I found myself singing this morning. I’ve had a song stuck in my head for days. Not unusual for me, but this song just won’t get out of my head. It’s one of the hardest songs in all of operatic literature to sing: “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide. Leonard Bernstein knew what he was doing when he wrote it — it is both comedic and tragic at the same time. And with a top note at a high F, it’s nearly impossible for most sopranos to reach.
I used to be able to do that. After taking lessons this past year, my vocal strength is back, but it’s a bit of come-and-go. Sometimes it’s glorious — like a miracle — and sometimes it just sounds like crap. All of my bravado and courage in singing has been shut down for so long, that what once came so easily, now requires work.
At any rate, the song is sung by Cunegonda, a beautiful young girl who survives war only to become a kept woman, trying to determine if she should be ashamed of herself or delighted in all her newfound wealth (hint: the newfound wealth wins out most gleefully). The song’s music begins with legato minor key as she bemoans her fate and questions her position, eventually progressing to an upbeat major key as she laughs with delight, decorating herself with wealth and jewels.
It’s one helluva song to sing, and I’ve been singing it a lot. Still not quite to that high F, but I did get a solid high D. Not bad.
That said, I’m not Cunegonda by any means, but life has taken a few odd turns lately.
First off, let me say, the depression has been at bay for a couple of months. That feels fantastic. I’ve been fully functional — going to work, having a good time, laughing genuinely, going out with friends, and getting things done.
I was expecting Christmas bonuses from my job with Mrs. H. that never came. That kinda started it. I had a bit of money set aside, but anticipating the bonus, I used that extra $$ on Christmas presents. Bad planning. I’m now WAY behind in rent and haven’t paid the electric bill yet.
Then my New-To-Me Car blew a couple of spark plugs. That was an $80 bill I wasn’t expecting. That put me further behind in bill-paying.
Anytime I can’t make my bills, I feel like a massive scumbag. I’ve tried SO HARD to keep up with these things, it’s a tremendous blow to my ego that I have failed once again in something so important to me.
My apartment is still a wreck. I need to do deep cleaning, but, feeling like a scumbag more than usual, I don’t feel like attacking the issue. So the pile of clothes grows, the garbage still hasn’t been put out, there’s stuff in the refrigerator that’s growing stuff or become petrified and hasn’t been tossed. Don’t even get me started on the bathroom.
In truth, I never ever have people over to my apartment, so the apartment mess is mostly an ongoing issue. The only person that’s ever been there besides me is the bldg superintendent. I always go to visit friends at THEIR house, thus avoiding the discomfort of EVER actually making my place comfortable for company. I still have cardboard furniture from when I first moved in. Most knicknacks are still packed away. It’s sad. Think of it this way: consider if a 12-year old boy had his own apartment unsupervised, that’s what mine is set up like all the time. And since I haven’t had a proper boyfriend since the stone age, there’s never been much concern about being “found out” as a perpetual slob.
Which brings me to the next situation. That whole, you know, boyfriend thing.
You might remember this past spring when The Stalker was my most recent potential romantic offering. Well, yeah, as we know, that didn’t work out for beans. Some stalker! Two weeks and he found something better. I did what I always do: blamed myself and got over it fairly quickly and moved back to being myself. Lesson learned. (For those of you constant readers who may wish to know, according to Facebook, he’s still alive and really into Ju Jitsu now). Life moves on.
So most of the time, I wander around through life in my current weighty condition, just being me. I don’t wear makeup most of the time because I simply don’t care. I am free to just be goofy me. There’s a comfort found in that, strange as it might sound. It cuts down on societal pressure. I’d rather be thin, honestly, but it’s so much work. Now, I don’t worry about falling in love or dealing with men hitting on me because my present physical condition inadvertently creates a neon verboten sign with a six foot radius around me. And until I am fully willing to fix that problem — much like the messy condition of my apartment — the whole touchy-feely thing becomes verboten. And my heart remains safely hidden in nuclear winter.
Some psychiatrists would say that my subconscious is protecting me with this layer of port and literal junk in my apartment. They’re probably right. It definitely serves as a very real barrier. Can’t get hurt if you don’t let anyone in, right?
