A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || November 23, 2006 || 10:46 pm

Happy Giving-Thanks Day!

There have been mass changes in my life over the last two or so years. They’ve almost been shifting me into another kind of person altogether, and when I stop to think on that, the knowledge of it kind of wigs me out.

I used to be a quietly thankful sort of person, realizing I was blessed with a certain amount of stoicism and matter-of-factness. Acknowledging and then moving on, I never really dwelt on my blessings, or more importantly, didn’t dwell in them. Thankfully –but painfully, I regret to inform anyone who is planning a major (dum-dum-DUM) shift in consciousness– I have been moved out of this place and am still working into another.

That is why, when grabbing a pre-celebration shower today, I started out running a litany of things I was thankful for (and giving pause at each one, propping it up with all manner of Supporting Adjectives And Even Verbs) in no particular weighted order; I ended up with my face toward the spot that I assumed the sky still rested in, tears of gratitude and humility crawling across my cheekbones.

Cornpone and gawkish as though it my sound, great and mighty Cyberians, this place, this interwebnets wild west settled in on my thoughts.

I made sure I professed my thanks to my friends and family openly and earnestly in facetime today. I’d like to do the same here, because in my eight years of scribbling things and dancing them out onto the ether there have been some pretty significant folk to show up and affect me in ways that I’d never have previously imagined.

Patti, for instance. Patti is a basket case by her own admission, but that basket is made of sturdy marble and filled with a wild array of flowers and weeds that complement one another beautifully. All soft and savage, this woman is: Life has dumped her into certain things and she’s maintained the most wonderful sense of grace and perspective. We may go weeks without talking on a regular basis sometimes, but then sometimes a package shows up on my doorstep. Last one I got contained a battered, vintage brown suitcase full of 1960s Barbie regalia. If that’s not seeing into someone’s soul, then I don’t know what is. Just the night before I’d gone into my studio to push, pull, manage, contain the plethora of things that kept calling for me to come talk to them with my hands, with the set of my jaw. I was readying for that case, and she somehow got that. And then there’s the whole “I’ma-eBay-a-hunk-of-my-crap-so-that-you-and-your-
kid-can-afford-that-mission-trip-to-Scotland “thing.

Seth’s blog is only one of about three or four that I actually remember finding. Come on blogdorks, you know there is at least one voyeurnal out there that you recall hitting you in the face solidly. You maybe could even cite what you were wearing or drinking or humming when it happened. I remember finding Seth’s place (though at a different location) and being all “Ooooh, there is A Brain And Some Sense here!” Everything was engaging, from the design to the dialogue; it was well-worded and goofily eclectic enough to make the fidgitiest of readers hang about. Seth has generously given of his time, talents, expertise, humor and sarcasm repeatedly during the majority of my time out here. Hell, the site you’re sitting on now is all him…he supplies the hosting, the domain, the designs and tech support for a bunch of self-publishing nonames that cannot afford therapy. Okay, that’s just me, but maybe a couple of the others are just hiding it sorta well. He is also quick to remind me at every turn imagineable, “The internet is full of big fakey flakes. I refuse to believe that you are anything but a bunch of monkeys with keyboards and a Banana Pudding Incentive (BAND NAME!! I CALL IT FIRST!)

“Oh yeah, comic books! Pinup Girls! Procrastination, chocolate-chip peanut butter cookies, cloth spaceman helmets! A deeveedee collection as big as Texas! These are the stuffs of REAL. MEN.”

Dovetailing directly onto that is three-tenths of the Deca, barber, trouble and the olive. These people, though they may not be aware of it, make the Christian community a very real, likable and thoughtful place. They are solid in their beliefs, flexible enough to respectfully reach their heads around differing opinions, graceful in their manner. And they all have really great taste in music.

Rod remains shrouded in a lot of mystery, but I know he is there in the background, cheering for me in my victories and grieving with me in my sorrows. He e-mails me just often enough to make sure I’m aware of this, and somehow this means a great deal to me. We are not completely intangible to one another.

