joannebest











{December 28, 2017}   Uncomfortably Numb

cant care

I’m not sure of the exact moment it happened but it hit me without leaving a mark this morning when I woke up.

I can’t care.

About anything.

It’s not that I don’t want to care, it’s that I can’t care. I’m numb. Uncomfortably numb because I don’t very much love this feeling, but I can’t seem to care enough to do anything about it. And therein lies the problem. It’s one of those circular chicken and egg things. You know, where did it start? What came first?

Apparently I can’t seem to care enough to figure it out.

Or can I?

That’s one of the reasons I’m here right now instead of say, going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head hoping to slip back into a deep sleep, perchance to live in a dream world where it doesn’t matter whether I care or not.

It’s pathetic.

Check this out, when I lift my head from my laptop I see an 8 foot tree blazing with colored lights and shiny decorations, each one either hand-picked by me or hand-made by my Mom. There are several huge piles of gifts, wonderful beautiful gifts we’ve all picked out for each other I mean Santa left under the tree on Christmas Eve, practical needed gifts as well as dream gifts, you know, the stuff you want but wouldn’t buy for yourself. Yet still, I can’t care.

I mean, there’s a Buffy The Vampire Slayer Board Game I’ve wanted since before it existed. I can be Buffy and slay the day away. I swear I even heard Spike call me out I mean call my name and I’m ignoring that lovely British accent because, well, the caring is gone. Again.

I tend to be a reactionary sponge. I soak up all the emotion around me and usually let it all take over, get in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Puppet-like, my strings get yanked to and fro but recently, an imaginary pair of scissors has cut nearly every damn string leaving me motionless, emotionless, just plain less. Still, knowing all of this, I can’t muster up even one drop of caring.

Listen, I’m not stupid, I’ve been through many years of therapy, I recognize that nobody can save me except me but, say it with me, I can’t care. There are a myriad of reasons, real, true, valid reasons for my non-caring. I get it. I understand that the last 5 or 6 years have blown up my world and changed the me I used to be.
I can visualize it in my mind like falling dominos; the hurricane crashing the house, my Mom dying the following year just 5 months after moving back home, my Dad dying the year after that, the house being sold and my brother dying the same week, basically my entire support system yanked away from me and me trying to not talk about it because nobody wants to hear it anymore, hell, don’t want to hear it anymore.

So what do I do? Being born under the sign of Cancer, I can cry my eyeballs out but I’m sick to death of tears. I can pull into my shell and I do, more than anyone knows because I pretend. I turned myself into an actress playing a part. Those smiles you see on my face? Fake. Those cute little sarcastic quips I throw out like I’m channeling my Mother? Fake. Those prescription RayBan sunglasses I wear whenever I leave the house? Not fake but useful because they hide my eyes, the windows to my battered soul. My damn eyes give me away every damn time, but only to those who care to look. And hell, if I don’t care, why should anyone else?

This is not a cry for help, a plea for understanding, a desperate attempt looking for attention. Those things would require me caring, but my capacity to really care somehow slipped away when I wasn’t paying attention.

And please don’t get me wrong, I care about other people I love, I just can’t care when it comes to myself. A therapist would probably say I just summed it up in that last bit of words, a therapist would probably say I have to love myself in order to care about myself. But a therapist isn’t walking around in this shell of a body, I am. I am the one in the driver’s seat and apparently I’ve stalled. I need a jump start, a new battery, something to bring me back to life and that is all on me. I get it logically, I can diagnose and fix anybody’s life, but when I look in the mirror and see the blank look in my baby blues, all I feel is colder.

So is that all there is? Am I to be forever stuck in neutral, idling and wasting gas as the world passes me by? Will I forever be in a constant state of nope, not even caring enough to take all my wonderful gifts sitting under the tree out of the boxes? Will I remain uncomfortably numb for the rest of my life?

Perhaps being uncomfortably numb isn’t the worst thing in the world. Uncomfortably numb implies I’m not comfortable with the numbness, I’m not a Pink Floyd song, I’m not comfortably numb, so maybe there’s hope for me after all.

Stay tuned, as we end this year and move on to another. Maybe I can resolve to shake off this numbness and start feeling something, anything even. At the least, I can hope.

