Standard warning: this is an ongoing, solipsisitic account of my Very Own Divorce. If personal stories bug you, might I direct you to a string of lovely factuals by tes or sid? Thanks.

My sleep schedule is all fucked up.

I was doing well until I quit taking the Klonopin, which kept me in a relatively emotionless vacuum of sleepiness and ennui. For several months, I didn't have any emotions. Now I am having too many. I cry over stupid things, like old television shows and daffodils. (They're so yellow! *sob*)

Now I spend my days sleeping and my nights wandering. I curse the television schedule on the West Coast. Everything ends too early here; by 2 AM most of the stations have gone off the air and I am left at the fickle whim of the IFC Channel, which usually is showing random foreign crap between 2 and 6 AM.

I am smoking too much.

I've got to quit this schedule; it's depressing as hell to wake up in tears at 9 PM with an entire silent night looming in front of me.

My father finally snapped the other night and lit into me. I suppose it's way overdue. After all, it isn't right to have your 30-plus year old daughter move back home, especially when there have been...issues...between you for years. He dragged the old lectures out of mothballs and made me feel 16 years old again with breathtaking, surgical efficiency.

Ashley, what are your plans? What do you want to do with your life? How long do you intend to live this way?

Good questions, Dad.

I can't tell him what's really going on in my head. I don't know what my plans are. My plans were to be married, to try to finish school, to maybe look for a job writing grants for non-profits.

The thing is, a divorce changes the way you feel about yourself. I hate to admit it, but I was one of those smug marrieds who went to parties and restaurants and felt vaguely superior to all those single people around me. I thought Sam and I would be a team forever.

(We had this stupid thing we used to do with our wedding rings. We'd smoosh them together like the Wonder Twins- Form of...A FERRET! - and argue good-naturedly over who got to be the twin who turned into animals, which is so much cooler than the twin who changes into various forms of water. "Sam, the girl Wonder Twin was always the animal. You have to be the water twin. It's your own fault for having a penis. I didn't make the rules.")

Every day I do what I can to not remember the things that made me love him, and some days it almost works.

I think I need a job, maybe. My father is of that generation who believes that work makes everything better, and he might just be right. It has to be better than this.

Okay, I'll take stock of the good things:

  • I have a place to live.
  • My sister is pregnant again, and I get to be here for the birth. I nicknamed the baby Gherkin, because the week before she knew she was pregnant she did a lot of shots at a friend's wedding shower, and freaked out once she discovered she was carrying. So I tease her that she'll give birth to a perfect little pickle. Gherkin D. (for Dill) Martin. I get to be around to see him get borned, and that is a Good Thing.
  • My other sister is getting married in Hawaii in July, which means that she will be happy and I will get to spend 2 weeks on the Big Island this summer. Yay for fish.
  • They are frustrated and sort of pissed at me, but my parents love me a lot.
  • Sam and I were not good for one another. Not really, not at all. The only real superpower we had was keeping one another immobile and unhappy. We had very little sex, very few conversations, and a ridiculously small amount of disposable income. (Note to self: healthy relationships are not founded on a shared knowledge of pop culture and a fondness for video games.)
  • I am not old, not yet. And I think I am still relatively attractive, and we all know that that's the only true currency in this bankrupt world, sorry Lester.
  • As much as this hurts, as much as it feels like death and torture and all the things that happen between torture and death, I think it might also be a new chance. I just need to figure out what to do with it.
  • I am doing charity work again, which might actually open some doors in the not-for-profit sector. I think I could be of some real service out there somewhere.
  • I finally am getting the right help for this illness, thanks to the Oregon health care system and my alarmingly attractive psychiatrist. (He has this way of regarding me speculatively that makes my thighs tingle. He reminds me of a young Harrison Ford, circa Raiders of the Lost Ark. Or else an older George Clooney, the Clooney with greying temples. Or Russell Crowe in anything not-too-method. He is all man, and I have missed that quite a bit. I never had a crush on my health care provider before, and it's kind of fun.)
  • I can date again. This has ceased to be alarming. Sometimes it is even intriguing. Oh! And one day I will have sex again, too. *anticipatory shiver*
  • It has come to my attention that I have some amazing friends who love me very much. This is happymaking.
  • It is very good to live in the desert, even if it is a temporary assignment. Everyone should learn to adapt to a dry climate at least once per lifetime.
  • Writing well is the best revenge. I am actually doing some serious writing these days, some pretty searing stuff that gives me an inordinate amount of joy to re-read. We'll see what that does; it might just be good to line the litterpan with, but then again...

