“Grazie”

Fiction. Based on a True Batman ART

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

The Threesome Fantasy Revisited in Rome

You see two handsome Italian men look surprised when they hear you speaking in perfect American accent that you’re from California.

“Take us with you,” he says. And for a split second you want to say, “I wouldn’t mind having two handsome Italian men for husbands…” You think maybe if one gets sick of hearing you talking the other can pick up the slack. You withhold because you know that comes off self aggrandizing—now that you’re sober, you realize how certain egoist fantasies are actually self-seeking ambitions that bear no fruit. 

Instead, you say, “ok, I’ll sneak you into my suitcase.” 

They both laugh, one of the two is half-hoping that you’re only half-joking.

People want California because of self-expression, individualism, and perhaps opportunity? 

But as you see Rome, you realize that the dream exists everywhere…but the artist dream is in California…the world’s music comes from Los Angeles. The music speaks for itself. That level of deepness, the open honesty and courage to express what’s on your mind is tolerated if not venerated in California. Nobody scoffs at you if you say you are a dreamer but people will test you as a dreamer and judge you like every person everywhere else in the world. 

We are human.

Papa Francesco

Thanks to the poor brown man you bought the selfie stick from, you are able to capture the perfect shot of the pope floating by. 

His smile is truly kind. 

When he passes by, he blesses the section to your right. You believe it’s a sign, like many symbols that are showing up.

Love embodied. 

The Good Father.

Your throat has been sore. You’re getting canker sores and you wonder if it’s because you’ve still been throwing verbal stones at Aaron. 

You had accused him of leveraging you to get even against Amy, you had written him off as a dishonest man, but you realize you were no different. How many times have you attempted to train hop from one relationship to the next? 

Perhaps you did it to help him see the ugly truth about himself so he could get a wake up call the way Rylie called you out for being sick and woke you up. Using people like they are extras to a movie in your life documentary the way Aaron used you as an extra as in “extra leverage” to put his woman in place—a manipulators playbook—is a sociopath’s way of controlling another person. If Amy is a codependent like you suspect she is, she’ll love her man even more and treat him better now that the cover is blown. 

Sometimes the truth needs to tear down for a person to truly rebuild—the right way

You revisited the video of Rylie and you talking while working Google Ads together. You did mention that sometimes you just need to start all over. Go from ground zero so you can properly sow the seeds—the right way

Aaron thinks you’ve ruined their relationship, but in your years of experience—both personally and through observations of the various cody-narcy dynamic at play, she’ll have to re-evaluate everything and hopefully this time, the bones will set right for it to grow—the right way

Truth is always the right way

Always. 

You realize just how sick you were when you mediated on Aaron’s hidden desire—he was using you to get Amy jealous enough to want to change, not caring whether or not it would cause harm to you or Amy. 

It is a manipulator’s playbook you are familiar with. 

You meditate on why Rylie called you sick. He called you sick because he knew you were sabotaging something that was sincerely real and meaningful that the two of you had begun to cultivate. 

“Why are you doing this?” was one of his first inquiries.

Rylie is as insightful as James Joyce and as deep as Van Gogh.

He knew the answer to the question before you even had come to your own right conclusion. 

Rylie had beat you to your own punchline. 

The smart Scotsman.

She’s not ready. 

She’s spiritually sick. 

She’s comfortable being alone. 

I can’t change her. 

Let go. 

Or as Rylie would most likely say, “Men are simple.” 

His choice was simple. 

Stay away.”

Your Shadow

Is cunning, baffling, and powerful. 

Perhaps, it was passed down to you through the Ming dynasty—the land of dragons—the Guan Ying of the Snake Daemons, known for their fine arts and craftsmanship. It was one of your favorite Chinese series to watch—of two sister snakes that play with mortal men’s souls, in some redemptive way of teaching moral lessons, righting wrongs by creating mischief, like Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

Aaron

You wanted to make him feel so miserable about two timing that even after you have become to him nothing more than a history lesson, he’ll think twice about cheating on Amy again, like the way you thought about what you could have done for your mother when dad got too full of himself. 

If a man cheats on his woman, he’ll have no second thoughts about cheating people out of their money,” you told him. 

You go straight for the jugular. 

Self-defense 101.
Find the nearest weakness and go for the kill.

Still, it is your own shadow you must de-alchemize, or bring back to its noble state—unreactive. You realized you were falling in love with Rylie, so what do you do? You go and flirt with other men so you can somehow feel less vulnerable at the thought of being with him. You were not okay with just being in your own skin so you put a camera in between you and the subject. 

