Sunset Rewind in Naples.

My memory is so swiss cheesy I'm making note of what I've already read at Sunset Rewind:

July: I did a modified version of my Parker/Alienated piece and Birds in the Rhizome.
Aug: Thirst and Murder of Crows.
Sept: Press and Replay (The Remix)

Oct:... I think I will do Sanguine Penguins and Red Penguins tonight.

I keep wanting to write completely new stuff.
But so far, I just rearrange and rewrite old stuff.
I made up "Red Penguins" today out of an old blog post/crazy rant. I salvaged some bits, added new, and hopefully it will come out sounding like it does in my head.

I wrote Sanguine Penguins because I love that sanguine means both cheerful and blood red. The two very different definitions are interesting to me. It's a word that I find very bipolar or right-left brained or north-south pole-ish, or other similar black-white flip side kind of ideas.

Sanguine Penguins

i am poised.
towed and drawn out...

not just murderous,
but steadfast!
hell bent on ballast!

and off she sails...

cheerful and bloodthirsty
combined together.
not just a tether to rage, but...

pendency poised by the mere whim of a penguin. 
not just sanguineous,
but also the SCREAM-SING-SANG-ING out of,
"Igneous!! Hold fast to the rock!"

and equilibrium held it's breath.

cheerful and bloodthirsty
combined together.
not just a tether to rage, but...

one toe of weight perched just right?
enough quip to slew the seas.

webbed feet,
weighing down like an ink blotter.
standing firm,
against sanguinary eddies.
soles sucking breath,
in the drown of the undertow.

cheerful and bloodthirsty
combined together.
not just a tether to rage, but...


Red Penguins

This is the story of Dead things crying from the Other Side of Somewhere, calling to be Let Back Through. written, wrongly, dis-according-ly-clanging the wrong-out-of-alignment-Tune... this is that story retold true.

The tide is coming in.

That means that right now, all the crazy and Rolls-of-Coasters are Spooled out To SEE.
Everything on the cusp, a wave of crashing-CLAMoRing lucidity.
Know that at the last turn of the tide, The Pearls were not slopped out to the Swine but Safe in the Riddles of Oysters.. to protect the TRUTH... because every time the tide slides back out you lose the answers again.

wisdom rolling away like marbles.
shifting sand slipping through the brain-pan.
trickling time.
losing hold of everything.

but Know, that even if you spend too much of  your Time on Beaches, sniffing suspiciously at the scr-itch of the Sand... a snickering twitch, crab-scrabbling at your feet, scritch-scratch calling you back... out... to brave that Seethe once Again... for reasons you can't quite recall...

Hello? Hello? Empty seashells keep hanging up on you...

Know, that Even if this moment of Clarity falls away again and becomes lost for a Time, know, that you withstood this crazy surging tIDE and you. did. not. step. back.

And, that is pretty much the first step. (not stepping) Now, hold that pin-wheel-spin-wheel-rocking-ship STEADY you Mad-Captain-Ahab, You. Be Still and FIGHT the current. Keep your Head above Water. Blur those Wings my baby Humming Bird. THRUM-PURR and HOLD FAST TO YOUR POSITIONS!!

(Now might be a Time for a dramatic, bloodcurdling SCREAM of DISSENT!!!! I find it can be quite steadying...)

Remember, you are "arms outstretched and head thrown back" you are that insanely-laughing-impossibly-abstruse-non-conforming-psycho who Recalled that... "RAGE" is not just for Cereal-killers anymore...

-Amanda may Knot-Yet-Know how to Hold On to a sea-Turtle... but that crazy-Cat Can Catch As Catch CAN and she'll GRAB! GRAB! GRAB! Scramble and steal whatever Knowledge she can... And what that girl CAN DO? Well. She can really Hang on to a wing-ing- singing, tap dancing penguin, that's What.

So, Bring it, Whale.

Because I walk with Sanguine Penguins Thundering and Happy-Feeting My Path through this Icy Strait of a Dire Way.
(And, I carry a Vor-Pore-ous Cricket BAT. arrGrrrgh!)

that's right. i have a crazy penguin army.
(and delusions of pirate grandeur.)

what's black and white and red all over?
penguins covered in blood, that's what.

