The Embracement of Being a Hermit

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How long has it been since we’ve all been dwelling here? My bed and office chair have formed an outline of my flat and flabby derriere. I’ve been caged for so long that standard errands feel like a commitment; the thought of applying eyeliner, a chore. I don’t want to be a bummer but I’m a bum with a numb bum. The more I sit, the harder it is to move.

This pseudo solitary confinement unleashes strange thoughts to roam freely in my scary cerebellum of anxiety and angst. Free time is filled with make-believe conversations from the past and silly thoughts about celebrity culture. As much as I’m obsessing over what Armie Hammer’s parents think—or if the Free Britney movement is about us or Britney— I’m thinking of a past love who wronged me or why I was so cruel to a nice girl in high school. There’s very little in-between. As the kids declare, I’ve got no chill.

I wanted to use this time to be more creative, but does it count if the creativity is in my head? Or is that just mental illness?

Insomnia is my special time to beat myself up for things said and unsaid and I don’t dig loneliness creeping into my day. I don’t even take long car rides by myself because I don’t like all that time to brood.

Perhaps we’ve all been busying ourselves with social media, carpools, manicures, dinners out and useless conferences just to mute our thoughts. I’ve been frantic for so long over not making as much money as peers that now I’m home and realize that there’s no need for all the junk I wanted so badly. Yet I still buy more; it’s all that I know.

Living inside my head does wonders for my complexion.

I Miss Gossip the Most

Ben Affleck’s sadness can’t quench my desire for scandal. Picture Backgrid.

I yearn for a good ol’ scandal. A juicy divorce or shotgun wedding will do. I’m pleading with someone to do something. Armie Hammer’s sadism, Ben Affleck’s sadness and “Southern Charm’s” thirst for fame can’t carry the world. When the most salacious conversation I can initiate revolves around Rhode Island’s mediocre vaccine rollout, life is as boring as “Mank.” I’m so starved for content, I actually read and absorbed words describing Meghan Markle’s pregnancy and I can’t get any lower than that.

Nobody’s going out so there are no fights, few affairs, or cheap party etiquette about which to dish. Feistiness and pugnacity shut right down when the bars did. What I would give to be repulsed by a bunch of bohunks getting into a bar fight right now, how I long for a goateed man wearing work boots to check me out and quickly dismiss me at a club. I am dying to run into an ex at the local mall and get off on life’s awkwardness.

Astute Observations on Nothing

  • Loving Lana Del Rey is never easy, but I’ll never quit. And she needs a new publicist.
  • JLo’s lasting fame will never make sense and at least we can look forward to her and A-Rod’s contentious split, coming soon to a tabloid near you.
  • Courtney Love succinctly ties up everything as profoundly as Joan Didion.
  • Marilyn Manson is, and always was a joke. Sure I went to his concert in a cloud of narcotics and walked over all the strung-out kids nodding off on a filthy floor, but underneath all the pancake makeup, he was a joke without ever being funny.
  • Marilyn Manson, Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp need new publicists
  • Phoebe Bridgers is the coolest indie rocker in ages. She bleeds beauty and magic wrapped up in a perfectly pretty sad pop song. Bridgers’ guitar destruction on SNL was the most alive thing I’ve seen in 10 effing months.
  • The pandemic really works for some people, when they want it to.
  • Meghan Markle is insufferable, from her monochromatic wardrobe to her fake nose scrunch. Can we somehow send her back to England?
  • I would rather watch this terrible season of “Housewives of Orange County” on a continuous loop than ever watch any of the Netflix series Meghan Markle is developing.

Losing My Religion and Birthing a Cult

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Now that I’ve formally left my religion—if formally means in a blaze of passive aggressive email glory—I’m creating a cult. A new religion of sorts that is light on the spirituality but heavy with crime and punishment.

My codependent hook-up with Catholicism has ended after decades of rockiness, make-up sex, and dalliances. I’ve tried, but I’m either going to go to jail for harassing Bishop Tobin, Lil’ Rhody’s villain Bishop, or I’m going to stop drinking the blood Kool-Aid and open myself up as a free agent on the spiritual highway.

