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Friday, April 14, 2006

Russian Roulette

One year ago on this very day, I sat in my car at the top of my driveway, forehead pressed to the steering wheel. This was utter, utter despair. I considered running away, leaving my former life behind forever. I considered it, and thought, no. The very next night, I changed my mind and my fate and damn near ever'thing, and that's how I wound up in San Francisco.



To reiterate, last year my continent slipped into the sea. Bye-bye, glug. I didn't take a risk -- this was survival, pure fear. I followed my instincts and chose the best course. Thank you, biology.

Folks, no matter how careful you are, no matter how good your karma, your world will eventually turn inside-out like an umbrella in a windstorm. Nobody is impervious to fate's hurricanes. So how do we weather them? How do we find our way back to Auntie Em?

Well, here's what I've figured out (so far).

  • TRUST your instincts. If you are a woman, you're at an advantage here (I think -- don't mean to generalize on this point).

  • Be kind. To others and to yourself. Meaning, give yourself some slack. If you do, you'll find the best people you could possibly hope to meet. I did. Every time I think on this, I'm once again amazed.

  • Rely on your friends. I did. And first and foremost there's my best friend, G, who is the most loyal sister I could ever hope to have and who remains my best friend and (in my humble view of it) kin . She was there before that fateful day, on that day, and yes, after. Next there's my roommate, who saved my life for pure and unselfish reasons. She has a Phd in writing poetry, if you can imagine such a thing, and she's made it, she's lucrative! Unheard of! Then there's J who commiserated, made me laugh, boosted my self-esteem, and who has no fucking idea how much this meant to me in the long run. (Isn't he hot?)To sum up, it's okay to rely. Go ahead. You'd do the same for your friends, and you know as well as I do that you look forward to the day they cash in. . .

  • Have faith that things will turn out fine. You might as well. Look, I know how difficult this is -- when the worst happens, our minds tell us to prepare for more of the same. But believe me, you cannot begin to predict the worst. And you know, the worst rarely happens. Gamble on the idea that everything will turn out for the best. Because, here: if the world's hugest shit-ship docks at your port, odds are that there isn't another world's hugest shit-ship chugging along behind it. Expect the next vessel to be The Love Boat. So what if it turns out to be a Swiss barge full of cotton and styrofoam? If you expect the Good Ship, yo: you might end up taking some minute action that changes the course of things for the better.

  • And we know -- those of us who've watched, incredulous, as the worst happened -- that fate is in no way fixed. Remember The Great Depression? Me neither. Because, ha ha, I'm still fresh and full of life, like Mentos®. Still, I know that events can get múy fucked and that we might as well enjoy what's left of what's left in preparation for the possibility that fucked is a fluke.


  • Feel me?

    38 Comments:

    Blogger Le Chitelier said...

    ...that post really got to me. I have to say, life right now is so far better than it was only a few years ago, all the way back through my entire life, that the past couple of years have been the best I've ever experienced, even with all the shit that life threw at me here and there. It's far better now because, hey, anything is better than complete and utter shit - which was my life up until I was about twenty-five... But as good as it is now, I'm just realising that it isn't nearly as good as I need it to be. In other words, I am very gratefull for how life has gotten so much better (and it's better because I made it that way, not because it just got that way on it's own) but I can't stop now, I can't settle for less, I have to aim higher and improve my life even more. It's time for me to stop being lazy and start kicking some ass!

    11:14 PM

     
    Blogger matty said...

    I feel like I'm in an Elton John song --- you know, the one about a life being saved last night... Your post made me feel good and gave me some hope. Which, at this moment, I really need. Thank you so much more than you could ever know. And, thank you for letting me lean. My love for you runs very deep. Hope you know that, my friend. m

    1:09 AM

     
    Blogger purplesimon said...

    I'm back! Today!

    Just popped on by to say hello. Back around after the Easter break (another few days!) and then I shall be catching up on the important things: friends, writing and, very important, looking for my next copywriting job.

    Being freelance and buggering off for three weeks is not good for earning money. I am so skint!

    Enough about me, how's you?

    I'll be back soon, hon.

    purplesimon out...

    5:54 AM

     
    Blogger ticharu said...

    Then there's the notion that you didn't really make a choice at all. That at that moment in your life you've always gone to San Francisco, that you've always met Matt and that every time you've been Ingrid, Gina has been your best friend. That's why it seems so right. Change occures by incriments over a great many repititions, but the basic program being run here has a specific outcome and your life and death, and the choices you (think) you make are an intragal part of a grander design.
    Ooo! Did you feel that?

    6:15 AM

     
    Blogger ginab said...

    you never know what's coming down the pipe. In England, they say "pipe", as officiated by The Office. Here, they say "pike" as in "turnpike". Dolts. I prefer pipe. Makes sense. Pipes get clogged with shit and question marks. Pikes get cleared, cleansed, renewed, replaced, improved. The "pike" besides is a fish and not especially big or tastey. And then I think of car accidents, pile-ups, speedy turns, and tumbles over the rail.

