55Friday: The “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” Edition


I am drained.

It is not because I’ve fought a cold all week, nor is it due to what had to have been one of the busiest Fridays I’ve spent at any job. No, it is this. This site. This ever-growing, always challenging, far-too-smart-to-be-left-alone (much like my German Shepherds, when they were puppies) community/blog/baby/project which I cannot abandon, no matter how many times it makes me cry, rant or mope. I did all of the above, btw. I cried when I re-read a certain infamously raw post about my past, because it is a trigger. I ranted right here, just a few posts below where you are now. And I moped, ohhhh did I mope.

I felt despair. I had been warned that at some point, this blog would grow so big that we would not be able to contain it, control it, corral it…keep it. The writing may have been on the wall, but it was not in our comment threads; some of our oldest readers, loyalists who had been with us forever, people we met online and then later IRL via meetups, whom we cherished…they no longer comment or visit us. They don’t want to be here and it breaks my heart; “that’s the price of success,” one of you told me. No, not that. I want it to always be like this, exactly as rare and wonderful and mutinous as this…

But for a good chunk of the afternoon, exhausted from moderating and well, caring, I gave up. I started to drink the rotten kool-aid and it upset my stomach and more important things, like that squishy mushy, weak, red thing in my chest. What was the point? The mean people who suck would win. And I for one would not welcome our new troll overlords.

I couldn’t take being 16 when I was 16, so feeling that morose, melancholy, weepy bleh-ness was extra untenable as a 32-year old. What did I do when I was that age and this miserable? Ah yes, THE SMITHS. Because as perverse as it reads, they cheer me, yes they do. Within seconds, Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now wafted through noise-cancelling phones and by the second line, I was smiling for the first time all day. I smiled wider when I realized that I had “my song” and thus, my theme for Friday’s nanofiction orgy.

Write exactly 55 words about what makes you miserable, what feels like heaven, Caligula (my favorite despot!), How Soon is Now or anything else that the lyrics which are pasted below evoke. Hell, write about whatever you feel like burying or praising, just make sure you do and that you post your mistresspiece below, yes?


Now that I am impossibly chipper (just listened to Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me!), I’m ready to go home. I hope I have yummy 55s to read when I get there.

I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour
But heaven knows i’m miserable now

I was looking for a job, and then i found a job
And heaven knows i’m miserable now

In my life
Why do i give valuable time
To people who don’t care if i live or die ?

Two lovers entwined pass me by
And heaven knows i’m miserable now

I was looking for a job, and then i found a job
And heaven knows i’m miserable now

In my life
Oh, why do i give valuable time
To people who don’t care if i live or die ?

What she asked of me at the end of the day
Caligula would have blushed

“oh, you’ve been in the house too long” she said
And i (naturally) fled

In my life
Why do i smile
At people who i’d much rather kick in the eye ?

37 thoughts on “55Friday: The “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” Edition

  1. She knew no gods, only her creators. She peered at lily maidens in verdant fields from her childhood’s imported innocence in a sandalwood box. Shedding the ancient cobwebs of another land, she ran into the fields that melted into bars, blunts, and boys. Vaguely she remembered the tears from kohl eyes on their severed ties.

  2. I read the post you linked to. I’m so angry that someone did that to you. You are one of the bravest people I “know” (IRL and i-net).

  3. Sacrifices for careers you’ve both worked hard to establish. A home in the burbs, whose lights you hesitate to turn on for the emptiness will remind you, you are alone. Him, 3K miles away promising he’ll be home soon. Heaven, the summer 2004, simple jobs, simple city home, and happiness, fulfilled by just being together.

  4. Emptiness seems to be the frayed rope that gradually becomes undone and untenable, like the silent corners of my angry mouth, the skin flaking off my worn heels. I want to scream and collapse into arms trusting enough to hold me without questioning, loving enough to ignore the generations of beauty stamped on my face.

  5. He wanders through the brush out back. Pokes around the vines ensnaring the swingset, peers into the rotting treehouse. There’s nothing time hasn’t touched. His memories of this place are bittersweet yet he always returns when he’s in town. Everyone thinks he misses his childhood. What he really misses is the innocence he lost here.

  6. y…w…c..a i said ‘i like it here can i stay? and do you have a vacancy for a backscrubber??’

    i love the smiths, i love moz! and yes, i’ll do the 55 words…just give me time.

  7. Her constricted pupils say she doesn’t need an epidural; the heroin is doing plenty, thanks. A toddler sleeps on the floor. Two older ones are watching cartoons outside. I catch the baby, slippery and blue, the purple cord wound tightly around her neck.

