why it feels good to be believed in

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): According to polls, more than half the population believes they are fantastic kissers. How did they get that way?
Some people say they have rehearsed extensively by smooching the
backs of their own hands or rubbing their lips up against posters of
celebrities. Whether you’ve tried these techniques or have developed
other strategies, Aquarius, I advise you to bone up on your skills. Not this week, but soon, you will be entering a prime romantic phase of your astrological cycle — a time when you will have the potential to accomplish wonders and marvels with your mouth.

really?

REALLY????????????????!?????

Let’s see, things I have done with my mouth, so far in 2009, have included:

  • Having it clamped shut after cancer surgery in January. Woo! That was exciting.
  • Having some stranger jam his tongue into it on a date in February. That was really cool! 
  • March and April has found it mostly agape while watching that hot guy on “Dancing with the Stars”. Gilles. So, I guess I better hopping if I’m gonna be getting any action in the next couple of weeks. Huh.

I did manage to leave my house this last Saturday. In the morning I went to this monster garage sale with over 100 homes and managed to lose my car for over an hour. I was like, oh, it so nice out, I’ll just walk up and down the streets of yuppiedom personified and look for some frames for my artwork and then about hour later, I’m standing in the middle of this huge housing development going where the hell is my fucking car???

True, it was probably the only one that wasn’t an SUV. And yes, it probably was the only built when Bill Clinton was still in the White House but still….where the hell was it?

 I finally had to timidly creep up to this  couple standing in their driveway talking about creme broulee or something and tell them my dilemma.

“Hi. Ummm…all of your houses realllllly look similar. I mean they all have three front windows and really nice lawns, so I haven’t been able to find my car in over an hour and I’m starting to panic a little, because I  have an art show in 6 hours. So can you maybe drive me around so I can find my car?”

Fortunately the answer was yes, so I got to ride in a bitchin’ SUV (can you imagine??? Me? In an SUV?? OMG!!! I almost started talking about the stock market and pilates!). But unfortunately, my heightened state of orgasmic euphoria was very short lived, since my damn car was only about a block  and a half up the street. I felt so stupid, but I had been walking for over an hour looking for the damn thing. I had even gotten a sunburn. And for people with recent cases of mid-stages melanoma that really isn’t a very good idea.

So I finally drove home and zonked out for about an hour because of the  sunburn and also because I’ve been pretty fatigued the last couple of weeks.

Late in the afternoon I finally got up and inexplicably started trying on a bunch of outfits. Now I’m not really much on how I look or on buying new clothes…but in the last month I’ve gone out and bought myself two new shirts, a new purse, some leather Harachies and  discovered something really amazing. I feel better when I’m wearing something new!

Uh oh! I might be morphing into some kind of  girly girl!

But I was going to an art opening at a place I had never shown before and I didn’t know anyone else showing and I had invited about 5-6 people from my art class, as well as “A” who I hadn’t seen since last July except when he took me to my surgery in January. And suddenly  I started feeling really angsty. I mean REALLY angsty, especially after my disastrous opening last September when only two people showed up.

I think most of the angst though was about “A”. Why? Because over the last couple of years, I have pretty much invited him to all my shows (except for my regular art class ones), but he never comes. He’ll go down early and then write me an e-mail and say he enjoyed my work and good luck.  But this time the phone rang at around 4:30 and it was him asking me where the place was. I knew he had the address and GPS in his car, but I was happy to hear his voice. He confirmed he was going to stop by and asked me if wearing jeans was ok. Geeze, the art gallery is run by a bunch of middle aged politically active hippies, so I think the answer was probably a yes.

By then I was really anxious, so I called “L” the Hippy Chick to make sure she’d be ready when I stopped to pick her up. I mainly just needed someone to talk to calm down.  Fortunately she was ready when I got there and I was pharmaceutically (cough) “arranged” and we made our way to the gallery.

The show actually went way better than I expected. My three paintings were along the back wall over the food, so everybody saw them. I had eight people show up for me. Eight! I couldn’t believe it! I also had so many strangers compliment my work, especially the Magic Coyote.  The gallery owner had originally only requested one piece when Anna was visiting. But when I brought the piece in, she looked at the other pieces I had sent online  and insisted that I bring them too. So I brought one traditional piece of a koi fish and then one of my weird ones from my twice a year weird Goth show, which elicited the weirdest comment of the night. Some guy was looking at it and I was trying to be the good little artist, waiting for any potential questions, like “What the fuck is this?” 

And sure enough some guy asked something almost equally demented.  He said: “Is this a design for a Persian rug?” and I said “Its whatever YOU want it to be!” (smile, smile).

“A” finally showed up around 7:30 and looked really cute in his black polo shirt, jeans and Boston Red Soxs cap. Very guy-like. One of the real reasons I wanted him to come to this particular show was because the theme of the show was mental health and how art can be healing and that has certainly the case for me. And with “A”, even though we’ve had our rough times, never, ever has he wavered on his support of my creative endeavors.  So as part of my Artist Statement I had included a story about his support and I really wanted him to see that and to show my appreciation. And I really think he was touched by it.

I also  introduced him to a few people like “L” and the woman from my old work place who had told me about the show and even bonked me in the head (metaphorically speaking) when I almost didn’t submit anything (yay apathy!). I really think ‘A”enjoyed the show though. He even asked the gallery owner if he could bring some school kids in on a field trip. 

Later after “A” left, the gallery owner had all the contributing artists speak. As in: Bleeech! Warning! Warning! Does Not Compute! Does Not Compute!  I am not a public speaker. At all. Not since that crazy sadistic nun knocked the love of Jesus and all that is good out of me with a large wooden ruler in 5th grade. Plus we had to talk about our mental health. Well, we didn’t have to.