I am enforcing daily showers and walks, no matter how messy my sleep schedule is. A desert full moon is meant to be walked beneath. I plan to force myself to stay up all weekend, if necessary, to get my weird sleep habits under control.

There is a life out there. I think it should belong to me. It might not be the life I anticipated, but it could be better. Lighter, less cumbersome. I will stalk it until the moment is ripe, and I will pounce. I will make it my own.

I would love love love your input, E2 community. Message me with lots of decadent suggestions for How To Get On With My Life. Best ideas get posted right here.

Thank you for your generosity, people. Y'all mean the world to me.

I am one of those annoying people who can quote Emily Dickinson poems, and one of her really good ones popped into my head the other night:

It dropped so low in my regard
I heard it hit the ground -
And go to pieces on the stones
At bottom of my mind -

But blamed the Fate that flung it less
Than I reviled Myself -
For entertaining Plated Wares
Upon my Silver Shelf.


I haven't noded in over a is an odd piece of art. I am here reading everyday with a loss for something to say. My old drug spawned nodes are true, but now I am clean. A truly strange walk for the life I have seen.

Thank you.

It's been so long since I've noded here, I feel like a vampire who's forgotten the flavor of blood.

Next week I'll be back East at a fancy-pants reading of my play The Sequence and if the noders who have promised to come—doyle, momomom, and IWhoSawTheFace— actually wind up showing, then on that evening I'll double the number I've met face to face.

Indeed, it was only a couple of weekends ago that I got to do more than lay eyes and shake hands with iceowl. I had met him all too briefly at a San Francisco reading of the aforementioned play, but was crushingly prevented from going out afterwards for a beer with him. We remedied that sad turn when he came up to Seattle, starting first with oysters and martinis at Elliott's on the pier, then heading up into the market to Tom Douglas's restaurant Etta's for dinner, then back down the hill climb to what I consider to be the finest bar in Seattle, Zig Zag's, where we loaded up on mojitos. (Icey thinks they're better there than even his favorite Cuban restaurant down in Callie.)

Here's the thing about drinking with iceowl: it's exactly like you'd think it would be, only better. He's this big, warm, funny, electric polar bear, who for reasons ultimately known only to him adores writers, all writers. Me, lone-wolf playwright, have a tough time getting over my cynical reticence of all others arrogant enough to arrange their thoughts into words on paper or screen. Not Icey, though. He thinks writers are swell: we're all brave and funny and full of life. It's a forgivably common error of logic. Iceowl is a writer. Iceowl is also brave and funny and full of life. Socrates is a pig. All pigs wear clown noses. Therefore Socrates is Bozo.

But maybe, just maybe, this headstrong belief in us scribblers has transformative power. Iceowl believes in writing and writers because he has witnessed the ameliorating effects of both in his life, and on his life, and in and on the world. Writing has taken him to Antarctica and introduced him to fascinating people; it's helped him understand himself, face his fears, cherish his existence just that little bit more. And writing this now, I wonder, has writing done the same kind of things for me?

Uh. . . . yeah. . . . I gotta say, "Yeah."

There are ideas and people and even some places that I could have never known, possibly never even considered, without writing. Of course, when I think of how much more nicer stuff I'd own if I didn't write-- when I think about how writing has put me in a Los Alamos auditorium facing down a phalanx of some of the world's smartest people, most of whom are utterly outraged at me for imagining their martyr hero, comparing himself (in a morphine-and-terror-induced hallucination, mind you) to Josef Mengele, I do tend to wonder if it's all been for the best. But then, when I think of the utterly facinating real-life story of the race to decode the human genome (which I otherwise wouldn't have really known), and how a birdie sez that there's a strong possibility that one of the people I depict in the play will be sitting in the audience five nights from now, watching an actor relive extraordinary-- and sometimes extraordinarily personal and uncomfortable-- moments from his own life, I think . . . yeah, the arduous work is, in an often terrifying way, worth it.

Iceowl gets it. He was the originator of the Adventure Quest, not because he thinks the best writing is adventure writing, but that all writing is adventure writing. I can almost hear him chuckling: "It's a ride, baby. Get on it."

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