On Sunday, I spent part of the day watching the Best of Courtney Love 24-hour MTV2 special. (If you're not a fan of Courtney, I realize that "Best of" is a contadiction in terms.)
I love Courtney. I still listen to Hole. And, yeah, I just alienated about 99.4 percent of you, but I can't help it. There's something about Courtney Love that when she starts running that Harley Twin Cam 88 mouth of hers, I just have to listen. She's that loud person at the party who everyone gathers around and talks about later, and not in a flattering way. Except at a party, you can't fast-forward past the boring parts and commercials.
I kind of admire that she shoots off her mouth and doesn't think about the consequences. There's something calculated and reckless about it at the same time. (Oops. There go the other .06 percent of you.)
One moment I loved, was when about 23 and a half hours into her 24 hour maration hosting gig, she got depressed all of a sudden. Just eyes-downcast, world-sucks, defeated depressed. And all those 23 hours before, she'd been this giddy, fun, dishy hostess bouncing around the studio making everybody laugh with her goofiness. And then, at that last hour, she just bottomed out.
I'm by no means manic, depressive or both. I tend to keep a pretty even keel, even under bad stress (in fact, I kind of thrive on it), but last week, I had plenty of Courtney moments, where I just wanted to rip someone's jugular out, or go hide somewhere, or make really inappropriate comments online.
Something about last week made me really angry, and the thing that made me maddest was that I couldn't pin down what one thing was bothering me most. It started with me making a pretty big mistake at work: One that could have easily been prevented by double-checking some information, and which ended up making my week a lot busier and the workdays before Thanksgiving a little more stressful for the people I work with.
Me. I did that. I bungled something and made work more difficult for about a half dozen other folks.
I was angry at myself for making such a simple mistake. And then I got mad that I'd been put in a situation where a mistake of mine could cause so much chaos. Why did I have to be the one to keep track of this information? Why am I the failsafe here? If I wasn't here, who would do this? I can't even take a sick day without the world ending? And all that kind of self-pitying crap that forgets that I have a job when lots of my friends don't, and that I accepted that level of responsibility when I took the position.
So there's all that.
But the rage didn't go away. It built up through the week, and grew when I was given some bad news at work (nothing awful, just morale-depleting organizational stuff).
It got to where I dreaded going in, not because of what was waiting for me at work, but because of the mood I knew it would put me in. Coming home, the 20-minute drive, was a ritual that, with loud radio music, was helpful in clearing the bad vibes before I got home.
I've felt angry before, but not recently and on this level, a frustrated, furious, demoralized funk. It began to occur to me that sometimes people might quit perfectly good jobs, just because they can't take living a certain way anymore.
So, that was my Courtney moment.
And then on Thursday, driving down to San Antonio for Thanksgiving with the family, I felt great. Everything was fine. The sun was out, the turkey was roasting, the road stretched ahead like a silver promise. Life couldn't feel better. I was working on Friday, and even that seemed fine.
I don't know what the Hell happened. But I think it was that I'd been coasting along on not a ton of emotion the last few weeks, just moving ahead, and two of the Hydra heads, happiness and anger, just wanted to get their say in, to let me know they were still around if I needed them.
Hey, look at this! Stuff to buy! Haaawwwt-Damn!
The basket of unwanted balloons and sugared happiness.