The COVID Diaries: Arts Minotaur

Hi Darling Ones,

My plan today was to tell you about how I got the nickname the Arts Minotaur in college and how my friends would tease me by saying in a funny voice, “Oh, I’m the Arts Minotaur & I’m bitter.” Then I was gonna tell you about the Minotaur Funko Pop and maybe something about my penchant for Greek Mythology. It might have been funny. It might have fallen flat. I’m feeling a little disconnected from writing at the moment.

I’m scraping the plan because I can’t concentrate and there are a lot of things going around in my head. Perhaps if I put them out here in the ether I will feel better? I’ll feel something? Who knows, let’s give it a shot.

1.

Today marks the anniversary of the pandemic for me. In my brain I have tied the start with the day Cade came to stay. Everything was so chaotic and scary that I don’t think I’ll ever fully process everything that happened from March – April 2020 and the eventual estrangement of Sister #3. It’s something I actively try not to think about or talk about. Sometimes my mom will mention my sister or The Tibbles and I only respond my smiling and shaking my head. Like I said, they are a piece of glass in my heart I avoid because nothing reduces me to rivers of tears quite like that. I’m two Kleenexes in just writing this paragraph.

2.

Yesterday I was on the phone with EM telling her about a great book I read this week. It’s called Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit in by Phuc Tran. It’s an excellent memoir and I told EM how I was so fascinated about his anxiety over whether he was punk enough to be part of his little gang Pennsylvania punkers. EM said as a teenage punk she could relate to the anxiety. I told her how I never knew that was a thing because I never belonged to any kind of group of anybody in high school. Then I explained my theory about how all the 80s high school cliques were the same but with different aesthetics. At first she was not a fan of this theory, but I eventually won her over.

The conversation spiraled from high school to the abuse Tran suffers at the hands of his parents and I told EM how it was so similar to the abuse I endured. Then we spent some time talking about shitty abusive parents. I shared with her how my parents told me all the time that men would never be romantically or sexually interested in me because I was too tall (my mom’s argument) and too fat (my dad’s argument), and how I’ve been thinking about how many potential relationships I missed out on because I don’t pick up on cues and am oblivious to romantic interest in me because it never, ever enters my mind that someone might be romantically interested in me. I want to go back to so many men and be all, “I’m sorry. I had no idea you were interested in me. No wonder you think I have an ice robot heart!”

“How do you continue to have a relationship with your parents after all of that?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I said.

3.

I had a bunch of bad dreams last night. One involved the guy I’m trying to stop having a crush on dismissing me in a most cruel way. The other, involved a very anger-filled fight with Sister #3 where I ended up kicking her out of my house. This is a recurring dream I have a few times a week. The scenario always changes, but the anger and screaming and kicking out of a place is always the same.

Phew. I don’t know if I feel any better, but at least I got it out of me. I’m currently reading a biography of Marvin Gaye so I have his fucked up misogyny and sexual proclivities taking up space in my brain and edging out my woes. It’s kind of a relief.

Your bitter Arts Minotaur,
Jodi

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