(they were natives of the south pole, kidnapped, bird-snatched, forced to don eye patches at the crazy command of some ego-maniacal Fish out of water who thought that the north pole could use some penguins too.)

it didn't work out for the fish.

there was a mutiny.
a messy one.
and a captain position became available.
so now they march with me... while the tide holds.

but this sea-sickly bipolar rolling, unevenly swinging decks shuffling madly to keep up with the toss of this pirated ship... i fear this mood is running out of swing.

Know, that i will find you again my dear.  the threat of even keel is screaming in my ear... but someday i will find a way to hold on to what i hear. there was something about... oysters... all my cheerful red thoughts are bleeding out to gray. leaving me in the stark wake of black and white thinking and short of a full deck... i'm coming to a piratical sabbatical... time to walk the plank...

The tide is going out.

it eraseth me...


Dream addict. Sleep disordered.

my thoughts are fractured.

fragmented. fraction-ed. fraying. frail.

just got off the phone with my sister. talking to family usually makes me feel really lonely. too much space full of things i want to say. unsaid things they'd be bored to hear about.

bad dreams still going strong. you would think i'd strive to stay up, try to avoid sleep, try not to dream and avoid Freddy Krueger.

but, no.

when i start to get more sleep-disordered, when dreams get bright-vivid-intense, i want to sleep even though the dreams are bad 99% of the time. because that other 1% is so much better than real life.

yeah, yeah, i know, that's stupid and bad. blah blah blah.

it's probably like a drug addiction. i've taken plenty of prescription drugs, but i've never done coke, heroin, lds, mushrooms, or anything like that. so arguably i'm not qualified to say. i've never taken any drug that makes me feel bliss or love or happiness.

but asleep? i have felt several emotions, pretty much all the good ones, when I was asleep, and i've never felt these emotions in real life. at least, not with the same intensity. it's one of the reasons i don't believe i'm "in love" with Garret.

of course, i love and care about Garret. you can't be around someone for years and not care about them. but it's very difficult to make sense of emotions and feelings when all of waking life is this flat, gray, tasteless dust. and love is this flat, gray, tasteless concept. but then, a handful of times, when i was sleeping, it wasn't like that at all. everything was this wet, red, vivid, plush. and Love was this wet, red, vivid scream. and even though it wasn't REAL, i still have the knowledge and the memory of the feeling. and it's hard to exist in a gray reality when you have memories like that.

i've always wished i could just sleep/dream all the time but have control of it. get really good at lucid dreaming.

sometimes i lose track of which way i'm fighting...

like, one day i might think that i should work on fixing my messed up sleep cycles. and being a bright, shiny eyed citizen of reality is the goal.

but then other days, i think-- what the hell am i trying to do that for? what's so great about living in reality? i don't particularly care if something is REAL, i care that it sucks. and i'd rather feel amazing and be able to fly even if that's "fake."

Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta...

I'm not really sure where to even try to correct it.

Gamma has to do with language and memory processing. Beta is wide awake. Alpha is awake but relaxed and not processing much. Theta is light sleep. Delta is deep dreamless sleep, resetting of internal clocks.

I'd guess I'm never in Delta. Theta is where you dream, so I know I'm in that one a lot.

Here's where I'm curious... if I stay up and don't get much sleep at all... sleep deprived and starting to hallucinate- what would that be? When I do that, it feels like I'm asleep, and the hallucinating part is kinda like dreaming, so can you be in Theta when you are technically awake and walking around?

Regardless. I think I'm a dream addict. Chasing a good trip despite all the bad ones.


Relationship nightmares

Why can't I have reoccurring GOOD dreams?? Does that happen to anyone? It should.

I'm still having bad dreams about my ex.

I don't want him in my head. But he won't get out.

I really do not want to dwell on all the stupid unhappy crap in my life over and over again. But what am I supposed to do when I keep dreaming about the same things??? I can't control my dreams. My dreams are forcing me to dwell.

Dream 1: I'm half-asleep, lying in bed and I can feel that someone is in the room. The guy presses down on my shoulder, shoves me into the mattress/pillow. Like he's going to attack me worse, but he's just getting warmed up. I try to escape, plan to fight back. But I can't see. I turn the light on but it goes dim and then I run through the house and to another light and then into the bathroom and I turn the water on and I splash water on my face and I can feel my eyelids opening and closing with my fingertips, but I can't see. I start to panic about being blind, and I wake up for real.

