Posts Tagged With: friends

Amnesia Worth Remembering

Here’s the trouble with self induced amnesia: when you want to remember you are not even sure you can. Maybe you no longer have the permission. The knowing is lost for always.

When I try to remember the you I wanted to forget I am cursed with the insecurity of believing I’m no longer allowed. I am the one who said Done with You, my unfriend. Off with your head I cried! But. But! But, the curse upon hearing my words, instead decided upon your mind.
Every time I think of you the corners of my mind are crowded with uninvited ghosts. The self destruction. The frantic come-now-go behavior. The confusion and the breaking of hearts. I walked away to save my selfish self but in doing so I lost the right to ask you about you. Does that mean I lost the right to care?
I am now reduced to friends of friends texting. The sly begging for slivers of information. The trepidation of being shut out. The potential to be shunned because I’m the one who shut down. Or, was that you? Chronologically, you did it first. You’ll do it last, thanks to the danger that curls around your curls.
Do I deserve to ask? Do I deserve to know? No. I know I can’t know. I stumbled and staggered away because you pushed. Now I miss you without having the right to say the words outloud. I’m so nobody that there is no one who will think to think of me. Maybe Seriously should know is not a decision anyone deems significant enough to decide.

Confessional: I tapped a friend on the shoulder and whispered Should I know? behind your back. I think I only want permission to stay gone without guilt. If granted I shall sink back into the primordial unknowing and pretend I never heard. This girl can go back to faking amnesia with a callous air of disregard.
“…wishing she had never spoken your name; had never known your name.”

Categories: Confessional, life | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

the People Project

My kisa and I have a pretty common refrain year after year and that is “We Should See (fill-in-the-blank) More Often. It’s more than the polite Let’s Get Together and then never do. We really do want to stay connected to certain people in our lives. On NYE I broached the subject of the People Project, not at all confident Kiss would take to it. Lo and behold, he loved it. Who knew?

What the PP entails:
We brainstormed for 10-15 minutes, listing all the people we miss & want to keep current in our lives. It didn’t matter if they were his family mine, my friends or his, close or far away, already active in our social circles or long absent. None of that mattered. Each name was put on a tag and thrown into a mason jar. Some names were dropped in twice: once as a set (Mike and Beth) and once individually, one for Mike and one for Beth.

Each month our plan is to draw a tag out of the jar and get in touch with that person. No more, no less. No plans to reunite, rekindle, re-anything. Just get in touch. Either via phone call or e/mail. No FB or Instagram or Snap or what have you. If the initial contact leads to plans to get together then we have 60 days to make it happen. No empty promises. We bought a calendar to track how this all shakes out.

January = my sister-in-law and her husband. Perfect. We have a gift for the kid (yes, it’s a Christmas gift. Stop judging!). Instead of dropping by their house we will make plans to actually go out to dinner, just the four five of us…as soon as they are back from Florida.

It sounds pathetic that we would need to make a game out of being social but we are both hardcore homebodies. As soon as we get home we are barnacled in for the night. Once our asses are there it’s hard to uproot us from the comfort of our couch! Not to mention the fact we have played the “love to see you” card way too many times.

On a personal note, over the Christmas break I joined a stranger holiday card exchange. I sent ten cards to ten strangers and in return ten different strangers wrote to me. I sent cards to places as far away as Brazil and as close by as Pennsylvania. In return, I heard back from the Netherlands and Massachusetts, California and Canada, Arizona, Georgia, Ohio. Some of the people I initially wrote first have written me back. Of course I wrote back again. How could I not? It’s like I’m 13 all over again with all new pen pals. I sent stickers. Someone made me an origami book mark. Someone else drew me a picture of a wolf. It’s like little gifts! Very fun to be a part of.