Now that you are recovering, you are appreciating the dance of true intimacy that can only be cultivated over time. It takes time to build trust. Time, Angelie, Time. 

Connection with Rylie? 

Time. 

True time. 

Patience.

Hopefully, the hard lesson is learned. You believe Karma is some kind of self regulating system—meaning if you think nobody in the world knows what crime you may have “gotten away with”—-the burden of consciousness —yours in particular, will come to teach you a lesson. 

It always comes back.

Paul’s Reminder of the Race Set Before You

Papa Francesco’s sermon for this week is about running the race are you divinely designed to run, with the glory of Jesus Christ by your side, like Gandalf for the hobbit. 

Letters to the Hebrews…a cloud of witnesses…run the race set before you. 

You are already in some kind of panopticon. 

All spirits surround. 

Focus on Jesus.

Run your race to obtain the prize. 

Stay in your lane. 

Focus. 

Thought catalogue popped up about being patient for the one who will feel so right…who won’t want to change you nor turn away from you, but will acknowledge you as a partner in progress. This person won’t complete you nor compete with you but will carry you, confide in you, and have confidence in you. Just enjoy and live your life to the fullest while he is in process and while you are in process. 

With this you tear up. 

Don’t wait. Participate. 

Participate in the joyful sorrows of the world, you read from Joseph Campbell’s Reflections in the Art of Living

You can experience happiness with a man, without a man, with money, without money, and everything on God’s timing.

Your mom’s wisdom is passing onto you now. 

This morning, you thought you would be late when you left your B&B place to see the pope but en route while anxious, feeling behind and rushed, you thought of the literature in this online group—MY PART:

Manifesting 

My 

Power

Accept

Relax

Trust

Then, you focus on ART

Accept

Relax

Trust

You begin meditating on acceptance.

There is no place you need to “get to.”

You’ve arrived.

You’ve been arriving.

Acceptance is knowing you are exactly on time so Relax because God is in control and Trust because the process of a miracle is happening right now, in real time, because of a prayer you’ve made once upon a time ago. 

You believe it started when Rylie asked you to pray for him when you were staying in Provo, Utah and he was teasing you about how the entire town is haunted. Then the topic of hell is brought up. He told you he is going to hell and you told him not without your prayer for Jesus’ intervention. 

That night you prayed. 

Rylie was just another person helping out the non profit. 

But you prayed that Rylie is being delivered from hell.

A few days later, the two of you were talking. You were in the haunted library of the haunted university he was teasing you about. You were loud in this library and people around you were staring in annoyance, but you were so immersed in going back and forth with him, that time, space, and distance just disappeared. All that remained was your smile and his smile and the sound of each other’s voices nurturing in reciprocation. You remember after the video call, you got off, smiling, feeling you were on cloud 9, finally conscious of the pissed students around you trying to study for their exams. 

You begin walking out of this haunted library of this haunted university in the middle of the haunted town of Provo in Utah, and while walking down the stairs, lit by stairwell lights, it hits you. 

You are crushing on him.

Something is happening. 

He was the one who inspired you to get sober again. You were still drinking at Sundance. So much so that you had flaked on your own mentor on his Sundance premiere. You were terrified of meeting him even though he was welcoming and was open to you interviewing him there. You missed out on many opportunities because it wasn’t just your alcoholism, but your ism…as one person said in the rooms, “Once you got rid of the alcohol, you are left with the ic.” 

You had a lot of ick. 

It was Rylie who called you out, “You’re sick.” 

The Emperor has no clothes. 

The Scottish boy called it out. 

You are sick. Now you are almost eight months sober, you are a little less sick than you were  yesterday and seven months ago. 

Mother of Dragons

“You know me so well,” she texted. 

You had sent your close friend, Mandy, a T-shirt and Mug that has the logo of the dragons from Game of Thrones with the title, “Mother of Dragons.”

In that same text, you thought about your sister. 

Start showing up for Maple

But how?

Perhaps, do the same thing. 

Send a “It’s not your birthday” gift.

Do you know your sister well? 

You interviewed a girl who reminded you of your little sis. She went to a good college that taught her expectation of survival writing—branding, PR, advertising…what James Joyce calls pornographic art—or kinetic art—that incites fear and loathing or desire, rather than truth for what truth is.

