Half Jack

“I see my father in my face
I hear him in my laughter
I run as fast as I can run but
Jack comes tumbling after.”

My resemblance to my father is actually very unsettling. Not only do I look just like him in the face, but I also have a lot of the same mannerisms, I have the same tone of voice, and it’s even weirder because I mostly grew up without him so I didn’t purposely adopt his mannerisms.

I really hate my father, and I try not to think about him most of the time, but there have been moments when I’m laughing and see my smile in the mirror, and when I smile I look exactly like him. And then my face will fall when I see the resemblance. And I’ll feel him underneath my skin, clawing and trying to get out, like a demon who’s possessed me, but he’s running in my blood and I can’t get him out.

The only thing you can try to do is make peace with it. There can’t be peace between my dad and me, so the best I can do is try not to hate him. It hasn’t worked yet, and I don’t know if hating does more harm than good for me. But sometimes hating him sustains me, and sometimes it hurts. I fantasize all the time about punching him in the face, about him coming up to me one day when I’m successful and I look him in the eye and tell him what a loathsome creature he is.

We’re never big enough to house the crowd. The people who’ve affected us, the good and the bad, live inside of us. Our love for them or our hate for them, both will keep them alive. They hurt us and they leave wounds, or they pierce us with love and they leave wounds, and either way we try and stitch the wounds up, but we let them in and the stitches pull apart.

Jack, or Greg, or whoever it is, he lives inside of us, and haunts us. I look in the mirror and see his face, and I know that I’m capable of the same evil he is, that I inherited his curse, his power, his intellect, his wickedness. I know that I can become the monster he is.

When I was a baby, my father stood over my crib, and he said to my grandmother that when he saw me laying there, so vulnerable and innocent, he wanted to hurt me, the same way his father hurt him. I think it was a brave thing for him to admit. I wish he had been brave enough to keep admitting the things he was afraid of.

When my dad was a young child, his father held him over a cooking grill and lowered his little feet onto the coals and burned them. His father put cigarettes out on his head. Is it any wonder he became a monster? Usually I hate him, usually I’m mad at him.

Sometimes I feel sorry for him.

My Jack was hurt by his Jack, and his Jack was probably hurt too. If I have a child, will I become Jack? Will I break them? Can I be trusted? Can I trust myself?

We carry multitudes. We exist and we exist and we exist.

Some days I’m half Jack, sometimes I’m only a quarter, some days he’s barely noticeable. I want to exorcise him. I want to get him out. But he’s always going to be there. And my body feels like an unclean temple, an unsafe place with no peace or privacy.

I keep hoping I can cleanse him away. I keep hoping the water is clean enough.

If I washed him out, would I still be myself? Is it better to cleanse ourselves of wickedness and lose the wickedness within us, to be empty even if what we’re missing in the darkness? Or do I make peace with it, do I forgive him, do I choose to love him because it’s the hardest thing to do, and it’s the bravest thing to do, and I can be brave where he was not?

I won’t say it to him. But right now, I love you. I’m choosing to love you because it’s the only way I can keep from being destroyed by you, dad. And I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry for what you’ve suffered. I’m sorry that you probably suffer now for what you did to me. I’m sorry that you destroyed me. I’m sorry even though I’m your victim.

Half of me is love, and half of me is hate. Two halves are equal.

I’m halfway home. I hope that home is love and safety. I hope that home is hope. I hope that home is a baby lying in a crib, and a Jack who doesn’t want to hurt him. Like my father, there’s a part of me that wants to consume and destroy everything. It’s the curse he passed down to me. It’s the black hole inside me that wants to absorb and rip apart everything I touch.

I have to be brave. I have to admit it. I can’t be afraid like my father was. I have to admit it so I can overcome it.

Brave enough to get this out. Brave enough to love. It starts with loving you, and then I can love myself because I’m not angry at you anymore. Loving you is not a one-time thing. It’s a journey. It’s a path toward forgiveness. I have not reached the end of that path. I don’t even know if I’m at the beginning. I don’t know if I’m halfway home.

But I hope I’ll get there.

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Operation Organize Everything: Part 3 – Progress Reports on Life

This is a collection of Facebook posts from the past year or so, from within a group of supportive friends. I tend to go there to talk about what’s happening in my life most of the time, rather than writing about it here or in journals, so I’m collecting some of them here, in an order that forms something of a narrative about what my life has been like in the past year. This isn’t at all a complete record, there is much more to sleuth through, but this will be a nice time capsule for me to look back on later and see my words about what was happening in my life at these times.

September 6, 2015

Iris

September 7, 2015

*takes a deep breath*

Hi. My name is Jesse. These are the things I’m too scared to say out loud. But I’m going to do it anyway because this group gives me courage. I’m 25. I still live with my family. I have a lot of trouble working because of my extreme anxiety and depression. I have low testosterone and vitamin D which cause me to be more depressed, and the depression meds cause me to be weak and tired. All of the aforementioned things lend themselves to weight gain and lethargy, and I weigh 250 pounds, so I’m at risk for hypertension and heart disease. I haven’t ever gone to college and I feel more regret about that than anything in my life. I want to experience college life, I want to be SURROUNDED by people, I want to have roommates, I want to always have a place to go and something to do, and also I really want to learn, to spend my days going to classes, not driving to a menial job I hate.

I haven’t accomplished anything in my life, not truly. I have a blog where I’ve kept my writing and poetry, and I’ve composed some songs but I haven’t released anything or published anything genuinely, and I haven’t started school. I’m terrified of life. Ever since I was thirteen years old I’ve spent my time sitting alone in my room, wondering when things will change. I’m just not strong. I’m not strong enough to change the things in my life that need to change, and it’s slowly chipping away at me, killing my self-esteem. I have a bad relationship with my family, my mother is abusive toward me emotionally and mentally (and sometimes physically) even though she’s often allowed me to live with her and helped me financially (despite kicking me out several times). I can’t keep a relationship because I’m either too clingy and needy, or I need SO much independence and space that I want to sleep with other people or just be single again.

I’m terribly lonely, all the time, and it only seems to get worse. I have so much love that I want to pour out on someone, but there’s no one here to give it to. I think I may be asexual and I love wearing stuff that wouldn’t be considered “male” dress but I get so many looks and I just feel like a freak. I have an incredibly high sex drive that scares people away. Strangely during the times when this could help, my meds cause me to have a LOW sex drive. And it fluctuates at the worst moments. I don’t believe in any kind of spirituality anymore. Sometimes I’m happy with being an atheist, sometimes I’m not.

I’m afraid that I’ll die and leave nothing here, that life will be a fleeting breath and my existence will mean nothing. I’m afraid that I’ll never know the feeling of a lover calling me into the next room and putting his arms around me and kissing me for no reason, or laying my head on a friends lap while I’m surrounded by people getting high or drinking or laughing or having fun. I’m scared that I’ll never be a good musician, or write a novel, or amount to any of the things I thought I could be when I was a child. When I was little everyone thought I was bright and brilliant. Now they just think I’m strange and odd. I don’t understand humans, I really mean that genuinely, laws and customs and belief systems don’t make sense to me, they all seem so arbitrary and flawed.

I’m fucked up, emotionally. (Trigger warning). I was physically abused, molested by two different people, and all before the age of five. I have an unhealthy view of sex, it means so much to me that at once it is meaningless (once I have it I feel empty and alone), and it means too much (I become overly attached to the point that I can’t maintain myself emotionally). I have weird fetishes and attractions that scare me and make me feel like a freak. Sometimes I think very dark and destructive things that make me feel like a scary person. I smile, I put on a nice customer service voice, but everywhere I go, I am constantly being sucked clean by a void inside my chest and I don’t know how to ever make it go away. I’m in therapy but I’ve only had a few sessions and I don’t know how it’s going to go.

I’m scared. I’m alone. But I’m trying. For me, even moving a centimeter is sometimes the most I can do. I’m trying.

September 15, 2015

Today my mom told me that I’m lazy and that it’s my fault that I’m miserable, that I’m ungrateful and that I have no responsibility for myself, and a lot of other things. I’m broken. She’s broken me. I really want to die. That sounds overdramatic. But I really give up. I’m going to try and do some things to make things better, get in touch with my health insurance and try and schedule affordable therapy, I’m going to the doctor tomorrow to find out about getting a doctor’s note to try and get disability because my anxiety.

But honestly, if someone pointed a gun at my head right now, I’d ask them nicely to shoot. There’s only so much one human can take. At a certain point message of encouragement just lose all meaning when you know that you’ll never achieve anything, and that you can’t really hope for any chance.

September 17, 2015

We were together for 3 years. He hurt me. He ignored me. He made me feel worthless. He hit me. I hit him too. It was bad for everyone. I wanted to get out but it was so hard. I was so miserable. I wanted anything else. I finally got out of it.

It’s been a year now. A year. Days upon days, weeks upon weeks, months upon months. Yesterday I was driving and a song came up on shuffle. The memories hit me like a ton of bricks. I went and looked at his picture online.

Why can’t I stop loving him? Why can’t I move on? I have so much love to give and I can’t find anyone to take it, and when I do, he’s all I can focus on. I don’t want him back, but I can’t stop being in love with him. Why? Why can’t I stop? It hurts so much. I carry him around like a weight on my heart, and the worst thing is the chains attached to him are broken. I can throw him off any time I want. But I just… can’t. I keep him there. I suffer. But I would rather suffer missing him than not feel him at all.

I just can’t stop loving him. And it’s killing me.

 

October 7, 2015

Guys… tonight is very hard. I’ve been doing SO well lately. I made a resume, put in applications, I’m changing antidepressants to help myself do better, I have a phone interview tomorrow for a new position, I’ve been losing weight, I quit drinking soda, I’m writing and reading more, due to a weird circumstance a family friend is going to give me 5,000 dollars to use for college and my own little camper to live in… but tonight it all fell apart. My mother told my little sister (THREE times) that she wished she weren’t her mother. My little sister was crying and I kept trying to stand up for her but my mom kept telling me to get out of her house, and she told me to take my sister with me. We drove away and I went to my ex’s apartment, but his new boyfriend answered the door (he wouldn’t even OPEN the door, just cracked it slightly to look at us) and then when I explained the situation he said “Sorry” and closed the door. When we came back my mom was in bed, and I turned on my stupid noise-maker (rain setting), my box fan, and got in bed to try and go to sleep.

But for two hours, I laid there and no matter how hard I tried, all I could think about were all the ways I could die. I imagined taking all the pills in my room and in the medicine cabinet and overdosing in the kitchen floor, but then my sister would have to find me… I went through the list in my head of all the nearby bridges, which was the highest, which would be the most painless to fall backward off of. I started writing suicide notes in my mind. I got into angry, violent, loud arguments with people in my head. My body twitched and shook as I tried to make my heartbeat slow down. I thought about running a knife across my throat, I thought about crashing my car, I thought about what I would say if my suicide attempt failed, who I would leave things to. What my funeral would be like. What songs I wanted played. The things I wanted to say to my family that I never did.

