@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
It really bothers that when my car was robbed I was probably awake and staring at the ceiling.
I was awake staring at the ceiling till sometime after 4am, having just taken my 3rd valium of the evening. The first valium I took at midnight, which I thought would do the trick. If only I were to toke some weed, but sober days are committed to seriously.
Fuckin’ sleep issues. Fuckin’ meds.
At 2:20am, I took a second valium (2mg, prescribed), thinking (hoping) it would do the trick.
At 4:30 am, I was still wide awake. WHY. I wasn’t watching TV or looking at my phone, I was just trying to do mental thought tricks to get my head to rest. It was far too late to take a sleeping pill, waking up would be impossible.
So I took a third valium.
Which should knock out a grown ass man.
Laying there, I then decided if I were still awake when the sun came up, I’d just go for a run and shower and then try to take a short nap before work. But I did nod off for a couple hours and had a strange dream about my late grandmother. My grandmother never spoke much, and when she did, she did so softly it was faintly more than a whisper. Alzheimer’s for a decade before her death rendered her speechless for many years before she parted, so much so that my brother says he doesn’t remember what her voice sounded like. Often she talks to me in a dreams and I wonder myself, do I actually remember what her voice sounds like or do I remember the memory of a memory?
With about two hours of sleep, I showered and got ready for work. Of course it was going to be a shit day. I’d already written it off. Eh, whatever though. We all muscle through days with little or no sleep sometimes. Just do your best not to snap on anybody. That’s all one really can do on days they’re sleep deprived. Just don’t snap on anybody. It’s not their fault.
As I’m leaving for work, I remember that I left my phone charger in my car (I work in the city and subway there). If not for this, I probably wouldn’t have went to my car that morning at all. When I walk up to my car, I notice something out of order. In fact, everything was out of order. The inside of my car, usually completely pristine, had everything in from the dash, doors, center console and cds from the cd booklet trashed all around.
Having never been burglarized before, I never experience first hand the feeling of knowing someone rummaged through all of your shit. That feeling of invasion of privacy and lack of control.
There really was no point holding back the tears. To be perfectly honest, with the lack of sleep, something was probably going to make me cry that day anyway. At least this was a legitimate reason.
Some guy in a car pulled up and I thought he was going to ask me if I was moving my car to covet my parking spot, which might have been his intentions originally. If he had, I probably would have snapped at him, even though I had just promised myself not to snap at anyone. Instead, he asked if I was okay and if he could help. Sometimes you just want to hate humanity so much and then someone robs you of that hatred too.
With tears rolling down my face, I started sorting through the mess. The Garmin GPS was left of the floor, which is kind of funny how worthless those things are now, even though they are capable of transmitting maps through space, which is really crazy if you think about it. If there was any cash in my center console, it was less than $20. My CD collection was all over the place. Apparently this guy had no interest in Nirvana, Unplugged. Surprisingly, my RayBans were on the floor (phew). The trunk was rummaged through as well. But again, nothing of worth in there.
Drying my tears and regaining my composure, I phoned my Dad. My parents live in Florida, so there’s nothing they can do, but I asked my Dad if I should call the police, because I’m not sure anything was taken at all. My Dad reminded me that this was something to be grateful for, as was the fact that I was neither hurt and I’m in general good health. Catholics. They somehow find ways to make good things make you feel worse.
Late for work and fuming, the day was off to a horrible start. And the day before was so good! I had met with a new therapist whom I really like and trust, and I’m really bad at liking people and I’m even worse at trusting them. My writing partner and I had a strong writing session. The writing packet I spent my weekend busting my ass over was well received by my management. Even though I had barely slept at all… and that’s when it hit me. I was probably awake. I was probably awake while my car was being burglarized. Staring at my ceiling. Wishing I would sleep without the help of friends (drugs). Debating if I should just get up and go for a run. I could have stopped the burglary. I could have stopped it if I got up.
When you complain about your car getting broken into, and people ask what was stolen and you say, “nothing,” you quickly lose sympathy. However, bad luck is often paired with appreciation. I had to talk one of my closer comedian friends out of venmo’ing me money. Nothing was taken! I don’t want charity! You know I hate charity! Others reached out too, which was helpful if for no other reason than just to rant.
“My car is a Hyundai with a broken fog light and a CD collection. The CD collection should have tipped them off that I don’t have any money. Asshole. What sort of gem were they looking to find. You know what I’m most pissed about? They scuffed the dashboard up and my OCD is going to reel every time I look at it now,” I was going off to people.