You realize if there is anything you could do for your sister, it is to encourage her in moments when she needs encouragement to find her fiction writing voice again.

You realize that if you use the journal entries with the subconscious or conscious aim to teach a lesson, moralize, embarrass, or indoctrinate, it is pornographic art. 

You’ve sent several journal entries to Aaron with the aim of teaching him a lesson. 

Horrified, he called it harassment and told you to leave him and his family alone, yet there is a part of you that delights in his disgust…like you just caught a burglar in the middle of stealing your heart, and he’s acting as if you’ve violated his privacy. 

You’ve ended the correspondence signed, “the psychopath narc” and you are pleased because psycho means “soul” as in, “the path of the soul” and “Narc” can also be interpreted as a detective in the Narcotics division—what bad guys refer to good guys as the bad guys.

Yesterday, you stumbled upon James Joyce at a bookstore and within the first page it read how his novel—A Portrait of a Man as a Young Artist—is essentially autobiographical. It was his own way of finding his self-expression, believing that fiction should truly reflect the reality of what is because what is is art. That is why you drew so close to Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait, who showed himself to you en route St. Paul’s Within the Walls meeting…in the basement meetings where the mystery of 1 Corinthians 12 is being elevated by the gift of gab. 

Green Eyes…

Ever since he almost married you, you’ve found your voice through his being and becoming. 

Joyce had put self-expression above high society literature, and it was only later in his life that the rest of the world begin catching up to him. 

Joyce. 

Van Gogh. 

Rylie’s soul. 

They are all imprinted in your soul at the blue chakra point, wavering between teal blue to royal blue here in Roma. 

The word to describe James Joyce is, “Avante Garde” or the “front guard.” You realize that that is exactly who you are should you just step out of yourself for a minute and look at yourself from a third person perspective so when you get back into your skin, you’d know to continue running the race set before you.

Pissy-Faced Old Men

You realize when old men look at you with that pissy face it’s just that they’re in their own thoughts when they happen to pass you by during your walk through Rome with Roxy. 

It’s the bitter old man equivalent of the resting bitch face you wear when you’re thinking or in contemplation. Goes to show that most of what you’re thinking is probably icky.

You’re cranky today because your throat is still sore and you’ve over shot your exit to the Pantheon and the guards wouldn’t let Roxy inside Santa Maria Maggiore. 

You did find a Chinese hot pot place that they rebranded into something more familiar for the Europeans—”Chinese Fondue,” but it was overpriced with 25 Euros per person, but if you came as a couple then it would be split because life is always better with two. 

You feel a bit irritated at this because you don’t want to bother connecting with anyone. You believe any person who has been with you long enough would be irritated or disgusted by you. 

Today you asked your mom to print out another set of psychological records release, but this one had details of your stating that the parent child relationship is toxic— you thank your little sister for that word, ”toxic.” She was the first who described you as toxic to her and that gave you a clue and just how dysfunctional of a family you were raised in…you began your experimentation by treating the men the way you were treated and everyone of them wound up running in fear and loathing. 

You know your mother and father will read the doctor’s notes—parents still treat you like a little child

They don’t think much of you…probably never did…or at least dad had bipolar waves of expectations and perceptions of you—one moment overconfidence and next moment zero confidence. 

You realize it was your mother who grew up trying to be perfect. Somewhere, she was emotionally abused, emotionally neglected, somewhere she became the brunt of public humiliation, constant scrutiny and criticism, somewhere along the matrilineal line there was enough is never good enough, and though you can’t prove this latter part, there was definitely a family history of sexual abuse…You can’t prove it, but you feel it as an epigenetic inheritance. 

Perhaps there was a sense of internalization of what had been done to you, to your mom, to your grandmother, and the mothers of the mothers along your multigenerational lineage. Or else how else how do you explain the results of this emotional absence so prevalent in our feminine ties? Communism and ideology are dreams of a narcissist so of course the people under it have been victims of such producing more of such. 

You’re inside another cathedral—Mary’s place—this time the priest allows you to bring Roxy in with you. You hold her close in your warm embrace.

You realize that despite all your complaining and negativity towards your mother, it was your mother who would take a bullet for you. 

She’s the only one who would drop everything and come pick you up when you are stripped into white hospital gown where all the crazies go. And perhaps she’ll also have you stay there if things go awry, so it’s best if you begin mothering yourself so that never happens. 