Daniel showed up round about year three, maybe four and I was immediately taken with his fresh-faced intelligence and enthusiasm. I believe he was tha first interanets poepel that pronounced me ‘real’. This heartened me, because hello? For all my cynicism, I naively assume that people are putting the raw them out there in pixels. To know that I’d accomplished getting myself across in such a way as to be considered flesh and bone? It was pretty damned neat. That styooopid dorkfuck nickname at the end of the posts carried less of a hollow ring, you dig?

Richard, a facespace friend of Daniel’s, showed up then as well. Richard and I both despise and love one another, as we reflect each other back and forth with a fair regularity. We are markedly similar with dissimilar approaches and it has been an interesting ride knowing him. We call each other out, we stroke one another’s fat-headed egos, we outdork and outcool and outmean one another and then say, “Sorry, I’m a jerkoff. But aren’t I a pretty special jerkoff, huh?” I am at my best and worst in his presence, and it is likely that he will say the same with regard to me.

There was the Bitter About Women Clayton, then there was the Engrossed Husband Of Erin Lynn Clayton. Right now there is the Grieving And Searching For Equilibrium Clayton. I have liked each and every one, as they all have a steady current of inquisitiveness, kindness, hopefulness, intelligence and good humor running throughout. Clayton, I imagine, would be prime best pal potential in realtime. The first four or so times we spoke on the phone, the call would abruptly end in some goofy fashion: One time my phone’s battery just up and fell out, KACHUNK, on the desk. When I called him back to apologize, he said to me, “Look. We can’t ever meet. The way things are going, we would be walking down the street talking animatedly and you’d fall into a hole or get hit by a bus or something.” He makes good uterus jokes, too.

Angie steps neatly out of her skin to show you gristle and tendon and ropy veins. She often laughs and consistently earns points toward her Creative Cursing badge while doing so. She writes about her struggles with mental illness in such a way that I am reminded of a predatory animal: Angie stalks the subject, takes out a leg, circles the thing, observing and investigating, then pounces without mercy, gulping it down furiously and effectively. She is charming and beautiful and effusive in her own right, and I respect the shit out of that girl for being brave enough to take steps to ‘fix’ herself and to address it in a non-freakshow manner. “I am me, I am sometimes nervous about being me, but I’ve got it pretty damn good if I do say so myself.”

Thoughtful, wordy, with a strangely elegant manner: That’s John. I liken him to the notion of what a brother should be, and what my little brother would have been had his life progressed further than it did.

I am immensely grateful to have known Rick for the small amount of time that we corresponded. He was great fun, and a blogger with whom I’d have shared my deepest secrets and a jigger of tequila in one hot instant. The needlessness of his death still rattles me, because I alwaysalwaysALWAYS wonder “Am I doing enough for others? Is there something I am missing here?” Unfortunately, in this case that proved to be true. RIP, waisty; I didn’t get to know you long enough but some is better than none atall.

I ‘met’ Skillzy over at Sugarmama’s when it was still alive and kicking. He had this amazing sense of humor, and in getting to know him I’ve learned this to be no act. He is about as nonjudgemental a person you will ever meet, and he is generous in the face of others’ needs. Or hell, even wants. He likes for people to be happy. Lately, he’s taken steps to be happy himself, and I am glad. He’s also the first blogfucker I’ve met, and I can vouch for him in a “Yeah, you should totally meet a blogger at Cracker Barrel and speak loudly of intensely personal things that will make the old bitches at neighboring tables stare.” kind of way. Personally, I think he should be running a non-profit. Or a cult, whichever’s more convenient and/or fulfilling.

I could not possibly in a millionandten years describe the ridiculous amount of love I have for that girl Melly. I im’ed her on a whim one night, saying “Helloooo, whore!” She responded not-so-lovingly to that, but by the end of the conversation we had a nickname for the Conglomerate Of Us. That girl and I have drunked together, cried together, raged together and laughed until neither of us could breathe (together). All of this was via computer or telephone, and all of it was Genuine And True. We are ludicrous and imaginative and superb together in a way that is difficult to achieve in a lifetime, so I’m lucky to have her, even in so stilted a fashion. When we get together, things around us will spontaneously combust and tequila will geyser forth from cracks in the pavement, I just know it. I have two shotglass necklaces put back for just such an occasion.

