By Heather Arneson
Journal Entry #32: Comic Book Character
Bobby wants to create an image of me for his book. A cartoonish reflection of myself. Bobby is a cool dude, and I refer to him as “dude” because I really don’t know him a ton, but we’ve chatted over coffee, went to a few art shows, and a Pixies concert. We nodded at each other, and smiled, but didn’t talk a lot after the show. It was really packed, that’s okay. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, actually. We’re at a good place, Bobby and me, for the most part. Kind of like if we were sitting in tubes down a creek, we’d help each other out if it turned into a waterfall quickly. We get along, he doesn’t hit on me, and we don’t see each other much at all. Therefore, I think we can call each other platonic friends. I think we brave tepid waters and we’re humble about that fact together.
I was never into comic books, though I liked Supergirl, and my mom told me one day that I took on so much all at once, but that I shouldn’t try to be “Supergirl.” I guess she was just worried about me. Also, I’m not blonde. I have brown hair. I could be like a mouse turned lion, though. I’m a female, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be strong and heroic. I’m often told that it’s hard to hear me, that I move about so quietly people don’t know I’m by him or her at times. Maybe I could be “The Quiet Mover” because it’s really a name no one else would want, and I’d finally feel unique without it ever changing or the feeling being deterred by someone who was jealous of what I felt…and feelings are something no one can ever take away. That’s to the point, and I love things that are, like this sentence.
As an aside, why do some people annoy me so much? I wish they didn’t, and I’m working on that, and my emotional intelligence, overall. It would be great to look forward to meeting a bunch of strangers. Doesn’t matter who, why, where, but catch details that sound like they’re talking about me, due to the coincidental nature of life, I guess, or not? Sometimes I think I have slight schizophrenia because of this. Talk therapy helps, because it creates permanent connections in the brain organically that help the real me.
Okay, I’ll get back to one of the reasons I started writing this entry: fiction and entertainment, right? I think it would be great to be a heroine without a cape, because why does anyone need a cape?! Unless, let’s say, he or she is hiding some precious masonic tablet, amulet, or Bible. People use the Bible as a weapon out in the open, even though it was never meant to be this way. Or, maybe that’s more of a cloak. A cape…now that’s like a spoiler on a car, kind of looks good, kind of embarrassing at the same time, because even though they’re fun, they might say “that’s useless.” Who’s they, you may ask? I’m not sure. But “they” know that I’m dealing with dark matters in life because I’m dealing with people in the shadows of the white cloud that is me, emerging in the horizon after a storm. So, when Bobby invited me to be in his comic book, I accepted. I’m still learning about myself.
I’m defending who I am, even though you’re not arguing with me, journal. You’re safe! I do that with myself enough the way it is, and that’s why I get annoyed so easily when they get in the way of me being able to resolve an inner conflict so I don’t take it out on an innocent bystander. And there are varying degrees of people. Some are just plain assholes and aren’t highly developed creatures. I just figured it out, because other people might want to make fun of me, and most of the time he or she just isn’t funny enough. Not outright, but get the feeling there are lurkers. Maybe because I’ve been micromanaged in work situations before. The people who enacted this are probably still trying to count hairs on his or her knuckles for the sheer thrill of it. And that’s why I’m writing this journal right now. So I can understand why I feel like a joke, so that won’t translate into the comic book character, because I want mine to be cool no matter what. For Bobby. And for myself. Hey, gotta’ be honest, right? I’ll get the bad stuff out here, so I don’t take it out on someone who is above the Neanderthals. Whatever the person looks like. I don’t discriminate when it comes to being against people who are mean.
My name is Matilda Page, and I go by “Mattie” because not only is my surname a sheet in a manuscript, my life feels like it’s blowing in the wind at times, and it’s filled with so much shit that it’s pressed with, matted with organic debris that it’s more cultured than I feel I could truly understand. But how to put this self-loathing part of myself into an illustration? How do I rise above the justified, but unfettered and shameful anger towards parts of society that are shrouded by cowardice? Do I just give part of my journal to Bobby and see what he thinks or is inspired by to make the art “sing” as “they” say? Bobby was a jail bird himself, actually. I think he should make himself into a cartoon, a big orange that just keeps expanding to illuminate them.
The creative waters that persevere within me at times still, and others quickly with light glinting periodically on the waves or me, the choice is clear. I don’t feel like writing a poem right now…I know I can be impulsive. I published something online that wasn’t “put through feelers” to make it “New York Times Bestselling Worthy.” It wasn’t the best move on my part, but oh well. I didn’t want my work felt-up, but didn’t realize I just have to let things go, sometimes, and not hold grudges. I know that about myself enough to write it here, and not have it said back to me by a stranger or someone that doesn’t know me enough to do it with the respect I deserve.