Your mother is strong, but sometimes strong in a Great Wall of China way. You realize she had chosen to stay with an alcoholic husband so your life can be easier than her life —with money and material comforts—so you wouldn’t be subject to exploitation from a corrupt world yet alas, the traumatic memories of your matrilineal line could not warn you in time for the wolf in sheep’s clothing —the predators, the manipulators, the users and abusers. 

However, there is a design that has made this deliberate—Jonathan Height calls this, “becoming anti-fragile” and in Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estés states: 

The First Stage—The Bargain Without Knowing

We can be smart in the ways of the world, and yet almost every mother’s daughter, if given half a chance, chooses the poor bargain at first. The making of this awful bargain is a matter of enormous and meaningful paradox. Even though choosing poorly could be seen as a pathological self-destructive act, it far more often turns and a watershed event that brings vast opportunity to redevelop the power of the instinctive nature. In this respect, though there is loss and sadness, the poor bargain, like birth and death, constitutes a rather utilitarian step off the cliff planned by the Self in order to bring a woman deep into her wilderness•.

Your parents dissociate in movies and you found yourself following the same ordinary mind numbing patterns with Sonny…the two of you just avoided problems and pretended while buying, drinking, and storing up material treasure and you felt so dead inside—starving for a Hail Mary to get you back on your mark. 

*Estes, Clarissa Pinkola. Women Who Run with Wolves. Rider, 1992. p. 395

On Your Mark, Get Set, and Go. 

You are now inside Another St. Mary’s church and you are crying. She tells you she understands you and she knows your heart the way Jesus knew hers. She tells you that is okay and that it’s going to be okay. With this reassurance from her spirit, you can’t help but cry…your heart has been hardening and the crying is softening it

Inside, you realize all your decisions to leave the men you left were the right decisions. 

It was right to leave Green Eyes…you had no business tolerating his verbal and emotional abuse while he was drunk. You did this for yourself, your mother, and your future children. You also did it for him.

You were right to leave Drum and Bass—he was as controlling and condescending and never knew who you really were. He talked a good game about healing and ra ra, but when push comes to shove, when it came down to the wire, he had to push you away because he couldn’t embody what he preached.

You were right in leaving B—he wanted a polyamorous coparenting relationship, caught up in the limelight of the LA business entertainment world, where pretty women, money, and looking good was just too addicting. 

You were right about leaving white dude—he did too much coke and had a violent wife beater streak and it’s just a matter of time before it comes out. 

You were right to leave Rylie—he was jaded and still in his alcoholic dis-ease. 

You were right to leave Aaron—he was two timing you and his girl of 7 years, setting you up to be the villain and the mistress, something you told yourself you would never do or be. 

You were right to leave Sonny—he wanted to stay ordinary and he knew he was keeping you from doing what you always wanted to do—write, travel, and journal. 

You did nothing wrong and there is nothing to be ashamed about. 

You were protecting your inner child. 

You left all these men for a good reason—to keep that little girl alive—the one who dreams, hopes, and wonders for better things to come…to keep the hope alive. You must do for you what your mother couldn’t do for herself at a time when you were still a little girl looking up to her as the source of what it means to be a woman. And your father’s behavior set an imprint on what a man is, a pattern of brainwashing you needed to break—closed off, emotionally absent and unavailable men who kept avoiding their own transformations. You wound up attracting men like your dad and now it’s time you outgrow the false-attachment patterns.

They both were broken people just trying to survive in this world. 

You are also broken people, now in the process of being and becoming broken open.

It’s Not Your Mother’s Fault

Your mother did not know how to protect herself. She had no tools that could have protected you. You dad came from a violent, alcoholic and extremely abusive family…he’s broken as well. He did not have the tools to love you.

Your parents did the best they could. They did a good job given the circumstances of their life story. 

Forgive, child, no more shame. 

No more walls.

Let go. 

Trust God.

Accept 

Relax

Trust

One day you will rescue your mom from the belly of the whale…you already allowed God to begin the process with you…trust God in finishing the Good Works that He started in you.

Batman

Now, you are doing just that. Writing, traveling, and creating a new movement that is so needed nowadays—the right to express hate speech, in fiction, so one may initiate the Hero’s journey, and begin the necessary process of Shadow Integration—a breakthrough that Carl Jung articulated, initiated by Freud, and now Jordan Peterson is stepping onto the world stage to pick up the baton, and you wonder…if you will one day have to pick up the Baton…

Yes. 

Sooner than you think. 

Keep journaling. 

Stay calm and keep journaling. 