    While you followed your instincts (and we are very lucky to be gals indeed) of biology (love the "hurricanes of fate", by the way), I follow sense too. And yep, no matter how good you've been and remain, how many boquets displayed in opening your heart, the pipes can clog because people can take a long ass slippery crap. Probably, they'd eaten some pike.

    Not sure what I've said so much as I'm just responding.

    your sis,

    ginab

    7:53 AM

     
    Blogger ginab said...

    now see, I meant solidly "pipes". Pikes suck. As do typos.

    7:55 AM

     
    Blogger sage said...

    Thought provoking--I especially like the be kind to others and self... Ginab, Pikes do get to be big fish (for fresh water fish) and while a bit bony and certainly no walleye, they're better than a catfish raised in a dirty river. I think Northern Pike have to be 30 inches before you can keep 'em. And they're fun to catch, especially on light tackle, which absolutely has nothing to do with your play on metaphors so let me end with this: Down the pipe reminds me of smoke.

    11:03 AM

     
    Blogger ginab said...

    On smoke, that would be "up the pipe".

    no matter.

    2:18 PM

     
    Blogger lryicsgrl said...

    I'm speechless, well, almost.
    Just remember that even passengers on the LOVE BOAT can get sea-sick ( is this one word or two??)

    Thank you for this post, it's the kind that wakes you and shakes you. Glad you made your way to the road of contentment.........surely this is the best route to HAPPINESS!!! You dig?

    6:01 PM

     
    Blogger lryicsgrl said...

    OH,
    THANK YOU THAN YOU for your Passover greetings. You are so kind!!! :)

    HAPPY EASTER!
    I hope all your basket will be full of joy!

    6:03 PM

     
    Blogger josh williams said...

    I liked everything you wrote. I guess thats why your in the business your in and keep the friends that you keep. Best I turn in, if I stay up to much later the alphabet will double on my keyboard and I will wake up with sore fingers from stretching to find just the right letter for just the right word. JW

    9:32 PM

     
    Blogger Me said...

    Excellent advice and an inspiring post, Ing. Everyone needs to learn to trust the little voice in their head and that funny feeling in their gut more often. Most have stopped being able to sense it or they clutter up their lives with the 'should haves' and the wants of misguided desire. Good for you for taking a leap and for finding good souls to surround yourself with

    10:57 PM

     
    Blogger Labbie said...

    I feel. I feel.

    12:55 AM

     
    Blogger sage said...

    You know, if you got any extra mentos (with or without its registered trademark) and an extra 2 liter bottle of diet coke (ugh, should I have a trademark here too?) sitting around, you can do this as shared to the world by NPR:, even though I didn't hear it, just found it via another blog.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5341253

    6:08 AM

     
    Blogger AndyW said...

    Another thing I do is limit any self-pity time to 10 seconds or less. Then I pick my head up figure out how to solve the problem and move on.

    7:56 AM

     
    Blogger Zen Wizard said...

    A very heartwarming and inspirational post!

    5:37 PM

     
    Blogger Spinning Girl said...

    I feel hope.

    I needed that.

    You don't know how much.

    7:18 PM

     
    Blogger matty said...

    I've one word to write: Angus.

    Well, there is one other word but I want not to steal thunder.

    How is your hair?

    10:30 PM

     
    Blogger Rrramone said...

    You inspire me. Great words. I've blown up my life a few times, so I can relate. And I get more optimistic the older I get. :-)

    Keep being you.

    8:52 AM

     
    Blogger ing said...

    le chit:

    I was talking this over with someone last night -- you're a bit younger than me, I'm guessing. I hope that I haven't finished the best years of my life. I'd be flabbergasted if some catastrophe hit again, so soon. But I hope things don't stay in this place of edgy calm and suspense. I'm due for something really really good to happen. When I was younger, that meant I was ready to fall in love.

    _______________

    Matty:

    That's because you have a great capacity and an open heart. I wish this didn't seem so extraordinary.

    _______________

    purps:

    You're back!! Someday, I'd like to figure out how one manages to write freelance. That sounds great.

    _______________

    tich:

    That explains the constant déjà vu. But really, Destiny's Child, couldn't there be an easier path to ending up meeting who you're supposed to meet?

    ________________

    ginab:

    I think you just said that karma has nothing to do with it; shit will happen.

    _________________

    sage:

    Me, I like trout. Just so you know. I've fished many times, but all I ever caught (besides eels [eww], seaweed, and old shoes) was a perfect Rainbow Trout.

    ___________________

    ginab:

    Mmmmmm, smooooke. (I still haven't. Tobacco, that is.)