Or, as someone much more proficient with words than I once said:

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Tennyson

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{December 24, 2015}   Harder Than They Told Me

christmaswou4
well it’s Christmas Eve
but I don’t feel Christmas in my heart
oh it’s Christmas Eve and I don’t feel a thing
yeah it’s Christmas Eve
and memories keep running through my mind
yeah it’s Christmas Eve and you aren’t coming back

they told me it gets easier as the years crawl by
they said there’d come a time
when I would smile
they told me I would feel your warmth
your love surrounding me
but all I feel are teardrops in my eyes

nothing is the same since you’ve been gone
no matter how I try to get along
nothing much makes sense to me
I’m not the girl I used to be
another Christmas Eve again without you here
christmaswou3

christmaswou

for all those alone at Christmas, even if you’re surrounded by people, and for those alone wishing desperately that they weren’t… for all of us who suffered loss of any kind…. sometimes, it’s more raw than you expected and…. well, as alone as we feel, remember, we aren’t alone, even when it seems like it, but sometimes we need to wallow… shutting up now to watch Christmas movies set unrealistic expectations so we can all feel worse about our lives 😛

Merry Christmas my lovelies, you keep me writing, and while I’ve been MIA lately, I’m dipping my toes in and New Year Resolutions and all {happy dance} so try and enjoy, and I will too, a New Year and new beginnings my friends, yes?
oh, one more thing, this is being written as song lyrics and I just spit these words out a little while ago and didn’t want to forget, keep you updated on the outcome of these words 🙂

All the love from me to you ❤



{October 16, 2015}   Waning

waning moon

like the moon
like the tide
i come and go,
sometimes,
i disappear for eons,
sometimes,
i pop back up again
as if i was never gone,
even when i seem changed
still i remain me,
facets filtered through prisms,
masks of me
shuffled like a deck of cards,
it’s a crapshoot,
never knowing which me is in control,
i wonder where i have been and
i wonder what did i find, if anything,
though i knew all along
there is nothing for me,
not here, not there,
not along the trash filled streets of my own personal apocalypse,
when the tide pulls away,
i wonder,
will it take me with it,
or leave me to drown in the new normal of my orphan existence,
for now
i am alone

waning moon1



{October 11, 2015}   Is This Hell?

hell2

I ate my anger last night,
as if the instigators of my fury would disappear
swallow by swallow, bite by bite,
me furiously chewing without pleasure,
like an alcoholic slamming down drink after drink
until they don’t consider themselves drunk,
but they consider you the cause of every wrong thing in the world,

Carmelo bars, caramel wrapped lovingly in chocolate followed by another bar,
piece after piece popped in a mouthful of sand where everything tastes like the desert,
eating without thought, without taste or pleasure, mindless zombie chomping on chocolate flesh,
Kisses, the chocolate ones, I grab that tag and yank, exposed chocolate in the palm of my handy waiting to melt in my mouth, not in my hands, call my name seductive,
no melt danger there when you eat so fast you don’t taste a thing,
stress eating they call it, but I just call it stupid, a lack of control on my part,
because I hurt no one but me and my favorite skinny jeans

I smoked too many cigarettes again,
after promising myself and my doctor I would quit,
I did quit once, for maybe a year but then my life fell apart so I grabbed onto the nearest mentholated excuse
and drew that acrid smoke into my lungs like it was clean healthy air,
knowing in my mind that just because I roll my own cigarettes doesn’t make it less hazardous to my health
the cost may be less for a carton of machine-rolled than a carton of store bought cigarettes
yet the cost to my health is beyond my means,
all the psychological games I play in my mind to stop me from smoking disappear along with the menthol smoke
and I feel disgust as I look at the wreckage I’ve left in my wake,
empty candy wrappers and an overflowing ashtray adds to my self-loathing
and I wonder when I lost control of my self

