I have to admit the Other Blog is now getting the juicier stuff. The writing about running has leaked into a more psyche-driven state full of meltdowns and murmurings…whereas this side of writing has been more about books. Not being about to write throughout the month of May and not wanting to write in the month of June has had it’s disadvantages, for sure. I think the end result is a bias towards books. Maybe this is what I wanted all along. The other blog is getting the heartache stuff, the mind spewing stuff. I don’t know if this a temporary thing or if this site was meant for reviews or what. Maybe it’s my way of going underground again…like I did with ThatSpace’s blog. Uprooted and transferred when the traffic got too heavy. Maybe I don’t want my insanity to be that transparent, that troubling for anyone else but me. I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that I have gotten too cryptic on this side. Book reviews are more honest and more open than anything else…on this side. My rants have been saved for the other side. It’s been interesting to watch.
So. I guess I am saying this blog is slowly becoming a book blog…I’ll save the breakdowns and broken blogs for the other side. It seems saner that way…and in a way, safer. Not sure why I think that way, but there it is.
I think nine times out of ten people are cruel because they have something better to say…but they can’t think of it at the moment. Can’t think on their feet so they act like a heel. They have to be funnier than kind. Hurtful is hilarious and sweet is just plain silly. I think nine times out of ten people are critical because they are jealous. They don’t want to admit to being lacking or without. Just because they can. What does it take for someone to see the riches in life without making comparisons? It takes a tragedy to recognize a triumph.
And now for something completely different.
Thank you for making me smile. Thank you for taking me out of my funk. I am glad I agreed to go. I’m glad you were there to greet me. Here’s the thing. I don’t say it enough but I value every minute of your time. I don’t take advantage of that time everytime but you inspire me just the same. Even if I only take ten minutes I am so much the better for it. Really. In the here and now I am on the other side of jumping. I think I have even started to climb down from the ledge. I think I’m close enough to the ground to stand on my own two feet. Soon. But, but. But! I still need you and your smile. I still need to know you are there. Even if I decide to jump after all.
My faith in marriage has been rocked. Everything I believed in previously is a myth, a lie, a mirage set up to hurt and disappoint and destroy.
What do you do when you marry with the understanding, the trust that what you are doing is forever and suddenly you find out it has been one big, humongous lie? The house with the heavy mortgage is really built out of cards, not love. Suddenly there is a big bad wolf at your door ready to huff and puff and steal your happiness away. Your 9-5 to support your loved ones was a waste of time. Working hard for the failing.
They say hurtful things like I Never Loved You. I Used You. I Have Been Waiting For Someone Else. Someone Else. All This Time. Ten Years Means Nothing To Me. I Will Get The Kids And The House. Mine. All Mine. Head spinning. Heart in a tailspin. Is there any way to pull out of this freefall? Is there a way to snap out of this stunned disbelief and wake from the nightmare?
Friends shake their heads in shock. Didn’t see this coming we all mutter. Who sides with whom? Rumors of the evil kind circulate among the unkind. Cocaine. Cheating. The accusations are so outrageous how could anyone not see it coming? It’s just right there if you know where to look.
Kisa and I look at each other differently. That thing we argued about yesterday seems so petty today. We tiptoe around our relationship like it is a sleeping child. What we once considered a rock is now a wispy, translucent spider’s web. What we once took for granted is back in consideration. We are considerate. Nothing lasts forever.
There was a reason I stood behind my veil and shook like a leaf. There was a reason why I kept him waiting at the alter. Kept him waiting, but didn’t leave him. I waited for the nerves to calm, the strength of love to flood my veins. In light of recent developments I can’t help but be reminded of that day I almost said I don’t.
We say no one saw this coming. Doesn’t matter. We are all in still in shock.
Or are we?
I have learned a valuable lesson. When I say This. Stays. Between. Us. the words strung together to form a directive don’t matter. It’s almost as if you take the words as a euphemism for something else. What I say doesn’t mean sh!t. It’s almost as if you don’t trust what I’m telling you; so you do the exact opposite of what I ask. I feel like I am speaking a foreign language. But, here’s the thing: I get it. You want to be in the know. Knowing it all is your power. It’s your vice. You hate to be wrong, you love to be perfect. You need to run to those less knowing and share your information – holding the Guess What! over their heads. I get it. You can’t help it. Not in the least. This is a turning point. At least for me. I know what I need to do. It’s my turn to be didactic towards myself and moi. Shut the door, shut the mouth. Be more military. Have that attitude. What you don’t know can’t hurt you. Or me.
