The Apex of Frustration

I have been so frustrated lately. And we’re not talking a middle of the road, constant annoyance, mind you. I’m talking about this rising apex of frustration that finally came to a head today.

I’ve been trying to finish the “Madam and Mr. Brown” series for the last month. Total page count to date? Less than 20. Every time I sit down to write there is a nuisance of some kind. Usually a leaf blower, maybe another UPS truck, a giggling girl walking under my window screaming, “irma gird YAS!” on her phone, or “Amy” who loves loves loves to come home at 3am with a tribe of trollops all ready to party and go “girls gone wild” in the building stairwell. I know her name is Amy because when people drive up at 3:15am to join her party, they’ll park across the way, (all zig zagged as drunkerds do), and scream, “Party at Amy’s! WOOOOOOO!”

Phillip says that this is just life in a complex. I say he’s not here all day trying to work and doesn’t hear how LOUD it is….and that at this rate I’ll be moving from this complex to the loony bin in no time flat.

I don’t think he understands the apex my of frustration. It isn’t a paramount of noises, nuisances and distractions that keep me constantly, perpetually off point and out of focus. The apex of my frustration is the realization that I cannot change the world around me. 

The world is not equipped, nor does it instinctively desire, to soldier the cares, concerns, or interests of any one person. Not even me. I am not that important. (I kinda gulp when I say it out loud).

I hate that. I truly do. This notion that one person could possibly even consider making demands of the rest of the world….especially when that demand is for nothing but self interest. And I felt a little embarrassed for myself.

I remember this little old lady I once met. Now, she was 90 years old and her name was “Pee Wee.” Apparently, her whole life she’d been smaller than most, hence the name. Funny enough, the same people that had given her the name were now dead, and how fun that she was still carrying around that nickname.

I was at a pool party in Savannah. And while there where a ton of lovely young men in skimpy things running around, I saw out of the corner of my eye this delightful old, wrinkly thing, lounging on a lawn chair in full biker leather.

Now, I can see pretty boys in simple things any day I desire. But, this woman? Oh, you rarely get a chance to meet someone as beautiful as her, so I dashed to her side, had cocktails with her. We critiquing with playing cards the different men splashing in the pool in their speedos, as though we were Olympic judges….

I had the best time with her.

That was the only day that I was blessed with her acquaintance, but in that brief few hours she said (while sipping a cocktail) one of those phrases that seems to creep up when I’m being a little too stupid and far too selfish.

“I miss the old days….when I man came at the world wanting to leave something behind….rather than take something from it…”

When you say it out loud, your whole life kinda falls like a thud with the gravity of arrogance….and the apex of my frustration is not understanding that you I am desperate to control everything.

My husband and I are at odds. We’re fighting a lot. I’m….angry. I’m detached, and frustrated and trying to figure out why. And he? He is tired of my behavior being categorized as “eccentric.”

He tells me I talk too much, that I should write what I’m saying rather than tell him….He has no interest in hearing about my world.

I started this blog by saying that I was working on the last book in the “Madam and Mr. Brown” series…..

In the last chapter I wrote that the madam is no longer tolerating Mr. Brown’s behavior….and as they find themselves being evicted, she needs to decide whether or not they’ll stay together or live apart….And I’m not sure she’ll stay with him.

With all of Mr. Brown’s intolerable demands just to cope with his own madness, I’m not sure she, nor anyone, could handle it. Maybe they are better parting ways.

Because the apex of Mr. Brown’s frustration is that no one, not even the Madam, is really listening to him.

The third book in the series will be out shortly, and you can read the first two books on amazon by clicking here. Read “TENANTS” first, then “DUPLEX.” Fans will disagree, but there was a definite reason I wrote them in that order.

You’ll get caught up, then help me decide if the Madam will stay with Mr. Brown. This woman has never been loved, nor accepted, in her life. And the one person that finally filled that hopeless void she had was…..well, crazy. Will she stay with him or not?

Phillip is in his chair escaping into his phone. I’m in my chair escaping into my work.

We’re about 10 feet from each other, but worlds apart….

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10 comments

  1. Easy fix, Get some ear plugs. That will quiet the world and you can think, write or even nod off for a nap. Think outside your box.

    Love you.

    1. Girl, I love you, too. But, I think you might have missed the point. Mr. Brown just might be going crazy, legit crazy and the Madam isn’t sure she wants to stick around…Noise is not the problem. Ear plugs won’t help their situation.

