because my emotions are just ripping around here.
I’m in the wrong business.
I know that. I can’t help it. I hate it and I love it, and I know that I have some things to work out for myself.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
Ray brought over a tape of my show last night. He said it looked really good. I popped it in, hit “play,” saw myself on the screen, listened to the first sentence and then turned it off.
I cannot watch myself on television.
“I’m a big scary monster,” I moaned to Eric a few years ago after watching a performance that I had been really proud of. Had being the operative word, since seeing it on television made me hate it.
I don’t look like what I think I look like. My face does weird things. My clothes hang funny. My hair is a strange color. I don’t even recognize my legs. I hate it.
“You’re not gonna watch it?”
“No, it looks like me, so the tape didn’t really come out all that good.”
I can’t help it. I’m used to the look in the mirror. That is not the look on the television. My body changes shape. Scares me. I look bigger and shorter and clumsy and awkward. And it’s only worsened by my friends saying, “What are you talking about? That looks just like you.”
That’s not what I want. I want them to say, “You’re much better looking than that tape makes you look.”
Like last night, when I was talking to my friend Rose she said, “You have the prettiest arms.”
I have always thought my arms were one of my worst features.
Why do I do that? Why can’t I just be comfortable with myself? I seem to be just fine with the way I look and the way I feel as long as the view is from inside my head. But pictures and videos make me hyper-critical. That’s why I enjoy writing. It doesn’t matter what I look like. When I’m on stage– blackout. Over. Can’t show me what I looked like later. I can’t watch it again to see if it was as good as I thought it was. It lives in my memory.
It’s something I hate about myself– how I hate myself. I really wish I could get over it. People think that I have self-confidence or that I should have self-confidence or whatever, and some days I do. Somedays I’m very pro-pamie.
Other days I can’t understand why anyone would talk to me. Why anyone casts me.
No, it’s dumb. Don’t listen to me. I don’t know why I get this way.
I heard Charlize Theron talk once about how the first time she saw herself on screen she went into a depression for six months.
So, I know that I’m not breaking new ground here. It just bothers me that it bothers me. I wish it didn’t. I’d really like to be the uberchick who just thinks she’s the shit and doesn’t care what she looks like.
Also last night, despite my having to work in the morning, I stayed up way too late talking to Rose. I have very few girlfriends, so it was nice to just sit and talk about boys and hug pillows and steal cigarettes from Eric’s bag and giggle and just be girly. I so rarely get girl talk that when I do, I’m always exhausted the next day. It is. Girl talk. It’s exhausting.
But she was there to tell me that I was pretty seconds after I had decided that I was a big fat fatty monster that should be burned and buried.
I have a dilemma with Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Woman…blahblahlongtitleshowingliterarymerit.” I think it’s a very nice song. Unfortunately it was playing at a particularly heartbreaking moment in my life. A night that I thought was going to be the most important, romantic, fulfilling evening (you know, when you’re eighteen, you imagine that those evenings just happen all the time), but ended up just being one of the worst nights of my teen years.
So, as Eddie warbles about hearts and thoughts fading, I have a very vivid image of myself standing in the hallway of my dorm with tears streaming down my face, as my new dorm friends gave me quiet pitying looks because everyone in that hall knew that I had just been dumped by a boy who wasn’t even aware that he was dumping me.
I know this now, because seven years later I finally brought it up to said boy of that night. I told him how much he sucked for ruining a pretty good Pearl Jam song for me, since they are so few and far between these days. He had no idea what I was talking about.
“The night I wanted to give my virginity to you.”
No clue. He had no clue. He had no clue that I was preparing our special evening where I was gonna give it up.
Because he was just clueless, really. At the time. And I’m just silly. I took him out and we had dinner and we went to a romantic spot and I suggested going back to my dorm…
Listen. The words, “We should head back to my dorm before curfew” just aren’t sexy. They just aren’t. At the time, I thought I was saying some of the sexiest words in the world. All he could think was, “I’m going to have to pee in a sink all night. Lovely.”
So, we got back to the dorm, he put on the Pearl Jam, and my phone rang. It was another friend of his. A boy. Who was older. With his own apartment. He suggested we go there and hang out since we were allowed to talk and go to the restroom at our will.
I was devastated. I thought he didn’t want to be with me. He just looked at what I had offered, and he just turned it down.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he screeched the other month when we were talking about it.
“You should have known, man.”
“Yeah, well, you’re stupid.”
“Yes, I am. Oh, my God. I just thought you wanted to get to sleep early because you had class the next day.”
“You should be. You missed out, buddy.”
And even when I finally brought it up, seven years later, I was nervous talking about it. Like I was cutting open that scar on my heart where I thought I wasn’t special. Where I thought I wasn’t good enough.
Oh, man, am I glad I’m not eighteen again. When everything is so heightened and the world is so small and it is very much possible to think that you might not ever be able to breathe again if you can’t get out of your room for one night.