I don’t know how to take this new feeling. I’m not jealous. Just feeling misplaced a little. He didn’t ask if I wanted to see Virginia, the place for lovers. I wasn’t invited to drink bad mountain beer in a mile high town – either time. Fenway was phishy without fanfare from me. Is it my fault? Has it been my bad? Have I said no so many times that I’m no longer considered interested or, or more sobering thought: it is that I’m no longer interesting? Did I say what I was thinking out loud? Did I admit to what I was struggling with all long?
I ran across a face I didn’t recognize right away. I had to stare. Still couldn’t believe it. Had to close my eyes to reconcile the difference in order to make the connection. Recognition came easier when I turned away completely. Was I really a person of interest to this person? Did I really capture the mind if not the heart? I can’t imagine what we talked about. What would we say now? I’m left a little smaller not even knowing who I was then or what I’ve become now.
I drank a whole bottle of wine and hung up the phone giddy and drunk. I was a mess but I didn’t care. No one noticed I didn’t brush my teeth. Left my contacts in. Passed out without a passing thought. No one cared. I woke up ready to run away. Run for miles and miles. No one noticed my energy. Maybe this whine is a good thing. Maybe there’s something to the bottle being your best friend. I’m left a little smaller for considering the thought. I made blueberry muffins instead.
“Did I drive you away? I know what you’ll say.” ~Coldplay
Carver, Raymond. “What the Doctor Said.” All of Us, New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 2000.
“What the Doctor Said” is about a patient receiving word from his (?) doctor that he has cancer, a cancer so lethal the doctor “stopped counting” the tumors on one lung. You can’t pray but it won’t make a difference. It’s heart breaking and stark. The message is beyond clear. You. Are. Going. To. Die. No bones about it. No hope. No cure. No way out. Imagine that. You are D-E-A-D.
This poem is perfect timing for me. I have mentioned before I have signed up for a cancer walk. 60 miles in three days. The attitude is yeah-yeah another charity. I’ve even gotten an eye roll. I hear the words: So what? Big freakin’ deal. I shouldn’t take it personally, but it still amazes me. No one has asked how they can help. No one has asked ‘how can we donate to the cause?’ They can’t wrap their brains around the fact that this walk could save a life. This walk, this dollar donated might make a difference. It’s amazing. It’s as if the world has become cynical enough to say “you won’t make a difference so I won’t throw my money away.”
What happens when you get a life threatening illness? What happens when you are told you will die? How does it make you feel to have someone say it won’t help you? The attitude is “so why don’t you go ahead and die? It will be painful but just die because I can’t make a difference. I won’t make a difference.”
What exactly does that mean, blind faith? Is it stupid trust? Is it unknowing confidence? Is it naive hope? What does it mean to have blind faith in something you don’t believe in? Such are the questions. Where are the answers? I am too headstrong for reasoning.
You accused me of something so blind, so stupid, so unknowing and naive. Where was the faith? The trust? The confidence? The hope that I would never steer you wrong. To do you wrong is to do an army of people wrong. Don’t get me wrong, but an army of people more precious than what I mean to you. That might not be saying much, but that’s what I mean without saying too much.
I have given up trying to be meaner than how angry I really am. It’s like too sweet frosting on a cake made without sugar. The compensation just doesn’t cut it. Proportionally, it doesn’t make sense. At the end of the day I find myself not really caring. That’s not mean, just real. Why get fired up over something I have no fire for? It’s like the person who hates without knowing. Hating just because it seems like the right easy thing to do. In the end, when it’s all said and done, was that hate worth anything to the hater? Not really sure. Wasted energy some would say. For a life too short, I would add.
What exactly am I trying to say? I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll never know. This is what came to mind when I thought about you. This is what popped out when I opened my mind to think. So, in the spirit of blind faith I say have faith no more. “Open up your eyes. See me for what I am. Cast in iron I won’t break and I won’t bend.” ~ Headstrong, 10,000 Maniacs. Words by Natalie Merchant.
“I’m guilty just the same.
Sometimes you’re needed badly so please come back again…”
~Duran Duran Hold Back the Rain
The last month has been a weird sort of hell. While the house has been awesome, getting settled hasn’t been all that fun. We are still moving out at the same time as moving in. Still. We are still living out of boxes. Still. Yeah, yeah. Don’t tell me because I’ve heard it before. These Things Take Time. I should be wearing the words as a slogan across my chest. Or tattooed on my forehead. Something. Yeah, yeah. I know the words. It’s not like I haven’t moved (17 times) before. My frustration lies in the lack of time I have to dedicate. It takes time but I have no time to donate.