    ___________________

    lzy:

    Yeah, remember that episode on The Love Boat when the whole crew gets dysentery? Remember the hijinks that ensued? (haha)

    I'm glad you liked the post. I've been hearing a lot of doom and gloom lately, so I guess this post is a form of reistance. I'm trying very hard not to go down the gloomy path because I can see that I have a choice in the matter.

    I love it when you come over here! My Easter was grand (even though I don't really celebrate it) because I spent it with good people. One had just come back from a journey and I could tell he was missed. One is about to depart on a much-needed dream-journey, and he will be missed. The third is our anchor (though he'll be going off on his own dream-journey in a few months). I'm their word-photographer.

    _________________

    Josh:

    Some people read and some people write. You do both, which might be why you're so often tired. You burn the candle at both ends.

    ________________

    me:

    Thanks! I guess it's tough because that little voice isn't always right. That little voice has gotten me into trouble. It's the voice of innermost desire, but its fulfillment is good only in this immediate way.

    Still, it's sometimes very good to fulfill our desires.

    _____________

    labbie:

    I know you do. I liked your posting about the dream.

    ______________

    sage:

    WOW! Now that is awesome!

    ________________

    andyw:

    Oh, I could never do that. But my dad could -- he was in the Marines. I sometimes enjoy settling in to my self-pity for a while, the warm mud of it. Good for the complexion.

    _________________

    I've fallen behind, and I have to run to work! I'll answer the rest of you much later, when I return.

    'kay?

    9:54 AM

     
    Blogger matty said...

    Ing --- I was thinking of you much today! I hope you had a good day! I spent 3 hours at the free clinic hanging with the ho's and the insane. ...we watched Oprah. I figure that is what happens when you gather a group of crack prostitues, insane homeless people and me in a room together. ...we bond and watch Oprah lecture people for living beyond their means as she shifts about in her Gucci dress and a stylist fixes her hair.

    ..but all that money and the poor thing still can't get the hair or the weight under control. ...at least that is what Ida told me as we were watching. Ida liked my messenger bag. She asked me if she could have it.

    I told her no.

    "Good Times!"

    ...oh, crap. this was going to be my posting for today! oh well.

    7:34 PM

     
    Blogger josh williams said...

    I read and write yes but I'll be damned if I ever proof read what I write, so that might splain why I have been told, slow down. To what end I ask?Uh Oh I feel a spele comin' on and this time my entire lexicon is going to be laid to waste, ooooo? Nope just a false alarm. Peace JW

    8:56 PM

     
    Blogger ginab said...

    Oh but I am here, closer to you than a bikini wax. I'm saying "hello" to myself (of course; I am the older sister! sister).

    Me and Bea Bea we're trying to find a comparison to our love for you. Might it be beans on toast? Bea Bea nods, but let's all agree: do not give a Boxer 'beans'. And 'never mind the toast.' She is freaky-deaky asleep right now and I am sure to run on wires in a few hours if I don't hunker down and slumber. Just spreading my love like jam on the horizon before I sleep. That would be blueberry jam for anyone who wants to live long.

    Enjoy!

    We love you Ing!
    -g+bb

    9:40 PM

     
    Blogger Le Chitelier said...

    eh? And here I was thinking that I was older than you...

    11:18 PM

     
    Blogger ing said...

    Okay,

    Zen:

    Oooh, I don't think that's your heart (but I'm glad it's warm). . .

    ______________

    spinning:

    You'd be surprised -- I'm very familiar with "how much" these days. Whatever it is, I hope it gets better or at least bearable for you, Ms. Spinning.

    ______________

    Matty:

    Angus is in the works. But first I have to catch up on my comments.

    My hair is a hack-job, yet I really do think it looks great. I hope I am not delusional. I know my roommate thought I was when she saw me with the scissors.

    _______________

    rrrramone:

    I like how you pronounce your name! If only I could become more optimistic as I got older. . . d'you think it's really possible?

    ________________

    matty:

    Good old Oprah. I never did get sucked in by her charms, nor did I see the allure. But some day, when I am a crack ho, I'll come around.

    What I don't get is how I have no money and yet I managed to have perfect hair and to lose lots of weight. . .

    Where the hell is Jungle Jane?!
    _________________

    Josh:

    The most prolific writers never proofread or reread. They just put out. I am trying to be less prolific, myself. Putting out gets wearisome.

    _________________

    ginab:

    Closer than a bikini wax? That's awfully, awfully close! I love you too, g + bb, but yeah, if you're going to eat all those beans, could you roll down the car window?

    __________________

    le c:

    Oooops! I just looked at your profile. I stand corrected. It's just, you look so young in your photo. . .

    11:43 PM

     
    Blogger Labbie said...

    Yeah, it was definetely the taco. One should avoid a heavy (Mexican) meal before bedtime.