infighting and passive aggressive words thrown at me,
and how do you defend yourself against imagined sins when your accuser throws back another shot
as the mental flogging goes on and on and on,
only to be forgotten in the light of day as my self esteem shrinks till my heart is shriveled and Grinch-like
and I flinch at the slightest side-look, waiting for another shoe to drop
knowing all the while I am shoeless, guilty of nothing other than
someone else’s paranoia,
imagined sins and baseless accusations, all courtesy of Mr. Daniels, but you can call him Jack,
he comes with a title you see, but I only know him as the Court Jester
because it’s all a joke you know, those words weren’t meant I’m told, where is my sense of humor and
why don’t I have a drink and calm down

why don’t I have a drink and calm down for
nothing matters you see,
the rollercoaster ride continues and I’m not buckled in,
I twist and turn and morph into a dumpster,
come one, come all, give me your tired, your weary, your problems
bigger than mine, for I am Jan Brady and the middle child gets all the garbage
while trying to keep the boat afloat,
all those years of taking care reduced to ashes
as the trophy boys hold their hands open, waiting for their due
and me?
I just want my Mother.
I want that unconditional love but it is gone for all time and
I must carry on, carry them, carry the guilt for nothing until I wonder,
is this Hell?

What have I done with my life and where did I leave myself?
Because I am gone, I look in a mirror and wonder who is in there, peering back at me,
eyes so sad I could cry from the mere sight of me,
stability ripped away like a rug yanked from beneath me
metaphorically battered and interior bruising,
my previous protectors an illusion shattered,
my desire to sleep forever whispers in my ear like a song stuck in your head
an effort to shake it away, and so much easier to continue wearing my mask…

Don’t let them in, don’t let them too close,
the knife you feel in your back is real, but ignore the blood as you slowly bleed out
play the game and you lose, don’t play along and still, you lose it all,
alone, lost, afraid, a path of darkness ahead and darker still in my rearview mirror
Is anything real? Did I imagine all the good that has left me standing alone,
fighting for nothing
fearing everything
I am swept into a corner and still I wonder,
is this Hell?

depression3



{September 11, 2015}   I Can Never Forget

9 11abb

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is having a hard time getting through another September 11th. I tried desperately to write today but found myself staring at a near blank page and clicking back and forth between writing and looking at Facebook.

Basically wasting time.

I can’t even muster up the ability to write about that day in 2001 from my perspective, but it nags at me, to post something. I can’t ignore the day without acknowledging it some way,  yet I can’t write anything today, the words are stuck in my heart because my head is filled with all the what-ifs, all the lives that were touched that day, and how there was a ripple effect that day. You didn’t have to live in New York or New Jersey or Pennsylvania or Washington DC or Boston, it doesn’t matter where you lived, the World changed that day and Innocence became a memory the instant that first plane hit the first Tower.

I dug out some of my blank books, the books I use to keep track of rehearsals and write lyrics. I also tend to doodle when there’s lead singer down time, and it just so happened we had rehearsal on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. I wanted to cancel but in the end we decided to go to the studio and try to not think for two hours. We had a gig coming up where we had to add a few cover songs to usual original set so I had a bit of doodle time while the musicians musicianed other people’s songs.

So I decided to take a few photographs of my doodles, and the lyrics to a song I wrote that night called “Lay Me Down”, just my feelings about that day jotted down quickly in a blank book as the horrifying terrible smell was everywhere and the smoke continued to take over the sky no matter where you turned.

This year was worse for me. Don’t know why, it just was.

So I shall share some pages from journals written and doodled on Tuesday, September 11th,2001 at Stage Right Studios while our Innocence disappeared slowly, nearly unnoticed, like that tragic scent and the never-ending smoke. I never claimed to be an artist, but I just needed to share this, and hope to sleep tonight nightmare-less, unlike last night when I had one of those same nightmares where I’m lost in New York City alone in the dark.

If you click on this photo you can see a scribbled NYC skyline, the one I saw every single day.

911a

If you click on this you can see my mental me unravel a bit, writing down words to songs my Mom sang to me when I would cry and she’d sing “Why oh why oh why oh, did I ever leave Ohio?” Neither one of us ever went to Ohio but it became our code song, kind of like clicking your ruby slippers three times or Calgon, take me away type stuff.

Just me then? [shrugs]

 

911b

These are the lyrics to Lay Me Down, the song I wrote that night, the song sitting in another studio waiting for me to finish some vocals and a few other touchups. If you click on the photo I was surprised to find the words legible. Um, just me then? Either way, I believe I may have posted them previously, if not, perhaps I will.  Right this moment, this is all I can do.

