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No, Let Me…Tell You…about Mansura!

December 26, 2012

I had a couple of bad days a few weeks ago. Lonely. A bit confused. I keep reminding myself that it hasn’t been that long since the divorce. But it’s hard not to wonder, “Why am I still alone?” I want to text Syrian Doctor or Tennis Bashir and say, “Can we just hook up and have sex?” Don’t worry. My pride stops me. But dammit, sometimes I just want some male contact. OK. Easy girl.

Anyway I was feeling this way when Pickle and I went to a Christmas caroling party. I was treading the depression waters and feeling a rather insecure, par for the course when Depression comes to visit my mind. The party was a lot of fun and the alcohol was flowing like a waterfall. It was a rather raucous group and we stumbled from house to house, the carols getting worse and worse as we went along. A horrific rendition of O Holy Night was followed with high fives, drinks in hand and a chorus of, “We nailed it!” We had not, indeed nailed it.

I was having a good time. It was fun singing carols. I miss doing that. The party ended at a neighbor’s house. We walked into this beautiful, southern cottage in the middle of Lafayette’s Saint Street neighborhood. It was like walking into a fairy tale. There were twinkling lights everywhere and exotic decorations on the walls. Middle Eastern rugs and amazing objects from around the world. Walking outside we found patio after patio in the middle of an overgrown garden of palms and elephant ears. The atmosphere combined with the group’s level of toxicity had everyone feeling like they were in a fairy tale.

Everything was going really well until something happened. Some part of my stupid brain mixed with the Depression fighting to gain ground and the copious amounts of wine and I snapped. Before I knew it I was standing up in front of these people I didn’t know, my voice raised and I was ranting some ridiculous nonsense about Mansura, my hometown. I don’t even know how it started. I’m not sure I was even fully conscious when it happened. All I remember is somebody started talking about Mansura and it triggered some reaction in me. It was like somebody said a code word and that obnoxious, stupid, idiotic, arrogant strain of existence came out like an alter-ego, a dormant, alternate personality and I went off on this rant. Something about my home being an oasis in a realm of bullshit. I spewed the word bullshit over and over again, like an idiot. As soon as somebody started talking about this town that I grew up in, like they knew it better than me, I freaked the fuck out. Pickle was sitting nearby as it happened. She tried to stop it. She kept offering to get me some water. I was having none of it. As soon as it was over, I kind of woke up and thought, “What the fuck was that? Why did I do that? What is wrong with me?”

I went to bed thinking the same things. “Why did I do that? Where’s my self-control?”

I woke up the next morning like a slut waking up next to a stranger, full of regret and despair. I didn’t even know those people. What was I thinking? What must they think of me? Here I was in the middle of the “in” crowd of Lafayette and I take that opportunity to go off on some psycho-babble rant instead of presenting the best of myself.

This isn’t by far the first time I’ve gone off like that in front of I-don’t-care-who on some subject, but it’s usually something important. Something I care about or have passion about. I’ve stood up in college classrooms and reamed male students when they were being sexist. I’ve held my own in debates about the politics of the Vietnam War with the best of my Tulane classmates. I’ve been a passionate advocate for my children standing up to doctors, teachers, principals, counselors and other parents. But those were important things. What I did on that outdoor deck was respond to someone who began by mentioning the fact that Highway 1 leads to Mansura. What the fuck?

Of course I’ve hyper-analyzed this outburst beyond normality. I’ve beat myself up about it. What I decided was…….there was a part of me that needed to act out and to remind myself of what I’m capable of and what I don’t want to be.

The next morning I told this story to a friend who was at the same party. She laughed and told me stories from years before about people who threw up all over the Persian rugs. OK. That makes me feel better. To date, I have not thrown up at anybody’s house.

Pickle has been counseling me that I should accept that part of me. That bad ass that just goes off every so often. When it comes to things that matter, she’s right. Then I had a conversation with my sister. As I listened to her rant and rave and call her daughter names I realized why I was so hard on myself for that rant. She’s like that. All the time. It’s not pretty. It’s not pleasant to be around. She hurts people.

I have that potential inside of me. There’s a ridiculous, stupid monster in there. That’s not who I want to be. That display was a reminder to me. That’s not who I am. That’s not the best of me. That’s the not the message I want others to receive from me. The monster came out and said, “Watch it, Marie. Be what you want to attract. If you’re not careful I’m going to take over when you’re guard is down.”

Well played, monster Marie. I’ve got your number. I’m not letting you out again.

I got this. Centered. In control. Right?


From → Rantings

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