All the things that made me cry this week
(Narrator: "It was not all the things, only some of them.")
|Jennifer Lee O'Brien||Apr 24, 2020||2|
Here, for no particular reason, is a list (not comprehensive) of things that made me cry this week.
My murderous, vengeful cat
I have a cat called Oscar Wilde who lives in Canada with my parents. I am a bad mother for abandoning him, but he is a resentful type (you’ll see) and so dragging him across the Atlantic Ocean to live in a small apartment, when he can otherwise roam defiantly around my parents’ house faux-lion style, seems like a bad decision. Also, I am now a mother to a small, skittish (but in a diva way) bunny called Pamela Anderson.
I believe that my cat has discovered the existence of Pamela, because this week he trekked out in the snow and returned with a small, scared baby rabbit. (My dad also saw some feathers outside, so there may have been collateral damage). Surely, this is a message. I can feel it.
I had known about the baby rabbit for all of 12 hours. My mom, a super vet, told me not to get too attached to the concept of the rabbit; that there was bound to be complications from my cat’s tyrannical crusade. I suppose I did anyway, because when my super vet mom called to tell me that she couldn’t save the rabbit — that my murderous cat had successfully enacted his revenge — I felt an overwhelming sadness for this rabbit that I had never met and now will never meet, even though it would have been returned to the wild because my parents have two (loveable, but only when silent) dogs and two cats, one of whom is a murderer.
And when my mom said she wanted to have a burial for the rabbit but she didn’t want it to be cold all alone in the snow, I had to end the call. Because I am NOT emotionally stable enough for that thought right now. Then I cried. And (I’m assuming) my cat laughed and laughed and laughed.
A Twitter thread consisting of videos of lost ducklings being returned to their mother
Requires no explanation:
Words and sounds by Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple released her first album in 8 years last week. I decided to save it for my SadGirlSunday which basically consists of me drinking red wine and listening to Amy Winehouse, Lorde, Kesha (only ‘Praying’, though) and Lady Gaga (only the Joanne album) on repeat, until I sink deeper and deeper into the hot bath water of my depression like Britney Spears did in the music video for ‘Everytime’. (Also, Amy Lee did in the music video for Evanescence’s ‘Everybody’s Fool’. And Rihanna did in the music video for ‘Stay’. It’s a popular visual metaphor, you get the point).
Fiona Apple’s new album is called Fetch the Bolt Cutters and it is strange and insane, but I’m not here to do an album review because there have been so, so many reviews and it’s too late in my career to pivot to music journalism. What I will say is that I have listened to the songs ‘Ladies’ and ‘I Want You to Love Me’ about 43 times now, and now my neighbours know that they need to stop having sex so loudly because it is unfair on a person who is clearly having a breakdown from sheer aloneness.
Anyway, in ‘I Want You to Love Me’ Fiona Apple sings the lines: “And I know when I go all my particles disband and disperse / and I’ll be back in the pulse / I know none of this will matter in the long run / but I know a sound is still a sound around no one / and while I’m in this body I want somebody to want / and I want what I want / and I want you to love me”.
And when she sings this I feel my heart sink into the salty hot bathtub water but it isn’t really bathtub water, and my heart isn’t actually sinking, but I’m crying.
The dad from Bend It Like Beckham
To balance out the pathetic, self-indulgent wallowing stage of the SadGirlSunday routine, I’ve begun to spend the latter parts of the day watching films I’ve seen too many times before, which has a pillowy Lorazepam effect on my evening but less addictive. The Sunday before last Sunday I watched classic comedy trio Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin smoke weed and bring down the patriarchy in 9 to 5.
The second time around I decided on old family favourite, 2002’s Bend It Like Beckham, which is an all round classic that just like, everyone loves. Who hates Bend It Like Beckham? No one I want to know. Ok, but even though this is a perfect film I have developed a new opinion after watching it for the first time in 10 years. Which is that this movie could really do without the useless coach, played by sad-faced generically attractive man Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I’m not going to go into some deep analysis about this essentially pointless character, or his compulsive propensity to bring everything back to himself and his non-existent pouty problems. Like, sorry about the 3rd degree burn that covers a portion of your body Jess, look at my small knee scar; and sorry about your complicated relationship with your parents Jess, I had a fight with my dad that is resolved in exactly one (1) conversation at the end of the film; and sorry that another player was really racist to you, it is precisely comparable to the xenophobia faced by my family generations ago that has no relation to my every day experience. Sorry!
I really don't want to get into that. All I’m saying is that the most significant and complex relationships in this film are between Jess and her sister, Jess and Keira Knightly’s character and of course, Jess and her dad.
The Jess and her dad (Mr Bhamra) plot line is hinged on their similarities, including their love of sports. Mr Bhamra disapproves of Jess playing football because of the racial prejudice he experienced which resulted in his exclusion from English cricket teams. In one of the last scenes, Mr Bhamra, played by superstar actor Anupam Kher, makes an emotional speech on his love for his daughter, the pain he has tried to shield her from and his support for her decision to move to America to pursue a career as a professional football player alongside bestie Keira Knightly. Which thankfully, also happens to be far, far away from Joe ‘but-what-about-me?’ nobody. (I know they kiss in the airport at the end, but I’ve chosen to believe she forgets about him).
I rewatched the scene for the purpose of this essay and I had to stop part way through because I can’t keep doing this to myself. I hate the word weeping because it feels really pitiful but, here we are.
One (1) cup of green tea
I was really into green tea in high school, which is a shame because it was wasted on my (then) excellent metabolism and youthful healthiness. These days, I drink coffee until my eyeballs are trembling and I feel sick, but that first one in the morning is a divine gateway to seven more. The other day, I decided to buy a box of green tea because it seemed like a very wholesome and good decision. I imagined myself drinking my green tea and feeling very calm and present, like the people who use hashtags like #authentic and #healing on photos of them alone overlooking the sea in a fuck-off-sized pool.
I was already feeling slightly emosh because I had gone for a run (does anyone feel a deep emptiness after a workout instead of endorphins?) and it felt like the perfect time to drink one cup of green tea. Honestly, the level of pure wholesomeness I experienced tipped me right over the edge and I started welling up. Who are these people sitting calmly in the too-present presence of their own thoughts and feelings? Never again.
SOME NON-NEWSY NEWS
Before the non-newsy news, I want to acknowledge that I know I have few things to justifiably cry about; that there is a big whole world out there with lots of great people (many of whom are my dearest friends) doing really important things about some bad things that are happening that are worth crying about and giving our attention and support to. There are many great writers covering the — very real and important — things to cry and care about topics. Right now, I’m writing to distract myself, and hopefully a few of you, from some of this heaviness. I felt like I needed to say that, anyway.
On to semi-related non-newsy news! In another attempt to distract myself, mostly from myself, I am launching a new miniseries on post emosh called JUST GIVEN’R, which is where I talk to other human beings about their thoughts and feels and other things. Exciting! It starts next week. Tell all your friends.
As of today (24/04/2020), post emosh is totally and completely free, no strings attached. In lieu of creating an OnlyFans account, if you would like to support my writing via my ~ViRtUaL tIp JaR~ aka PayPal click here. If you want to support other Leeds-based creatives, freelancers and independent businesses during this time, I recommend you follow In Good Company (who are doing fantastic job at supporting our frontline workers around the world with great art) and collect your speciality groceries and delish coffee from Laynes Espresso. Also, a great (and frequently updated) resource is Leeds Indie Food.
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