I couldn’t figure out why the skin on my hands hurt tonight. Sort of like they were burned. Then I realized it was from all the bar hanging I did at the gym today, in my slow, slow start of efforts to eventually be able to do at least one pull-up before the year is out. But first, you start with hanging.
I hung in 20-second intervals. It was all I could stand. I don’t have the strength in my hands for more than that, and it’s really that, not my arms or the weight of my body, that’s holding me back. I’m not sure how much I can gain in hand strength. I have had arthritis for several years, one of those wonderful side-effects of people who have an autoimmune like I do (ulcerative colitis), but it’s actually at a lower level this winter (and it’s always way, way worse in winter) than it has been any other year I can remember since it got really bad, which is probably about 6 or 7 years ago. I attribute this entirely a dietary change, but I’m not going to get into the details on this cold, cold night. A night in which I was so glad to have a silly little boy with me all night, one who picks up whatever accent I talk to him in and does a pretty fine job in giving it back to me. One who has a snow day tomorrow (mostly because of the very bitter cold, as there is hardly any snow still), and I’m lucky enough to be in a position now where I can take off on a day like that.
Today was a weird day. Early this morning, I finished a piece I submitted as a first assignment for a really sarcastic, very snarky national website, which heavily reports on domestic and national political and economic news, as well as reports on pop culture, and various other goings on. They really liked it, but might be interested in me writing more of a weekly column, so after some back and forth about what that would look like, I’m going to write a different piece and send to them. The piece I wrote included some joking around about a lawyer who is defending some international journalists on the grounds of free speech.
I got to work and learned that a piece I wrote has been approved for an open mic night last night, wherein I have to READ my work out loud, which is not something I’m entirely comfortable doing. I’m working on it. But it’s just not like acting. NOT AT ALL. It’s closer to karaoke than acting, because acting is a PART, it’s not me, so I can’t really be held accountable for anything I do or say. But karaoke is just YOU singing, as YOU. And me reading my silly little story on open mic night is just me, naked me, unvarnished and maybe it’s not all that good. But I’m doing it.
It was after I sent the piece and got to work that I learned about what happened at Charlie Hebdo. So, on the heels of me calling myself, officially now, a writer, and then coincidentally this stuff with the new gig and the sample piece I wrote, it’s a little chilling. Well, more than a little. Of all the jobs I’ve had, and there have been so, so many and in a variety of fields, none of them were jobs I thought I had much of a possibility of dying in. Except maybe concert security, like if someone rammed me and I cracked my skull on the pavement or something, but outside of that, no. I’ve never been the type to throw myself into harm’s way for others, though I admire the hell out of people who do. I mean, I’d give a stranger CPR if they needed it, but I’m not gonna become a paramedic, you know?
More victims of gun violence. More victims of religious extremism. And WRITERS. I mean, we’re all just a bunch of nerds trying to be heard and change the world with our words. Who the fuck attacks writers? And cartoonists? Jesus.
I thought it was important to blog tonight, even though I’m running short on time and energy. I wanted to get some words out there in public. I can’t say I’m not afraid a little to write whatever I want, however and wherever I want. But I have been facing things that really scare me for a full year now, and have done it before, so onward I march.
Stay warm. Stay safe. Hug those you love, and who love you. Life is so fucking short.
Je suis Charlie.