Finally my eyes popped open and I just couldn’t take it anymore and I sat up and opened my computer. Now I’m trying to calm myself down and make myself go back to sleep.

 

October 7, 2015

I’m homeless again. My mother bullied my little sister and I tried to stand up for her, and I’m homeless again. And I have a job interview on Friday, but nowhere to go to live until then.

I know I’ve talked about this before and I don’t want you guys to just keep encouraging me and then hearing me act like I don’t appreciate it, but I’m shaking all over and I’m really thinking about killing myself. I just can’t. do this. anymore. Either I’m going to hurt myself or someone else. I’m at the end of my rope.

 

October 19, 2015

So I haven’t posted about this yet, but I have big news. I am officially moving¬†ūüôā¬†My mom told me to get out of her house for about the hundredth time a week or so ago, and two amazing people have offered to let me come and stay with them. It’s a long way away, in Delaware, but I really think that this is going to be a great start for me, and that I’ll be able to get away from this toxic environment, be near friends who are supportive, and have a chance to work hard and make something of my life. I’m so excited¬†ūüôā

October 20, 2015

Guyyyyys I just bought my train ticket, it’s really happening, I’m leaving my horrible mother and moving to Delaware to start my life and be near friends and support and hope.

I’m so fuckin’ excited!

 

November 7, 2015

“Going to see Eisley in concert! Also, guess who is alive and well?” – Zack

Zack

December 15, 2015

Feeling worthless right now. People always say “You can do this, you’re stronger than you think! You’ve got the power inside of you!”

But you know what?

I’m just weak.

People give, and they sacrifice, and they try for me, and I do nothing to repay them. It’s no coincidence that people who begin as my friends end up hating me. I drive them away. I’m tired of even PRETENDING to be strong. I’m never going to be. And I don’t even want to be.

This kind of world just isn’t meant for people like me. Natural selection weeds out the creatures who can’t survive in this world, and keeps the strong.

And I’ll just… I’ll never be strong. And it isn’t self pity, it isn’t hateful, its just the truth.

I’m weak.

And I’ll always be.

And the world will always be too big for me.

 

December 19, 2015

So, I’ve definitely come a long way from earlier this year when I was homeless and you guys gave me money for food and shelter. I recently created another GoFundMe page, because I’ve been living with my slothy saviors, Robert and Zack, for almost two months now, and it’s been difficult to find a job, and I don’t want to be a financial burden on them. So far a couple of people have helped and that’s AWESOME.

However, I have REALLY good news! Robert told me not to announce it to anyone because it might tempt the universe and jinx it, but I want to be honest with you guys like I always have. I was up for a position working for a really good company, and I almost got the job, but the hiring manager chose someone else at the last minute. I tried to take it in stride, but honestly, I was really torn up about it. I thought to myself, “Well I guess I’ll just have to make do with scanning people’s groceries or making people’s coffee for the rest of my life,” and I really never thought things would get any better. I was prepared to take a job somewhere that I hate (should one even have been OFFERED) and just deal with it so I could survive.

However, a couple of days passed, and the hiring manager called me back. One of his associates is leaving at the end of the year, and he offered me that person’s position. I came in yesterday and had my FIRST DAY AT MY NEW JOB! I never know how much is appropriate to share here, but I will just say that it’s a FULL TIME job, with benefits and everything, and it’s in an office building, where I’ll be in front of a computer and playing with numbers and things (a.k.a. introvert Heaven, not dealing with the public, no rude customers, etc.). I have my own little desk, an area where I can bring in little knick-knacks or pictures to customize stuff (a really nice lady in the office gave me a wolf figurine from her desk, it now watches over my keyboard). I’m going to be working Monday through Friday with weekends off, and honestly, I’m so relieved I can’t even begin to really process it yet.

Last night Rob asked me if I was excited. And yeah, excitement is a part of it. But the majority of what I feel is profound relief. For years I’ve said that my dream job would be a full time, 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, office job, working in front of a computer, sitting down, getting tasks done on my own. And… that’s honestly what I’ve been given. I don’t even know how to process it, to be honest.

So, that’s the story. I wanted to let you guys know about it for two reasons. First, because I love sharing with you all, and second, because I would feel dishonest if I kept my GoFundMe page up asking for help when I finally found a job (career, dare I say?). I’m going to delete the post, because I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, but the GoFundMe will still be up in the case that anyone wants to be awesome and generous (I still have a lot of money to pay back to Rob and Zack, after all).

 

December 21, 2015

Feeling sad tonight. It’s been over a year, and I still fall asleep missing him.

December 22, 2015

My little sister is 14, she sent me this today. I’m so proud!!

The Killing Type

January 16, 2016

Today sucks. I hung out with someone last night and in the middle of sex got rejected, then had to spend the night awkwardly sleeping drunk and alone in his bed.

Then today I got pulled over and got a speeding ticket. And now I’m sitting on the cold floor in a Rite Aid because my phone is almost dead and I had to buy a charger and plug it into the wall.

 

January 22, 2016

Holy shit you guys. I’m sitting at work and my phone starts vibrating. It’s a call from an unknown number. I declined. They called again. I answered and someone asked for someone whose number this is NOT (sidebar: I have been receiving calls from people thinking I’m this woman for months because she refuses to change her public number). I hung up. He called AGAIN. I answered. This is LITERALLY the exchange. Keep in mind he was copping an attitude the entire time.

Him: “You hung up on me ma’am.”
Me: “Who is this?”
Him: “This is (blahblah I don’t remember), I’m calling because I have some court documents I need you to sign.”
Me: “Who do you think this is?”
Him: “………..uh…. Ivy?”
Me: “Nope. This is not Ivy. Stop calling me.”
Him: “Oh… who is this, ma’am?”
Me: “This is¬†Jesse. And I’m not a ma’am.”
Him: “Oh….. are you transgender?” (note: he pronounced the word with a particular venom, as though he was disgusted to utter the phrase)
Me: “Are you an asshole?”
Him: “….no, actually…. I’m smart.”
Me: “Then hang up.”
Him: “…..you hang up.”
Me: *click*

WHAT THE HELL GUYS.

P.S. I don’t know if I really made it clear but this has REALLY upset me and I’m sitting at work just trying to calm down.

 

January 30, 2016

You know how when you’re out visiting other people from the Patron group and you’re having fun and laughing and singing and everybody is amazing, and then suddenly one little thing sends you down a spiral of depression and you have to smile and pretend to be happy around everyone even though now you feel miserable and alone and you wish you had just jumped off the bridge when you had the chance and you’re sure that you’re never going to mean something to anyone and you’ll never have someone to love and you regret ever taking the trouble to breathe?

Yeah, me too.

 

February 16, 2016

I’m having a tough day at work. Nothing particularly bad has happened, but I just don’t want to be here. I feel miserable, I feel unhealthy and like a failure, and I was reading Sandman at lunch and Delirium makes me so sad because I identify with her so much. I know there’s only three and a half hours left until time to go home, but it feels like such a long time.

I feel so weak, and alone, and scared.

 

February 20, 2016

Two things. First: thank you to everyone for being so supportive of me the last few days. I’m about to sit down with a book, two coloring books, colored pencils, a pen, two decks of tarot cards and their books, a blank sketchpad and a notebook and just SEE WHAT HAPPENS art-wise.

Second: today I managed to actually sum up all the reasons I’m single into three concise paragraphs.

Polyamorous Musings

February 22, 2016

Of all the presents I’ve ever received in the mail, this is by far my favorite. I present to you a riveting tale by my straight male best friend (I have gathered a few straight male friends but he is still the title holder) entitled “Matt and¬†Jesse¬†Charge the Moose Fortress With Their Army of Warrior Giraffes… That Clearly Have Different Intentions For Eradicating The Last Fortress Held By Moose-Kind.”

Note, Noble Lords and Ladies, the many sub story arcs, including the Giant Duck hired by the giraffes (presumably low on funds due to the moose war) to eat the moose, the elaborate designs decorating the the drawbridge to Moose Manor, the smiley-face flag of peace flown by the moose which clearly our giraffe crusaders care nothing for, and even the Ambassador Moose who seeks to quell the rising tension. One may even notice the lone defecting giraffe who wants to give up his life as a soldier to be a dancer, or the giraffe commander who leads his own squadron of rainbow ninja giraffes.

Yeah, DaVinci was good, but let’s be real: THIS is art. I heart¬†Matt so.

Battle

February 22, 2016

So, nutshell version of life updates: went to new doctor today. Verdict: my old doctors were doing a shit job of managing my health. Not that it’s all their responsibility, but still. When testing someones blood for low testosterone, you are apparently always supposed to draw blood in the morning because there is supposed to a testosterone spike right after waking up, and the blood work is supposed to be done after not eating for 12 hours.

Next, they shouldn’t have just been¬†giving me testosterone injections without knowing the reason. There could be a problem in my testicles or my pituitary gland, but those are very different problems with different solutions, just injecting me with testosterone isn’t fixing anything. The doctor even said that of all the possibilities, one is that there could be a tumor in my pituitary gland (though there’s no reason to suspect this right now, it’s just one of a myriad of possibilities) but an MRI was never done on me to see.

As for my depression / suicidal tendencies: clearly my antidepressants, in addition to being more expensive than crack ($180 for one months supply) weren’t doing much to help, since I’ve still had severe depression. As for the anti-anxiety medicine, I’ve been taking Klonopin EVERY DAY for three years. I have informed my doctors of this and not once did anyone say “Holy shit don’t do that, you’re only supposed to be taking that when you’re feeling a panic attack coming on! All you’re doing is building an immunity to the effects of the medicine and making yourself chemically dependant.” But my doctors never told me that, they just kept their heads down, gave me drugs and sent me on my way.

So this weekend I’ll be getting blood work done, and I’ve also been taken off both my old meds and given new ones: a new antidepressant to take daily, and an anti-anxiety to take as needed. I have a bad headache already because when I don’t have my Klonopin I withdraw. So the next couple of weeks will probably involve me behaving as erratically as a pregnant woman, but hopefully this will help things get better.

Mentally, I feel a little better. I sincerely hope tomorrow at work isn’t a bucket of stress. Otherwise, I just want to start really trying to lose weight, eat healthier, and feel better.
Okay so that wasn’t very concise, nor was it in a nutshell. But it was an explanation.

March 9, 2016

Hi guys. I apologize for posting so many threads today. I haven’t asked because I was saying so many other things today. But I started listening to Machete earlier and I’ve pretty much had it on an infinite loop. That song just broke me completely.

The tears have been coming like an ocean for hours. I’m about to go to sleep. I’m exhausted. I’m sitting here in the darkness. It’s so lonely. All I can think about is death, and loss, and loneliness, and sadness, and tears, and disappointment. The bad thing about getting away from your abusers is that you start to realize just how much they destroyed you and you have to go through a new kind of trauma.