Now that I’m free, or excommunicated, I’m welcome to enlightenment. I dug a lot about Catholicism, so you won’t hear me bashing it too much. There’s nothing that irked me more than when I would tell people I was a Catholic and they’d badmouth it right in front of me. I don’t need to do that because I’ve gone and created my own religion named Bonkers and my followers are called Bonkos.

Join me if you can follow these strict doctrines.

Self-Analysis is a Must

Followers must constantly analyze themselves internally and with psychological help; this is a requirement. And I’m not talking about support groups, I am referring to in-depth psychoanalysis conducted by acclaimed therapists. Bonkos must dig deep to get to the bottom of their problems and it is mandatory to talk about their therapy in most conversations, in fact one’s neuroses is disclosed upon introduction.

Sound tricky? Don’t fret, here goes: “Hi, I am Kathleen. I have narcissistic tendencies, delusions of grandeur, and a real chip on my soldier. On a positive note, I’m five feet tall, my hair’s going white and I suffer from a wretchedly itchy scalp yet I’m still the most confident maniac I know. Nice to meet you.”

Polite Conversations are Forbidden

At church functions, of which there will be many, small chat will be limited to two minutes and 22 seconds. Once the talking parties hit that time threshold, they must talk about something interesting or cease talking and move on to sit in a corner for two minutes until they have something noteworthy to say.

And talking about home improvements is a sin punishable by wearing an “I’m a boring arse” banner all day.

Children Have No Rules

Unless regarding physical safety, children have no rules and no chores. Children are the superior spirit and must be treated with dignity and be granted free range of doing almost whatever they want. Parents and caregivers must be light on punishments and fresh behavior is not only tolerated, but also encouraged.

Children may be scolded for the following infractions and ONLY the following:

  • Bullying
  • Tattle tailing
  • Watching “The Kardashians”
  • Speaking to people while glued to one’s phone.

Corporate Jobs Start at 9:30 a.m.

I like to work as much as a GenXr slacker can and encourage every Bonko to work. However, it is strictly forbidden for Bonkos to begin the workday before 9:30 a.m. Precious morning hours must be savored with coffee, screaming at the news, perfecting one’s outfit, and making plans for the weekend.

Light Drinking is Mandatory

This is a controversial commandment and alas this religion is not for everyone: Two glasses of a light alcoholic beverage are mandatory at all church gatherings. No more and absolutely no less. The scientific reason behind this is so followers can remove the stick lodged up their behind while at church—thus making conversations livelier and people more likely to give money to the church. Drink up, baby.

What Would Holden and Courtney Do?

When churchgoers find themselves in a spiritual dilemma they must wonder what Courtney Love or Holden Caulfield would do in the same situation and follow their leads. In fact we follow the Book of Holden and Courtney that contains the following edicts:

  • “That’s something that annoys the hell out of me- I mean if somebody says the coffee’s all ready and it isn’t.” Holden Caulfield
  • “Lots of time you don’t know what interests you most till you start talking about something that doesn’t interest you most.” Holden Caulfield
  • “I like to behave in an extremely normal, wholesome manner for the most part in my daily life. Even if mentally I’m consumed with sick visions of violence, terror, sex and death.” Courtney Love
  • “Only dumb people are happy.” Courtney Love

Everyone Must Dance

Dancing is a Bonkers church commandment and each church session will be followed by an hour of dancing to pop music. This will cleanse your spirit and teach humility and foster flexibility. Megan Thee Stallion is mandatory listening material and each dance will start with a Megan Thee Stallion song.

Botox Euphoria and Things Worse than the Plague

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I scheduled my first Botox appointment in the midst of this bloody apocalypse. It seems my sunny disposition and smiling mug have rendered me more wrinkled than a fat furless cat. After a lifetime of fainting at the sight of blood and the thought of a needle, I bravely welcomed these injections—right into the corner of my beady eyes— without a blink. Thank you, sir, may I have another?