Categories: Confessional, life, People Project | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

the Dying Art

I’ve been thinking about death quite a bit lately. It might have something to do with losing a beautiful friend in September. It might have something to do with running a marathon in order to properly grieve the death of my bestest cousin. It definitely has something to do with the death of a library patron/friend a few weeks ago, the death of the guy we bought our house from (only 43 years old!) and the demise of twins, empathy and sympathy.

But. But! But, there is one thing I refuse to let die: the art of writing a good letter. People have asked me about the Christmas cards to Strangers project. More info about that can be found on LibraryThing but I guess you need to be a member… I’m excited to send out cards for a few strangers. It’s the least I can do in this age of caring less.

Letting things die is an interesting concept. In stressing out about compromises and keeping things copacetic I lost my connection to the concept of letting go. If you let something wither, technically you didn’t kill it, correct? Neglect doesn’t equal murder unless one side of the equation is truly hopeless and helpless. Am I right?

Last night I jumped on the tread for exactly eleven minutes. Why 11? I wanted to see how far I could go with my eyes screwed shut. I wanted to run blind, even if it meant half a mile. When I turned off the sight and ran by sense of balance I got as far as 1.04. Well, at least that’s not dead.

Categories: Confessional, life, running | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Touching Twenty and Other Stories

How do you know when your worlds are colliding? You can’t remember who you said what to nor when. Or…if you even said anything at all. That’s the worst.

It’s been over two weeks since my last confession. In that space of time I have traveled to Peaks (ran 11.73), sailed to Monhegan (ran 5.22), went to NoHo (ran 19.73), and ended up in Holyoke (ran 5.38). Every location was punctuated with a run but the lasting memory was that of a connection.

Peaks. Peaks was a chance to reconnect to my sister. Have I mentioned how much I love this island? And yet, for this visit it was a place of worry (El Faro – need I say more?) and indecision (would the boat run to Monhegan? What would Joaquin do?). I wanted to stay in the cradle of Casco Bay for one more night, if only to clear the questions and keep close to my sister.

Monhegan. What can I say about 04852 that hasn’t already been said? A twilight run without biting dogs and bird watchers. That was great but honestly, it wasn’t the best part. Heaven came when Kisa and I got to spend every afternoon down by the ocean. Sifting through sea glass and watching the setting sun; lulled by the insistence of the rising tide. Heaven was made perfect when my mother was able to get away from tourist obligations and join us just in time for the sunset.

Northampton. This is when I almost touched twenty. But, the story is not about running 19.73 miles. The story is in what happened next. After the 19+ the Nike running belt I was wearing, the one that weighs next to nothing, was killing my lower back. Don’t ask me how. It just was. I don’t remember taking it off but somewhere between here and there I lost it. Dropped it. Whatever. Despite dead of night searching it was gone, gone, gone. Outwardly, I thanked my lucky stars the only thing in it was a tube of Burts and my butt ugly drivers license (good riddance although I ordered a replacement immediately). Inside, I was quietly dying. That belt had seen me through countless miles of walking and running. I was going to miss it. Fast forward a day. I get a message from a colleague. Her friend found the belt about 15 miles away while he was on an extra long bike ride. After looking me up on FB he discovered our mutual friend and had her get in touch with me. So, here’s this guy, riding his bike in an area he usually doesn’t frequent, finding my belt. He does some social media stalking and discovers he knows my colleague and the only reason why I know her is because she went to school with Kisa. That’s the crazy thing – this mutual friend was originally my husband’s friend from high school. As a colleague, she’s an adjunct; barely on campus. Our paths don’t cross ever. Ever. Now I have reconnected with my belt and soon (oh joy) I’ll have two (two!) butt ugly licenses. Ah! The power of social media.

Holyoke. Ashley Reservoir. I love this place, oddly enough, almost as much as Florence and Monhegan. It’s a different kind of place – one that I can’t really explain. The run itself was a nondescript 5.38 miles. The devil is in the details: my pace was a steady 9:17. For those of you who don’t know this turtle, sub-10 is my race pace. Not my gentle recovery run pace. But, But. But! Not once did I tell moi or myself we were running too fast for my heart to keep up. Not once did my lungs ask for a break. If anything my legs connected with my madness and we raced against the clouds in the darkening sky. In the end we felt joy in the raindrops that seemed to wait until the end of the run to fall.