Maybe Bobby can help my little bud of a career as a novelist. But he’s in his own world and happy being successful, traveling from one state of mind to the next freely. That’s kind of how I see people who are highly successful in his or her chosen work fields: on a plane that he or she doesn’t even know how he or she got on, just enjoying the ride, and assuring me that I can get there some day too with a peaceful smile.
The secret could be not caring what other people think, or maybe just being really happy about being in the moment being myself, and not romanticize neuroticism too much. It’s a fine line! Wanting to be a character in a comic book reminds me of the characters in my new novel that I’ve started, and how Bobby is patient and successful, and the main connections I have seem to be my therapist, family, which is better than I can say for some people, and work. And a group of writers I know, but often have felt like I’d be too much of a social climber by promoting myself to publishers other than just sending a query letter that most have scoffed at anyway, I’m sure. Oh well, at least Bobby isn’t rejecting me.
Ok, I just got a call from Bobby, and he wants to change my character now to a girl in a party who gets hit on briefly by the hero, named Brill, only to discover his long lost love, “O” kind of the “Lois Lane” of the story is downstairs about to get attacked, and he leaves me, and that’s it for me. But, get this, journal, or you, “O” is a one-eyed octopus that escaped from a planet called Zeftron, where giant anti-depressants are generated.
I’m trying to stay positive, and emulate the highly successful, happy gliders in the world. The fact that he wants to fictionalize me at all makes me think that he respects me enough to put me at a distance not to ruin me with indecent thoughts. I know where I stand with him. Nevertheless, I don’t think I’ll talk to him for a while, unless he has an update on his work, because I’m Mattie Page, a heroine in my own right, no matter what anyone or anything thinks. Who would want to say they’re from Zeltron? Or, Zeftron? I think Bobby did me a favor, whether he thinks so or not. At least that’s how I want to see the story.
The End For This Entry: 5-30-16
—Journal entries got lost—
Journal Entry #35: Colorful Invention
I thought I could see myself floating above the horizon for a brief moment in time. I was flying, with various colors shifting and fading around me, illuminating my very own bubble! And suddenly I was in it for real; the flimsy but beautifully wonderful contraption I invented was none other than a large glowing orb that was glass-like in its shiny sturdiness but tough like steel no matter the weather condition. In one instance I could catapult myself. It could orbit any certain area, curtailing wind or the wake of a storm easily. It was a triumph for me to create the vessel, because I got the unflinchingly vivid image in my mind of the scene of the witches in Macbeth, babbling over a bubbling cauldron, trying to sway a present situation to their liking, my present situation that is not for the changing, except for God’s swift Justice. Suffering is gone for me now, as I soar above the mass (small or large) of people talking as if they can affect time coordinates to make the world start or stop. They can’t, and I make sure of that as I soar. The pen is really mightier than the sword, because nothing and no-one can puncture my happy bubble that I’ve created just now.
The End for this Entry 6-3-16
Yes! I found the entry I was missing. I had it crumpled up in a drawer, and I was looking for it for about a year, but it’s still relevant today. Here it is:
I twisted around kind of like a tornado in my sleep. But I feel a little bit better now, because I saw a comedy entitled Take Me Home, about a gay man who has an evil stalker, and a lesbian detective is assigned to help him, but they don’t get along right away. This one part made me laugh, in particular, because they played the song “Opposites Attract” when there was a montage of them doing self-defense training together, as well as the male character giving beauty tips to the female. It cheered me up even though I’m still a little tired. I feel more ready to take on the world. One day at a time is what people say during drug recovery, but it’s also a good principle to live by, no matter what. I like to live in the moment. Who doesn’t? But I feel like my moment is compromised by being dissected nearly constantly by strangers. It’s weird, and makes me uncomfortable. Kind of like my life is being micromanaged at times.
I offer up a challenge to anyone who dares try to convince me that I’m completely nuts. I hope I don’t have any evil stalkers. Movies get to me sometimes, though, where they not only affect my mood, but also make me think that the characters’ problems are my own. But the movie I watched made light of a theme that already was happening for me, which is feeling uncomfortably followed to a degree I’m not sure of, because no one will be up front with me enough. That’s the honest truth. Not like I want a stalker to be up front with me, more with themselves and a therapist, and look in the mirror and say “Boy, I am a little creepy” and move on to live his or her own life apart from mine, completely. The other day, it seemed like a group of people outside of my home about half a block down were talking vaguely about me, but I couldn’t totally decipher their words, so not wanting to feed into insanity, I decided go outside to get a better listen. Just before I did that, I was kind of ranting to myself and said, “I hope there’s a cop or a good person that can help me out” and a cop was outside about to talk to them. It was crazily good, and true. Home is what I consider a private place, yet it doesn’t always feel like it’s treated that way. My life is mine, and I don’t want anyone tampering with the details. That’s G-D’s job. Anyone else, unless given express permission by me, cannot, unless he or she desires to be smote. Sulphur isn’t always a bad smell.
And, fourth of July is just around the corner. It will just blend in anyway.
End for this mix of entries 7-3-16