It was such sweet relief; the results were automatic, and I felt a few years younger. Unfortunately, I don’t have many people to show my motionless face to right now. I’m not Housewives of NYC paralyzed but I am refreshed. What’s next? A colonic? Might I order my first salad?

What’s less bearable in plague times: being away from people or actually speaking to them? It’s tougher than figuring out who’s more annoying: Kelly Clarkson or Justin Bieber. (For the record, Kelly wins.) Every strained exchange ends with, “We’re all in the same boat.” Well so was everyone on the Titanic and young, hot Leo still ended up dead and bloated when there was a perfectly suitable flotation device for him. If we are all in the same boat, I hope mines being filmed for “Bravo” and that my new eyelids look AMAZING!

It’s filthy fun, this level of pandemic judgment we all have going on. The people in the bunkers are scoffing at peeps like me who occasionally get out, while I feign outrage over people hopping on planes. At this point, I prefer fewer actual conversations and more living in my own head. It is comfy and crowded in there and Courtney Love makes occasional appearances.

There are people or places worse than the pandemic. I’d rather be stuck in my unorganized home smelling my dog’s gas than experience any of the following atrocities again:

More Unpleasant than Quarantine

Jennifer Lopez’s Desperation– Jennifer Lopez is old, way past middle age, and her inner thirst clock strikes her brain senseless. Yes, she looks amazing naked, but we’ve seen it all before when Ben Affleck sold his soul to apply lotion to her derriere. In the world of faded pop stars, why is JLO the last woman standing? She’s packaging the same crap at every award show and we’re all just AMAZED that she’s so hot. Yawn.

I’d rather live without toilet paper than listen to new Jlo music.

Jenny from the Block, you are so past your time for anything other than an ABC drama that will surely be canceled, or another divorce. Girl, it’s been a long time since you were a fly girl and it’s time to take your vitamins and settle down with Alex Rodrigues. Sell your crappy products, hawk your kids into the entertainment industry and let’s call it a career. As much as I’d love to attend an all-day music festival hopped up on whatever I can find, then show up at a local hotel in hopes of making out with the bass player, I’m old, like you, and I’ve retired that act. It hurts, I get it.

Whining about Losing- Listening to pop stars and politicians complaining is less appealing than piercing my own brain with a COVID swab. I dig The Weeknd as much as the next overweight housewife, but get over it. Add Halsey, our former president, and Lana Del Rey and everyone else who whines about losing onto my shite list.

Where can I file a complaint over never making Homecoming Queen?

Take it from this big loser, it’s okay. Every year I would find the most overdone semi-formal dress I could in the sticks of Massachusetts and tease my hair with ferocity- just to be deemed pretty enough to make Homecoming Court and it NEVER happened. I also never landed a date with Patrick Kennedy, after years of trying, but you don’t see me crying into my cheap white wine.

Zoom Meetings– No, I can’t take them anymore. Oh, the people who are obviously looking at themselves the whole time, pumping their lips and trying out different poses while also attempting to look scholarly. Or even worse, the over talkers who just forge their own path of rudeness when others are speaking. Then there’s always one older person who is miffed that he can’t figure out some technical mystery that kindergartners have mastered. Can we go back to the conference call?

COVID Dreams– There was a time when I tracked COVID time with my periods, but I’m going to be in menopause before we’re out of this. Now I’ve started tracing time with COVID dreams and nightmares. My dreams are a sacred place for me and Timothee Chalamet so this invasion of privacy is jarring.

We’re All in This Together– No, I’m not referring to the insipid saying that everyone’s spewing, I’m talking about the legendary “High School Musical” series. Put me back in high school with Troy and I can save the world and make Homecoming Queen.

xoxoxoxoxox

I Caused the Pandemic by Being Bad

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There are weeks when pandemic life gets me down, lower than America’s current character. Days when I have to remind myself that I can’t sleep all day and nights I succumb to alertness while the hours crawl by and I scratch my head and worry about how much I scratch my head.