Categories: Confessional, running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can’t Stand It No More

Almost every work day the Beast and I get coffee together. We joke that we are work wed as we are often seen together. Indeed, there is no one else I confess as much to on any given Monday. But. There is another confession I must make. I’m using him for his wife at the moment. She’s a runner. Or. She used to be a runner. Or, she’s a ex-runner returning to the run. Or something like that. I’m not really sure. Anyway, Best Beast will come to work and report the wifey ran six miles. 5.2 to 5.8 miles per hour and getting faster. I drool over the details because I have been dead in the water for three weeks now. May 3rd seems so long ago. I’m beginning to think 13.1 was someone else’s run. Or just a dream I had. Obviously, I need a fix.

It got to me. All this talk about running; it finally wore me down. Mrs. Beastie’s return to the run had me jealous with a capital J. I couldn’t believe how much covet her treadmill time. I’m insanely jealous of her anything having to do with the run. Ridiculously so. So much so that I couldn’t stand it anymore. I told Kisa, “tonight I run. Training be damned. I’m doomed anyway. I’d rather run. Fukc the walk.” Those were my exact words.

Getting back on the New Guinea tread was like revisiting an old lover. Remember me? I was tempted to go mind numbingly slow in case I’ve lost my edge. I couldn’t remember the rule – at what point do you lose cardio endurance? But, after five minutes at a 12 minute pace I told myself I was letting my old nemesis, Fear, get the better of me. Up went the incline and the speed. At the end, all told – 3.44 miles in 35 minutes. 10.11 pace. Nice and easy. No red face. No shortness of breath. Just the sheer satisfaction of cavorting with the Guinea.

Like an addict I just couldn’t stay away from the run. But, But. But! I’m a smart junkie. This is my last run until next Tuesday. I promise. 😉

Categories: Confessional, running | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Where Are You Now?

It has been an incredibly stressful week, from start to finish. A week ago Tuesday I flew to Colorado and while I love that state with a passion you know me and flying…we just don’t get along. So first element of stress – flying. Second “stresser” – meeting new people. Third stresser – seeing family and confronting grief head on. My fourth stresser was something I didn’t anticipate but I’ll get to that later.

The flight was, for the most part, fine. I think I drove Kisa crazy wanting to talk about September 11th the entire time. An odd choice of topic for someone as nerved up about planes as I am, but I can’t explain my mind. I practically started and finished a book on the same flight (Tear Down the Mountain by Roger Alan Skipper). I sat next to a girl who kept her nose in a book the entire time, too. Funny thing was, I noticed her in the terminal and was dying to know what she was reading. All I got was it was by Nicholas Sparks. Figures. On the second leg of the flight I noticed a guy in the terminal reading while standing up. Every once in a while he would chuckle to himself. Odd. Guess what? I sat next to him from Charlotte to Denver. He was reading Homer. The Odyssey. Go figure.

Anyway, meeting new people. Best Man West’s new girl. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. In the end I was actually more social and comfortable in my own skin than she was. Who knew?

I’m saving the family/grief part for another time. I still need to process that part. I also need to deal with the new stress I encountered on the trip. The purpose of this quick and dirty is to let everyone know I am alive and well. I wasn’t home but I am now. xoxox

Categories: Confessional | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Nuts

The pedometer came off this week. First time in nearly five months. It’s weird not to count every step. Training walks are done. Fund raising is done. It’s strange not to count every penny. Strange not to want to talk to people about taking care of women with cancer. All that’s left is packing (with one eye on the weather channel at all times). It’s hard to believe this time is here now. Now it’s time for new nuts. Seriously.