Dream 2: Mike's there. He has family- I'm not sure who all is there, but sense of people, his kid, his wife/girlfriend who is wearing this weird monochromatic pink dress- it's unflattering but shows off that she's pregnant. I'm alone with no family. Garret isn't there either but I think I'm talking about him. I'm on a phone with lots of long silences. I'm wandering around a parking lot and knocking little chunks of bark off of trees and then I'm sitting in a living room having to listen to Mike talk. Everything is uncomfortable but polite. I want to leave but I'm not sure where to go. Ryan and Washington are a mixed in peripheral dream, but Ryan's distracted and can't talk to me either.

I figured out a long time ago that dreams about my ex aren't actually about my ex. But that doesn't actually help. It might be simpler if they were.

Dreams about an ex are often about a current relationship. Whenever I have a bad dream about Mike, which is often, I always feel like it's a sign that I should get out of my relationship with Garret.

But then I never do, because I logically list all the really good things about Garret and why it would be really stupid of me to leave him, especially over a dream. So I stay. And then I keep having nightmares. And then I go through the whole cycle of doubt all over again.

Obviously, I'm jealous of Mike's family. I'm not very close with my family. Garret doesn't have any siblings and we don't have any kids. I'm sure that if I had a loving and supportive family, more than just Garret, like, a whole handful of people or something, then I probably wouldn't have nightmares. But I don't. All I have is Garret. And Garret is gone 99% of the time, so I don't even really have him.

I don't know. I feel like there is no point in continuing to rehash it all, so I really do try not to think about it, but my dreams won't let me have peace. So then, I feel like maybe there is something I need to rehash because why do I have to keep fixating on things I'm unhappy about?

The blind dream has me very upset because dreaming that you are blind is supposed to mean something along the lines of refusing to see the truth or not being able to see something clearly.

So that is not assuaging my paranoia.


Aspie self vs. Bipolar self

I feel catatonic.

Catatonic. Cat tonic. A tonic for cats. A lap cat as a tonic. Distractable. Retractable.

Obviously I know I'm not actually catatonic. I'm not a complete idiot. Regardless. I still want to say I feel catatonic.

I feel catatonic.

Non verbal. Non verbal like my mouth is too slow and stupid to react in real time. Voiceless but not without words in my head. Non verbal like that. Slow. Surreal. Out of sync because I'm functioning slower than reality. Plodding zombie shuffle. Expressionless face. Am I here? Am I here?

There is depression that can be tampered with, forced, made to snap back like a hassled dog. And then there is the blank kind, the below suicidal kind, the nothingness and nothing to reason with kind. Everything numb and hard to reach. Expressionless face. Am I here? Am I here?

Been awake nights. I watched the first two seasons of Homeland on demand. Claire Danes does a pretty good job of acting like a bipolar chick. I don't really think a lot about being bipolar. I relate to the Asperger's label so much more. Sure, I was OFFICIALLY DIAGNOSED as bipolar long before I discovered Asperger's, (Aspie's get way hung up on being diagnosed officially, so I like to specify. And also mock the officialness with caps lock.) but I never really took to that label.

I guess because, at the time, the doctors admitted that I was not just bipolar and that there was some other thing about me that they couldn't quite put their finger on. And I knew that was right. And I pretty much thought they were idiots. And then when I found Asperger's I was all like-- THAT'S IT!!! And so then I just took off identifying and learning about that since that was ME and I continued to ignore the whole bipolar thing.

Plus, I tried several mood stabilizers which did nothing to stabilize my mood, so I felt like- how can I be bipolar if zero drugs for bipolar affect me? Plus, I'd known a few other bipolar people, and I didn't really relate to them, so the bipolar part of myself seemed to be either mislabeled or unimportant.

But then I watched Claire Danes flip out over a green pen and go crazy with highlighters and try to explain to her boss that things were "high purple". So, if that is bipolar behavior, well, I totally do that. And it's embarrassing. But mostly, it's just really sad. Because the thing is, my brain DOES work and IS super smart when I have episodes like that. But I sound like an idiot, because I always feel like the people around me can see and understand what I'm talking about when I have epiphanies. But, no, they are not following. I'm always playing by myself.

