over the phone was a pretty traumatic experience for me, since it was all verbal. “You want a ball-shape on your cake, but NOT a ball?” Just thinking about it and my heart rate elevates.

  • Beduwen

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better! (Sorry about your friend.) I can relate to the occasional funk AND the accompanying need to write a long, despairing diatribe. I think it is a good thing to get that stuff out of you and down on paper (even if it’s virtual paper). But when you’re finished, step away. Don’t hit “Send” or “Publish.” Wait. Sometimes the purge is all you need, even if no one else sees it. Other times, you might want to go ahead and share, maybe an edited version even. But by waiting a while, you can look at what you’ve written a little more objectively and figure out if it is something really just for you or if someone else might benefit from it, too. Hugs to you!

  • Kate Hall

    It’s amazing how situations in life can bring us to such a different state than we were in just 30 minutes ago. I got some potential not-so-good news yesterday about a family member and it’s already made me question so many things in my life re: my priorities and things I do. While hoping everything turns out OK, I’m thankful for the reality check at the same time. great post!

  • Ericamos

    Sorry to hear about your classmate. It’s such an eerie feeling when someone goes too soon. Hope you start feeling better soon! I feel like everyone here has that damn cold! I’m honestly shocked I haven’t caught it yet, though, it’s probably due to the fact that my unemployed ass sits in my apartment all day! (I’ve subbed the last two days with the youngest and germiest of kiddos–Kinder & 1st–at a school that has been hit with the flu, so I’m guessing my luck won’t be held out for long.)

  • stefanie carpenter

    Is it bad that I want to hear your rant? (can it be sent to me secretly? 😉 I went through this myself last week and needed a serious break and visited my mom.
    I think it can be great though, sometimes you just have to let it out/ make a decision to actively change whatever it is that bothers you/ and start a new day refressed and optimistic yeah? 😀

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