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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When the Stars Align...Happy Birthday Leo Cats!

My "take it easy" officially started today, not by choice. My energy level was at an all time low, and a horrific, chest rattling cough that
I have had for about eight days prompted me to FINALLY seek medical attention. Honestly, all the talk about a shrinking cervix and the like gave me ghastly delusions of the possibility of a cough-induced projectile pollywog; I will leave out the sordid details.

Alas, medical attention was the right outlet; bronchitis had settled into my chest days ago... and had moved into the upper cavity, wreaking havoc and requiring antibiotics. So, in my energy lull and deluded state,
I ventured into one of my favorite reading subjects... Astrology. I was thinking that if I were to accidentally give birth today, the pollywog would be a Leo, and that Leo's are some of my favorite people; lion-like and larger than life whether it be in action or in expectation. Leo's are super interesting, super self-absorbed, and grandiose.. in my eyes.
My dear friend Jerilyn who is all of these things and more is an August 1st Baby, my dear friend Brian had a birthday yesterday, August 8... and my dear friend Sean has a birthday today, August 9. They all share 37 years, are all Leo babies, and are all GRAND... lion-like... in completely different ways. Jerilyn is a Queen, workaholic and born actress who will NOT settle for second best...rightfully so! Brian is Driven by beauty and aesthetics ... a born artist who demands perfection, and works tirelessly to achieve it. Sean is a brooding artist whose self-deprecating behavior is simply a defense mechanism that protects him from being disappointed with himself; he is afraid of success because of the possibility of failure (in my very humble opinion).

And I, Amanda the very fickle Gemini, personality fluctuations from one moment to the next, am very heady... and enjoy thinking about these things, for whatever that is worth.

Perhaps you are interested in some good, Astrological reading. I have
a GREAT recommendation for you:

I am very fond of this book, and I'm sure that you will be to. It is
a great read to get you through these sweltering days. Mindless, yet mindful... if that is possible. Enjoy!

I leave you with something very interesting that I realized is pertinent to 8/8 and 8/9. The following is a letter taken from my debut novel "Dear Prudence" that focuses on those specific dates, is very insightful as far as experience with mental illness is concerned, and is loosely based on some Leo comrades that I speak of above. Perhaps it will make you think, commiserate... or simply entertain you. In any case, enjoy!

3/23- Sink

Dear Briar -

Did you know that the day of your 22nd birthday, Jerry Garcia died?
I remember it so well; it was the evening between 8/8 and 8/9, 1995. He died at a drug rehabilitation center. I swear that my heart sunk for all of the forty and fifty-something burn-outs who did nothing for twenty years but get wasted, follow The Grateful Dead, and live day to day off of their cash crops and kitchen LSD. Their demi-god had passed, not to mention the innovator of the jam band, talented musician and a seemingly downright jolly guy. That was the first thing that I heard when I woke on 8/9, Seth's 22nd birthday, and let me tell you, it foreshadowed one of the weirdest days of my three decade existence.

I remember that I spoke with Seth, and we planned a birthday night of anything goes, which I thought consisted of booze, pot, perhaps a line of coke, and a birthday cake. I remember I had dinner with Jesse, and Nana, my sister, my parents and my friend Anj, who read our palms after dinner. I then ventured off to Seth’s, only to find booze, a joint, a birthday cupcake, and two chalky yellow lines waiting for me on the kitchen counter. “That doesn’t look like coke,” I said to Seth, who I knew had been dabbling all too much in this new world. “It’s not. Try it,” he said. “You snort it up just like coke. You’ll love it.”

I polished off my beer that I was drinking, pulled my hair back into
a ponytail, and snorted up both lines, feeling it burn and drip into the back of my throat. It tasted different than coke. It tasted chalky yellow like it looked, it didn’t numb my teeth and my nostrils, and it didn’t give my saliva that familiar metallic taste. But I was immediately drawn to the denim couch in the soft light of Seth’s cedar den, sunk down into its blue cushioning, and fell into the most overwhelming euphoria that I had ever known. I felt like Alice, in control of my speed as I drifted down the rabbit hole. I was wrapped in chemical warmth, and I was frightened for a moment; not by the sensations, but by how good they felt. For a split second, I understood addiction. All my crazy feelings, insecurities and inhibitions melted, and I didn’t hurt. I was wrapped in a cloud.

Later, the nightmare set in. When I was coming down I felt like a child, lost in a public place, panicking and screaming for my mother. All
I wanted was to be comforted, and all Seth wanted was to be alone. I have memory clips of me crying, then laughing and shivering, and walking up the picture-lined stairs to Seth’s bedroom, looking at him and his brother's childhood photo memories, wondering where it all went wrong for Seth;
I didn’t see it in his young face. I made my way into his dark bedroom, and climbed into bed with him, searching for a blanket, comfort, anything. I kept curling up closer and closer, and he would just move away.

I lay there, Heroin fading, and my reality started to creep back into my mind: your birthday, waiting tables, Jesse’s smile, my parent’s snoring, the blue light of the Yankee’s game dancing on Nanny’s face, Violet’s advice, and I just wanted to be in my bed snuggling with my cat, Henry ... safe.
Love, Ana

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