Anyway, I'm sitting here all catatonic-depressed. And I think I want to snap myself out of it. I dragged myself to the library and I tried to listen to music to kickstart my brain, make it circulate, distract it into another direction-- but I think maybe I force myself to stay depressed so much because being more happy/manic is worse. More isolating.

Because I CAN force myself to slide that way. I can tip the scales but I can't stop the inertia. I can force everything to slur and rush like laughter, but the problem is that it hurts a lot more to be unloved and rejected and misunderstood in that state. It's silly and happy but it's also super vulnerable. And I don't have a mediating speed. It's either full throttle or full stop. So I think I want to be full throttle all the time, I want to be creative all the time, and fast all the time, and not care. But... I do care. And that's the problem.

I don't need everyone to love me. But I do need a few people to love me. And I do have Garret, which is more than I probably deserve. But I guess I'm greedy.

I write things when I'm feeling stuck and depressed to try and get my brain moving. I guess I don't really have a point to this post other than that. So, in conclusion, cats are awesome.


YA novel ALIENATED. Found out there is another one.

So, when I wrote ALIENATED, there wasn't a book like it already in existence.

I checked.

But yesterday, I discovered, much to my dismay, that someone else has now written a YA novel called Alienated. And it's coming out in Feb 2014, with a major publisher- Disney/Hyperion. And it sounds like it has similar elements- obviously, the title. And it also has a human and alien who get together.

So that's very sad.

Alienated. As of today.

I've edited the beginning of ALIENATED. Thought I'd post it for comparison.

Summary is still the same:
Nate is a loner with anger management issues. After being suspended from high-school for fighting, he is sent to a private school for troubled teens. There he meets Alexia, a beautiful blond, who tells everyone she's an alien from outer space. (This is not exceptionally remarkable as her other classmates include a quirky autistic, a brooding pyromaniac, and an overly chatty schizophrenic.)

Nate doesn't believe she's really an alien. And Alexia doesn't believe Nate really is in danger of becoming a homicidal maniac. But one of them turns out to be wrong.

