Can anyone explain time? Can anyone explain a year in time? I haven’t written for four months. Not because I’ve been busy. Because I haven’t. I’m still reading. Still hobbling through a few miles and even less races. Everything is same old- same old except it isn’t. Time has changed everything and I don’t know where to start. But. But! But I’m even more afraid of where this will end.
So. Here it was. A year ago I was outside of myself with grief. It was like I crawled out of my common sense and went crazy. Certifiably. I made myself sick with the unknowing; knowing I didn’t have the right to know more. I did everything in my power to not care; to not communicate; to not commit to coming forward. I did everything I could to let go. Except Let. Go. Deep in the back of my clicking mind I clung to what was, wrongly so.
So. Here it is. You and you are back in my life. Two Yous that don’t make a whole lot of sense.
You are the unexpected train wreck I delicately stepped aside for thirty-one years ago. You have continued down your tracks of destruction for years and years and now, after all this time, I stand blindly in the way, willing and wanting you to hit me head on. Why?
And You. You are the avalanche that coldly pushed me aside five years ago. Gentle and without violence you froze me to immobility and then angled me out of the way. You could have buried me beneath your ice but you chose to rumble by, barely letting me breathe. I was left standing and staring, wrecked and wracked in the wake of your leaving. Now, after all this time, I stand blindly in the way, willing and wanting you to say my name. Why?
Did you ever dream so hard that when you woke up you lost your reality ? The dream has you dislocated because it was the real road map in your mind’s eye. Waking is the lie. I dream of You without train whistles and steam. I dream of You without white swirling snow. I dream but I die either way.
I ran a half marathon this weekend after two failed attempts to reach even eight miles. My sea of obsession has dried up. There is not enough water left to drink let alone drown. I now know what happened to You. And to You. Here. All I know is it is here.
It has been a month since I heard the news. It’s been a month of doing absolutely nothing. By choice. But, But. but! Isn’t that what they say? The choice to do nothing is still doing something? I chose to ignore.
In truth I ran in purple this weekend with you in mind. Doesn’t that contradict everything I said I feel? Nothing I said I would do? A prince’s power to make me think of you. A Purple Reign. The night before I got the word. You are still a heartbeat; alive and kicking they say. You just don’t have as much to say. Duly noted. I won’t say it either.
But, let me back up and just say “But, I ran.” I know I will sound like someone else when I offer up excuses, but they are all true. I wasn’t feeling well before the Purple Run. I was tempted to turn a ten into a five and call it good. No. I could only tell myself came here to run. Not make my excuses. The temptation was fleeting and gone before I could really chew on it. Instead I threw up.
This was a good run, all things considered. A solid sub ten minute mile the entire way. Through crowds of meandering families strolling with their strollers and dogs I managed to break an hour. Boston in my ear, telling me he’s going to buy me a beer…right after a run to the Dunk. It’s only an app but it had me giggling. I like my Boston.
I have moved on from this. I’m setting my sights on a half. My first since September. I have moved on.
Categories: Charity, Confessional, life, running
Tags: 10k, Confessional, friendship, illness, insane meoments, love, pace, purple run, race, run, running
Lately all I’ve been doing is writing about running. Blah blah blah. I’m a scarred record with the hiccup of “the run, the run, the run” and now it’s making even me a little weary. So, for something a little different, here are some mini rants:
I sit on a committee. I sit on a lot of those things, but there is this one committee that is driving me nuts. The very name of the committee indicates the membership has one focus and one focus only. Pretend it’s the cafeteria committee. As a member of the cafeteria committee you would know your charge is…well…all about the cafeteria, right? You would expect other cafeteria committee members to know whether or not said cafeteria has….say…forks. Right? So, why was it such a snide remark when I suggested committee X members take a tour of X before our next meeting? Maybe because some members have been on this committee for over ten years and still have never seen the second floor? I bang my head against the wall every time I see committee X on my calendar.
Yesterday I said goodbye to one of my oldest friends. We didn’t keep in touch daily, weekly or even monthly. We had that relationship – you know the kind – when you can go for a very long time without speaking and one day pick up right where you last left off. One laugh together and we don’t skip a beat; we’re right back into the mischief of being fourteen again. The last time we were physically together we were elbow to elbow in a dive bar, laughing about the old days. There was nothing left to do but laugh. Yesterday, I was in that same dive bar just before her funeral. It was with a shock that I realized it was the place we had our last unknown hello and goodbye. What would we have said differently had we known? In reality, I’m glad we didn’t. We went our separate ways; drifting off into the cool September night still giggling from girlhood memories. I will remember her that way. Always.
