A Tulsa Bar Crawl
“I spent a lotta time here.”
Currently shooting Illusion Travels by Boxcar
This morning I was awoken by a phone call from Patty’s sister, Barbara. She launched into a harangue against Patty in which she basically called her sister a hopeless bum. She said Patty doesn’t want to be a content person, that she always craves excitement. Her ex-social worker, Celia, told me early on that Patty would always be restless, irritable, and discontent wherever she was. I’ve noticed this in the time I’ve known her. Once she is situated in a stable place, she inevitably finds something to complain about. A third of her day is taken up with grousing and complaining about one thing or the other. Some of this is due to the physical pain she’s in from her broken hip, her hepatitis C, and her diabetes. But most of it is just because Patty’s dependent on everyone around her to such a degree that she can’t get anything done on her own. Imagine how irritable you would be if, every time you wanted to effect some change in your life, you had to depend on somebody else to do it for you. Celia told me that according to Eric Erickson’s theory of the eight stages of human maturity, the seventh one involves learning generativity rather than staying in self-absorption. Celia believes that Patty got stuck in the self-absorption phase when she learned she had a talent for making people do things for her. Celia and I have both noticed that we are susceptible to Patty’s charm (helping her seems the natural thing to do), while others are repelled by her. So, Patty hasn’t transcended her self-absorption to allow herself the strength to reach out and help others yet, but I know that if we do see that, it will signal a huge change.
Tonight, I didn’t make it to my second AA meeting to try and meet Patty’s daughter. Frank and I got caught on the freeway because of a big rig that was almost cut in half and burned. Patty got angry with me for turning the camera on her too much. She said she didn’t appreciate being the subject all the time, although she likes being the “star” most of the time, and that she thinks I could stand to make money on the project; therefore, what was in it for her? The only way I could respond was in my usual obsessive mode: I wanted to reach for a camera and record her outburst.
“I don’t like being the subject.”
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