I need to find courage for the upcoming events in my life. These things require more gumption than I can muster at the moment. There is no time for eyes-shut-tight cringing and blind no-faith jumping. I cannot move forward in fear. I will not survive this otherwise.

I went on a 3.5 hour walk with a friend on Sunday. As soon as our feet starting moving so did my mouth. Out came every insecurity and every doubt. My friend caught every negative statement and tossed back something constructive. Her advice was a spin; a new angle. 14 miles later I have more good advice than my mind’s pockets can hold. Positivity is spilling. My head is spinning.

One thing at a time. Send my cousin to his final resting place with honesty and love. Nothing I say will be perfect. Nothing I say will move mountains. Here’s what matters most: What I say to the cousin I love. As for the rest of it, to hell with it AND them.

Categories: Charity, Confessional, Fund Raising, Just Cause, life, Walking | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgot My Place

I was supposed to train this weekend. You know, the walk? The 60 mile thing in May? Despite the shin/ankle injury two years ago and the raging blisters from last year I am not worried about the physical portion of this whole charity gig. In reality I’m frantic about the $$ I am supposed to raise, but that’s another story entirely.

So, back to the nonathletic weekend. Something else took my concentration away entirely. Natalie! I wish I could phonetically spell out how Dave Letterman screeches her name because that’s how I’ve been saying it for the last three days (aside from speaking in a pirate voice from time to time). Seriously.

The evening was perfect. Despite the fact we ended up at a diner instead of sushi. Despite the fact my wrap failed to have the proper cheese (I know because goat cheese doesn’t melt like that). Despite the fact the woman in front of me had a weird body odor and the woman behind me could not sing to save her life. Despite all that, it was perfect.
Natalie came out, dressed in black with fishnets and maryjanes; her hair cut in a shorter bob and…blond highlights? That took a little getting used to. From the back I wouldn’t have known her. But, as soon as she opened her mouth, I knew we were in the right place. ‘Land of Nod’ was first. I dared not look at the setlist for fear of expecting something (as it was she didn’t sing ‘Ophelia’). Nothing is worse than looking forward to a particular song only to have it cut from the performance. I know better than to assume.

Highlights of the night: ‘Life is Sweet’ sung right in front of me; making us both emotional. ‘Verdi Cries.’ Was Kisa thinking of our wedding day? I was. ‘Indian Names.’ Didn’t I just get through saying it’s a hard one to perform with a band? But, wait. This was no ordinary band. This was an orchestra. Talented young adults. Amazingly talented. Anything was possible. And of course, ‘MMMM’ complete with hand motions and my tears. I think I’m homesick.

I wanted a night of culture. Symphony and serious. I wanted a night out with the people I adore. I forgot the training, forgot the run. Forgot my place but found magic. It was a night to remember.

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Where Are We?

We went to see Sean play the other night. It has been awhile. I can’t even remember the last gig, the last time I saw heard Sean. How sad is that? I have been missing the music. That is for sure.

The night started simply enough. Dinner at the Albany Pump Station. If you haven’t been you need to go. For the hoppy people there are plenty of beer selections and for the foody people like myself,  plenty to chose from on the menu. We were told there would be an hour wait when we first arrived so the boys ordered brews and I busied myself with texting a friend. I was secretly, no – I’ll admit it, openly hoping he would swing by for a few minutes. It’s been too long. Within twenty minutes we had a booth designed for either lovers or patrons with flashlights. I don’t remember the restaurant being as dark the last time…(?) But, the food was good and the company, even better. We had nachos piled high and amazing sandwiches with fries (with vinegar- only had to ask twice).

While dinner was great it marked the end of simplicity. Sean’s venue, the Marketplace Gallery, was in an interesting location. We had no problem finding the address. We just couldn’t believe where we were. We asked Where Are We? a lot. The area was definitely industrial. Poorly lit streets littered with trash. Not a sign in sight. If a black cat or a ghost had crossed our path I wouldn’t have been surprised. Sean’s website said the show started at 7:30pm and people were starting to pull in and park around us. We hesitantly began to feel like we had the right place. A mailbox inside the door confirmed our hunch and indicated we needed to climb two floors up. We complied still questioning. Where are we again?