I’ll get back to my WIP tomorrow after Dad Duty. How do you make an almost 89 year old ex Navy Man who was actually there on D Day let you help him? He doesn’t want my help, he wants my Mom back and so do I but that isn’t possible. So I shall visit and clean and do laundry and go food shopping, shout louder than I sing so he can hear me, and bite my tongue near in half at the way he talks to me and the fight he gives me about cleaning. He can do it himself you know. That translates into what I call Covert Cleaning. I’m getting better at it. Oh, my point, I will have to remember to post my lyrics if I already haven’t. I think I may have but my head is telling me to watch Anthony Stewart Head in Dominion then sleep. Without lost in NYC dreams please.

911d

Well would you look at that! Over 700 words, much more than I thought I had in me.

I have to thank Kate Richards and Nina Cooper, their collective words to me on Facebook healed me enough to post this. Thank you both, you are truly amazing women I am extremely Blessed to know in any capacity, this virtual world we gather in really does make miles disappear. For that I am very grateful ❤



{August 7, 2015}   Where I’ve Been (And Why)

morning2Write what you can write when you can write else you may never be able to write again.

Substitute any word that may apply to you and your passion and never ever neglect it, because you never know when your passion, or your ability to pursue your passion, may be taken away from you.

My recent passionless existence began with a near-crippling case of carpal tunnel rearing it’s ugly head a few months ago. I’ve already gone the surgery route but all I got for my trouble was two wrists more painful than before surgery and two hands constantly reminding me that I have to choose where when and how I use my small windows of pain-free time.

So I stopped writing.
And began a downward spiral.

Fibromyalgia, once closed off in a box somewhere in my mind escaped much like Pandora’s Box, only this time, hope fled as well and I experienced the most excruciating fibro-flare I’ve ever had.

I shut myself down, nearly every part of me, shut down. Caring about anything became a distant memory. I couldn’t even fake it anymore. Nothing made me smile. Nobody made me laugh. I stopped believing in anything good ever happening to me again. Ever. Sleep became the only thing I looked forward to and the sound of the phone ringing made me cringe. My computer may as well have been nothing more than a dust collector because I had no interest. In anything.

I may as well have stopped living because whatever it was I was doing, going through the motions, was not in any way shape or form a life.

Grief.
I thought I would have been over it already. I mean, it’s been over two years since my Mom died, why does it still feel like it happened yesterday?

My whole world has changed without her and I have a new understanding of the effects of grief. My family has imploded. I used to have two brothers but now I have one, my older brother has basically cut me out of his life, guilt-calls my Father maybe once a month while I twist myself pretzel-like to do everything I can to help out my Dad. He’s going on 89 and while he can still be as sharp as a tack, he’s fading away. Lost without my Mother, he’s reimagined their life together, turning it into a Love Story For The Ages. And while I know the real version was nothing like he wants to remember, I agree with him as my heart breaks a little bit more every time I see him.
My younger brother and I have become closer than ever, as my older brother doesn’t talk to him either. The eldest, as far as I understood it to be, was supposed to step up and help us out. Instead, after taking my Father to his lawyer and having a will drawn up with him as the executor (not my Father’s wishes, but as the only one of us who went to college, his opinion seems to be the only one that matters) my older brother, when he was still talking to my younger brother, told him if anything in the will was changed, he would take me to court and say that I forged documents. He has some resentment towards me because when Hurricane Irene destroyed our house he wanted to put my Parents in an assisted living place while my Parents just wanted their house back. I, with the help of my younger brother, moved Heaven and Earth to make that happen and it pissed him off that I, a girl who never went to college, was able to get them back home.

So I’ve been dealing with a lot health-wise, and the three things that made me happiest disappeared. No more daily phone calls and Mother/Daughter getaways, my BFF became my occasional F due to, well, life, and my writing became a distant memory. With virtually no one to truly confide in anymore, I began to think of myself as worthless, cold and uncaring about anything. Basically, I make myself sickeningly pathetic and I’m sick of it. I sometimes wish I could just breakdown and cry my eyeballs out, but my feelings have frozen and I feel unmeltable.