Work wasn’t especially great either, considering the position I’m currently in is soon no longer going to exist, so I’m soon to no longer have a job. I was offered another, but it interferes with stand-up, which is a deal breaker.
In just days, I’ll be turning 30. Starting 30 unemployed. Super fantastic! Back in a my teens I was convinced my 30s would be the best years of my life. Sure, even despite how cynical I am, I suppose this is still possible. Though it doesn’t feel that way. It feels a lot more like 30 is giving into validation of what a loser I am.
I told my new therapist that I don’t think I’m capable of having a real relationship because I don’t trust anyone, not really, anyway. How could I? How could I really trust anyone else when I don’t really trust myself. Would you? Would you trust yourself if you had suicidal ideations? Notwithstanding that most people are, in fact, not trustworthy. Most people lie to your face without the slightest notion of guilt, wrongdoing or questioning. Most people are fake. You shouldn’t trust most people.
I tried to cram as much information as possible in that first session to bring her up to speed. I’ve nested some money aside for this help (this therapist, recommended by many comics, is kind of known for treating NYC comedians and praised by them), but my budget is still null. This will be a limited engagement. I broke down the timeline of my depressive stages, how my thought loops work, self cognitive behavioral therapy practices, how I compartmentalize my emotions, how I (try to) steer my moods. She said I had an impressive amount of understanding and knowledge of psychology. I said I know. I read a lot. I told her I wanted to come off of the meds I’m taking. Don’t do that, she said.
One night when I was crashing at my non-sexual soulmate, Jimmy’s (my long time gay BF), apartment, I brought up the theory and notion of the three times you fall in love (I’m not making this up, it’s written in many psychology texts), and my first love, James. This may come as a shock to anyone who knows me now, but at one point in my life I actually wanted to get married. I wanted to get married and have kids and have a house in the suburbs. With James. I was so crazily head over heels, first time in love type of love.
[Three types of love:
“Idealistic Love“— most likely experienced in teenaged years and rather “fairly tale” by nature. This, however, often sets a precedence for future loves.
“Hard Love”— Usually a whirlwind passion that is too unstable to sustain. It also is usually what makes a person guarded and/or cynical about future loves because of its intensity.
“Lasting Love”— Said to be with a person you at first don’t realize how much you do love them but when the connection clicks, it’s a bond like no other. Sadly, psychology texts say most people never find/experience this type of love.]*
*After the bad break up last year, I became ever curious about the three loves theory and surveyed people in conversation about how many times they think they’ve been truly, really in love and almost everyone says 2-3 times. Everyone has that first time HS/college one (that’s pretty much a given). The following 2 are far more complicated.
James, my idealistic first love, would never be my boyfriend. We were best friends for years, and even when he went away to California for college, I thought it okay that we weren’t romantically involved at such a young age, because I always assumed we’d end up together, ultimately. But we would never even date.
[Side notes about James. My parents LOVE him. They still do. He went on vacations with us. He is genuinely a gentleman, super smart, hardworking as well kindhearted. Even back then, my parents not only trusted their beloved teen-aged daughter with him, they WANTED me to date him. He lived in another town, about a fifteen minute drive, and my Mom would go pick him up to bring him over (I’d yet to get my license), and we’d watch movies at our house (left alone in our basement), and then my mom would drive him back home at midnight. He was good friends with my brother as well. We all surfed together.]
But he wouldn’t lay a finger on me. One of my best friends growing up, Lauren, and I often debated if he was gay. At some point he had a girl friend and would complain to me about how she wasn’t fun. Without digressing too far (I’m coming to a point here), this would be a common theme for me throughout my life. I know, I know, I’m a hot chick now, but I wasn’t always. Even though I was a t-shirt tomboy, often thought and accused of being gay, I had crushes on guy friends yet lived in the friend zone. More than not, I was the wise cracking best friend, not the leading lady.
James remained in California after college. Our friendship slowly dissolved, as did my feelings for him. Every so often he slips into my mind (sometimes this is because my Mom brings him up, she adores him… one time I said to her, “if you love him so much, why don’t YOU marry him,” and she said she would if she were younger and single and my dad wasn’t even mad about it because that’s how much he also likes James) and I hope that wherever he is and whatever he’s doing, he’s happy. He will always remain a special person to me.