If we hadn’t run into Sean in the hall I would have definably had my doubts. Everyone we passed was art personified. Young art. Colorful art. Drinking art. Hip art. Too cool for me art. I felt like an ancient redwood standing in a forest of tender saplings. I felt like I had crashed someone’s going away party. Sean’s hug was reassuring if not his words, “you are really early. I don’t go on until 9pm-ish.” It ended up being more like 9:45pm-ish but it was well worth the wait.

There is something about Sean’s voice that people always rave about. Soulful and sage. He can reach into your psyche and pull out emotions you didn’t even know you had tucked away. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s the songwriting that grabs me tight. The words lock themselves around me until I am constricted and concrete. Frozen to every utterance.  I cannot breath for wanting more. ‘Wet’ will always be the song that devastates me. The imagery is strong like whiskey, hard to swallow and burning. Yet, there is a warmth that bubbles from within. I cannot explain it any other way. Until recently ‘Wet’ was Sean’s last song of the set list. After each show I would be sent out into the cool night air with words of abuse ringing in my ears and tears stinging my eyes. This night at the Gallery Sean started with ‘Wet’ as filler while waiting for a friend. I didn’t have time to drink in the poison. Probably a good thing. I did not swallow. I didn’t cry.

The rest of the show was distracted and disconnected. Because I spent most of the night staring at airbrushed images of Jason Voorhees’s face on a toilet seat and a buxom vampire on a skateboard the music took on a surreal quality. From where I sat I couldn’t see Sean at all. It was if he had become an angst-filled devil wailing behind the wall of coffins and caricatures.

The best thing to come out of the trip was hearing new music. Everything Sean touches is Magic – pun partially intended. I dare you to listen to his words and not be moved. I hope there is a new album in the works. Then I won’t be asking Where are We because I will know. Heaven.

Sorry – no set list this time. From where I sat I had an incredibly hard time understanding the introductions to the new songs. As for the “old” songs he busted out Wet, Old Black Dodge, American, Jonathan, Surprise and Night. Definitely not in that order. You can check out a video of American here.

Categories: life, music | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Annie was Right

The sun WILL come out tomorrow and I didn’t have to bet a bottom dollar on it. There is evidence of a silver lining in my skies of gray. Finally. It started with really nice weather for the weekend. The chance to be outside in the garden without frozen fingers and steamy breath and itchy wool wrapped around my neck. Kisa painted the last of Hilltop and I replanted iris bulbs. I have no idea what I’m doing so I’ll consider them gifts from the gardening gods if they actually take root next year. The soil is clay, heavy and unyielding. I don’t have faith, even if I had fun planting.

This weekend was also the weekend of the phone. Four hours with mom, one hour with a friend and get this, nearly two hours with my sister. Shock of all shocks. My S i s t e r. It felt good to be honest. It felt great to be blunt. I was done pretending I haven’t been confused; that I haven’t been hurt. I was only fooling myself anyway. Everyone around me knew my pain better than me, & myself. But, better than that I heard an apology and I saw the air clear. Perception is reality even for the really insane. When I saw was real but not reality. I get it now.

Sunday night saw a concert. Playing For Change*. I want to see more of them. Kisa and I were front row -front and center. Literally. It was breathtaking to be so close to the action. Being drawn in was unavoidable. The energy was contagious and the fun never stopped. I don’t think the smile left my face all night. I think I have an African heart. I want dance like that; to be free like that. It was intoxicating.

All in all it was a good weekend. I didn’t think about the things that ail me. I kicked around the idea of a kitten. We might be ready. I’m ready for change.

 

*More on them later.

Categories: Confessional, Hilltop, music, renovations | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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