Bird Scribble

A Deafening Silence

Just writing this blog is such irony. The only reason I am getting to do this is because my editing software for the documentary has decided to rainbow wheel me to death, a shared death. I’ve been reassured by a few Apple geniuses that someone this coming week will be able to fix this issue. As for now, the anxiety builds as my deadline approaches and I am unable to work on my project for the next few days.

Of course, I desperately searched for other things I could work on for the documentary, strategizing to make myself productive. I went through most of the audio files, including the Japanese files, to cut them down from memory (and thankfully had my transcriptions of all the film). That took about a day. I am aware I may be missing audio clips since, again, it was from memory, but I’m further along than I would have been if I just sat commiserating, dredging up the fear that my project is doomed.

I’ve also made sure that my Handy Zoom recorder has batteries for next weeks voice over recordings. I am unable to record at my own home that is constantly bustling with noise, so I’ve received confirmation that I can commandeer my best friend’s place while she and her roommate are off at work. I take that as a win.

But… I’m now stuck. Nothing much else to do with the documentary.

I remember sitting at my desk, both my laptops out, staring with despondence at both, the sun having set hours prior, and thinking, “wtf now?” I was so used to riding the wave of frustration, of lack of sleep, of anxiety, of overwhelming fear, of negative responses, of lost passions, of exhaustion, of the proverbial never-ending list, of, of, of…

Sometimes, I’d watch myself from the outside at nights. I’d hit my witching hour. It felt so visceral. I could literally see myself, disheveled, stabbing away at my computer, losing sanity punch by punch, email by email, not knowing how to keep unhinged the coffin I was subsequently pinning down. A zombie.

I was examining myself. I couldn’t figure out how to make this girl happy. She thought making the documentary would fill her up, give her something to be proud of producing. She thought it would be a cathartic experience. Closure.

But she’s not outside herself. She’s inside, on the hamster wheel. Her thoughts, yanking this way and that, pulsing worst at the times she doesn’t want to worry about them.

[[[“You are what you think you are.” Okay, think positive thoughts. Wake up with only a smile, play some heart-warming music, open your email — oh, bad news — okay, well keep going… loud banging noises, cacophony — you’ve got this — phone rings, “hello, this is she”, more shitty news, then the editor acts up — blinggg, “how’s the documentary going? You aren’t done yet?” Ignore. — write more emails asking for permission, make phone calls — $3,500 for a lawyers help!? — tap, tap, tap, click, click, click, rainbow circle of death again — search the web; let’s check up on people who I need stuff from, make sure to redo that clip, shit, I need my other computer — why are there so many cables! — trips over cable — why can’t this music just work, it’d be really helpful — another negative email — don’t cry, just keep going, check your business account so you can pay for the licensed clips — damn, Gina, that’s a hefty check — I’m getting a head ache, but who needs a head right now? HANGRY HANGRYY HIPPOOOO. — oh, great, rendering hell again — “You have it yet?” “No, I still need more time, sorry.” — jeez, is the day almost over already? It’s gotta be dinner time……… 12:30pm.]]]

All good thoughts gone. They jump out of her second story window. But, let’s repeat, repeat, repeat.

How’s the documentary going?
How’s the documentary going?
How’s the documentary going?
How’s the documentary going?

……. “It’s going (to drive me mad).”

Having to slow down these past two days has also slapped me in the face with a metal glove full of guilt. I’ve been out, in social settings, twice this summer. TWICE. I wish I could laugh at that fact. And I’ve gone out, in general, 5 times. I could count hanging out at a friend’s house as six times, if you want to get really picky. I’ve completely ignored my need for companionship in order to finish this plague of a project. I feel like such a terrible daughter, absent friend, failure of an adult, hidden in the cracks from summer’s bliss.

I love to write and create. I know that’s what makes me happy. I didn’t realize that would be suffocated during this project. So much energy gets depleted making sure this documentary is getting the nourishment it deserves, but there are no reserves left at the end of the day for anything else. I have so many stories and ideas dying to burst out, but they drowned with every tear I shed because of the influx of declines, no thank you’s, sorry Charlie’s, wait longer, and longer, and longers… the life drains away. I’m not pale from being cooped up inside all day; I’m pale because the gas tank is at empty.

I can not wait until I am done with this project. The motivation used to come from a more genuine place, one driven from the need to help others and get our voices heard, “deliver us from evil,” and so on. That is, and will always be, the foundation. But the motivation lately has been driven from the need to help me. If I have to rummage through my wedding videos one more time so I can find footage that doesn’t contain my husband’s face, I’m going to chuck the hard drive into a wall. I’m emotionally exhausted. I listen and read and watch, over and over, the pain that so many are going through. I don’t want to relive this everyday. And some days, I almost feel desensitized to it. If you stare at something so long, it becomes normal. I don’t want this to be a normal for me. I don’t want to become used to reciting the past, clipping around highlights and tears. Do you know how ugly I look when I cry? Ya’ll are in for a real treat. I’ve gotta put that in the documentary and man, I’d give anything if this was a comedy and not the telling of tragedy from a hundred viewpoints.

I’m a voluptuous Russian nesting doll. The stress is never ending. What I want to be is a Russian resting doll.

Miraculously, I caught a glimpse of that. Because I’ve been sin documentary work, I went to a friends, had a home cooked meal, partook in some adult recreational activities, woke up not having to rush to my computer to work, went to the Apple Store (they couldn’t do anything about my issue), went home, and……. fell asleep at 9pm, all night, not waking until 7am. Unheard of! I even did a workout! A real workout. I’m going to be extremely sore, but what a thought! And after writing this, I’m going to revel in reading my book (that has been sitting on my shelf for over month since I never find the time to read it), and then I’m going to work through some writing I’ve been thinking about since the beginning of summer; jot down ideas, list a few things that I can do once the project is complete. Shoot, I may even try and go out tonight. Like, OUT — put make up on, flirt until I get a free drink, wear clothes other than pajama-category match-ups… basically, feel like an almost 30yr old adult.

I am Cinderella. My carriage will only last for so long until the clock strikes midnight and these feet find themselves planted underneath my desk once again, strapped in for the rollercoaster that is my documentary. I don’t look forward to this next month that will ultimately be filled with more letdowns, more tears, more sleepless nights. But I do look forward to (hopefully) creating an immortal picture of our suffering that deserves justice. I want to shake the medical world. I want to work alongside doctors for answers instead of constantly battling them. Sometimes you gotta throw strikes for them to take you seriously.

[[[ I’m screaming. I’m shouting. And it’s silence. ]]]

Love, B. R. Banos

*photo from B. Burnham's, "Egghead"

One thought on “A Deafening Silence

  1. I am 1 1/2 years steroid free!!! It has been the worst hell anyone can go through! I have made it my mission also to do what you are doing! I would love to meet/help/work with you in the future! Everyone’s stories need to be told to bring awareness to TSW! I can’t wait for your documentary!!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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