    1:11 AM

     
    Blogger Le Chitelier said...

    Okay, I have to admit, the picture I chose for my avatar is actually from a very long time ago. Well before I died, actually (yeah, you don't want to see any post mortem pics, blehck!) But come on, you can't possibly look anywhere near the age I was when that particular picture was taken.

    10:28 PM

     
    Blogger Captain Carl said...

    Arrrr....ya always know just what ta say sweetie......the Capt often has his head presses against the helm.....ay be thinkin T'be great ya have such neat friends....

    7:53 AM

     
    Blogger ginab said...

    yes: fluke.

    10:46 AM

     
    Blogger ing said...

    Labster:

    I think you're okay as long as you avoid Taco Bell. Either that, or Mexicans tend to have extremely vivid dreams. Which would explain the absolute beauty of their fiction. Hmmm . . .

    ________________

    le chit:

    Well, no, I don't look to be that age. So tell me, do you remain in suspense in the year in which you died, or do you continue to age postmortem? That is, am I speaking to a man circa. 50, or am I speaking to a man of approx. 150 years? I suppose much would depend on your state of mind. For how long have you sustained and maintained consciousness? Have you continued to learn and grow?

    Sorry about all the questions, but I'm hugely curious and also think it'd be best if I understood you a weensy bit better.

    xo
    _______________

    Cappy:

    Since when did you become a floating head? You astound me, O Captain. It's funny, too, because your head reminds me of this three-day-long Dead show I once attended. Except the head I saw belonged to a man named Jerry.

    And Cappy, I have this funny feeling that if you lived in San Fran, you'd be one of my friends.

    _______________

    ginab:

    Thanks, I needed the reassurance. Sometimes the word fate looms large and ominous. I have to believe in fluke.

    6:42 PM

     
    Blogger ticharu said...

    I don't know, some chemist told me that one...

    9:09 PM

     
    Blogger ing said...

    tich:

    And his name, was it "Dr. Feelgood"? If not, was it "le chitelier"? Because, I think I kind of know both of these dudes, and they said the same thing to me!

    9:59 PM

     
    Blogger Le Chitelier said...

    Hang on a second there. I think Ticharu is talking about something in the realm of theoretical physics. That idea about "destiny" or what have you cannot have come out of the mouth of a pure chemist - unless he's been dabbling in physics as well. Hell, you'll never hear stuff like that come out of my mouth. I am after all an industrial chemist. I'm more concerned about the chemical compounds present in concrete, not "destiny" for cryin' out loud! Oh and Dr. Feelgood was neither a chemist nor a physicist. Ach! I am SO insulted! *in a wannabe French accent*

    Ahem! So, Ing, you were asking a few questions about moi? Alright, here goes: First off, I was born in 1850 and lived till the ripe old age of eighty-six. When I died in 1936... well yes, you could say that I have continued to age...
    -RAPIDLY.

    And THAT is why I shy away from postmortem pics. They just aren't a pretty sight. I actually have maintained conciousness throughout all of it (just a few blurry moments surrounding the time of my death). And yes I do continue to learn and grow... although I am only talking about my mind here. My body on the other hand is no longer capable of any kind of growth. At this point it only continues to shrink (just as any other self-respecting corpse would!) Anyhoo, if you have any other questions, ...well then, fire away!

    10:58 PM

     
    Blogger Topher said...

    Right on!!
    Your post gave me warm, fuzzy feelings, made me glad looking back on things.
    I was gonna write more but they fleeted away e-heh

    2:16 AM

     
    Blogger Bloodgood said...

    definetly a nice post!!

    7:35 PM

     
    Blogger matty said...

    Oh, Ing --- I think it time for an updated posting! LOL!

    I'm on my way to wisk you away to shopping heaven!

    Gonna dress you up, baby!!!!

    1:43 PM

     
    Blogger wallycrawler said...

    Ing you are nowhere near the best part of your life , you've just started living ! Your self aware and self assured . That's the best time in your life .


    When I was younger I was a lot more financially secure . Owned my own business , had a different women every night , a bigger car . Looking back I was lost . I hated being that guy , working til 4am , getting up at the crack of 12 . Shit , I had a $500.00 a day coke habit and 7 day hangover . Since I gave that all up I've never been happier . It's not that I'm starving now , but I make a dime to my dollar back then . I'm glad I woke up and took control of my life and I'm sure you are too . Life is so much better now , than then .

    4:50 PM

     
    Blogger ginab said...

    That's what I forgot to buy from the store earlier! Mentos!

    Gawd. Instead, I drank peppermint tea. Yum. Great breath down deep into my navel cavity. Did you know the navel has a cavity? How to take it to the dentist, but I'm wondering, given Wally's old life, was he a dentist?

    Glad you're still with us W.C.!!!!

    -g+bb

    9:55 PM

     

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