Spagna, Rome, Italy

Your mother texts you, “Can you talk?” 

You are at the rooftop bar at a fancy hotel with Roxy, lounging, sipping a decaf Cappuccino, finishing the last two acts of Uncle Maroye. You immediately call her back. 

Facetime. 

She tells you that her and Dad are visiting Rome late July and wanted to know if there was a chance to meet up. They will be here for two days. You are a bit sad. 

You tell her you will be in Jerusalem by the time they arrive, but you told her you will recommend a few places to her and dad. They’ll be on a cruise from Rome to Greece. 

You were thinking about going to Greece after Jerusalem. But by the time you head to Greece, their cruise would be over. They are doing the 11 day vacation. The thing you realize is that people don’t do long term travel. People are not comfortable with this kind of lifestyle because it gets lonely—at least the illusion of aloneness. You pass people who hold hands and kiss, people who push baby strollers, and people who come together as a group, so there are moments you feel this sense of wanting to belong with someone, some group, some “family,” but you remind yourself that you already have a family. This is what you said to your dad once. 

“I’m sorry that I have not been a good daughter to you. You don’t have to start a new family. You have a family here.” 

You recall Aaron telling you, “Stay away from my family.” 

So now you know why you’ve been isolating….those who are closest to you can hurt you the most, or else why would Aaron call Amy family and then cheat on her in the same breath? 

Humans are so fucked up

Including the human writing this. 

Sonny was your family. 

You thought he was the kind of family that was God sent—and he stabbed you at the center of your heart because you had made him the center. 

Nowadays, your center is God. 

With this new center, you have a consistency that is founded upon Faith. 

Faith that God is with you and has been with you from the time you were born up until now and will be there later when your body returns to dust and your spirit and your soul fuses for the journey home. 

Since home is consistency, peace, and familiarity, you rely on your heart center, your faith center, your gnosis center. It’s the only way to sustain the aloneness that’s required in long term travel.

Still, there is some kind of place—it’s where your mom and dad live in California, it’s your recovery folks that is worldwide, it is the conversations you have with friends like Dee, Mandy and Apple where you can pick up where you last left off as if it were yesterday. There is no awkwardness, but honesty, acceptance, and a lightness abound. You’ve known Apple since high school, Mandy since the day she invited you to her hotel that very night she saw you in a wedding dress at Love Park in Philly, and Dee since college. Whilst you travel, you also have made friends along the way—friends like Smartie. 

“Text me where you will be staying,” you tell mom. 

After the phone call, moments later she texts you back.

She’ll be in Spagna. 

You are in Spagna when she texts you Spagna.

You smile. 

You finish the Play, Uncle Maroye, and realize why it’s a divine comedy. The famous Roman courtesan who plays “the other woman” to the son who squanders his money on her instead of fulfilling his obligation with the woman he is betrothed to, winds up becoming an inheritor of her father’s fortune who passed away. She winds up marrying a truly rich German man who was pining after her since the beginning, but it was his temperament that kept his true wealth hidden from desperate eyes. The squandering son, Mario, returns to Dubrovnik where he marries his betrothed, who still wants him back (you believe most women would keep it a secret and take her man back for better or for worse), and he finds new fortune by the fortune that the betrothed woman has inherited from her dead auntie. The avaricious Uncle Maroye outwits his own son in manipulation for the sake of recuperating the money he gave to his son, and this reveals the prioritization of money over relations, and by the end of the play, he’s just glad that his son found some fortunate way of recuperating his money back by marrying the woman who just inherited a small fortune from her dead auntie. It seems the women inheriting fortunes is the silver lining to this comedy—without the courtesan’s inheritance and without the betrothed woman’s inheritance, the men would not have a chance in redeeming their own character defects.

Interesting. 

You are overlooking the entire city of Rome, at the city center, smiling. You head towards the balcony and upon closing the glass sliding door behind you so the people inside the restaurant won’t be disturbed, you catch the imprint of batman etched behind a chair. 


Shadow integration. 

The Batman Playbook. 

You referenced Batman in The Producer’s Playbook—Only Batman knows how to deal with the Joker. 

You smile. 

You’re on the mark. 

You look up at the orange, yellow sky. Birds are swarming everywhere, the way they swarmed in Dubrovnik, in Montenegro, —the winged serv/pent. 

Now it’s time to go and get set. 

Get set. 

It’s sunset now. 

Time to head towards St. Paul’s Within the Walls. 

Go

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