 ♫ ♫  Pennywise- "Alien" ♫ ♫ 
Chapter 1

            Nate's fist slammed into the guy's face.
            The guy's nose snapped like a final straw.
            The ominous sound of breaking bone pierced Nate's ears.
            Lunge. Swing. Punch. Crunch.
            The crunch crackled, wetly disgusting, hinting at what lay underneath-- without the flesh of lips, the boy's exposed skull would be a skinless grin. Nate scowled at the ghastly mental image. He glanced around, feeling surrounded by bone heads locked into permanent expressions of amusement-- everyone snickering at him just beneath their skin.
            He gave his fist a quick shake and then quickly reformed it, ready to throw a second punch. The other guy-- Nate didn't know his name, he was just some guy, some nameless, faceless guy-- was still reeling. The grotesque crinkle of compressed nose hung in the air like an awkward accordion.
            Gasps popped out of nearby students. A soft, rushing yawn of sound that swished down the hallway. Several of the on looking boneheads went slack-jawed like dominoes-- mouths comically dropping open, stretching out from the point of impact.
            Boink, boink, boink... like dozens of tiny caves. Mouths agape in dark delight. Echoing. Their collective whispers rustling like restless bat wings.
            The some-guy's head had rocketed sideways from the impact of Nate's punch. No blood dramatically spewed from his mouth; no blood whiplashed wetly in a graceful arc through the air.
            The same could not be said about some-guy's drool. That did in fact spew forth in an aesthetic curve that any Grecian fountain would be envious of. Some of the students in the hallway screamed. It was not immediately clear to Nate if the screams were due to the fight or the drool. The drool had not actually landed on anyone besides Nate, but several girls, all trying to outdo each other, were loudly insisting that it literally had gotten all over them. Like, literally. All over! Literally.
            Nate wanted to present these girls with a dictionary, but he was literally preoccupied at the moment. He shook the drool off his forearm, flicking it in the general direction of the literal girls. They screamed. Nate distantly wondered if they actually had precognizant super-powers. Got drool? Here, let me make that true.
            Some-guy yelled something that Nate failed to process. He tried to focus. Nate's heightened senses were now disorienting. Every noise sounded drugged and surreal, not quite in sync with the action.
            At the first flood of adrenaline, less than a minute ago, his nerves sang and danced, thrilled to be drowning in the rush. His thoughts had been hyper-aware-- distant but clear. Time had not slowed like a fight-scene in a movie. But a pocket of extra thoughts had seemed to stretch out sideways in his head, giving him the illusion of enough space for his racing clarity to seem leisurely.
            But now it was all getting tangled. Actions suddenly displaced and skipped around. Every movement grew strange and nonsensical, set to the wrong background music. A smeared soundtrack of sickening snaps--- straws and bones and bat wings and whatever other things made snapping noises. Noises that might exist for the future cueing of memory-- prophetic glimpses later to be remixed. (SNAP! Fingers!) Memories to be recalled and reshuffled.
            Nate shook his head, trying to make the timeline snap back into place with the audio. He considered punching the guy again. There was a little blood coming out of his nose now, just a couple of drops. The guy tested it with his middle finger. Nate waited to see if Some-Guy was going to throw another punch.
            The guy had called Nate a crazy psycho. Really, that would have been fine. But then he had gone on to make a disparaging comment about Nate's mother. Nate was very sensitive about his mother. That was when he'd decided to hit the guy. More accurately, it was when he decided to stop preventing himself from hitting the guy. Some-guy had actually thrown the first punch, but he'd missed.
            Adults tended to assume fights were always provoked, and that they were always Nate's fault. Nate, what did you do to provoke the fight?? His Dad never understood that he just existed. That was enough.
            During the five-minute break between classes the hallways were full of students. Nate hated the crush of other people milling around him, the laughter and causal touching of happy people. He was not a fan of crowds. He also didn't like the whine of the fluorescent lights in the hall, they egged on the black rage in his skull, made him feel like he couldn't think.
            Even when people were not insulting his mother, his thoughts were often scrambled with blood and violence. He had wanted to stab the overhead light in the eye socket. Short-circuit it. Fry its brains out. Then some guy had irritated him, said things, and knocking the guy's lights out instead had sounded like an acceptable substitute.
            In a school of fish, the odd one out gets eaten by the shark. In a school of children, it's more like being in a crowd of cannibalistic piranhas.
            If Nate had been weaker or smaller, if he didn't fight back, he would have been bullied but he probably would have stayed out of trouble.
            Clearly, not a priority.
            Nate wanted to fight.
            But apparently, some-guy did not want to fight anymore. His nose was now bleeding profusely. He held up his hands, palms out, in a gesture that indicated cessation and said, "Whatever, Man." It seemed to be over.
            But then it wasn't.
            A slender girl ran up to Nate and slapped him across the face. Nate stared down at the top of her head. She was a blur of pink shirt and black mascara. Apparently, Nate had just punched her boyfriend. For some reason, this made her go berserk. She slapped, hit, and screamed at Nate.
            Nate was a chauvinist in the sense that he had reservations about punching a girl full in the face, or, at all. He did not treat her as an equal. He just stood there.
            She started hitting him harder. She was a surprisingly strong little thing. Nate concentrated on not flinching.
            He kept his arms at his sides woodenly-- no deflection, no self-protection, just absorbing it all in, taking everything she had to give. Nate wished his chest and arms were as numb as his facial expression. Pain and swear words crowded in on his thoughts.