    Later I wonder if I should feel guilty for wishing for this.

  8. My first 55; I’m so afraid to post this, but here it goes:

    And she kept thinking about it, dwelling on it even though she had work to do and things to which to look forward. She kept going deeper into her head, trying to end the cycle. And at last, she thought she got it. She was being judged for judging. “That can’t be right,” she thought.

  9. A cat scan can make you cry –a brainful of tumors in a woman the same age as your mother. When I told her she was going to die, she hugged me and said she knew how hard it must be on me to say that to someone (whom I didn’t even know).

  10. he walks through the rain, kicking piles of maple leaves. throws the umbrella into a dumpster. tears pages from the ancient guidebook, makes and floats paper boats. just like in calcutta, before adolescence and the longing to be elsewhere. rainwater on his eyes washing out the salt. this time, too, he chose to leave.

  11. She knows that she needs no man to make her happy. Still, the insistent voice at the back of her mind is always there, questioning whether she’ll ever be missed, ever be accepted if she carries on with this attitude. Confusion reigns supreme as she sits staring at the cars glinting under the California sun.

  12. The debilitating distance…

    The constant misery of two years of trans-oceanic “can-you-hear-me-I-can’t-hear-you-fucking-Verizon-fucking-Reliance…”

    The daily forage for distraction…

    They’ll be over soon, and then you won’t see me here anymore. Nope. No need for any of this when I’m swimming in her eyes again.

  13. “Poyittu varren, Thatha.”

    I constantly wish I’d said something more meaningful, but the memory of his vacant expression reminds me that the opportunity had long passed. Besides, the meaningful had been said long ago: on the beach collecting seashells, in eagerly-awaited, hastily-opened aerogrammes…

    The seashells and letters are still there but he isn’t.

  14. For thirty years he’d resented that he had no father… just a McDad. McDad with “his” wife, “his” family. Thereafter, the McMansion, and now – with such obliviousness for the bad cliche – a McWife. Yet today, he – the son – smiles. Smiles, chuffed to his bollocks, to realise that pretty Mrs. McWife has eyes only for him.

  15. Hi Anna, I don’t have a 55, but I just wanted to say I’m glad the Smiths cheered you up. I’m a regular reader but infrequent commentator. I think you’re a terrific writer and this blog addresses a lot of the issues I’m interested in.

  16. What makes me miserable: When people completely misunderstand what I say and jump to all kinds of conclusions. When I realise that I am a few steps ahead of them and no matter how much I try I will not be able to convince them.

    What’s heaven: When they’ve come up my level and I see comments like: “I normally don’t agree with MoorNam, but…” or “I cannot stand MoorNam, but on this particular issue…” or “I cannot believe that I’m saying this, but MoorNam has nailed the crux of the topic…“.

    M. Nam

  17. What makes me miserable: When people completely misunderstand what I say and jump to all kinds of conclusions.

    Well gosh, pumpkin…I didn’t think you cared. ;)

  18. In D.C., she walked by the Taj and laughed out loud; the people she was with didn’t understand and she didn’t explain, but she was thinking of this, written by a woman she had never met, nor ever would. A woman who had changed the way she thought, a bit, though she would never know.

    (p.s. am not creepy stalker-type, just member of fan club ^__^)

  19. I lean my head against the smudged glass of the clinic window and take in the oversized placard displaying an aborted fetus. Watch men and women in their windbreakers shiver, chat, sip coffee, unfold lawnchairs.

    I put my hood up and don sunglasses. Wonder if my friends will recognize me when I walk past them.

  20. Oh, Rupa…you’re on fire, this week. Just wonderful.

    Blue- Lovely. Wish I had met you when you were in DC! :)

    UPS- I’m glad the Smiths cheer me up as well. :D

    Shodan-san- Swoonworthy, truly.

    MFunnier: No need to apologize…

    ylrsings- I’m waiting. :) No pressure. ;)

    Bengali Ani- Thanks, honey. One day, IRL, I hope.

    1. their eyes filled with tears…as i told them the news…the tumor was back..and this time with a vengeance… she cried as she muffled that her boyfriend would now leave her… i sat there with my hands on her shoulders.. trying to keep her from crumbling down… alas, this was just another day…

    2. watching his laughter…eyes aglow..full of promise, hope, and kindnes.. peering into their family…so close.. yet so detached.. he was only 10.. with bubblegum and baseball cards in his back pocket… we were going to go to a game one day… but a few weeks later.. he was gone..and retraction was necessary..