I saw a mother-daughter blog this morning that prompted a rant. The mother is a public figure and very protective of her daughter’s image. The daughter is rarely seen in public and is never referred to by first name. Fans don’t even know how to pronounce her name because, despite seeing it in print, they have never heard it pronounced. By anyone.
So, needless to say it was a pleasant surprise to see mother and daughter together in a website portrait within this blog. A stunning black and white. But, it wasn’t long before rabid fans glommed onto it and the comments started to scroll. Here’s what drives me nuts. People who don’t think. Comments like, “why is her daughter dressed like an old maid” and “why the school marm outfit, mom?” are truly vile and unnecessary. This child is only twelve years old. Who cares how she is dressed? She doesn’t earn her living in the public eye. There is a reason why parents keep their children hidden. How do you explain to an intelligent, worldly, sophisticated little girl that the world is in an uproar over something as trivial as her choice of clothes?
Categories: Confessional, Librarianship, life
Tags: acceptance, angry, celebrity, Confessional, friendship, grief, insane moments, love, parenting, work
For months I have been on the edge of something. Something like depression but not quite. Something on the verge of dulled apathy but not exactly. For months I have been barely able to muster even a small smile. for myself. It was almost as if pure happiness, exalted excitement, or even honest contentment was out of my reach, just beyond my reaching and straining fingertips. It was if I had been standing on the edge of evil and had the devilish urge to jump. But. In a way, it was if I had. I knew I hit rock bottom when I actually dreamed about the D word. I knew I was in trouble with myself and moi when isolation sounded delicious. Never more had I been such the Ice Queen.
I’m thawing. I have a new edge to stand upon. Joy. I’m on the edge of excitement. For starters, work. I finally hired a crew. A good one. This means I eat my spring break vaca and spend it guiding new librarians. But, what newbies they are! They are young, exceedingly smart, funny, and oh-so-charming. They will bring a zest for the profession I haven’t seen in a long, long time. Can you tell I am excited to work with them?
Home. Kisa and I met with the kitchen guy. For a budget less than we expected we are getting a kitchen double in size. Double in function. “Two kitchens in one,” the contractor quipped. Indeed. Mis en place. Everything in its place. Spice racks and pendant lights. Island and peninsula. Granite and hickory and maple. Stainless steel and brushed copper. My color scheme is designed around a handmade olive oil carafe. Insane. These are material things I am gushing about, but here’s the thing. This new kitchen will foster a passion for cooking that I have held at bay. Instead of being frustrated by the cramped and inconvenient space I will grant my culinary imagination wings.
And finally, love. Kisa knows I hate Valentine’s Day. Knows I want to be loved on an ordinary Tuesday rather than a prescribed Hallmark day two weeks into February. But. But! But, yet last night I came home to a card that said it all. “Grateful.” Didn’t I once say I felt taken for granted? Didn’t I once scream that? Wasn’t my meltdown all about no one noticing me, my laundry, my cooking, my cleaning? Me. Me. Me. He’s grateful for me. That’s all I needed. Tonight we celebrate with Rebecca Correia at the microphone. Cannot wait.
I’m on the edge of believing in myself. I’m on the edge of coming back to being me, myself and moi. It’s about time.
Categories: Confessional, Hilltop, Librarianship, life, renovations
Tags: Confessional, cooking, home improvements, insane moments, kisa, kitchen, librarians, life, love, marriage, work
I trained for five months for the Just ‘Cause walk. I spent hours and hours on a treadmill thinking about my cousin and what I could say about him when the time came. 800 miles later the walk is over and I am still speechless. And yet. Words must be said. Eloquent, beautiful, poetic? Hardly. But, I have to say something. How could I not? He was my closest cousin. We had a special bond so I ask again, how could I not? I’m still working on it.
When we were kids we were fascinated by death. We would crouch over a less than alive bird or rat and wonder how “it” happened. We’d poke at the unfortunate beast with a stick and will it to move, want it to strike back, magically come back to life. It never did.
When we were kids we had a bet. He was convinced he would die first. He considered himself reckless and wild at 13. I was confident I would be the chosen one. I thought I had the advantage. My nickname was “Depressed.” How could I lose? We set a wager. The stakes were high.
The day I tried to cheat with a bottle of extra strength pain medication my cousin shoved his fist down my throat, forcing every pill back out. He stole a bottle of vegetable oil and behind the general store made me drink the entire thing. As I sat in the rain-soaked mud and puked my guts out he held my hair, stroked my back, and cursed at me with such profound profanity I started to laugh. I didn’t know anyone could cuss like that without taking a breath or stopping the stream. In the mess of mud and slimy vomit, snot and salty tears we held each other and laughed like lunatics.