It’s so hard. It’s SO hard. It’s. So. Hard.

Being alive is so difficult for me. I wish I didn’t always want to die, but I can’t control how I feel.

Please. See me. See me. Please see me.

March 9, 2016

This is a message to Amanda. I posted it on her page but I’m also posting it here in hopes that she’ll see it.

Amanda,

I know earlier you were hoping more people would have Machete questions and comments. I hadn’t heard the song yet so I didn’t say anything about it. I started listening to it a couple hours ago and I’ve had it on an almost constant repeat.

I just wanted to say thank you for this song. It means more to me than you can know. Bigger On The Inside, Lost, Want It Back, and now this song, they have been constant companions and friends to me. You can’t know how I’ve clasped your music close to me in all the fear and darkness I’ve wandered through in the last couple of years.

Sometimes every day is a struggle just to want to be alive. But your music is my friend, and it comes and sits with me in the dark, and I don’t feel alone.

Thank you.

March 16, 2016

You can’t read this because you aren’t a member of the group. The group is where my family is. I don’t really trust saying personal things on my wall, I only really trust the group. You can’t see this because you aren’t in the group and you have no idea that I’m talking to you in a post somewhere on the internet, but I am.

I’m saying this because I have to say it somewhere, to someone, even if you don’t see it. You left because I asked you to. We stopped because I said it was over. And I meant it. And I still don’t regret it. We loved one another for three years and I guess I figured I’d just stopped loving you. I didn’t realize my love for you would only grow deeper once you left. After I broke up with you you decided to move home to your family, hundreds of miles away. I agreed it would be the best thing.

I woke up one night feeling like water had been spilled on me. My back was wet. Then I realized I was warm, and that you were holding me. Our shirts were off and our skin was sticking together the way it did in the summer. And your tears were going down the back of my neck and in my hair. And you were singing to me. You were singing a song we had sang for fun, it had never been “our song.” It was never something romantic we sang to one another. But you were singing it. And you were crying. And then I was crying. I felt so guilty. I just wanted it to be over. I wanted you to go home so we could heal. I was ready to be done with everything.

I went to my mom’s house for the weekend, right after you left. Your sister came and picked you up and I watched her drive away with you. That weekend I slept alone for the first time in three years. I hadn’t realized that not once in all three years had I ever slept alone, not since we moved in together. When I got home I stood at the door to our bedroom. It was closed. I had closed it before I left. I lifted my fingers slowly and I knocked, and I called out your name.

You did not answer. I don’t know what I had expected. I walked inside and there was such a mess. We’d torn the room apart packing your stuff. I said don’t worry about it, I’ll clean it up later. Now it was later, and there was stuff everywhere. Papers and clothes. and music and books.

And a shirt, slung over the armchair. When we first met you had worn that shirt to class for a couple of days and then given it to me, because I wanted something that smelled like you to hold at night. Ever since we moved in together it just got worn every now and then. But you’d worn it for the last two days before you left, and you’d left it sitting on the chair for me to find. I picked the shirt up. I started singing the same song you had sang to me that night, holding me and crying into the back of my head.

“My last night here with you, same old songs just once more. My last night here with you, maybe yes, maybe no. I kind of liked it your way, how you shyly placed your eyes on me. Did you ever know that I had mine on you?”

I sat down in the floor and I held your shirt close to me and I cried. And I’ve never really stopped crying. At first I would wake up in the night and reach over for you, but you weren’t there. I wasn’t used to having so much space in the bed. The first guy to ever come over and spend the night was hugging me in the night and in my sleep I said, “I love you,” followed by your name. He was a little annoyed. I thought it was sweet that my subconscious was still talking to you.

I still think about you. I think about you every night when I go to sleep. I still can’t get used to there being so much space. I sat down on the floor and cracked, and the yolk ran out all over the floor, and I still haven’t stopped crying.

I still don’t regret my decision. But I just thought I might stop missing you one day. That day just hasn’t come.

March 21, 2016

I have a full time job working in an office-ish environment. On one level, my job is easy peasy. I get overloaded with stuff but ultimately I come in, sit at the computer for nine hours and go home. Weekends off. Health plan. Sounds good, right?

I thought so too at first. But the thing is I HATE my job. It’s still retail, which is what I’ve been doing all these years. I don’t mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, because there are plenty¬†of people who would love to have full time work and don’t. And it could be way worse, I could be behind the counter at McDonalds or ringing up groceries at Wal-Mart. But I just can’t help feeling so completely unfulfilled.

For example: before I moved to Delaware I cleaned houses. My mom has her own cleaning business and I’ve worked for her for a long time. Apart from my mother being there (she’s a crazy person), the job was great! Five hour days for like four days a week, and all I had to do was turn on an audibook or a podcast and silently scrub, polish, vacuum, mop, organize, dust, and clean for five hours. It was simple, it wasn’t incredibly entertaining but I still felt I was good at it and I could do productive things with my time like listen to lectures or audiobooks.

Now… I just sit there for nine hours and see how many different ways I can count the hours until I’m done. If I start looking for other jobs I don’t even know what to look for. I’m terrible with crowds and lines and rushes and pressure, I don’t like food service, I don’t like retail, I might like another office job but I have no degree and little experience apart from my current job. Won’t i just feel miserable at another job too? Do I need to keep trying or just accept that work time is always going to feel like a useless void that prevents me from ever feeling fulfilled or happy in any other area of my life?

 

March 23, 2016

So a thing happened yesterday. Someone said something on Facebook that hurt my feelings and in a moment of annoyance, rather than respond I just deleted Facebook off of my phone.

Then it was quiet. And there were no push notifications drawing my attention away. Suddenly my thoughts were my own again. And it felt so free. And I thought, oh my god why don’t I feel like this all the time?? And I realized that I waste so much of my creativity on Facebook. When I’m feeling creative, I could be writing, or drawing, or singing, or playing piano, but instead I get on Facebook and use that inspiration to make a few silly comments and turn into a vegetable on my phone.

Now don’t get me wrong, this group of sloths means the world to me and you all happen to be accessible mostly through Facebook. But Facebook in and of itself, when I’m over on my wall and not here within this very safe and nurturing space, is a little different, even though I make it a priority never to keep friends who upset or hurt me. The problem for me is that I have interesting thoughts and observations that I WANT to preserve, so that one day I can look back on my days from years past and know that my thoughts still matter, that my ponderings and musings still have some meaning, even if only to laugh at how silly I was.

This next part might sound vain or pretentious but it isn’t meant to. Wherever I go, people laugh and smile. At every job I’ve had, in every social group, people always laugh very loudly when they’re around me. I am told almost daily that I should be a stand up comedian. I love that people experience that around me. I’m also totally mytified because I’m actually an incredibly dark, somber person. But I seem to have a way of making people laugh, and my presence in the room is ALWAYS a strong one. People notice me. If you say my name, people will always instincigvely laugh, raise their eyebrows, roll their eyes, SOMETHING. I just don’t blend in with the wall. I’m saying all of this because it’s something I never REALIZED until recently. I never noticed that I had this effect on people.

I guess partially I’m just rambling, but partially I want to say that this slothy community means the world to me. No, genuinely, it does. You all ARE my family and there is just no two ways about it. So that’s why I wanted to take the time to let you guys know that I may be somewhat sparse on Facebook, and it’s NOT because I’m leaving the group, it’s NOT because I’m mad, and not because I’m causing a scene (unless this post counts as a scene, it probably does, I am kind of incapable of doing things in a subtle way). I deleted Facebook from my phone and I feel so FREE afterward.

I’ll still probably get on here a fair amount, and there may not even be a noticable change. But if there IS, if you don’t see me posting and I don’t respond to your messages, it’s not because I have abandoned you all.

I also want to point out part of why I want to stay off Facebook is so I can direct my creative energy toward writing. To that end, I will plug my blog, it’s my name, Jesse Colton dot com (my roommate bought me the domain for Christmas). I want to use my creativity to write, to chronicle, and also to work on myself.

Thank you for your attention, you may now return to your regularly scheduled Facebook.

 

March 24, 2016

So today I’m sitting at work and all of the sudden I just broke. Like I didn’t start screaming or crying or anything, but I just knew I was done. I just realized that I can’t keep doing this. I’m working this full time job and I absolutely don’t have the strength to carry this burden. I’ve been taken care of my whole life. Even though my mother hurt me and made me want to die, she was still giving me food and shelter. Sure, she kicked me out every few months, but during the time she didn’t kick me out she was taking care of me.

And that’s the thing, I never learned how to take care of myself. I just can’t. My only hope is to marry someone rich because I just. Can’t. Live. Like. This. I can’t wake up at 6 in the morning and go to a job I hate, and come home tired and afraid and unable to cope, and repeat, repeat, repeat, FOREVER. My roommates have been so kind, they took me in and gave me safety and shelter. And I know they can’t afford to take care of me if I’m not working.

But guys I just can’t. I am not quitting my job, I’m not jumping off a cliff, I just… I’ve given up. It’s easier to have no hope, and nothing to look forward to. Because if you have hope then you can be disappointed. And I’m so tired of being let down. I’d rather just feel nothing.

 

March 29, 2016

Laying in bed. My head hurts and so does my body. Dealing with a lot of fear right now. It feels like just as soon as I think the world has become a loving and forgiving place, I’m constantly reminded that everyone everywhere is telling me to toughen up or just get over it. And I just can’t do either of those things.

I’ve tried to make a change. I started putting in applications to other places. I can’t keep working at a job where my soul is just being crushed every day. But¬†I don’t know if I’ll even have the courage to make it through the trials of the next job or the next. What are my options? I could keep looking for new work. I could give up entirely and go back to my family. That would be akin to dying. Because I would rather die than go back there.

I’m so lost. I’m so hopeless. And no matter how much encouragement I’m given, it doesn’t change the situation. It doesn’t change there being something fundamentally wrong with my brain that prevents me from being able to function. I am just so useless. What good does it to me to be a talented writer or play the piano? People won’t give me food and shelter in exchange for poetry.

All this way that I’ve come and I still feel the same. I’m still rotting away inside. I’m still mangled and broken.

 

April 1, 2016

YOU GUYS GUESS WHAT.

You know how I hate my job and just being in the building is like standing in a massive black hole that pulls all hope, creativity and energy out of me and makes me want to die?

Well, I’ve been putting in applications without much success. Today I stayed home from work and worked on more applications, then printed out some resumes and went into town to hand them out. The result were pretty bleak, place after place just told me to go online and weren’t interested in talking to me. Finally, I gave up and decided to go eat lunch. But I stopped just before the parking lot and gave it one last shot, at Staples.

I went inside and asked if they were hiring, someone told me they were but I needed to go online. Though they quickly ran off in the other direction, I didn’t give up, went to the back and found the manager, who I handed my resume to, and she pulled me into the office to interview me. Both the assistant manager and the store manager said they loved my attitude, they thought I was positive and they liked my energy, they were impressed by my resume, and they hired me on the spot.