It would be a very long time for me until feelings like this would resurface for someone again.
That night Jimmy and I were talking about James, Jimmy said something completely horrifying to me. He said, “that’s funny, I always thought it was the other way around. I always thought he was the one in love with you.”
Wait, what? Could that have even been a possibility? No. It couldn’t. I was shy to cuddle up next to him, but I did. He never made a move on me. Goddamn, it is altogether possible that I’m a closeted romantic.
Anyway. I’m going to cleverly tie this all together. You’ll see. My writing partner and I are starting a horror movie podcast. My writing partner, Nick Griffin, loves two things in the world: comedy and horror. That’s about it. I’ve always been a horror fan, though no where near as fanatical as Griffin. But the world needs more podcasts! Am I right?
The funny part about this is, neither Griffin nor myself are natural talkers. Our writing sessions are 30% dead air, where we silently stare off into space. We’re both a little on the spectrum. Nick and I have been writing partners for almost three years now, and we seldom dive in or open up about our personal lives to each other— not because we don’t care, but because we’re both pretty closed off people and we’re determined as hell to sell a script. Our relationship and bond is sealed in our work.
Now, with the podcast, we have to continuously talk. This does not come naturally to either of us (we’ve started recorded “Scary Monsters” episodes and they’ll soon be available on iTunes). Each week we pick a horror movie, and we watch and discuss, but we lead in with what’s going on in our lives, especially if we encountered a real life “scary monster” (aka: people who are assholes). We’ve recorded a few already, and during some banter on one of the shows, Griffin says, “I’ve been irritated with you before because of how emotionally detached you can be, and I don’t even require that much emotional support.” At this, I laughed. This is really something coming from Griffin, accusing me of being shark eyed. This guy doesn’t blink. Really, I never met anyone who blinks less than Nick Griffin. It’s fucking weird.
Alas, later this kind of dawned on me and made me really sad… He has no idea how much I care about him. How many other people in my life that I adore don’t know it because I don’t express it? I mean, I joke about it all the time, but am I really that detached? All the times I was interested in someone and thought they weren’t into me, was it because I lacked signals? Do my closest friends, favorite comedians and 19 cousins have a clue how much they mean to me? Does Jimmy know? Does Jimmy know that I think he’s one of the greatest people on the planet? Griffin is as emotionally retarded as I am, but what about my other comedy allies? Does Rooney know? Does Dennis Rooney know that I’ve known few people more real, down to Earth with such a sense of justice that his opinion weighs more than most everyone combined to me?
The list could go on and on. From family members to friends I’ve lost touch with, to new friends and past lovers, it’s so heartbreaking to me if I missed the chance to let these people know that they increase my quality of life. If they don’t know it, that’s on me. That’s my fault. What an asshole I am.
The day my car was broken into and ransacked was just a shit day. I’m was in rare form. Katrina, a friend who probably also isn’t aware of how essential she’s been in supporting me emotionally the last couple years, and I had discussed this photo shoot idea for my 30th birthday. The theme is, “the beginning of the end,” because of course it is. We got properly pissed that evening and laughed our asses off, I mean, actually falling to the floor laughing because the stage and context of the photos are equal parts disturbing/creepy/hilarious and sexy if you’re into torture porn type stuff (you’ll see). That evening made up for the whole day.
I’m pretty goddamn fucked up in the head (in case you didn’t know). And I’m not so much worried about people still in my life. Talking isn’t my strong point, but I guess I’m going to have to start writing (more) letters to people about how they mean to me. What’s past is past, but it is near devastating to me knowing that there are people out there, those who have come and gone in my life, who maybe never knew just how much they made me smile or how much I felt for them.
When my new therapist asked me how I felt about turning 30, I told her I’m giving way to the negative voice and I feel like a loser. She said that I’ve chosen a really difficult career path and I wasn’t measuring success properly. I agreed but I also wanted to say, “that still doesn’t mean I’m not a loser,” but I didn’t because I knew she would just disagree, somewhat because I’m paying her to tell me I’m not a loser.
There’s an unhinging coming. This much I promise you. Thirties will begin the weirdest, darkest, funniest, disturbing but enlightening years yet. Unleash the kraken. If there’s a third time to fall in love, don’t ever stop being the girl who jumps off cliffs. There’s only so much time left (almost 7 years, to be exact) . Remember: Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.