Last week They were on campus. They are the same They I talked about in my Entitled to Tell You So blog. They stormed the gates again and this time I took it personally. Here’s another yeah yeah moment. I KNOW they weren’t talking about MY job performance. I KNOW they weren’t talking about ME when the listed the library as a concern, as a weakness to the institution. Nothing they announced was new. So, why do I take it so personally? I’ll tell you why. I have been busting my azz to say We Need This- We Need That. My words went nowhere. But, talk is cheap. Words are well, just words. think of all those sayings – put your money where your mouth is, talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words…blahblahblah. I felt like I was screaming into the wind when I should have been learning to harness that wind and fly. DO something.
I have stressed so much about the upcoming, inevitable failings that I have blown off friends and family. I owe my mother a phone call. I owe my nephew an apology. I owe just as much as I woe. My head has been up my azz looking for the sh!t that makes work work. If that makes any sense. Because now that it’s done I feel dumb. I worried for nothing because They didn’t tell me anything new, nothing I didn’t already know.
Now it’s done. I’m done with the rant, too. I got it out. I got over it. Now, it’s time to do something. It’s time to start flying.
I don’t think I care. Nope, can’t say as if I do. For nearly eight years I have been dealing with you and now I think, no – I know I am done. Done. Done. There have been some others I have ceremoniously said goodbye to, but none quite like this. I’ve done the sliding away, glad you haven’t called route. I’ve done the I’ll Make You Mad Enough To Leave Me routine. Been there, done that. This is different. This is me forcing you out and being really glad about it. It’s Survivor meets Lost. Get off the island and stay off. Trust me, you won’t be missed. Or looked for, much less found. This is me, giving you your walking papers.
I can’t stand mimics. Those people who try to flatter you by trying to be you. It’s just not cool. I believe in residual relationships – giving and taking. Adopting, if you will. I don’t care for copycats. Find your own voice. Your own hobby. Your own island. Let me go my own way. Without you.
Here’s the thing. I liked you. I grew fond of what you could be, until you showed me who you really are. Not who you want to be, but who really lives under your skin (and makes mine crawl). Sound the alarm. Scream bloody murder. Cry wolf. Do whatever you need to do – whatever will help you move on from me. I want you to jump ship or else someone will make you walk the plank. That someone might be me.
I’m having a problem with my postal service. I have to wonder if this would have happened in my old town and is just symptomatic of the new place. Here’s what happened: I have this aunt. She doesn’t ask for much. She’s not one of those Why Haven’t You Written type of women. Laid back and cool. Because of that I always try to remember her birthday. Better yet, becauseof that I always try to get a card to her in time. Last Monday I wrote her a lengthy Happy Birthday Here’s What’s Happening With Me letter. Tuesday I stuck it in my mailbox, raised the little red flag and wished my correspondence bon voyage. It had plenty of time to travel across the country (to California) in time for a Saturday delivery. Or so I hoped. I was a wee bit surprised to see the little red flag still up and my little letter still in the mailbox when I got home from work. But, not as surprised when Wednesday AND Thursday went by and the letter still wasn’t gone.
It’s now Friday. Friday the 13th. Will the letter still be there when I come home tonight? With my luck, probably. If it is I’m using another town’s postal service to send it out. Someplace a little more with it. This new town is terrible. It seems you have to have mail coming in to your mailbox in order for these postal people to take mail out of your mailbox. Really. That’s the way it seems. These postal people blatantly ignore the little red flag. How do I know this? How can I say they IGNORE the little red flag. Simple. The postal person who delivers mail on my street uses my driveway to turn around. Everyday.
We don’t know when we will close. How silly is that? The biggest purchase of my entire life and I don’t know when it will happen. I knew there was trouble last Thursday when kisa said there was a “miscommunication” with the seller’s lawyer. Whatever that means. Unprofessional moment #1. It was hard to go to bed not knowing the plan for the next day. No idea of the walk-through; no idea of the closing. But, I had a good idea it wouldn’t happen at all. A feeling of helplessness was mounting and all I wanted to do was vent – to cry on someone’s shoulder. I’m at the point where I just want to be done with this whole thing. Anticipation is giving way to frustration.
Friday comes and goes. Kisa and I are at the mall. Anxiety is creeping in and people are starting to look stranger and stranger. I couldn’t admit to being okay. We try to stay busy to stay focused. I’m buying candles to light the gloom: gardenia, tea & honey, cedar & pine, and HomeSweetHome (as if!). When we get home every time the phone rings I retell the story and it gets funnier and funnier. It all comes down to a bad boob job. Suddenly, I’m making breast jokes like a guy.
