Stalled in Hell (The Wait)

I haven’t been able to move forward much, not with the book. It doesn’t feel like it. Okay, maybe a little.

I was able to finish the last of the sewn felt pages—both the Dans and the broken hearts. They took a while. I also cut the cover sheets and outlined the Dan silhouettes for Hannah to cut. I did a few over in case there were any fuck-ups. Then I started trimming the signatures, and that has not been going too well.

First of all, it’s very hard to do it, even if I were some kind of robot-machine, which I’m not. Each signature has different paper thicknesses; some sheets have 3D elements, and none are bound to anything. Second of all, I have a terrible tremor. I mean, it’s really fucking bad. My hands are also super weak. Hannah watched me cut a couple of the signatures, and it was a torturous experience for her. It’s not a job for me. As bad as I’d like to be the one to slice the edges, I can’t.

So, Hannah has to step in to do that, too. It kinda just pains me that I can’t do it myself.

In the meantime, I’m still pretty pissed off about the custom die I had made. The fact that it’s useless makes me angry. It’s not the money, it’s the principal. I talked to the company, and they will not refund me. The only thing they agreed to was sending me out a replacement. Now, I feel like I have to wait and see if the replacement will work with the mallet technique because I decided to return the Woodzilla press.

However, I can’t return the press until Blick contacts me. They are waiting for the manufacturer to contact them about whether or not I have to pay a restocking fee and how exactly I have to ship the press back. So, I’m waiting to hear from them. They are, or were, supposed to contact me via email three to four days after I told them I wanted to return it (which was last week), but I haven’t heard from them yet.

I am stalled, and it’s a bummer.

It’s a bummer because having my energy in this book has been saving me from a lot of mental anguish. I’ve needed to concentrate and work on it every day. It was getting me out of bed, giving me focus, and getting my mind off of a lot of bullshit. Now I’m left with it all in my face. I’m not so hot on working on much else right now. Not too motivated to switch out to another task on my long list of art “to-dos.”

I have been making an effort, though. I’m mostly doing writing tasks, like working on the solo show statement. That doesn’t have to be done for quite a while, but I’ve got the draft going. The show is definitely going to be called On the Mend. I’ve settled on it. I don’t want the statement to be too long or wordy, so I’m keeping it under 300 words.

I’ve also been messing with the Queer as Mud book. Maybe it’s not as bad as I thought now that I’m reading a little of it back lately. In fact, I took a section of it and submitted it to a publication just to see if I could possibly get it accepted. I guess I was feeling confident. That is really odd because I haven’t been feeling confident about anything.

I tried to go out to a party last night and had one of the biggest panic attacks I’ve had in years. It was awful. No one knows when I’m suffering like that, which is good, I guess, but it’s the worst feeling on earth to be in a crowd of people and feeling utterly paranoid. I was even panicking about how the fuck to leave the party. I’m sure everything looked perfectly normal, but I was petrified I made myself a spectacle.

Leading up to this, I’ve been resurrecting all kinds of traumatic memories—like a whole array of them from various passages of my life. They’ve all been triggering deeper buried memories that I don’t want to think about, but they keep springing up in my face like a whack-a-mole game. Every time something starts rearing its head, I feel like I’m about to faint, or puke, or both.

To top it off, I can’t use my best coping skill of all, which is just smoking a damn cigarette. So, instead, I want to curl up in a ball and die. It makes me wonder why I can’t just have a cigarette once in a while. It would really relieve some of my emotional pain and anger. Alas, rules are rules, I guess. I have to keep on suffering through. And wait.

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