Love Yourself Tenderly

“…good deeds should come from our natural instinct toward brotherhood, not from tribalism!” (or forced guilt) ~ The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker

.
A week or so ago, a relative messaged me to say that another relative was ill… and that the whole thing was my fault for refusing to interact with said relative.

I was quite shocked. I mean, I know I’m freaking fantastic, but I had no idea that my mere presence came with healing superpowers. Still… I felt like I should not give the message all that much importance, since it also included pronouncement of hellish suffering and smiting from a rather wrathful god if I didn’t change my wicked ways.

I do love my ways.

Anyhoo, because nonsense spreads like wildfire (or the stench of shit in a tiny room), the first message was followed by a second and third… from individuals with whom, I assume, the first relative discussed my refusal to share my secret superpowers. Those messages weren’t unkind (there was no mention of my sexy flesh and bones burning for eternity), but they did make it a point to remind me that “loving others first is the duty of every good person. And I know deep inside that you are a good person.”

No, my Wicked Luvs, I didn’t laugh madly at the poor manipulation attempt. Neither did I pretend to misunderstand what the person was saying—passive aggressiveness and I have never cared for each other. I don’t seem to have the right sort of teeth for it. So, I just told her, “Loving me first is my first duty. Everything else is a gift. I’m not in the habit of giving anything valuable—especially myself—to anyone who believes their happiness and peace of mind are more important than mine.”

There were other messages (some not nearly as kind as the blackmail). I deleted them unanswered. I took a shower, went for a walk, returned home to blackout poems, took another shower, ate some yummy ice cream… and told the brilliant woman who lives in my mirror that regardless of what the rest of the world might think and do, she will always be first on my list. She grinned at me, with exactly the right sort of teeth.

She’s So Full of Herself

I was going to bed and my stomach laughed at my presumptuous ways. So, I decided to stop trying to dream with my eyes closed, and chose to spend time leafing through bookish dreams instead—books never laugh at me (too loudly *cough*).

Cinderella Skeleton, by Robert D. San Souci, came first. This Cinderella story makes more sense to me than most. I mean, as the picture below suggests, Prince Charming is obviously a forensic anthropologist with a thing for women’s bones… and shoes, which completely explains why he can identify his soulmate by a dismembered limb and not, for instance, by the depth of her conversation or unforgettable eye sockets.

I left the fairy tale to visit The Devil’s Rose, by BROM. As always, his words and art are dark and delicious. This particular book includes very few images with flesh on them, so I decided to show you this one… Well, part of it, since the rest is drenched in blood, and on the way to also being defleshed—dearest BROM delights in creepy.

Speaking of bloody and creepy and nailed, my delicious Piano Man got me a copy of Harlequin Valentine, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by John Bolton. Yep, he loves me that much… Nothing says I love you like Gaiman, nails and bloody hearts.

And because everything deserves loving and cuddling, I read a few poems from The Sex Lives of Monsters, by Helen Marshall. It was a present from Rommy—it seems that she, too, knows me. I must remember to ask her how long it took her to realize that I’m extremely fond of giant eyeballs, ribcages, spines and dreamcatchers.

After three hours of book-dreaming, my stomach was still being a royal bastard. So, I walked to the terrace to talk to my plants in the dark… just to find out that the moon was completely full of herself, and the darkness had to dance in the shadows…

The dark and the moon playing their natural games made me smile. With a grin on my tired face, I went inside to collect some flower petals I had been drying for a day or 3, and offered them to the moon. She didn’t wink in appreciation or anything, but my tummy was finally ready to let me sleep.

How do you capture sleep when it does not want to play, my Wicked Luvs?

Pain Is Gentle…

…like a smile on the face of a tiger.

The last few days have included insane laughter, baring of teeth, and loud thoughts, shouting, Bring it on, you bastards! Life and Fate and the bits of me that hurt like a hot poker in the ribs just glance at me, worry filling their non-existing eyeballs—even Life and Fate and hot pokers understand that pushing a wild witchy woman who’s about to reach the end of her tether is not safe for anyone. So, they just stare… half enthralled… half waiting to see what I will do next…

I have been keeping them (especially pain) busy by doing things with my hands. Pain has no mind for work or sarcasm. That’s the reason why when the hurt tries to burst my insides, I laugh and surround myself with jokes of questionable niceness. Yesterday, even the mad grinning was failing. So, I pulled out the big weapons: markers, pens, needle, thread, recycled paper, tea bags and coffee filters, dried flowers, refurbished frames, nail polish I’ve owned since the Dark Ages (of course they had nail polish in the Dark Ages!), my tiny silver hammer, and well… you get the idea, don’t you? I got crafty and set pain aside to starve for attention.

By the time the sun decided to sleep, I had gone all wildly crafty on 5 blackouts. I enjoyed the completed work for a while, grinning… not caring all that much that my hands were stiff and shaky. And yes, I laughed raucously after that. Like I said to a friend, who pointed out that I make a lot of jokes when my body is being a bastard, “Laughter confuses the Reaper.” Art does the same for pain—it won’t stop the hurt, but it lets pain know that it can’t take my choices.

I chose to keep one of the blackouts for myself (see below). Because looking at it makes me smile… with lots of teeth and because I’m quite greedy. The others joined a growing wee pile that plans to become an online shop… sometime before Midsummer… I’m grinning again.

I also gave myself a cute skully angel brought to sweet and creepy life by Marfi, of Incipient Wings. It was love at first grin. She looks perfect next to my blackout.

So, my Wicked Luvs, what do you do when pain hurts like a royal bastard?