There was a time when I was super confident in myself, in my abilities, in my special-ness. It was during my twenties, after I had escaped a particularly evil relationship. I was angry enough at everything that I just didn’t give a flying fuck what anyone thought. It is easy to be confident when you are young and angry, I think.

During that period, I met the woman who would become my very best friend. She further introduced me to a whole group of women who were confident in themselves for no other reason than they were awesome. I started to realize that being angry and risk-taking in and of itself was not particularly sane, nor smart. It was during this time that said BFF moved to Austin, TX. As I was in a dead-end job, and my then-lover had broken things off with me, I decided a change of venue was a goodness.

Home is where the heart is. And the amazing people and food and parks and clubs and and and…

It was in Austin that I found and lost misplaced some very important things. The things I found have been in staggered1 layers, and for the most part have been wonderful. The things that I misplaced were in teetering tiers of loss.

One of the most distressing ones that went into hiding was that wholehearted belief in self. Somewhere along the way, I lost my grip on the knowledge that I am supremely and fantastically human and because of that simple, single fact, I am2 amazing.

Loss of amazing can do awful, awful things to a person. Any person, anywhere. It takes your breath away, forces you to look at yourself through a lens distorted by fear. You find yourself comparing, and coming up short.

In response, I hid myself. When I did go out, I was quiet and withdrawn; or hid myself behind a curtain of bubbly (and often inane) chatter. Even in a room full of people, many of whom I was conversing with, I felt alone. A wallflower.

Go to the source page for this image. Read it.

At the start of this year, and after the meta-Verse didn’t disappear into a Mayan volcano spewing angry pets3, I came to a few important decisions.

Some of the more important (to me, at any rate) ones are as follows:

  • And while we are at it? Fuck this attenuated body image. As a friend recently told me, “Just OWN it!”
  • Because we are not passing any of this disconnected, stay home, with our heads down chattel to The Girl. She deserves better.

This is not about being an introvert, or being a bit shy. This is about losing your grip on your core personality. Everyone changes as they grow older, sure. But you shouldn’t stuff your true self into a corner, lock it down with chains and pretend that is the normal and right thing to do.

WARPED LIFE VIEW: Good heavens, are you still trying to win?
ME: Hello. My name is Bon Steele. You killed my confidence. Prepare to die.
*clang thwack clang*
WARPED LIFE VIEW: Stop saying that!
*whap clang smash*
ME: Hello. My name is Bon Steele. You killed my confidence. Prepare to die.
*thwing cling*
ME: Offer me hiding!
ME: Risky behavior, too. Promise me that!
WARPED LIFE VIEW:  All that I can inveigle you with and more! Please!
ME:  Offer me everything I ask for!
WARPED LIFE VIEW:  Anything you want!
ME:  I want my confidence back, you son-of-a-bitch!4

So, those are my Jack Handy-ish thoughts. What are yours?

1 – Staggered is an amazingly versatile word, don’t you think?
– We are amazing.
3 – Horrific Mayan mashup for the doomsday win!
4 – Totally swiped from “The Princess Bride”, of course.

A Sliver

I had another piece of the dream, this morning.  It was tiny, just a fragment. But it seemed utterly and completely real. And, before anyone says anything: yes, my head is a strange place, sometimes.


Peacocks rained, drowning from the sky. The garden was filled with uncaring men, who wiped the purple waters from their face, shouldered their rifles and moved forward. Loud speakers carried by automatons blared a rave version of the “Snake Dance”.




Dreaming in the Morning

I had horrific insomnia last night. At five thirty this morning, I gave up and got out of the bed. I was peevish and teeth gnashy.

Not a happy place to be.
Eventually, I got everyone out the door, on their respective journeys. The Girl to school. Mister Man off to work. I decided to try and nap. What could it hurt? Even a couple of hours was better than the grainy-eyed hiss that was my mood.

I cracked open the window to get some fresh air and a little light. I like sleeping in the light. Not bright light. Misty and sheer, hints of honey and cream light. Morning light.

I lay in the bed, drew one of my beloved fleeces over my body. Sleep stole up to my feet and nibbled. Slowly, it devoured me.

I woke up for the second time with my throat and chest aching with tears. My pillow was damp. I scrambled to my office to write everything down, all of it, before it disappeared – for some reason the notepad I keep by the side of my bed was missing.

I hope I got everything. If not, I hope I got enough that I can write it. That is a story that needs to be told. It was … I don’t know. Haunting. Lyrical. Full of meaning and chaos and rivets and tears.

“It’s life, Jim. But, not as we know it.”

I hope I got it right.