Even my Birthday came and went without fanfare, it took me weeks to open the Birthday Card my favorite Aunt Judy sent me, as if I wasn’t even worthy of a card. I feel like an idiot for allowing myself to fall this hard and I realize I’m the only one who can save me.

And then something happened to wake me up. Out of nowhere, I received something in the mail from some very special Miscreants. There was no return address so it wasn’t until I opened it that I realized what it was, a fun pack that to this very second still makes me smile, hard.

Somehow, I’ve managed to babble about nothing important to anyone but me myself and I, but I have to admit, I feel a little bit better.

I was Blessed enough to attend two Facebook events this past week, one was a release party for
Anastasia Vitsky‘s new book Taliaschild and the other was Decadent Publishing 5th Annivesary Party.

They both gave me life. Inspired me. Woke me up. Stirred something in my soul to remind me who I am.

I’m back, and this time, I’m back to stay. No more not answering comments, no more ignoring life. It’s time to live again, and a great part of my resurrection is you. And you. Also you.
While these words are not my own, the sentiment is a perfect truth : “Love is all that matters.”

This time, I will not forget that.
And one last thing, I apologize to everyone I’ve seemingly ignored, it wasn’t you, it was me.
Love. It is once again in my heart, I would like nothing more than to spread it around.

a me I want to go back to these days (my Mom in the background, me and my Uncle)



{February 13, 2015}   But I Did

couplemad2
it’s not a compromise

when the script is written by you alone,

no deviation allowed,

except i never got my copy and i don’t know my lines,

it’s clear this amateur production should be known by heart

but the scent in the air brings the monster to mind

and i know the monster grows by the hour

or

the glassful, not halfway, but over the top

dripping down like these stupid tears that don’t belong here,

or is it me?

i am woman, watch me do what i’m told, or not,

it’s a mind-meld-unknown and i

just

should

know

because alcohol fumes weigh the scale uneven

and no amount of Air Supply songs can restore balance

i am a disappointment through the bottled view,

perfection through clarity,

but nothing is clear anymore

and sappy love songs don’t hit that spot after awhile,

they ferment, become sour and nothing looks the same,

i wonder sometimes,

what would have happened

if i didn’t cross that bridge,

but i did
coupleignorin



{February 8, 2015}   Poisonous Tongue

mouth sewn shut
each gold hued drop after drop

another tear slips out defiant against each sip,

one tongue-lashing for each imagined slight

every presumed sin,

brought to the surface through the distillation process

magnified enemy vapors let loose poisonous,

filter-less and without boundary

another strike to these already damaged insides,

here today, a vague pounding tomorrow,

whiskey fumes with a hint of venom

release the monster, hidden under a veil of sarcastic disdain,

desire to see me humble and exposed though i am guiltless,

while the root of it all is baseless accusation

an endless trial continues, jury-less,

judged only through a foggy haze distorted

i am defenseless,

deemed a perjurer when silent, accused of fraudulent words when i speak

so my mouth remains sewn shut

guilty as charged without explanation

and the gavel comes down hard

again
gavel1



block2
I’ve been gone for too long.
Overwhelmed with life, my writer’s block has been in the drivers seat while the rest of me has been immersed in my shell.
But no matter where I am, I am with me, so running away is not an option. Time to meet my devils head on and start writing again.
It’s hard after being MIA for so long, unsure of myself, my writing, my everything, but it’s been even harder to deny myself my only outlet, so this is a test.
Can I still write? I hope so.
Will I give up again? Possibly.
But now, at the busiest time of year, I’ve got to dive back in, head on and fearless.
I hope I can do it. More importantly, I hope I can earn back your trust and forgiveness.

Like I said, this is a test. I’ve managed to type a little over one hundred words, lets see if I can keep it up. (not in a Viagra way, more like in a writing way)
I have a near houseful of company and a brand new Siamese kitten. But there’s one thing I learned long ago and managed to forget: the more you do, the more you do.

Time for this girl to do more.
block1



{August 21, 2014}   Broken ~

haiku, of a sort
connection

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
slow separation
inevitable letdown
connection broken
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

connection4



et cetera