Finally, it’s Sunday and we are back where we started. It’s Thursday night in reverse. We don’t know when we are closing. We don’t know anything. It’s as if we are on a plane, sitting on the tarmac. We are about to embark on a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime vacation. There’s nervous energy in the air. We are excited. We’ve planned for weeks. But, we’re not moving. Minutes turn into hours and there is no explanation for the delay. The idea of going anywhere seems slim, yet we do not understand why. The captain comes on and to say there has been a miscommunication with the tower. Whatever that means. All we know is that we aren’t embarking on that fabulous vacation. We’re stuck looking at the airport terminal. Our bags are packed – have been for days. Yet we cannot move.
We are right in the middle of a messy divorce. Not that we want to be. We didn’t mean to put ourselves here – it just became part of the deal by default. But, in the grand scheme of things it has taught me a valuable lesson: stay away from drama. Run, don’t walk, from situations out of your control.
I learned of an on-coming train wreck last night. My first instinct was to jump from the track. My second was to stay and see what happens. High drama is always highly amusing. Except when there is the potential to get tangled up in it. I really, really don’t want to be involved. I was there before. I feel like I just got free of it. Why get in the way again?
Last night I ignored the signs and stayed on. Last night I wanted to believe. Today, I see things differently. Much differently.
There is a scene in some chick-flick movie. Of course I don’t remember the name of it. Bette Midler plays a meddling mother. She loves her daughter too much to be of any good to her. In the end she picks a fight to end the relationship. She does it on purpose to put some distance between her and her daughter. It’s painful – but necessary. Something she must do. At the time I didn’t understand the ending. Thought it was stupid and unnecessary. A royal WTF? Now, I get it. I am at that point. I get the point. All I want is for you to be happy. I’ve said it a thousand times. You mean the world to me. Butbutbut, I refuse to be part of the approaching drama. There is no way I can be involved and be accused. Again. If I can’t live my passions out in the open without having them distorted and distrusted I don’t want to have them at all. I refuse to defend what I hold dear.
It’s like a mantra. Things happen for a reason. Things happen for a reason. Things happen for a reason. I know this to be true. We didn’t succeed with the first few houses because they were not ours to have. Something bigger and better lay at the end of Ivy. The timing was all wrong in November. February couldn’t be more perfect. Things happen for a reason.
When my friend decided not to walk the twenty miles for Project Bread. I was not surprised, yet disappointed all the same. It took me a day to think things through. Would I walk without? Would I want to? It took me a week to bail myself out. Things happen for a reason. In reality, walking for hunger is a good cause for someone else. I am wedded to the crusade against cancer and domestic abuse. Been there, done that. Keep doing this. I decided to walk away from the Project Bread walk and find my Just Cause. 60 miles in three days. For breast cancer. This I can do. This I don’t mind doing on my own. I walk for Nor. I walk for me. This is the walk I am meant to walk.
When my friend of 35 years had a heart attack I had mixed emotions. A long history of ups and downs, goods and bads clouded my real emotion – fear. You don’t want people your own age to die. It’s not your time so it shouldn’t be theirs. Butbutbut, things happen for a reason. For the past three months I have wallowed in self indulgences. Since Thanksgiving I have been giving into temptations of every persuasion. Fat and lazy, I have become. When someone told me I looked beautiful I knew it was a lie. A sweet lie, but a lie none the less. I’m heavy. My heart failing friend woke selfish me, myself & moi up. Things happen for a reason. As soon as this house thing happens I am running back to healthy. I swear.
When a good, good friend brought up a painful memory it was hard to face it. Hard to take ownership of it and say yes, I really did do that. It’s unimaginable now, but yes, I really, really did that. Blame game. Pointing you out for no reason other than to strike out. Things happen for a reason. I’m glad you brought up the past and that awful time. I’m still struggling with what happened and more importantly, why butbutbut I’m done burying that past. I can dig it up and say I take responsibility for being so awful to you. I take all the blame for the blame game. It wasn’t you. Never was you. Sorry I said it was you. I’m seeing things better now that I’m so removed.
Somehow I knew this would happen. I celebrated too early. Wished well too quick. Happiness not. I ended up being wrong. To push out my anger I turned to the tread. Not to walk. To hell with that. I turned to the tread to do what I do best; to do what I have sorely missed. I turned to the tread to run. Simply run. Screaming to ‘Paint It Black’ and angry sirsy songs and songs about Stupid Mouths I pushed my tired body and seething heart to pick up the pace and pick up my feet. I’m out of shape. I’m way out of touch with what it means to really movemovemove. It hurt. I hated. I should have had something to bite down on. Bear my teeth and draw blood. Instead I looked at a purple sticker and thought about the pain. A 12 minute mile soon became 11.5 and then 11. Still slow as molasses, but able to stick with it for three measly miles 35 minutes later.
So. So, it was only three miles but I stepped off the tread feeling vindicated, feeling somewhat stronger. I still have the hate and the hurt but the run has brought back the healing.