Dear Cousin, I think of that day and sometimes believe I should have won that bet. But, I didn’t. You have always protected me from myself. You have always looked after me with a fierce love I barely understood. I didn’t win that death bet. You did. It’s time for me to pay up. It’s with a heavy heart that I owe you five Bazooka Joes, one Orange Crush and one Wasse’s hotdog, loaded.
The Just ‘Cause Walk hasn’t been over for 48 hours yet and already I am thinking about next year. It’s crazy! I have so many sisters! I am in awe of just how much I walk away with every year. For every sister I have gained I have at least ten stories. For every story I have at least a hundred laugh-out-loud moments. For every LOL I have at least a thousand heart-felt connections. 100,000,000 memories of a time well spent.
This isn’t isn’t a blog about the walk itself. I haven’t been able to process everything just yet. The events of May 18th – 20th, 2012 still have my head reeling. I need time to reflect. I need time to let the tangle of emotions untie themselves. Don’t worry, I will sift through the memories and write about the ones that resonated the loudest, touched me the deepest, moved me the most. There are many.
This blog is only to say I am home again and I have survived. Three small blisters (which I don’t even feel today) and lower back pain. The LBP is not a product of the walk. I had it for three days leading up to the walk, oddly enough. While it mysteriously went away for Friday, Saturday and Sunday it came back with a vengeance Monday morning. I could barely move. I hobbled like a Just ‘Cause first-timer! Today, thanks to Vitamin Advil I am feeling better. Science is good.
And a postscript ~ many, many thanks to Deb and Heather for their post-walk donations. Never will I find more true women. You do what you say and say what you mean and I love you for that. xoxox
Categories: Charity, Confessional, Just Cause, Walking
Tags: charity, Confessional, emotional, friendship, Just Cause, love, Walking, women
Every year I write about how little Valentine’s Day means to me. Every year I tell people I would rather have the show of affection on a different day. An indifferent day not designed by Hallmark or designated on the calendar. Show me love on an ordinary Sunday. Surprise me with affection when it’s not be expected.
I think this loathing of 2/14 came from the irrational fear that people did things on the day out of obligation. Because they had to and not because they wanted to. How much of it was pressure from the mark of the calendar and how little of it was from the heart? I always wondered. The wondering made me worry.
Relationships are hard work. Day in and day out they aren’t a walk in the park. It takes giving and taking to make IT work. Every. Single. Day. Over the weekend I got my hair cut. Of hair that reached the middle of my back I asked for 4 inches to be cut off. It now sits a healthy one inch beyond my shoulders. I hate it. I lost the longest four inches of my life. Oddly enough it’s longer in the front that it is in the back. It looks hacked. My kisa shrugged and said, “maybe that’s the style?” Whatever it is, it isn’t me. But, kisa likes it because it’s on me. So, for him I make the best of it. For him I stand in the mirror and style it. For him I patiently pluck out the short silvers that crop up. If me, myself and moi were single we would hide it up in a hair tie and forget it. If we were single I would be seething about this style.
Kisa and I, we aren’t celebrating Valentine’s Day. We’re ignoring 2/14 completely. I think we’re having hot dogs for dinner. I am all together not a fan of a day designed for dumb gifts. I’ll be happy when that chocolate-dipped-fruit advertisement goes back into hiding. I’m sick of seeing it every 20 minutes. And that ad for flowers! The one with the woman gloating about how all the other women in her office are green with envy; she’s practically gleeful that her man made all the other men look bad. Let’s see…Flowers that inspire jealousy and showcase romantic incompetence. How heart warming. How thoughtful. Give me a break.
Kisa and I DO have “Valentine” plans but I think they’re on the 21st or Mexican Flag Day. Sometime. I’m not sure. However we celebrate what’s in our hearts it won’t be guided by a day on the calendar or a stupid commercial on television.
The Dive From Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer pissed me off. Judging by the fact two totally different people confessed to throwing the book across the room I’m sure that being pissed off is not an uncommon reaction to the way things turn out in the story. In truth, I would love to meet these fellow book throwers to find out why they launched their copies. We could compare notes. I would love to compare because I bet no one threw their book for the reason I chucked mine.