I still have to fill out an online app and let them know, but they’ve basically given me the job on the spot. They’ll be running my background check as soon as they get my application and then I can finally work in a place where there is sunlight and talking and hope, and not a dark hot warehouse staring at a computer for nine hours and hating life.

YAY!!!

And thank you especially to those of you who have been sending me good vibes. As a weird duality of Pagan/Atheist, I have no clue if I believe that positive energy has any real qualitative effect on the world around you, but regardless you kept my spirits high and maybe if you all hadn’t been so encouraging I wouldn’t have thought to try one more place before giving up. Thanks guys.

 

May 5, 2016

I want to express something but I’m afraid it’s going to be controversial. So before I say anything, remember I’m just stating my own opinion here, and I’m not attempting to put down anyone else’s opinion by doing so.

tl;dr: I don’t want to give Amanda any more money for cover albums and ukulele ballads.

I have the greatest respect for Amanda Palmer, she’s an incredible artist. Machete really proved that she’s still just as much of a powerhouse as she was before. But honestly, I’ve been very disappointed with her in the past year. She really put a lot of effort into Who Killed Amanda Palmer and Theatre Is Evil, but the majority of what she’s done other than that has been silly ukulele songs or one-off live performances. The music she’s released through Patreon has been, in my opinion, very sub-par. Bigger On The Inside was a fantastic song, so was The Thing About Things, but most of what she’s released in the past year has been live webcasts, ukulele diddies, and random collaborations and covers. The only song that seemed like a “real” song was Machete.

I’m not trying to be the fraud police here, and I think Amanda should make whatever she wants and not worry at all about how I feel, or anyone else feels. I wouldn’t want her to read this and think she’s obliged to me to make what I want to hear. That isn’t really my point. She’s been through so much awful shit in the past couple of years that I’m amazed she has the fortitude to perform at all, so that’s fantastic. But for my money (and I really mean that, because even if it’s not a lot, I am giving her money for her work), she isn’t putting out top-quality stuff. It feels like she’s using the Patreon mostly to fund live shows and then paying back the Patrons with a webcast (by the way the webcast with the string players was AWFUL quality, which I was particularly surprised by because she raved about how great the quality of the recording was. Maybe we didn’t get the same recording she did, because the webcast sounds like it was recorded on a VHS in 1994).

This new album really, REALLY bugs me. I have never liked the way Jack Palmer sings. He has a very Johnny Cash vibe, and I get that some people love that but I hate it, and it bores me to tears. I accepted it when she put out a single with Jack at Christmas, but now she’s doing an entire folk album of covers with her father, and it just feels like an unnecessary vanity project. Now, granted, she can do whatever she wants and she doesn’t have to please me. But it just makes me sad that we’ve been waiting around ever since Theatre Is Evil and we’ve gotten: a kickstarter album of birthday improvs and Lou Reed covers, an album of live performances with Neil, a handful of webcasts of Amanda playing old songs, two low-quality live bootlegs, nine singles on Patreon, most of which are covers, ukulele one-off’s, or collaborations, and only ONE of which is a full band song, a cover album, and now a second cover album. I can list for you the original songs she’s put out since Theatre Is Evil on one hand.

So, I’m really considering dropping my pledge. Not because I suddenly hate Amanda or because I disapprove of her doing what she wants to do with her own music career, but because this new album is WAY out of left field from anything I would enjoy, and I enjoy a really wide variety of music. The Patreon has mostly been used to put out vanity projects instead of working on a real, concrete album, or at least real concrete singles. I’m still incredibly excited to see Amanda in New York this year, and all of you guys, but I’m just really aggravated by this whole “Jack Palmer cover album” thing.

 

May 6, 2016

So, two years ago I started having a variety of weird symptoms. I was incredibly tired no matter how much I slept, and no matter what I ate I still felt sluggish and malnourished. Whether I cut soda or sweets or ate healthier, no matter what I kept on gaining weight. I started having serious depression and suicidal tendencies. My anxiety was coming back. Things were getting bad and I didn’t know why. I went to the doctor and he did some bloodwork, ultimately informing me that I had low testosterone and a Vitamin D deficiency. I started taking Vitamin D supplements and getting an injection of testosterone every month (something that every doctor since has said seemed like a very bad decision on my doctor’s part to start giving a 24 year old hormone therapy before trying any other avenue). Things improved a bit, but the majority of my symptoms remained. A year later I had a sleep test and learned I had really severe sleep apnea, which I now have a CPAP machine for.

But a lot of these symptoms remained. Sometimes my body will just crap out on me, I’ll be so weak I can’t get out of bed, other times I’ll drink too much juice and I become so shaky that I feel like I’m having a seizure. But I’ve done what my doctors told me, and apart from a variety of medicines to keep the anxiety down, nothing much has solved any of my problems. I keep gaining weight, I keep losing energy, I keep feeling malnourished and there’s just a general sense that there’s something WRONG going on in my body. My newest doctor ordered blood work two months ago. No one ever notified me about the results. I went in a couple of weeks ago and when I asked, they seemed to have completely forgotten about their responsibility to follow up on my blood work, no one had gotten the results OR bothered to call me. So when I was on my way out of the office they were on the phone getting my results. Still no call. Nothing from them. So today I went to the hospital with Zack and got a copy of my bloodwork for myself. The results: Vitamin D is within normal range, testosterone is just BARELY in the normal range, by only one point. Glucose, however, should be in the 70-100 range and it was 190. That’s WAY too high. I called the doctors office and let them know about this, the nurse was surprised that they STILL didn’t have my test results, despite calling in to get them twice.

Then I told the nurse about my high glucose, and she very calmly responded, “Oh yeah you’re definitely diabetic.” And then scheduled an appointment for Monday.

Look, maybe I have diabetes. Honestly, two years ago that is EXACTLY what I thought was happening, but my doctors have really mishandled my healthcare up to this point, and the only reason I know anything today is because I took the initiative to get my own test results and have Zack look over them. If I DO have diabetes, then that means we can actually TREAT it, and maybe I can finally get out of this rut my health has been in for two years. What bothers me is how in two years, not one person has said “Oh, maybe we should check to see if you have diabetes.” I have a copy of my old blood test results from last year and they didn’t even look at my glucose. I’m also not crazy about the news being delivered by a nurse saying “Oh yeah, definitely diabetic.”

So, right now I’m nervous. My anxiety will doubtless convince me before Monday that not only am I diabetic but I will surely go into a coma before I can get to the doctor on Monday. I’ll try not to panic as best I can. Basically, I just wanted to let you guys know this. I’m nervous, and I just want to have a chance to fix my health. I don’t want to be overweight and unhealthy anymore, I want to be able to function in my own body. 25 is too early for everything to start failing

June 6, 2016

This is Jake. Jake is my roommates’ dog but he loves me a lot and has bonded with me very closely. He follows me from room to room wherever I go (right now he’s sleeping in a corner of the kitchen because it’s where I happen to be standing), when I go to the bathroom he waits outside the door and sniffs underneath, when it’s his dinner time he follows me and watches me put all the food in the bowls (I like to say he’s “helping me make dinner”). He brings me his tennis ball and makes me throw it, especially when we’re outside.
He sleeps in my bed with me every single night, curled up on the passenger side of the bed. He gets very upset when I have to leave for work and whines at the door. In the morning Zack gets him out of my room so he can have breakfast and then he immediately comes back to my bed and lays with me. He likes to put his nose against my chest and sleep. Oh yeah and he snores a lot (just like me!)

Fun fact, between the last paragraph and this one I moved to the couch. He followed and is currently next to me. Oh yeah he loves licking my feet. I don’t know why, he must like the way they taste. He is VERY well behaved, he almost never gets into mischief and always comes when I call him.

This post is just to share Jake with you a little and recognized how great of a puppy he is. He’s a big furry black lab (when Zack and Robert adopted him they were told he was originally brought into the shelter with mange and had NO HAIR, now his fur is in every corner of our house and especially on my sheets and in my room) with a long spotted tongue who is always happy to see everyone. I love my family’s animals but I don’t think I’ve ever had an animal bond with me as strong as Jake. I love him very much.

 

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June 7, 2016

Hi guys. So, I posted something last night, there was a very brief amount of discussion, and I threw my hands up and walked away. Now that it’s the next day and my thoughts are a little more together, I’m going to try and make my point again, more concisely and a little bit calmer.

I’m not going to repost the article, but there was a blogger who wrote a very creepy angry post about the kid who raped a girl and was acquitted (is that the right legal term? You know what I mean). I think we all agree this was an egregious miscarriage of justice, and the little bastard doesn’t even seem remorseful for his actions. So I totally understand being angry at him or even hating him.

However, this blog post was literally titled “We With The Pitchforks,” and in this post the woman swore that she would amass an online mob to stalk and harass him everywhere he went, to slander his name in every way they could and make his life such a living hell that he would rather be imprisoned. It was incredibly creepy, seeing someone respond to this rapist with an attitude that felt not-altogether-unlike-rape. The way she spoke in her post with seething anger sounded like a serial killer tormenting their victim before killing them. It was INCREDIBLY disturbing.

More disturbing to me was the positive reaction the blog post was receiving, and I saw someone from the group share it. I was honestly really disgusted reading the article. What that kid did was wrong, the way the media portrayed him and his amount of white privilege were all terrible, and it was a total miscarriage of justice. However, stalking and harassing him is ALSO wrong. He escaped conviction, but that kid knows what he did and he has to live the rest of his life with it. Forgive me for being so sympathetic toward a rapist, but I can’t help but think, wow that is a fucked up kid who made a really terrible choice and NOW, because he isn’t even being forced to pay for his crime, he has to live the rest of his life not truly understanding how he hurt another person.

You may think it’s silly of me to show sympathy to a rapist, but I remind you that this is a group who applauded Amanda Palmer for showing sympathy toward the Boston Bomber. And who also has lyrics talking about sympathy for terrorists and the 9/11 attackers. So I would say having sympathy for this kid who committed a rape is well in line with that kind of thinking.

My main point here: anger against this kid is justified. Loathing of this kid is justified. Hatred of this kid is even justified. The desire to want to stand up for that innocent girl he raped, and to punish him for it, is a natural and human desire. But that doesn’t make it OKAY to do so. I hate to see this group, which preaches so much about loving thine enemies and showing compassion even in the most dire of times, turn into a pitchfork wielding mob.

Sometimes justice is not served. That doesn’t make it the job of everyone else to ruin the kids life further. Trust me, being known nationwide as a rapist who got off scott free will already do enough to damage that kids life. But to be honest, watching a bunch of people respond to this by promising to BULLY him? He’s already fucked up enough, let’s not lead him to committing suicide or something. He clearly needs help. The response here is to BE ANGRY, but not actively try and harm him. Then what you’re doing is just as wrong as what he did. You have no right to dislodge that kids life and future, just as he had no right to dislodge that innocent girls life and future.