At 3 a.m, my mind veers into absurdity, like I start to wonder if maybe I brought this pandemic on. I suspect this illogical logic stems from my Catholicism and won’t go away no matter how hard I distance myself from my religion.

See, when something bad happens, I think of what I may have done to cause it. I’m incapable of dishonestly calling out from work sick because I believe that deceit will make me sick. At church as a kid, I’d spend the whole time fantasizing about making out with cute boys and I’d shake it out of my head — sure God could hear and I’d be forever doomed. A few minutes would go by and I’d be right back to thinking about boys and Cyndi Lauper.

So, I think I caused the plague. I’m also a self-diagnosed narcissist so everything relates back to me and my formative years, but I’ve done some lousy things and perhaps my juvenile delinquency started the plague.

A Fake Teenage Elopement

I was a mildly screwed up kid. I wanted to be much more screwed up than I actually was, but I tried damn hard. All my idols were troubled, and I craved excitement and drama. But acting out in a small town becomes redundant after a while. How many times can you smoke cigarettes in the girl’s bathroom, or go to the high school dance after having a few nips? How many games of Truth or Dare can a young girl initiate? One must get creative.

Afraid that my wanna-be groupie lifestyle and poor grades just weren’t cutting it to define my bad assery, my high school love with the chiseled cheekbones and I concocted an eff you to the world: We ran away and left a letter to our caring parents stating that we were eloping.

As a lifelong lover of letter writing, I think back on that stark letter, written on a haphazardly ripped out piece of paper: “Mom, I eloped. Kathy.” That was it. Nothing fancy and right to the gut.

The zeal of such defiance was intoxicating. Or maybe we were just intoxicated. Anyway, we didn’t get married and we had never planned on doing so. We wanted to piss people off and well, it worked. My boyfriend’s parents placed a missing person’s report while he and I traversed all around South County, Rhode Island for two days.

After a few days without a shower, I calmly walked back home and yelled ,”I’m back.” I don’t recall actually getting in trouble, but my goal was met: I created excitement and messed shite up.

The Thievery

I once had an Aunt Mary whom I would visit monthly. She was old, frail and as nice as a curmudgeon could be. She lived in a small condominium and every visit came with a penmanship lesson and a little money in my stonewashed jean’s pocket.

Good ol’ Aunt Mary gave me money to take out her minimum amount of trash that only contained crushed and cleaned TV dinner boxes. I suppose she was green before her time.

Aunt Mary’s home was tidy and filled with creepy religious pictures and crosses. She’d watch Mass on the television and I got a kick out of that. One day as I snooped through her place, I saw a Jesus cross affixed to the wall that I just had to have. After looking both ways, as all good thieves do, I swiped it right off the wall. Accomplished, I fingered it in my pocket for the rest of the visit and all the way home, happy with my forbidden treasure.

Not long after arriving home, the one home phone rang and it was ol’ Aunt Mary concerned about her missing artifact. Could I have taken it? I denied it for as long as I could but eventually, I had to fess up and apologize. I had grabbed it right off the wall and left a tear where it had been.

Crab Murder

My cousins and I spent most summers hanging around Rhode Island beating each other up, comparing sunburns, getting lost at state beaches, stealing cigarettes from the adults, and crabbing. I could spend hours collecting crabs but my cousin was petrified of them and I would absolutely torment him with crabs.

One night we had a bonfire and I fed the fire a bucket of crabs. Directly into the fire, I dumped live crabs while giggling over the sounds that escaped the crabs as they were burned alive. I was young and…evil? I’m not sure but I do remember my more sensitive cousin battling insomnia for a lot of that summer and mentioning that when he closed his eyes he could still hear the squeaking sound of those dying crabs.

I think it’s entirely possible that I created the plague by being such a bad child and I’m really sorry. I will find a way to make amends and if you have any ideas, send them my way!