The Jelly Roll of Despair

Age 13

the not-quite-right brain at age 13

Early Monday Morning.  It feels so good to rest my head on the back of a well-padded office chair while I sit in the dark and type.  The Fat White Dog has stopped barking at the air with unfocused eyes and now I’m ready to devote a little time to thinking through why my mind keeps screaming “something isn’t right.”

Are you happy?

Some days yes.  Some days no.

Do you feel like an energy vampire is sucking your life out?

That’s not fair.  If I say yes, you’ll tell me I’m insane.  If I say no, you’ll tell me I’m in denial.  This is what Empowerment Trainers call a no-win situation.

As if you have any use for the word empowerment or trainer.

True.  But equally true is the fact that if you continue telling me “something isn’t right” without spelling out exactly what it is,  the result is not going to be pretty.

You’ve mentioned that before.

This game of “guess what’s driving you nuts” has to end.  Can you at least give me a first step to follow?

Fair enough.  You’re living in a house overflowing with other people’s stuff.  You have boxes of your mother’s income tax returns still in the attic and she died over 22 years ago.  Then there’s the furniture your husband brought into the house, some of the stuff his sister left when she moved out, as well as the remains of what you brought into the house when you moved there after your mother died.  You have to get rid of it.

How much of it.  All?  1/2?  3/4?

What is left that you want to keep?

What’s in the kitchen, what’s under the steps, the contents of the entertainment center that I haven’t looked at in 10 years, the stuff in my office…  Other than that, I can’t think of anything I absolutely want to keep.    The thing that bothers me the most is clutter.  There’s something about clutter that squeezes my brain like an invisible vice.

And where does this clutter originate?

We’ve been through this already. The last time I tried to throw away boxes, my husband took them upstairs.  The last time I gave away a bunch of clothes, had all these great things on sale for under $5.00.  It’s a never-ending struggle.  At least I don’t collect animals like they’re baseball cards.

No, you try to limit your menagerie to what you can handle.

What about the printer from hell.  Should I take it in to get the infuser fixed?

You hated it from day one.  Find someone to donate it to.

I tried that.  Even computer geeks don’t want the damned thing.  It’s a $500 machine that I’m giving away and all it needs is an infuser.  How hard can that be?

Moving on, have you thought about selling some of this stuff on ebay?

Who wants an auto harp in fair condition that my mom purchased from a traveling salesman in 1952?

You’d be surprised.

Who wants pottery from the 1940’s or records of ‘Susie Jo Podunk’ singing the greatest hits of the 60’s? 

You’d be surprised by that, too.

Or how about my rock collection, or that Grabar woven wood window shade that’s been covering my bathroom windows for over 40 years?  It was the prototype my 2nd husband brought home when he worked for them in the early 1970’s.  I guarantee that whatever is lurking inside it is the thing that monster movies are made of.

You’re not listening.

One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.  I know that.  But how do I get this so-called treasure into the hands of people who want it?   I mean, how do I do so in a way that’s realistic considering I know nothing about selling this stuff nor do I want to be sued when someone gets bitten by the black widow spider lurking inside an autoharp?

Ask your family to help.

I’ve asked my family to come and get some of this crap for the past 22 years!  It’s as if they think that Mom’s Macabre Storage Service is going to be around for eternity.

Your son took some stuff.

And I think he sold most of it at a garage sale.  I’m hoping he still has my mother’s wood file cabinet and wood desk that she purchased from salvage just after WWII.  Some things are worth keeping.

If you want to continue spouting cliché’s, here’s another one; nothing lasts forever.

My life feels wrong.

Do not mistake ‘I need to make changes in my life’ with ‘wrong’.

There’s a difference?  I’m willing to admit I’m guilty of word misuse.

Now you’re starting to look in the right direction.  Go on.

It feels like I’m in the center of a potential disaster movie looking for a place to happen.  I feel like no matter where I travel or (if necessary) where I move to I’m going to bring that “wrong” with me.  And yet there’s a lot of right wrapped throughout that wrong like a jelly roll of mess-up.

And how will you go about correcting the problem?

If I can’t tell the jelly from the cake, how am I going to figure out which one has to go?

Believe me when I tell you this.  Until you’re willing to see clearly what I’m shouting at you, nothing is going to change.

Can I pray for a new brain?

Humor again.  Just when I’m getting through to you, the honey of humor gets mixed into the jelly roll of that thing you call a brain. 

You’re the one who gave it to me.

You’re the one who has to find a way to make it work.  I don’t just give a brain like that to anyone, you know.

I think I’ve had enough for one night.  I’ll talk at you again some other time.

If nothing else, it’s entertaining.