(Note: The “you” in this post is rhetorical, or if you prefer, aimed at the woman who wrote that blog post, and people who agree with her.)

June 12, 2016

Alright, I have a confession.

I got swept up in Bernie mania. I really do think he’s a great candidate and probably the best when it comes to real change. And I bought into a lot of what a lot of the Bernie supporters on Facebook were saying. And you know, I DO find it very strange that Bernie fills stadiums and yet even though it seems like EVERYONE is supporting him, he’s somehow losing in the polls. It reminds me of the rigged American Idol season when Adam Lambert clearly lost because the producers decided he had to lose.

Today, I saw Hillary Clinton’s autobiography (not Hard Choices, the older one), and of course, for fun, I turned straight to the chapter about Monica Lewinsky. Just listening to the way she spoke in her book, even if it was written by a ghost writer, I couldn’t help but find her really solid and trustworthy. She didn’t seem like a manipulative con artist doing whatever she could to lie her way into office and into power, she seemed like a person who was skilled at being a politician and was willing to play politics to get shit done. I wasn’t reading any malice or corruption from her.

And then I remembered a few years ago when I knew even less about politics than I do now, and I was totally ready for Hillary. And I thought, I like this lady, I trust her, I like the Clintons, and I’ll be happy to vote for her. How did I end up calling her a voter manipulating power hungry harpy? I blame myself, but I definitely got swept up in the wave of anti-Hillary sentiment. But the question still remains: if Hillary is so unpopular, how is she winning in the popular vote?

Maybe it’s that the Bernie supporters just happen to be the LOUDEST. It doesn’t mean they’re the most numerous, but it does mean that Bernie’s supporters are the same people who use social media to communicate their every thought, so of course we’re hearing mostly their side of the story. “We Are the Media” is a powerful tool at times, but it can also lead you to making just as many errors by assuming what is popular is what is true.

So, I’m still on the fence. I couldn’t care less about “defeating Trump,” I want to vote for someone I believe in. Do I believe in Hillary? No, not yet. But I could deal with her, and even support her as president. And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t into the idea of having a female president, as long as that female president was capable. If Roseanne were running again, I’d probably vote for her, just liked I planned to in 2012. But at the moment, I’m genuinely not sure. I might write in Bernie just because that’s what my conscience tells me my real and honest choice is. But I’m going to stop demonizing Hillary Clinton. I managed to fall into the same trap Republicans do by demonizing one candidate and sanctifying the other.

 

June 14, 2016

My whole life I have lived in fear because I’m gay. My boyfriend’s have refused to let me touch or hold their hand in public because they were genuinely afraid we would get shot. People can say what they want about change or progress, but through my eyes, the world is a place that abhors and hates gay people. It isn’t about politics or points of view. This is a world in which being gay is a crime punishable by the bloodiest death imaginable.

If you are gay, you have to get out of bed in the morning and fight the entire world. If you are gay, you have to live in fear everywhere you go. If you are gay, you have to drive past church billboards and protesters and rallies of people all plotting ways to kill you. Every piece of homophobic rhetoric is an incitement to violence. Every person talking about “traditional marriage” is inciting violence, every time any person abhors homosexuality they are inviting the most unstable of us to kill. There is no debate. There is no middle ground. Homosexuality is real and homosexual people are worthy. If you don’t agree with that, if you fight against that, your actions are inciting death.

Am I angry at the man who killed fifty of my brothers and sisters? I don’t know. I don’t know what I feel. But right now, in THIS moment, I feel sad for him. I feel sad because he was afraid, he was afraid of what this entire homophobic world told him. I understand the desire to hurt someone. I understand what it’s like to be fucked up in the head, and to not know how to take out your anger. His anger overpowered him and he took it out on those innocent people.

It’s said that he pledged allegiance to the Islamic state. I did not grow up around Islam. But I can tell you what I do know, and that’s Christianity. I ask you to please remember that I am sharing my personal experience here. I have seen Christianity. I have seen every kind of Christian. I have seen my grandmother, who was kind and loving, who never let me leave her house without kissing me and telling me she loved me, even when she was mad at me. I have seen the Westboro Baptist Church, and I ask you to please, PLEASE believe me when I tell you that as a gay man from Charlotte, North Carolina, you would be very surprised to know that the sentiments written on those Westboro Baptist Church placards are shared by MANY Christians.

Now hold on. If you just rolled your eyes or thought “That’s a minority of people,” or “Yeah but that doesn’t represent everyone or even that faith,” or anything like that, just wait a moment. Please listen. This is my experience. I’m telling you what I’ve seen.

Even the people who are kind, who take people in and help them, who feed the poor, even those people have no qualms about talking candidly about “niggers” and “fags” the moment the door is closed. (As an example, there is a woman I knew from the time I was a child, who loved me and whose grandchildren were my friends, who was kind and smiled and laughed and who gave me food every time I came into her house. This was a patently good person. And when I mentioned offhandedly that I was gay she laughed and said “Now Jesse, you are too much of a nice boy to be a fag.”)

I have seen the face of Christianity. It is self loathing, it is fear, it is embracing worthlessness, it is absolving yourself of personal responsibility, it is denial of pleasure and joy, it is hatred of the world around you, it is a loathing for the world and a longing for death and for a paradise beyond death, it is a fear of anger and retribution and fire, it is a longing to be unworthy, it is an obscene lust to be persecuted, it is a desire to prostrate yourself at all times before a master who condemns you, it is a sadomasochistic fascination with being unclean and hating yourself. This is the Christianity I have seen, and I am telling you the truth. I am not surprised that the shooter claimed an allegiance to Islamic ideals. And it isnt because I’m Islamophobic (at least not anymore than I’m Christophobic). It’s because I understand what Christianity can do to people. Islam is a sister religion to Christianity. Christianity and Islam share many things, and there differences are often only superficial: both religions contain the same calls to violence and the same condemnation of anyone who opposes their views. They also both contain beautiful poetry and wise people. But ultimately these religions are no different.

Let us not get sidetracked by focusing on the man with the gun who killed those people. Remember that he killed those people in that club BECAUSE THEY WERE GAY. If you deny this then you’re burying your head in the sand. And did he do it because of Islam? I have seen Christianity make monsters out of good people, so yes, absolutely it could have been because of Islam. It does not make me a bigot to realize this. It does not make me a bigot to stand up and shout that religion has been targeting my people and killing them for millenia. Christianity has targeted and murdered gay people specifically because they are gay for centuries upon centuries, and Islam is a stone’s throw (pardon the irony) from Christianity.

I am gay. I told everyone I was gay the moment I understood it to be the truth when I was 12 years old. Believe what I’m telling you, I have seen good and decent people become monsters because of their homophobia. I should be angry at those people, and I should be angry at the gunman.

But I’m just sad. I’m just sad, and exhausted.

 

July 9, 2016

I’m really trying. But today is hard. Being suicidal isn’t something you ever really overcome, but I’ve just been through so much in the last few weeks and ive had no time to decompress and process it all. I went from thinking I was going to have to leave my home, to working at two locations for my job, to finding out they still wouldn’t give me the hours or money I need. Then someone offered me a place to live and to help me go to school, and when I made the heartbreaking decision to take them up on the offer and leave my home, they retracted their offer. Then I found out I was hired for a full time job, but my full time job has been kicking my ass. It’s 8 and a half hours a day, usually six days a week, so far I’ve received exactly one day off in two weeks, and I’ve been scheduled for ten days in a row. I’m told this is par for the course, that it’s what I signed up for.

I’m also dealing with my health. I have diabetes now and I’m trying to live with it, but right now I’m being physically pushed beyond what I thought I could handle, working in the heat every day, carrying mattresses and heavy merchandise, and standing on my feet. Most of the people who come into the pawn shop where I work are poor, homeless, or on drugs, and they’re very difficult to deal with. I’m being honest here. A lot of the people are loud, obnoxious, confrontational, smelly, and rude. A lot of the merchandise we have in the store is filled with roaches and you can see them scurrying across the counters and floors.

What am I supposed to do? I can’t just quit. I have to pay my bills. My mother, who is a narcissistic homophobe, keeps begging me to move back to South Carolina, but going back there is like signing a death warrant. I promised Rob and Zack I would get a job that would pay the money I owe them for all they’ve done for me, and I can’t disappoint them by showing how upset I am about this job. I’ve been trying to keep an open mind, not to be judgmental, and to be patient and work hard. I get a few hours every day to fit in absolutely anything I want to do when I’m home, I get virtually no days off anymore, I don’t have time to write, to buy food, to do anything but work and sleep. It’s times like this that I just don’t see any way out and I just want the anxiety to stop, I just want to escape. I just dint think I’ll ever be able to survive in this world.

July 14, 2016

Every night our black lab Jake sleeps in my bed with me. He snuggles my arm and snores. Note that he is never far away from a tennis ball. They are his favorite thing in the world. (His sister Roxxi is currently visiting the bed)

Jake and Roxxi

My Top Ten Albums By Play Count

or

You Are Who You Listen To

The following are my top ten most played albums according to their play counts in iTunes. I would preface this by saying that these are not necessarily my top ten favorite albums of all time, and not all of them are, but some of them are in that category. The rule I’ve given myself here is that there can only be one album per artist, otherwise this list would be entirely comprised of Tori Amos and Lady Gaga. I know, what a gay stereotype I am, right? Well shut the hell up, I like what I like.

Who Killed Amanda Palmer

by Amanda Palmer

Total Plays: 137

Most Played Songs: Astronaut, Leeds United, Have to Drive, Guitar Hero

Amanda Palmer is one of the most underappreciated artists in the music industry. Though she has an extremely devoted fan base, she’s never received any radio air time that I’ve ever heard, but she is far and away one of the most incredible feminists, free thinkers, and musicians of the modern era. Her first solo album is a beautiful mixture of genres, from the tragic opening story of an Astronaut whose limbs fall to the beach as his wife watches in horror after his shuttle explodes to the upbeat diddy about rape and abortion, and an incredibly emotional song about finding a dead deer in the road, Amanda touches on a little of everything. My favorite kind of albums are the ones that include multiple kinds of songs from multiple genres with multiple perspectives. This one fits the bill perfectly.

Details

by Frou Frou

Total Plays: 147

Most Played Songs: The Dumbing Down of Love, Shh, Hear Me Out, Let Go

If this were a list of my favorite albums, Details would be much higher up, at least in the top three. If I were stranded on a desert island and had to choose a few albums to take with me this is one that would come along. Details is a mystery. When I first heard it I didn’t get it. The songs all blended together into a sort of weird hodgepodge of sound that wasn’t minor or dark enough for me to be instantly attracted to it. I liked Let It Go from the beginning, but other than that I ignored this album for a long time. Then one day something just clicked and I couldn’t stop listening to it. I’d listen to the entire thing from start to finish and then repeat it over and over again. I felt so creative, so alive, as though I’d tapped in to some joyful and bittersweet energy permeating the universe that I’d never felt before. The Dumbing Down of Love was one of the first songs to ever hit me so hard that it was like some kind of emotional armor surrounding me cracked and shattered to the floor, and then that song reached inside of me where it was warm and touched something. I found myself standing alone in a room mouthing the words as I heard it, and understanding how extremely profound the phrase “lover alone without love” could be, sinking into sadness and yet at the same time finding comfort. One of the most magical albums ever made.