Darrell was a guy that was just out there, bleeding all over my monitor (in the best of ways, mind you) when I decided to e-mail him. I got ridiculously honest with personal details early-on so as to be as off-putting as possible. He saw through my ruse and said, “Fellow Compassionate Misanthrope! Welcome to the fold!” And there I was, bouncing correspondence back and forth via three mediums and making my first official internet acquaintance-turned-pal. I encouraged him, he encouraged me, we hoped and hollered into our monitors on many occasions regarding one another.

There are other readers –dave and cal and chris and nina and karen and kristin and peter and brynne and wendy and scott and todd– that I can’t truly quantify with words, but who lend to the belief that the self-abuse and self-administered therapy that are the result of this place I’ve carved out on the screen aren’t necessarily a completely vain, silly thing.

So I am thankful, no matter your stripes, that you see fit to come here and give half a shit at all about the goings-on in my head and heart and life in general. And I’m thankful for the resounding connections that I’ve been generously afforded by the universe’s opening of a door and your chancing to walk through it to then greet me with palms open and smiles blazing, pleasantly expectant.

9 worked it out »

  1. CNL 11.24.2006

    I didn’t need to read that with a turkey hangover. Now I’m blubbering all over the place. *sniff* I do miss happy fridays… I regret that I’ve never been drunk as a skunk with you…

    Let me say this – for every single nice thing you said, I can come up with 10 spectacular, life-changing things you have done for others, my dear. You, yourself are an inspiration, an infectious, inspirational soul that challenges the souls of others to conspire to make the world a better place.

    Challenged me. Made my world a better place. ;-)

  2. chris robinson 11.24.2006

    Well, I’m just entirely thankful for your poems, the news of your children and family, and your utterly generous spirit.

  3. skillzy 11.25.2006

    I’d have to pick cult, because even though cult leader and non-profit manager both mean you have lots of women around, I’m betting that cult women mind better. And shave their legs more often.

  4. roderickm 11.26.2006

    Joseph had that colorful jacket, I have my shroud of mystery. I’ll wear it, er, stealthily.

    Jett, your writing is one of my guilty pleasures. Not sure exactly where the guilt part comes from… but it has something to do with the connection I feel when experiencing them. That wonderful connection averages to gut-level, I’d say… though sometimes lower(!) and sometimes more between the eyes. I’m thankful for you, your generous words, and the way they make me want to beat down the mediocrity in me.

  5. The Dane 11.26.2006

    All of us inside me love you (whatever you are) like it was going out of style. p.s. Emiliana Torrini alone was worth the price of admission.

  6. Jettomatika 11.28.2006

    Here is where an, ‘Awwwww, you GUYS’ response goes.

    I’ve never really been good at accepting compliments. I have been told, on more than one occasion, that this is a sign of immaturity. Maybe (probably) so. I wish my mother could share her secret for them, because she is the perfect mixture of humble and wowed and suave and gracious.

    You people wow me. Okay??

  7. Jettomatika 11.28.2006

    Also, Rod:

    Beers? Bandito? I should be in Htown shopping in the near future.

    What say? Skillzy broke my bloggermeet cherry and now I am an enthusiastic whore for meeting a select group of you folk.

  8. John 11.29.2006

    Aw, well I’m the same way with compliments…I usually just smile.

    And I am quite thankful to have found your part of the web, which makes the insanity of the world more bearable.

    Your passion for words and ability to craft a phrase spins me in envy and joy.

  9. roderickm 11.30.2006

    Of course I’m down for a grande plate!

    The most precious thing I ever did find on the internet — my wife Megan — loves bandito as well. I enjoy keeping her trust, but she’ll want to join up for sure if I mention the “enthusiastic whore” part, mmmkay? My number will be in your inbox… just say when.


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