Well, not necessarily. Sometimes, as they say in Jurassic Park, nature finds a way.
I have been hit on. And it’s getting interesting.
I’m doing my best to remain emotionally neutral, but I’m struggling to control it. The gentleman in question is notably younger than I am. He’s adorable and good-hearted. Not well educated, but sincere. I used to work with him at the thrift store. And apparently, he has a thing for me.
Now by “thing” I mean, in my mind, this is pretty undefined. I don’t know what he wants, really. I don’t know why he picked me. He’s good looking. He’s charming. Why me, I wonder?
And that question vexes me.
He began texting me shortly after he left our company. We kept in touch, flirting and being silly. I mean, we did that at work too — in fact, my boss actually took me aside one day, concerned, and asked me what was going on with us. Relationships between employees is strictly — you got it — verboten. When asked, I laughed and spoke the truth: “nothing”. We’re just two silly people innocently flirting. Besides, he had a girlfriend. No problem, right?
But the problem is, I’m Charlie Brown and romance is that fucking football. My futile hope that this time will be different does me in every single time. AAARRRGH!
Then one day, he called me and wanted to come to my apartment. That of course is way off limits to normal people, so I suggested we have coffee instead. He laid it all on the line over coffee. He and aforementioned girlfriend were breaking up, he didn’t know how to do it. He told me about his hardships and all the things he’d been going through, telling me he’d wanted to tell me for a long time, but because we worked together, he couldn’t. But there was more. Long eye contact. Intimacy.
We kissed goodnight on the cheek, but there was something more. I just couldn’t trust myself to know.
I’m trying to play it by ear and remain open to whatever experience happens. Most days he texts me or calls. One night last week, when we started texting and flirting, it took a sudden turn into x-rated land. That’s how I experienced my very first time sexting — with him. Damn. Oh. My. God. Seriously hot. My initial reaction was “Is this really happening? Are we really going there?” And guess what? We did.
I’ll refer to him here as The Midnight Rider (since most of the time, he calls me late at night).
But no in-person visit because my apartment is still a shithole. And until I clean the apt., no hope of a personal visit. He’s in the process of moving out from aforementioned girlfriend’s apartment, so we can’t go to his place (yet). And having just started his new job, the money will take a month or so. At least.
And here’s where it gets dodgy. How is this going to end up? Am I being taken for a ride? He has already told me once to please keep our trysts to myself for now (so he “doesn’t get in trouble”).
Perhaps I can be more mercenary than that. Perhaps I can just use him for… well, sex… and not worry about the rest of it. While, I am NOT one to break up any happy relationship; not even a bad relationship, perhaps it’s as things should be. As long as I get something out of it. I refuse to be taken for a ride here.
Can I handle that??
Yesterday, someone posted a group picture to Facebook that included me at a Christmas Party and I was horrified by how I looked. How can I so easily forget myself? Then the mood swings started again.
My moods have been all over the map. One minute depressed, the next in control, then agitated and angry. I’m actually quite concerned about it. What if this sends me into a manic state? This is a bad time to get to that point. I need my wits about me and remain focused on what’s really important to me.
I’m notorious for losing it over a man. I become unfocused. I obsess. I can’t concentrate on work or school or life goals. I wonder if this one is “the one”. I know it’s ridiculous, but it’s as if some demon has taken over my mind. I spend money recklessly. I become entirely undisciplined.
Of course, that was long before I started going to therapy and taking my antidepressants. So now could be different. Maybe that’s how I’m able to control it as much as I have.
Worry. Everything is tipping sideways again. I hate that! My instinct is to right the boat, but maybe I should go where the wind takes me for once.
So not unlike Cunagonda, I am placing before the world a glittery, gay image of myself despite what worries I have inside. I am not always unhappy, but I so enjoy feeling happy. So I laugh and giggle and be silly. Why not laugh at the ridiculousness of life?
According to the song, the glitter will win, but will it for me? The Midnight Rider may soon tell.
Either that, or the whole thing’s gonna die off as quickly as it started. Who the hell knows.
I’ll take their diamond necklace
And show my noble stuff
By being gay and reckless!
Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha!
Observe how bravely I conceal
The dreadful, dreadful shame I feel.
Ha ha ha ha!
— “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide