Pity? Pity? Party Of One?

Last night I had a raging pool party. A wild, Beastie Boys rebellion, Studio 54 circa 1977, wake up in a tree wearing nothing but a dickie and rainbow tube socks party. Because when I throw myself a pity party, I THROW myself a pity party. To my credit, my pity parties never start out so raucous. I usually sit by the pool for awhile. Look longingly into those beguiling waters of disparagement. Ponder what it might feel like to get my feet wet...just a little, you know..to cool off. And so it was last night when I stuck in a toe. My intention was never to fully immerse myself into the pool--just stick that little toe in there. Twirl it around for a few minutes and let that delicious water sooth me with its mollifying insistence that I was justified for feeling bad about all of creation and existence and that hang nail on my index finger.

Ah, yes. Doesn't that feel nice?

But a few minutes after I stuck that toe in, it became very difficult not to entertain fantasies of a full pity lovin' baptism. Before I knew it I was backstroking my way to the deep end where the crystalline waters of mild self indulgence morphed into a swampy funk of full fledged despair. I started flailing in this cess pool of piss and bile and the aggregate sludge of one million hawked loogies, snorting up all of the lies I tell myself about who I am and what I have to offer the world. "I suck! I suuuuuuuuuuck! I am the suckiest sucker who ever sucked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Here I was--a smart and good hearted woman--choking on vomitous chunks of misperception, resenting the universe for every betrayal its ever delivered from that unfortunate perm in 1990 to the emergence of macrame to my unrequited love for Patrick Buchanan who so mercilessly dumped me for Alison Bond in the 2nd grade. And feeling all the while that somehow it was my fault that reality TV became such a sensation and Dan Brown a best selling author.

How in the world do I/we allow this to happen (because I know I ain't the only one swimming around in a pool of used diapers)? Why is it so tempting to feel sorry for ourselves in the first place? And I suppose the more important question is, how do we keep from drowning in that mess?

Well, I can tell you what I did: I phoned a friend. I took my vitamins. I said a prayer. I went to bed. I think that's what I have to do. I have to remind myself that people, health, God, and a really good mattress can save me from choking on the stench. I wish I had something more profound to say, but I suppose if the answer were too complicated my chances of spiritual survival would be slim. The simplicity and the salvation is in remembering the sage advice of Jesus and also the Allman Brothers Band: when the chips are down, you just gotta keep on keepin' on.