The Dresden Dolls

by The Dresden Dolls

Total Plays: 148

Most Played Songs: Half Jack, Girl Anachronism, Bad Habit, Missed Me

If there’s one thing I love, it’s music that can be described using the key words “brooding,” “dark,” or “piano.” The Dresden Dolls’ self-titled debut is a fantastic work of art from start to finish. I still haven’t even listened extensively to the whole album, I’ve only heard the songs Slide and Truce once or twice, but certain songs like Girl Anachronism, Missed Me, and Coin-Operated Boy just get in your head and don’t leave you alone. If this album were a person it would be a disturbed cabaret mime who makes love on stage and murders people in back alleys at night. And it just doesn’t get better than that.

Ellipse

by Imogen Heap

Total Plays: 164

Most Played Songs: First Train Home, Tidal, Earth, 2-1

This album means so much to me. I discovered Imogen Heap when this album had just been recently released, and while waiting to have the money to buy it, I watched all forty video blogs she created about the making of this album. Those video blogs and Imogen’s music gave me the will to pull myself out of a huge rut that my life was in, and because of that, I had the courage to start creating music again, writing again, and I even got out of an unhealthy relationship. If not for discovering Imogen, I don’t know that that would have happened. Ellipse is like a forest: you wander through and you find so many different things that seem to be dissident, and yet they all live happily together and somehow just work. Earth sounds nothing like Swoon, and Aha! sounds completely different than Wait It Out, yet they all go together, and not one song would sound right without having the others around it. Ellipse is an album that’s genuinely a pure expression of one person’s truth from beginning to end, and carries with it a certain energy that finds it way through the songs that can only be described as “soundscapes.” Normally I hate that word because it’s a nonsense editorial cop-out word to make something sound cool, but this is the exception to the rule, because Ellipse is genuinely crafted. Every moment, every tiny sound, every rustling of sheets, banging of radiators, dripping of faucets, and butt slap was meticulously, carefully, and lovingly placed. This may be Imogen’s masterwork.

Far

by Regina Spektor

Total Plays: 167

Most Played Songs: Eet, The Calculation, Laughing With, Folding Chair

It’s kind of funny to me that this one won out over Regina’s compilation album Mary Ann Meets The Gravediggers and Other Shorts Stories, because I remember listening to that one incessantly for days on end. I have, however, had Far for a much longer time, and it’s song are very easy to return to. Far is more of a pop album than any of Regina’s other work, but somehow it still retains her uniqueness, while drawing inspiration from pop but leaving behind the bad qualities of that genre. There aren’t any repetitive choruses or annoying refrains on this album, just a sense of whimsy that manages to find Regina somehow chirping and lilting about subjects from love and humanity to masturbation, alienation, death, hate crimes, and the mechanization of the world. She just has a gift for throwing everything including the kitchen sink into an album and it still working.

ARTPOP

by Lady Gaga

Total Plays: 224

Most Played Songs: Sexxx Dreams, Venus, Do What U Want, ARTPOP

Lady Gaga rocked the entire world with her debut album The Fame, then rocked it harder with The Fame’s companion album The Fame Monster, and reached kind of a peak with Born This Way. Honestly, the first album was general pop music with a little something special infused, but it was more the attitude that delivered it than anything extremely unique. Gaga really upped her game with The Fame Monster, with songs that were big warehouse thumping dance numbers. Born This Way, however, fell mostly flat for me, with a lot of ballads that I’m sure came from the heart but sounded insincere in the delivery.

I had pretty much assumed Lady Gaga was done, and that her best work was behind her when I heard ARTPOP announced, and even then I rolled my eyes and though it was such a pretentious name that there was no way it would be good. My expectations were thoroughly and unpredictably exceeded with what is one of the best pop albums I’ve ever heard. You can open it up to any random track and find yourself instantly pulled in. Almost every single track on the album is a pop masterpiece, though there are some misses: Jewels N’ Drugs is nigh unlistenable and Fashion! seems a little too inside of Gaga’s comfort zone. However, tracks like Sexx Dreams, Venus, and the steady march of the title track can be listened to infinitely without getting boring. Sometimes I have to listen to songs twice just because the first time wasn’t good enough. With a lot of these other albums, the plays took years to rack up, but all of the plays on ARTPOP are fairly recent, since it’s only been out for a year. I look forward to the ARTPOP Part Two that Gaga keeps promising and hinting at.

Animal + Cannibal

by Ke$ha

Total Plays: 288

Most Played Songs: The Harold Song, Cannibal, Stephen, Take It Off, Tik Tok, Animal

I didn’t like Ke$ha at first. In fact, I found her insufferable. She seemed like a Disney star gone total slut, and her music made my ears bleed. Then, and I kid you not this is entirely true, I had a drunken orgy with five other guys while Tik Tok played on the radio throughout the night, and the following morning when I had a hangover, I suddenly “got” Ke$ha. I don’t mean that I identified with her more because of the experience, but for some reason I liked her from that moment forward. I had hated Tik Tok and it suddenly became a total jam song for me, and a few months later I found myself getting ahold of Animal and listening to it on repeat incessantly for days on end. As with Lady Gaga’s The Fame, Ke$ha released a companion EP entitled Cannibal with even more great songs on it, like the incredibly addictive title track and the now classic club dance song We R Who We R. Not to mention that Cannibal’s “The Harold Song” is one of the most genuinely touching songs I’ve ever heard, and I routinely curled into a ball crying myself to sleep with that song playing in my ears during a huge breakup. Ke$ha’s songs aren’t exactly pure insight into the human spirit or filled with lessons about the world, but there’s something so extremely honest about her music, and it comes from such a place of genuine truth that I cannot help but respect it. I am still surprised that this beautiful, glittery young woman has managed to captivate me, but something about pure honesty just touches me, and even if you’re singing songs about getting drunk from a water bottle filled with Whiskey, if you’re doing it from a place of honesty I’m right there with you, drinking and throwing glitter around an empty pool.

Boys For Pele

by Tori Amos

Total Plays: 280

Most Played Songs: Father Lucifer, Not The Red Baron, Beauty Queen / Horses, Caught A Lite Sneeze, Mr. Zebra, Talula

I’m breaking my own rules here because Ke$ha beat this album by eight plays, however many of these songs were included in their original form in Tori’s box set, and if I were to include all of the Boys For Pele songs that I played from the box set, this album would probably come a lot closer to topping the list. Boys For Pele is far and away one of my favorite albums, and perhaps my MOST favorite album, of all time. I didn’t know how to feel about Tori at first: I’d heard of her, I’d heard her cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit, but it was when I saw an unbelievably gripping live performance of Precious Things that I fell for her. Still, I started out on her retrospective collection Tales of a Librarian, which, though a treat for a Tori fan who knows the original songs, butchers the original mixes of every song on the album and nearly unlistenable to anyone who isn’t already a fan. I still wanted to give her a chance though, so when I read that Boys For Pele was the most outlandish of her albums I got it right away. It did not disappoint.

The album opens perfectly. Beauty Queen is slow, like the footsteps of someone in dirty rags, wandering through a field, and then when Horses begins, I’m instantly pulled in, I’m riding with those horses, and it’s cold and wet in the fields of Ireland, and we’re descending into the depths, into hell, into the underworld, into the deepest part of ourselves. Boys For Pele is more than just an album, it’s a journey into the darkest and most secret places that live inside of all of us. Tori speaks to her dark prince in Father Lucifer, she approaches the dark energy with respect and love, she seethes anger into Professional Widow and Mr. Zebra, she delivers heartbreaking and breathless words of sorrow and loss in Caught a Lite Sneeze and Not the Red Baron. She plays the piano as well as the harpsichord, and anything could happen, from a brass band to a gospel choir, taking us deeper into the darkness. In the end we emerge into the starlight of the night with Twinkle, and become lost in reflection. This album is so intense that it is almost draining to listen to, and is very difficult to hear in it’s entirety because there are no, forgive the wordplay, “light breezes” to be found here. Even quick songs like Agent Orange have deep meaning, and there’s not a shallow song in the bunch. Blood is splattered across every song, the pain of a broken heart radiates through each word, and the feeling of being lost in the world, of being the thoughtless and senseless monster that is a living being, is captured here forever.

Into The Woods: Original Cast Recording

by Stephen Sondheim

Total Plays: 352

Most Played Songs: Ever After, No One Is Alone, Finale: Children Will Listen, Lament, Giants In The Sky, Prologue: Into the Woods, Your Fault / Last Midnight

Into the Woods arrived in my life only a few months ago. My boyfriend found it on Netflix and made me watch it. I wasn’t very interested at first, though I enjoyed the humor. In one night we watched the first act, and the following day I watched the second act on my own. I was blown away. I had to watch the whole show again. And then again, and again. I got hold of the music and started listening to it on repeat. Into the Woods is the story of the journey through life. Everything here is a metaphor, and yet the characters are so real. The Witch is in all of us, Rapunzel is in all of us, and The Baker’s Wife are in all of us. Into the Woods is a story of survival against great odds, of moving forward in the midst of deep grief and suffering, and a story that is a rich wellspring of meaning with each listen. I’m really excited to see the movie this Christmas, it just so happened that I discovered there was an upcoming movie adaptation soon after discovering the musical itself. My boyfriend has gotten so tired of hearing music from Into the Woods that he laments ever having shown it to me, but I think it’s one of the greatest gifts he could have given me. Into the Woods resonates with me very deeply.

Lungs

by Florence + the Machine

Total Plays: 1,353

Most Played Songs: Swimming, Howl, Dog Days Are Over, Drumming Song, Cosmic Love, My Boy Builds Coffins, Heavy In Your Arms

The jump from the last album is a staggering one thousand plays, and believe it or not, I haven’t fudged those numbers whatsoever. Between the five different editions of Lungs, I’ve racked up a lot of plays,but even if I were going with the standard edition it would still be far ahead of any other album in this list. I discovered this album in 2010 and have only just now four years later reached a point where I don’t feel the need to listen to it incessantly day after day. Swimming is perhaps one of my favorite songs in the world, among others here, and Lungs is one of the most unique and special albums because it blends many diverse sounds that are all uniquely Florence’s into one album. No two songs are exactly alike, and the lyrics to these songs are pure poetry that would hold up anywhere. Florence manages to have a talent for metaphor that she can still tell in perfect rhythm and rhyme, and she crafts unbelievable songs to fit them. Dog Days Are Over is the most pure expression of joy that I’ve ever heard in a song, Swimming is so inspirational that it seems to have the quality of someone singing to you from beyond Heaven, and Drumming Song is such a pounding and pure expression of desire and longing that it’s like drowning to hear it. Howl is the most lustful song I’ve ever heard, in which Florence becomes a night creature ripping through skin and sinew to reach the heart of a lover, to reach the core of them, to take pleasure and bask in the radiance of pure, warm lust.