I’ve pretty much stopped talking about it about 9 months ago. As in, I no longer walk around and identify myself as a bipolar person anymore.  I mean who needs labels? I’m just witty. I’m an artist. I’m a writer. So talking about “it” in front of a group of people was pretty difficult, except of course when they applauded at the end…and then it kind of became like a “Lifetime Movie Special” starring Patty Duke as a triumphant mom at her first art show with the music swelling, as directed by Demi Moore.

Well, except, of course,  I’m cooler because I paint robots with gunshot wounds in their heads. And they’ll definitely need somebody hotter than Patty Duke to play me I’m thinkin’….

Anyways, things started to wind down around 9 p.m., but were we ready to wind down? Hell no. “L” the Hippy Chick wanted to go to this place where they were supposedly filming this video. Another woman “C” who owns a framing shop wanted me to go out for drinks with “the girls.” I chose the girls, but “L” did have a ride and had no problem with it. So it was off to a bar. Wait…Me? At a bar? ha ha ha ha ha!

Other than my Goth art shows, I’ve only been to one bar in my entire life. In 1984. I don’t drink. Why go to a bar? But we did. And just like in the movies, all the bar guy’s heads snapped towards the door in apparent slobbery anticipation when we walked in. But just momentarily, of course, since they were obviously looking for someone born around 1988. And then for the next hour we had to yell over a bar band that was playing and try to discipher what our Spanish friend was saying. She’s the one who likes to talk about painting canvases with her naked body…a story which she once again recounted. With her thick accent, I’m never quite sure what she’s talking about but she is entertaining.

We finally left at almost midnight. Business cards and websites were exchanged (no I don’t have one), with promises of more girl’s nights out.

The best part for me? I felt really normal for probably the first time since the 1980’s.  Art opening. People showed up who said they’d  show up. No apparent angst from me DURING the event. I absolutely kicked it with the small talk. Nobody looked down at me secretly hissing “You’re mentally ill and don’t you forget it!”.  And don’t forget I was wearing my ultra glam Donald J. Pliners!!

So I guess the real question is….are the lips in my horoscope ready for someone? That, my friends, is the real question.

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16 Responses to “why it feels good to be believed in”

  1. Anna Says:

    You are a bloody inspiration, do you know that? I think it’s interesting about identifying/not identifying as a person with mental health issues. Your diary was the first place I ever encountered anyone who was upfront about having mental health problems and it was incredibly helpful to me to feel that it was possible to not have to deny it. But then it can become a box that you’re stuck in – so yay for you for being witty, loud (well, OK, not very) and proud (VERY) and inspiring us all to just live the best we can. {{hugs}} xxxx.

  2. poolagirl Says:

    Definitely somebody hotter than Patty Duke! And you’re right about the identity thing most people insist on having. We are always so fookin’ defined with labels and other stupid shit. Life is too short for these things. Well said, my dear.

  3. LA Says:

    I am sooo happy to hear those strong righteous words from you, Witty. Really happy. So please ignore the teary eyes, running nose, and doofy trembling smile, okay? ~LA

  4. zucchini breath Says:

    What? No photo of the Pliners?
    🙂

  5. xat Says:

    How quickly we try to pigeonhole ourselves. Good for you for refusing to identify yourself as only bipolar. You are so much more than just one aspect of yourself.

    I am so happy that the show went well. Your work needs to be seen, and I’m excited that it’s in a good venue.

  6. artgnome Says:

    you so ROCK, witty. So pleased that you are finding so many good places to show and be seen and even heard!

  7. elizabeth Says:

    Witty it’s all been said already, but I’m adding YAHOO!for you feeling “normal” for the first time in decades! Always great to hear what you’re up to, but this was really special.

  8. stepfordtart Says:

    Super Yayness to you, dear witty! I only know one other aqurian and its my brother. Of the two of you, I think you are far more deserving of a little lip lock action. Fingers crossed. s x

  9. DanjerusKurves Says:

    I like that casual, relaxed photo of you! Oh yes, and I HAVE GAD!!!! That’s right, I HAVE ANXIETY DISORDER!!! 😉

  10. crankygirl Says:

    I don’t know how I missed this post. I agree with DK–that is a terrific photo of you.

  11. kittiefan17 Says:

    go witty! You da one!haha (I remember you wrote that to me once and I thought it was cute, so why not return the favor?)

  12. MFV Says:

    Gosh. The gang’s all here! Thought I’d say “hello” and thanks for visiting and commenting. I love the ‘robot with a gunshot wound’. And I really admire people who don’t pigeonhole themselves purely by their job, their station in life or their disability. We’re all loopy, to a greater or lesser degree. All ‘walking wounded’ from a failed relationship, a knock to our confidence or whatever… but what you do with your life is no less important.

    And morphing into some kind of girly girl? Well… I see I timed my arrival to perfection.

    Nice to ‘meet’ you.

    J.

  13. geekbetty Says:

    I still feel like I have to defend “bipolar” whenever people make stupid ass comments. you know comments like “she’s crazy. she’s gotta be bipolar or something” and then I get all self-righteous and do the “ACTUALLY bipolar disorder blah blah blah” and give it all away that I’m crazy as shit. Yeah. I’d love to get over that.

  14. geekbetty Says:

    oh and I LOVE the robot w/gunshot wound. Love love. Seriously.

  15. azzweepay Says:

    What a good night and good for you on your night out. I actually did think that was a robot with a gunshot wound to the head. I guess the little bolts coming from the eyeballs could be the electrical snaps and pops of him checking out. But It almost looks like little legs, arms and a torso escaping. Like maybe his robot soul leaving his body.

  16. heinoustheclown Says:

    Your painting looks like me when I get pissed off. Not that it happens a lot, mind you.

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