    3. how many more days? how many more hours? when will this barbaric treament end? most people have a countdown.. but for some it is therapeutic..both emotinoally and physically… the walls that many have seen before…the walls that some may never see again…and the walls that some will see during their last breath…

  21. My friends and I. built a business and Sold it High. Now I am worried about taxes and my Friends are ex-es. Life’s a bitch. I need t’ hook’er.

  22. “Johnny Come Home” (aka I can do eighties music references, too!)

    Part 1: The thing about Sunday night is that you can’t block out the sound of the lonely wind. If you look out your bedroom window, you see: homes, lights, streets, street lamps, fields, corn-stalks, all frozen. Tommorrow it will be Monday, and school, and jeans you roll up and tuck into narrow cuffs, and a locker.

    Part 2: The thing is, you will walk back and forth, past that locker, you love the falling pit in your stomach, the fear, the dry mouth, the eyes, the glance, the promise. You imagine: someday I will live in the city and the wind won’t be lonely and there will be food, warmth, messiness, glances, lots.

    *Ignore my crankiness, mutineers. I will always love you….is that an eighties song, too?

  23. On loneliness:

    Cheerful smile, confident stride, carefully chosen to accessorize the nonchalance she wears to keep warm from her disappointments.

    Come, let me hold you and refill your strength… by the way, great boots.

    No less! she sparkles, and thanks, but it’s fine. I can fix it by…my…self.

    She leaves the tip, I watch her walk away.

  24. The poetry and soul of a poet-singer from rainy Manchester inspiring an Indian girl in sunny California

    Morrisey is Universal and ANNA is his greatness proof.

  25. Hey ANNA — check out this souled up version of Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before by Mark Ronson, great isnt it? Video is a bit mental but the song is still so wonderful — listen for The Supremes hook at the end of the song, brilliant stuff.

  26. my first 55. hope you enjoy!

    When did this obsession take hold? I did not ask for it. It is here. It will not go. This unhealthy obsession with your name, your face, your body, your words, your jokes, your everything. I wish I could tell you. I can’t. I can’t. Do I mean anything to you?

  27. Saleem Sinai, you thought you were unique. But sixty years after you were born, another gifted moderator tries to manage so many other young minds and thoughts. Now Anna knows how impossible Saleem’s job was. So many voices, is this experiment destined to fail? A less spectacular group of midnight’s children try again, and hope.

  28. Hi ANNA- Just some constructive criticism here… I know you have had people down your throat at SM lately. It is interesting to see that no one seems to attack the other mutineers in the way they attack you. My honest impression is that they do that b/c you take a more personal approach to SM than the other bloggers. I have always thought that SM was a blog about South Asian-American issues, but sometimes your posts appear to be about a South Asian-American blogger with issues (i.e., your posts may be better suited to your personal blog than at SM). Also, I understand that you are saddened that the commenters from back in the day are no longer commenting, but your words made it seems as though you aren’t happy with today’s commenters. I hope that is not the case. I found out about this blog w/in the last year, and have enjoyed it very much. But when you say things like you said, it may make the “new” commenters (like myself) feel like you don’t want them around.

  29. Sigh. I kind of knew where this was going when I read the whole, “South Asian American blogger WITH issues”-bit. The reason why I get more negativity is actually part of a larger debate occurring around the web; it might surprise you to learn that it’s mostly plain old misogyny and it doesn’t just happen here.

    As for my not wanting new commenters around: nothing could be further from the truth. I care passionately about the health and future of this blog and to me, it’s a reality-check when people who usually donate money for our server costs no longer feel that this is a worthwhile read. I love our new commenters. Our new trolls, however, remind me of hemorrhoids.

    p.s. I’d like to get back to 55s, thanks. “Socialite”, please take your issues with me/future advice offline, if you would be so considerate; after all, if you really are being constructive, you won’t mind that it will be a private vs. public conversation. My handle contains my address.

  30. The shy bald Buddhist reflects and plans an existential funk instead of a mass murder:

    “At 14 I wanted to be sad and at 32 I just want to be happy, because everything is perishable, and there is far more pain in life than SATs and love and popularity, and everything they tell you about yoga is right, and everything they tell you about therapy is wrong, and nothing really matters anyways.”

  31. I’m miserable and somtimes i’m not but in that time that’s rare I’m still hurt because of whats on my mind. I was hoping you can help me you have my e-mail anyway. My father once told me that depresion is the wurst sickness. A 11 year old kid should not be like this. I still love my family.