This album, along with Boys For Pele and Details are contenders for “greatest album of all time” in my opinion. I doubt I’ll ever play enough songs to match the ferocity with which I listened to this wellspring of music for the first few years. Florence also has the distinction, in this era of her career that I refer to as “the Lungs era,” in which there is literally no song that I don’t like. Not one. I love all of them. There are some I like less, but even the live tracks, the demos, the live performances, they’re all completely perfect, and I wouldn’t change one. Her energy here is one that embraces darkness and light, and they burst forth in a joyful, mournful, sexual, and longing musical embrace that can never be ignored or forgotten.

The Sandwiches Are Wicked And They Know You At The Mac Store: The Discography Of Amanda Palmer

amandapalmer

Amanda Palmer is one of my personal heroes. I discovered her a few years ago completely by accident when her song Astronaut popped up in Spotify, and I fell for her instantly. Her piano-banging, open and honest and not-giving-a-fuck style of lyric writing and living in general, she’s been a real inspiration to me as a musician, an author, and a person, and a lot of time it’s been her music that inspired me to keep writing. Her discography is pretty scattered, as her relationship with record companies has always been difficult, and she has jumped from project to project, meaning that she has technically been in four¬†bands and performed as a solo artist as well, but it all began with the Dresden Dolls in 2003. This is not really a compendium of B-Sides and rarities, more a guideline of what albums and singles she’s released, so that anyone looking to get into her music will have an idea of where to start. It should also be noted that almost everything on this entire list is available completely for free on her official website and her Bandcamp page, where it’s almost entirely “pay what you want,” meaning you can choose to have it for free or support her as an artist, a sales model I really love and support. When I first discovered her I had no money, so I took her up on the offer and downloaded the albums all for free, but later when I had the means I threw her a bit of money when buying an album to support her art. This incidentally is really the way I plan to release my music, if I can ever get an album put together¬†(although as a side note, I finally finished compiling my demo album and put it up on Bandcamp, a decision largely inspired by Amanda). So let’s dive right in, shall we?

The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls

Amanda began her career as one-half of the Dresden Dolls, playing piano and singing while her partner Brian Viglione provided drums, guitar, and the occasional backup vocal. They invented a genre they call “Punk Cabaret,” which is essentially where all of the Panic! at the Disco / Moulin Rouge / The Killers / New Orleans whorehouse / circus freak aesthetic you’ve seen in a million bands since the mid-2000’s came from. It’s not like they’re to first people to ever dress like mimes and have circus acts at their shows, but they should really be credited with having a huge part in the movement of that aesthetic in popular music. In total they released four¬†albums in their career, the first of which was a live album that served as a kind of teaser for the their debut album, and the third of which consisted entirely of B-Sides and cut material from the second album.¬†Later on Amanda released a digital version of a their live album on Bandcamp. They also released a self-titled EP, but as far as I know the only track to ever surface online is the demo version of Girl Anachronism, which they included on their “Live and Unreleased” downloads page on their website, consisting almost entirely of live recordings by fans, and featuring several guest performers, including The Ambitious Orchestra and Ryan Ross of Panic! at the Disco. The downloads page is still active, and all of the songs are still available for download, though they’re not greatly formatted, so I’m going to include my compilation “Live And Unreleased” as I have it in my music library with suggestions on how to organize the tracks.

A very important thing to know if you’re interested in purchasing Amanda’s music is that she purportedly gets paid NOTHING by the album company if you purchase the albums on iTunes, Amazon, or any place other than her official website or on her Bandcamp page, which includes all of her albums, including those in which she’s involved with a band. So, if you want to support her by buying the music, do so on her Bandcamp page, because if you purchase the albums on iTunes or Amazon, all of that money just goes to a record company that doesn’t even support her music anymore, so you’re literally throwing money away. Even if you paid full-price for all of her music on iTunes, you wouldn’t be supporting her art in any way. In summation, buy the music from her Bandcamp page, or download it all for free from there.

Dresden Dolls EP

The Dresden Dolls [EP]
Released: 2001

1. Half Jack
2.  Girl Anachronism
3. The Perfect Fit
4. Colorblind
5.  Good Day

Notes: All of these songs are demo versions. As far as I know the only demo ever to be released online is the Girl Anachronism demo, available on the Dresden Dolls’ downloads archive on their official website.

Original Cover

Original Album Cover

A Is For Accident
Release Date: May 27, 2003 (Original Release)
October 20, 2009 (Bandcamp Re-Release)

1. Missed Me (Live Demo)
2. Coin-Operated Boy (Live At TT’s)
3. The Time Has Come (Live At The Milky Way)
4. Mrs. O (Live At Luxx)
5. Christopher Lydon (Live At Sanders Theater)
6. Glass Slipper (Live At TT’s)
7. Thirty Whacks (Live On WBRS)
8. Bank Of Boston Beauty Queen (Live On WMBR)
9. Will (Album Outtake – B.C. Studio)
10. Truce (Live Demo)

2009 Bandcamp Re-Release Bonus Tracks

11. Stand By Your Man (Live At The Lizard Lounge)
12. A Night At The Roses (B-Side From the Good Day 7″ Single)

Bandcamp Album Cover

Bandcamp Album Cover

The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls
Release Date: September 26, 2003

1. Good Day
2. Girl Anachronism
3. Missed Me
4. Half Jack
5. 672
6. Coin-Operated Boy
7. Gravity
8. Bad Habit
9. The Perfect Fit
10. The Jeep Song
11. Slide
12. Truce

Physical album cover

Physical album cover

Yes, Virginia…
Release Date: April 14, 2006

1. Sex Changes
2. Backstabber
3. Modern Moonlight
4. My Alcoholic Friends
5. Delilah
6. Dirty Business
7. First Orgasm
8. Mrs. O
9. Shores of California
10. Necessary Evil
11. Mandy Goes To Med School
12. Me & The Minibar
13. Two-Headed Boy
14. Sing

Notes: Track 13, Two-Headed Boy, is a cover of a Neutral Milk Hotel song. It isn’t available on physical editions on the album, and appears as track 13 on the Bandcamp release, as well a bonus track 14 on the iTunes release. Pretty In Pink is a¬†cover of a song by The Psychedelic Furs.¬†Also, there is an advance version of Yes, Virginia… that contains an earlier version of Sing in which the first line is “There is this thing that’s like fucking except you don’t fuck,” as opposed to the line on the final version, “There is this thing that’s like touching except you don’t touch.”

Digital album cover

Digital album cover

Standard edition/physical album cover

Standard edition / physical album cover

No, Virginia…
Release Date:  May 20, 2008

1. Deary Jenny
2. Night Reconnaissance
3. The Mouse And The Model
4. Ultima Esperanza
5. The Gardener
6. Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner
7. Sorry Bunch
8. Pretty In Pink
9. The Kill
10. The Sheep Song
11. Boston

Special Edition Bonus Tracks
12. Glass Slipper (Live In St. Louis)
12. A Night At The Roses
13. I Would For You

Notes: I Would For You is a Jane’s Addiction cover, and the version of Night At The Roses included here is exactly the same recording from A is for Accident, which incidentally is featured as track 12 on the Bandcamp version of the album. Also, The Gardener, The Kill, and Boston are all purported to be Yes, Virginia… B-Sides, and I don’t deny that, I just can’t find the singles or material they were B-Sides on)

Special Edition Album Cover

Special Edition Album Cover

Dresden Dolls

Live And Unreleased
The following is a compilation of all the available tracks from the Dresden Dolls’ official downloads page, in the order they were released. I’ve titled them with where they were recorded, though the downloads page includes more specific informtation about the exact dates, venues, guest appearances and who recorded the audio.

1. Girl Anachronism (Live in Portland, OR)
2. Bad Habit (Live in Munich, Germany)
3. Two Headed Boy (Live in Cambridge, MA)
4. Gravity (Live in Munich, Germany)
5. Add It Up (Live in Boston, MA)
6. Backstabber (Live in Munich, Germany)
7. Mandy Goes To Med Shcool (Live in Brussels, Belgium)
8. Sorry Bunch (Live in New York, NY)
9. One (Live in New York, NY)
10. Half Jack (Live in Providence, RI)
11. Dance Me To The End of Love (Live in Boston, MA)
12. Modern Moonlight (Live in Knoxville, TN)
13. The Ghost In You (Live in Cambridge, MA)
14. Seven Nation Death Squad (Live in Boston, MA)
15. A Night at the Roses (Live in Boston, MA)
16. Blueprint (Live in Brooklyn, NY)
17. Life On Mars (Live in San Francisco, CA)
18. The Kill (Live in Boston, MA)
19. Colorblind (Live in Waltham, MA)
20. Ultima Esperanza (Live in Washington, DC)
21. Mother (Live in Portland, OR)
22. Cosmic Dancer (Live in Vienna, Austria)
23. Will (Live in Edinburgh, Scotland)
24. Umbrella (Live in Edinburgh, Scotland)
25. Girl Anachronism (Demo)
26. The Sheep Song (Live in Boston, MA)
27. God Damn the Sun (Live in Cambridge, MA)
28. Hate (Live in Boston, MA)
29. Karma Police (Live in San Diego, CA)
30. Science Fiction Double Feature (Live in Providence, RI)
31. Sing (Live in Munich, Germany)
32. Rid Of Me (Live in Portland, ME)
33. Train (Live in Boston, MA)
34. Imagine (Live in Cleveland, OH)

Map of Tasmania

Amanda Palmer (As A Solo Artist)

Amanda went solo in 2008, co-producing her first album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer, with musician Ben Folds, along with producing an art book with several writers, including Neil Gaiman, to whom she would later marry. She also took to referring to herself as Amanda Fucking Palmer, after having a falling out with her record company, who finally released her from her contract after fans protested them and she was allowed to release her music for free. She officially released two albums, as well as a lot of other EP’s and goodies.