            Nate wondered if there would ever come a point at which he could count on numbness. He imagined his life continuing like this indefinitely-- being pummeled. Perhaps he would reach an age where he was nerveless and unbreakable.
            Having absorbed so many mental and physical blows, year after year, his skin ought to get thicker. Roughened and beaten into one huge callus. Skin aged and strengthened, weathered into proper armor. Skin trained to take anything. A deadened outer shell keeping everything vaulted.
            But for now, Nate was all chinks and cracks.
            Something always split through-- his eyes, his lips-- something would always crack and give him away.
            Instead of fighting this weakness, Nate occasionally tried to use it to his advantage. He let things slip though on purpose. He let some of the crazy shine through the cracks, so that people would back up, so that they wouldn't peer too closely at the rest.
            He focused on doing this now.
            I am a big scary guy! He thought firmly. You should be afraid of me!
            Nothing happened. The girl continued to hit him, not intimidated.
            Annoyed and embarrassed, Nate tried to channel evil super-villain thoughts. He coaxed THREAT to bleed into his eyes. He glared.
            I'm not secretly a nice person, Girl. Or even if I am, my patience is running out, and I may punch you in the face after all... I could kill you, I could kill you...
            Nate let her see that he thought about killing her. He hoped that would make her uncomfortable enough to stop hitting him.
            Luckily, it did.
            The girl held his gaze for a second too long. She was spitting mad one second and stuttering to a stop the next. She backed up, grabbed her boyfriend's bloody hand, and fled.
            Nate had mentally classified the girl as tiny, but she wasn't. She was average sized. Nate was just tall for his age. At sixteen, he stood at a decently filled out six foot two. Even thought he wasn't overly skinny, he gave the impression of being all angles-- a wiry creature made of elbows and sharpness. His eyes were dark and so was his hair. He rarely slouched but often kept his eyes down; he didn't shrink from people but he didn't find most of them worth looking at.
            Administrative authority had finally been roused by all the commotion. A fat beast of a man walked purposefully toward Nate, coming to collect him and deliver him for punishment. He spoke into a walkie-talkie. Nate went with him quietly.
            The school year was almost over; less than two weeks remained. Nate wondered if he would be suspended or expelled. He glanced down the hallway that contained his locker, trying to recall if there was anything left in it that he wanted.
            The man ushered him into the principal's office, holding the door open and gesturing for Nate to walk in first.
            "Here he is. The boy he attacked is with the nurse-- she says his nose is broken."
            "Thank-you." the principal said in a clipped voice.
            The man left.
            The principal wore a gray dress with a matching jacket. Tight through her middle, the dress produced finger-sized fat-rolls that outlined her sides in links of gray sausages. She straightened the large walkie-talkie that sat on the corner of her desk and indicated that Nate should have a seat.
            He sat across the desk from the principal and watched her make phone calls. She didn't call his Dad right away, she took care of other inconsequential business.
            Nate waited, determined not to sweat.
            He did not want to give the woman the satisfaction of watching him grow restless, uncomfortable, to ask what was going to happen to him. Nate did not oblige. He waited her out. They both wanted the other to be the one to speak first.
            However, Nate had all the time in the world and the principal did not. She did have an actual job to do. She could afford to waste a little time trying to assert power, but not all day. Finally, she turned her attention to him and nastily told him that he would be expelled.
            Then she called his father.
            Nate cringed, inwardly. Outwardly, he tried to look unconcerned. Part of him felt bad. He couldn't hear the other side of the phone conversation, but his imagination unhelpfully filled in the gaps.
            "Yes. I'll be waiting with him in my office." The principal said, itching her chin on the left shoulder pad of her jacket. "There is paperwork you'll need to sign... No, I'm sorry, he most definitely can not be sent home on his own recognizance. You will need to come and pick him up."
            She hung up the phone and sent Nate into an inner room adjacent to her office. She watched him through a large glass window. She continued to make phone calls but Nate could no longer make out what she was saying. He considered learning how to read lips-- not that he was all that interested in what the principal was saying, but just because it seemed like a useful skill to have. He stared back at her through the thick pane. He wondered if any student had ever broken that tempting window. He fingered the seat of his chair thoughtfully and imagined throwing it through the glass. Thin black lines crosshatched the window; Nate didn't know what the lines were (Wire perhaps?), but he assumed they prevented the window from being easily broken by a casually tossed chair.
            Nate spent a lot of time staring at the window while he waited. Two hours and eleven minutes passed before his father arrived. When he finally did, he barely glanced at Nate through the window; he immediately got into it with the principal. Nate very much wished he could read lips at this point. His dad spoke heatedly, but not loud enough for Nate to catch what he said. He argued with the principal for a few minutes and failed to sign the papers that the principal pushed across the desk at him. He walked toward Nate and opened the door.
            "Let's go. NOW."
            As Nate had anticipated, his father did not look pleased. He looked sweaty, red, and breathy. His father did not wait; he turned and stomped out of the office. Nate scrambled to grab his stuff and ran out after him.
            During the ride home, the car filled with tense silence. Outside, the sun was shining in a cloudless sky of deep and brilliant blue; the trees and plants lining the street were lush and alive; birds were singing; squirrels raced along power lines-- not a single one getting electrocuted.
            Nate sourly watched it all rushing past the windshield.