      1. Wasn’t meant to be “relationship” advice…. meant to address the noise from the “outside world” that you were voicing your frustration about. As far as relationship advice goes… just try to be kind to each other. Phillip probably has his own frustrations, too.

  2. Ok, Gregory. I hate to say it but I almost giggled over your response above to Judy. She meant ear plugs for YOU. I used to put in ear buds and listen to music when I would do my creative writing, back in the day. I was the only one home and still would crank up the music to fit my mood and drown out the construction equipment. Sometimes I would find a song that would inspire my muse, and I would put it on repeat. If neighbors could have heard me, they would’ve lost their minds on repeat…lol. You are correct that you cannot change the world, but you can adapt. I’m not supporting the obnoxious neighbors by no means, but they probably feel the same way about their territory the same way you feel about yours. You can’t change them. You can change how you react to them.

    Do yourself a favor the next time you open your mouth to take Phillip’s head off, and stop to think about how things look if you were standing in his shoes. How does he feel, when you vent to him about your frustration? How was his day? Did he have a good day? Or is he frustrated because his boss was cranky and took it out on anyone who came within 10 ft? Did you tell him “Hello” when he trudged in the door after a long day? Did you look away from the computer, or set down your needles to give him a peck and let him know you are happy he came home to you in one piece? You want him to understand your frustrations, but do you understand his? You can’t knit a new Phillip.

    Unless Mr Brown is a bonafide axe killer, he is only as legit crazy as half your neighbors. (Meaning that every one is by nature a little bit crazy. It’s just a matter of which side of the wall you are standing on when you are looking at crazy.) Here’s a suggestion for you: Fix your relationship with the Love of your Life, and perhaps, the solution for Mr Brown will fall into place…..

    Love and hugs to you both, and may you find the peace that is hiding in plain sight.
    Zanna

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Too bad I’m not your neighbor, I’m talkative, but quiet. I knit and crochet. I watch TV and I don’t have loud parties 🙂 As for the daily loud noises from city living, try Beats noise cancelling headphones with a little Enya or go to the Library ask for a room to work in….having a peaceful setting to write is so important at times.

  4. Left field idea – have you tried yoga? Before you laugh it off, I read your blog post this morning, then went to my yoga calendar for the day and today’s session is Yoga for Writers. There’s free yoga videos up on YouTube every day with Adriene Mishla. I do them some days, don’t do them other days. I’m not an all-in chakra-worshipping person, but I do find the yoga to help with relaxation and focus. I’m not saying it’s going to transform your life (although for some it does), but at the very least you’ll get out of your own frustrated head for a few minutes and get to stretch your neck. It’s only 29 minutes of your life, give it a go! (Google YouTube Yoga with Adriene Yoga for Writers if the link doesn’t work!)

    Normally, I wouldn’t post at all but the coincidence of today being Yoga for Writers right after reading your blog post made me stop and think – perhaps I have to pass this idea on.

    And, for what it’s worth, my take on Mr Brown and Madam – they have to work it out. Your philosophy is that there’s always hope, that an individual has some control over their own thoughts and attitude even if the world around is crazy (which sure is the case at the moment). It’s triumph over adversity. Sure, Madam and Mr Brown are both flawed characters, but that’s what makes them interesting. If they end up apart, it’s a pretty grim, depressing take on life. That may be where your head is at at the moment (and totally understandable – we all go through these phases), but it’s not your overall philosophy. Let them argue, let them struggle, but please help them to work it out in the end. The message in your life and books is that individuals can triumph in spite of whatever life throws at them. What can Mr Brown and Madam give back to the world? A little hope that there’s a chance for all of us, no matter what their flaws.

  5. Dearest Gregory – I can feel your frustration from here. But you have to know that only you can control your reactions to outside interference. If you want Phillip to be there for you then you need to be there for him. I’ve found that the act of taking myself outside myself to be there for someone else gives me clarity and insight into my own situation. We’re all complicated, but focusing on all the little things that are wrong can often blind us to what is right. You need Cher to give you a full on Moonstruck smackdown: “Get Over It”. Know that we all support and love you – you just need to get outside yourself and re-focus on your strengths and resiliency. You’ve done it before and you know you can darn well do it again. Because you do have much to contribute and “leave behind”. Meanwhile, from me: Love and Hugs and all that crap.

    1. We need an edit button on the replies. I just realized I got the Moonstruck line wrong. I think Cher actually said “Snap out of it!”. Same difference but as many times as I’ve watched that movie you’d think I would get it right.

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