Who Killed Amanda Palmer

Standard Album Cover

Who Killed Amanda Palmer
Released: September 16, 2008

1. Astronaut (A Short History Of Nearly Nothing)
2. Runs In The Family
3. Ampersand
4. Leeds United
5. Blake Says
6. Strength Through Music
7. Guitar Hero
8. Have To Drive
9. What’s The Use Of Wond’rin’?
10. Oasis
11. The Point Of It All
12. Another Year (A Short History Of Almost Something

Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks

13. Straight (In The End)
14. Leeds United (Lounge Version)
15. Guitar Hero (Alternate Version)

Who Killed Amanda Palmer Deluxe

Special Edition Album Cover

Who Killed Amanda Palmer [Alternate Tracks]

Who Killed Amanda Palmer (Alternate Tracks)
Release Date: December 24, 2008

1. 1.1.94
2. The Point of It All
3. Night Reconnaissance
4. Runs in the Family
5. Blake Says
6. Strength Through Music
7. Guitar Hero (Note that this is NOT the alternate version on the Special Edition of Who Killed Amanda Palmer)
8. Boyfriend in a Coma
9. Oasis
10. You May Kiss The Bride
11. I Will Follow You into the Dark
12. Ampersand
13. Straight (with Strings)
14. Astronaut
15. Have to Drive

Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her

Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele
Released: July 20, 2010

1. Fake Plastic Trees
2. High And Dry
3. No Surprises
4. Idioteque
5. Creep (Hungover at Soundcheck in Berlin)
6. Exit Music (For A Film)
7. Creep (Live in Prague)

Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under

Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under
Release Date: January 21, 2011

1. Makin’ Whoopie
2. Australia
3. Vegemite (The Black Death)
4. Map of Tasmania (feat. The Young Punx)
5. In My Mind (feat. Brian Viglione)
6. Bad Wine and Lemon Cake (feat. The Jane Austen Argument)
7. New Zealand
8. On An Unknown Beach
9. We’re Happy Little Vegemites
10. Doctor Oz
11. Formidable Marinade (feat. Mikelangelo & Lance Horne)
12. The Ship Song

Singles

Who Killed Amanda Palmer [Neil Gaiman Reading]

Who Killed Amanda Palmer: Neil Gaiman Reading

1. Neil Gaiman Reading¬†(feat. Zo√ę Keating & Lyndon Chester)

Do You Swear To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing

Do You Swear To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass

1. Do You Swear To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass

Ukulele Anthem

Ukulele Anthem

1. Ukulele Anthem

Yes, Virginia

AFP Reading: Yes, Virginia (A Letter To The New York Sun, 1898)
(released online with the 2011 Christmas merchandise sale)

1. AFP Reading: Yes, Virginia (A Letter To The New York Sun, 1898)

Behavior [feat. Mat Devine, Erica Iozzo, and Caroline]

Behavior [feat. Mat Devine, Erica Iozzo, and Caroline]

1. Behavior [feat. Mat Devine, Erica Iozzo, and Caroline]

Dear Daily Mail

Dear Daily Mail (Live) [Official Bootleg]

1. Dear Daily Mail (Live)

The Thing About Things

The Thing About Things (Live) [Official Bootleg]

1. The Thing About Things (Live)

Here Comes The Rain Again

Here Comes The Rain Again
(released only on Soundcloud)

1. Here Comes The Rain Again (Eurythmics Cover)

Photo of Evelyn Evelyn

Evelyn Evelyn

In 2010, Amanda teamed up with fellow musician and friend Jason Webley to form an extremely weird band called Evelyn Evelyn, releasing one concept album in which the two play the characters of conjoined¬†twin sisters, which they reported to be two real sisters who they had found and whose music they were attempting to promote to help spread their story. In the end, Evelyn Evelyn was actually just an act played by the two, but they kept the facade up on Amanda’s blog and during shows, in which they pretended to invite the sisters on stage and played songs in character after their respective individual shows. The album contains not only songs by the sisters but also three songs that consist of spoken dialogue and background music and sound effect detailing the twin sisters’ tragic lives. After the album and the tour, Evelyn Evelyn has never returned, although Amanda and Jason have played some of the songs on tour together and individually.

Bandcamp Album Cover, featuring artwork by Cynthia von Buhler

Bandcamp Album Cover, featuring artwork by Cynthia von Buhler

Evelyn Evelyn
Release Date: March 30, 2010

1. Evelyn Evelyn
2. A Campaign of Shock and Awe
3. The Tragic Events of September – Part I
4. Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?
5. Chicken Man
6. The Tragic Events – Part II
7. Sandy Fishnets
8. Elephant Elephant
9. You Only Want Me ‘Cause You Want My Sister
10. The Tragic Events – Part III
11. My Space
12. Love Will Tear Us Apart

iTunes Album Cover

iTunes Album Cover

8in8

Amanda Palmer as a member of 8in8

In 2011, Amanda was set to attend a conference to discuss the state of music, and she decided that it would be more fun to that with friends, so she contacted Ben Folds, Neil Gaiman and Damien Kulash (of the band OK Go), and Ben proposed that rather than just appearing together, why not lock themselves into a studio and attempt to write and record eight completely original new songs in eigh hours? They did just that, only it took them twelve hours and they only produced six songs, but the results were pretty impressive nonetheless.


8in8

Nighty Night
Release Date: April 26, 2011

1. Nikola Tesla
2. Because the Origami
3. One Tiny Thing
4. Twelve Line Song
5. I’ll Be My Mirror
6. The Problem With Saints

Current Bandcamp Artwork

Amanda-Palmer-The-Grand-Theft-Orchestra

Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra

I believe it was at some point in 2011 that Amanda joined forces with musicians Jherek Bischoff, Michael McQuilken, and Chad Raines to create The Grand Theft Orchestra, and used the website Kickstarter to fund the album. The project met with incredible success, and I can say personally that I’ve only ever seen one Amanda Palmer album in stores, and it was this one. Kickstarter backers got a lot of extra tracks on their copies, which until recently were pretty much unobtainable, but Amanda recently released a “complete discography” download for free on her website, which includes the Kickstarter version of the album, containing all eight bonus tracks.

 

Physical Album Cover

Physical Album Cover

Theatre Is Evil
Release Date: September 11, 2012

1. Meow Meow Introduces The Grand Theft Orchestra
2. Smile (Pictures or It Didn’t Happen)
3. The Killing Type
4. Do It With A Rockstar
5. Want It Back
6. Grown Man Cry
7. Trout Heart Replica
8. A Grand Theft Intermission
9. Lost
10 .Bottomfeeder
11. The Bed Song
12. Massachusetts Avenue
13. Melody Dean
14. Berlin
15. Olly Olly Oxen Free

Bandcamp Bonus Tracks

16. Denial Thing
17. The Living Room
18. Ukulele Anthem (New version, not the same as the earlier single)
19. From St. Kilda To Fitzroy

Kickstarter Bonus Tracks

20. Video Games (Lana Del Ray cover)
21. Provanity
22. Assistant
23. Not Mine

Kickstarter Album Cover

Kickstarter Album Cover

 

Polly

 

Polly

 

1. Polly (Nirvana cover)

Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman

Amanda Palmer And Neil Gaiman

Amanda’s most recent foray has been a return to working as a solo artist, though she went on tour with her husband Neil Gaiman, performing something of a variety show that included music, readings, and question and answer segments from the audience. She released one album, and two live albums, the first of which consists of covers of Lou Reed and Velvet Underground songs, the second of which is included as a fourth disc on the final release of An Evening With Neil Gaiman And Amanda Palmer.

Lou Reed Surprises

Several Attempts To Cover Songs By The Velvet Underground & Lou Reed* For Neil Gaiman As His Birthday Approaches
Release Date: April 10, 2012

1. Attempt To Sing A Birthday Song / Lou Reed Misgivings
2. Satellite Of Love
3. Walk On The Wild Side
4. Another Birthday Song Attempt In Another Theater
5. I’m Waiting For The Moon
6. I’ll Be My Mirror
7. Vancouver Birthday Song Attempt
8. I’ll Be Your Mirror (feat. The Jane Austen Argument)
9. Sad Little Portland Birthday Song Attempt
10. Caroline Says II
11. Blake Says
12. I’m Sticking With You (feat. John Cameron Mitchell)
13. Perfect Day (Intro)
14. Perfect Day

An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer (3-Disc Edition)

An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer
Release Date: November 19, 2013

Disc 1

1. My Last Landlady
2. The Rhyme Maidens
3. The Day The Saucers Came
4. Feminine Endings
5. The Winter Gardens
6. In Relig Odhrain
7. The View From The Cheap Seats
8. I Will Write In Words Of Fire
9. The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury
10. Making A Chair
11. 100 Words

Disc 2

1. Margaret Cho introduces the Show
2. Makin’ Whoopee
3. (Introduction to The Problem with Saints)
4. The Problem with Saints
5. Jump (for Jeremy Geidt)
6. Ask Neil and Amanda
7. (Introduction to Broken Heart Stew)
8. Broken Heart Stew (by Amanda)
9. Poem for Amanda (by Neil)
10. Poem for Neil (by Amanda)
11. Electric Blanket (a duet, Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley)
12. Psycho
13. (Introduction to I Google You)
14. I Google You

Disc 3

1. I Want You, But I Don’t Need You
2. (Introduction to Dear Old House)
3. Dear Old House
4. (Introduction to Gaga, Palmer, Madonna; A Polemic)
5. Gaga, Palmer, Madonna; A Polemic
6. (Introduction to Judy Blume)
7. Judy Blume
8. I Don’t Care Much (with Lance Horne)
9. Map Of Tasmania
10. (Introduction to Do You Swear to Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass)
12. Do You Swear to Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass
13. (Introduction to I Will Follow You Into The Dark)
14. I Will Follow You Into The Dark (for Ashlie Gough)
15. Look Mummy, No Hands
16. Ukulele Anthem

Prelude To An Evening With Neil Gaiman And Amanda PalmerDisc 4
A Prelude To Evening With Neil Gaiman And Amanda Palmer

1. Intro
2. Ampersand
3. Runs in the Family
4. Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar
5. Blake Says
6. Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire
7. Do You Swear To Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass
8. Zombies and Shy People
9. Drinking with John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
10. Making Mixtapes
11. Everyone Should Have a Hobby That Could Kill Them
12. It Was All Going So Well
13. On-Stage Dating Service

 

Amanda Palmer

Afterward

This is not a complete history of everything Amanda has ever done. On her band camp are some more releases: a collaboration with Kim Boekbinder, a collaboration with Murder By Death, a podcast of she and two friends discussing sexuality with an audience, and a really cool compilation called AFP’s Webcastacular NYC Extravaganza! that features songs from Kim Boekbinder, Bitter Ruin, and even a cover of Missed Me by Meow Meow and Lance Horne. Suffice it to say this is a compendium of mostly everything she has released as a solo artist and with bands that she was an active participant in. If you’ve never listened to Amanda, you should. If you’ve never heard her speak, you should listen to her TED Talk, or read about her life as a human statue, or her experience couch surfing in fans apartments while being on tour, or tweeting that she needs a ride to a show or that she’s welcoming any musicians who want to come and open for her. She’s a revolutionary: she embraces the idea that music and art are free for the taking,that if you like an artist, you should support them, and that decisions don’t have to be dictated by record companies whose main interest is in making money and not making art. She strips her clothes off on stage, she reveals her unshaven legs and armpits with pride, like everyone else she is sometimes terrifying and sometimes incredibly beautiful, and sometimes a little of both. She embraces her fans, she embraces the world around her, and she has been inspiring to me not just as an artist, but as a person. Carry on, Amanda.