In the end it was Carrie who killed me. I saw myself in every one of her selfish, cowardly moves. Let me start from the beginning. As I laid out in my book review Carrie leaves a small town in Wisconsin for the bright lights of big New York City. She is escaping more than a dead end town. She is also leaving a dying relationship in hopes of making a fresh start for herself and her sanity. As Carrie leaves she has little regard for the demolished relationships she leaves in her wake. Her fiance, best friend and mother all are mystified by her actions. But, this is not the offense that offends me. I applaud Carrie’s escape and even though she hurts people on her way out I feel it was a necessary price to pay. I’m saying this mostly because I crashed and burned my way through a few hearts in order to make my escape as well.
But, back to Carrie. She’s in New York. She starts meeting new people and making a life for herself. She even starts to taking classes in clothing design. In other words, she’s growing, taking care of herself. Here’s where it gets dicey for me. In New York Carrie also starts a new relationship with an older and mysterious (reclusive) man. He is different from anyone she has ever known. He makes her feel things she has never felt before. In return Carrie draws him out of his shell. He’s tough to figure out but little by little Carrie gets him to reveal things about himself he has never told anyone. When he takes her to meet his parents you feel as if Carrie has made a significant break though with this man. Yet. Yet, she leaves him. She forsakes her new start for the safety of small town home.
Again, there I am. My actions are in the black and white. I did the same inexcusable thing. Exposing a heart until someone if forced to confess he has one. Trampling on the tender. I don’t know when I’ll ever forgive myself.
We celebrated seven years, the Kisa with me. We celebrated through our stomachs and greedy eyes. Who would have thought Friendly’s and Germany could be oh so romantic? It’s the memory that counts. First Friendly’s. It’s where we met. It’s where I disliked him strongly – enough to make fun of him to his face. Immature. I called him. Overweight. I scoffed. Tattooed deadhead. Enough said. Fast forward seven years and he’s remembering a bad perm and fishnets with sneakers. Who’s laughing now? My comeback is three words – green colored Vans. What was that, I ask. Velvet? In perfect unison we quoted my then-landlord, “you know he’s a good guy if he takes care of his shoes.” The red Jetta with clutch problems. Not-so-idle threats from a girlfriend who had seen this girl get hurt one too many times. What was the name of that bartender? I’m tempted to consult the Oracle but refrain. We’re on a date after all.
Dinner was German. Big soft salty Bavarian pretzel covered in spicy mustard. Meats I cannot and will not dare pronounce. Meat everything. Impossible to even pretend to be vegetarian. Not a green thing in sight. Cabbage cooked more ways than I knew possible. Frosty steins of golden bubbling beer. I had something Oktoberfest-ish that lasted all though dinner. Orgasmic chocolate cake we couldn’t finish (oh darn, they were out of strudel).
It’s not high on anyone’s rules of romance but we ended the evening with presents. Criminal minds (in more ways than one) and The Closer. After seven years I don’t worry about Immature. I like a younger man who still finds me irresistible. Overweight. Who hasn’t gained a pound or two in seven years? Tattooed deadhead. I have been known to hum A Box of Rain and then there’s that tattoo. I fell in love with Harvey and who says I don’t have one of my own?
Marriage is what you make of it, especially when you declare the forever and ever part. We said our vows in a hurricane and we’ve weathered every storm since. So. Here’s to my romancer.
I am at a loss for words. I know that when I say something I will instantly become an open book, letting it all hang out. I’ve never been good at pretending when it comes to caring. So, this is completely and utterly from the heart when I say What. The. Fukc?!? Seriously!
You used to be awesome. Pure and simply amazing. I held you in the highest regard, thought the world of you; in the words of Natalie, you were all that I could see. I risked the reputation of daddy’s little girl to be your daring damsel. Skirting the edges of town, disappearing always. Too drunk on moonbeams to stay til morning. Never before and never since has there been a more succinct summer. Until this week I would have described you as smart, funny, good-looking, well-read, well-bred, well…everything. I’ve held onto the things you’ve given me; remembered the things you’ve taught me; cherished the person you’ve helped me become. Literature and language, words wrapped in rose petals. While most of those things have faded (or have been sent back to their rightful owner) I have kept small reminders of a larger time. Cat eyes and how it all began – with a note. Griffin & Sabine – more notes by other author no less passionate. Ending with the Darkest Hour. Beginning with Cottlestone Pie. Listening to WJYM. Particle Theory.
I’d like to think you dead. Like a closed casket loved one. I’ve dreamed you dead. Closed the door. I’d like to remember you as you were and not as you are now. You are much more beautiful that way. Less of a lie that way. We wouldn’t know each other now. The bloom is off the rose. You have lost your sophistication and sparkle only to become someone’s silliness. Someone’s punchline. Someone’s joke. It is too painful to watch, too difficult to swallow. My pride won’t let me admit I know you now. I don’t. I knew you when.