Thursday, July 11, 2013

Freak show

“We’re freaks, that’s all ... 
We’re the tattooed lady, 
and we’re never going to have a minute’s peace, 
the rest of our lives, 
until everybody else is tattooed, too.”

-- J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey 

Self portrait 7-11-13

 “I was always an unusual girl.”

-- Lana Del Rey

“Eschew the ordinary, disdain the commonplace. 
If you have a single-minded need for something, 
let it be the unusual, the esoteric, the bizarre, the unexpected.”

-- Chuck Jones

“All forms of madness, bizarre habits, 
awkwardness in society, general clumsiness, 
are justified in the person who creates good art.”

-- Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy

I may not be the bearded lady.
I may not have a conjoined twin dangling from my chest.
I don't have the face of a wolf, or an elephant, or a bat.
I am not missing, nor do I have any extra, body parts.
I am neither unusually large nor unusually small.
I don't swallow swords or eat fire.
I am not "half this" and "half that."

My "deformity," my "biological rarity," is insomnia. Chronic sleeplessness is the thing that makes me feel like a total freak of nature. Insomnia is the thing that has shunted me off the bright, happy midway of life and into the murky shadows of the side-show tent.

It may sound like I am exaggerating, but I don't think so.

Lying awake all night long, night after night, alone, physically and emotionally and psychologically craving sleep that evades and eludes, nerves jumping, followed by days where I am useless, strung out and rattled from the exertion of exhaustion, when all I want is to semi-regularly experience a basic, biological, natural, normal human function ...


I should sell tickets. 

Step right up! Step right up! 

Maybe a few strangers gawking at me through the tent flap would lessen the loneliness. 

At least there'd be witnesses to my fabled sleepless reality -- people who could confirm, awestruck with jaws on the ground, "She was awake, the whole night!" because they'd seen it with their own eyes. 

At least I'd be earning a living from the very thing that, right now, seems like a midway pick-pocket intent on stealing my life right out of my hands.

For now, I guess the best I can do about it is to make art out of it, hence today's face.

I'd keep company with the other side-show freaks, but they're sleeping.