Saturday, December 31, 2005

jet lag


I realized what I was doing was trying to reprogram myself, anticipating the curves ahead with the precision of a car commercial. Anything not to feel what I am supposed to feel, when I am supposed to feel it. Cheating gravity when I am barely off the ground. What's the point?

No matter, for there are still wrinkles in my fabric. The sharp ones left by an iron are especially stubborn. Today I put on oven mitts to wash dishes, typed in my password instead of my mother’s email address. One thing my mistakes have in common is that they were built to protect. Through the fog, the bare scaffolding of my brain is exposed.

Instead tonight, like on the other side of the world, I let myself feel it. It is past three in the morning and I can't sleep. I could have intercepted this with a little pharmacology, but all I would have to show for it is that I could tell my friends how I evaded it, like so many other things.

Not tonight. Let it unfold. Like the way I didn't question the morality of my eager lips. I was somewhere else and he was just right. I didn't even have to think about it.

Friday, December 30, 2005

gestures

It was the night before I left. He came to see me. He brought food. We ate, and I drank wine to unwind. My anxiety fell away in layers with every taste.

Not long after, he was trying to talk me out of bed.

"Come on - you have to finish packing. You have a lot to do." He nudged me, even pulled back the blankets.

I was confused at first, but then I thought his concern was kind of cute. He was acting a bit funny, so I asked if he was ok. He told me he had work to do. Understandable, but what was not cool was how he tried to make it seem like his concern was for me - leaving a naked and willing woman in bed for her own good? How sensitive, I had marveled. How far from ordinary.

"I understand", I told him, and I did. I understood exactly what was going on. I got up, walked across the room, picked up my underwear and slipped them on. Went into the living room and found my t-shirt. He came out of the bedroom as I was pulling on my pants. He walked past me and sat on the couch. Eyes wide, he looked stricken. I looked back at him blankly, every drop of feeling gone.

"Ok then, I'll walk you out?"

"I didn't mean I had to rush out. I just meant I brought my work home. I am not in a big rush."

"Don't worry, I have shit to do anyway. I'm going to walk over to the drugstore now to pick up a few last minute things."

I barely made eye contact with him in the elevator. I knew I couldn't look at him then.

"Let me drive you."

"It's less then a block away. No point, but thanks anyway."

We walked out into the cold.

"Listen, I had a great time."

I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

"Thanks," I said. "It's been fun."

He looked stunned.

I pulled my hat on as I walked away. Tears streamed down my face. Even though it was dark out, I was conscious of the people passing me on the sidewalk, but I couldn't stop. I was choking back sobs as a million things ran through my mind. My trip, being alone, feeling tricked.

"Rachel... Rachel!"

I looked over to the right. Ben waived me over to his car. His face reminded me of my little brother when he doesn't know how to handle a situation. Uncomfortable but concerned. I needed to know that he felt both of those things. I needed him to have some balls. I needed to be overpowered in this small way, giving me permission to be just a little bit vulnerable. I turned away for a moment to wipe away tears before he could see them. Then I got into his car.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

slippery when wet

The razer thin line is more pronounced now. It is purely circumstantial. A little to one side and I am floating in the warmest salt water, gazing into the mouth of an oyster. Here I can do anything. A little to the other side I am in a thick fog, the blackest night. Trying to keep things in check, anticipate, and conjure up possibility, begins to feel impossible and my hands slip from the monkey bars. I am slipping everywhere. It's like korean barbeque, trying to keep track of the utensils I touched the raw meat with, the ones for cooking, and the ones for eating. These situations are where the most fatal errors can occur. You may laugh, but salmonellla can kill. I'm slipping and only time will tell if I will have to pay the price. I accidentally wrote 'pray' instead of 'pay'. Freud was a genius.

Part of me just wants to hurry all this along - I crave the relief, but that is what I have always done. When the fun begins to pile too high and I know it can't last, my lean changes direction. Maybe this time, I think, the fun can last. Maybe I learned it all wrong.

It is hot, the clouds heavy and dark. We are all awaiting tropical rain.

Friday, December 16, 2005

my whole world is sleeping

I sit here, looking through sliding doors at the 34 degree heat. I am truly alone - I have never been this alone, and it is fine. My whole world is sleeping, and the world is my oyster. I hope things are well there. It most certainly is here. I have done things I never thought I would do in places I never expected to be. I am a happy girl! Just thought I would check in for a minute - the setting is not conducive to much more than that.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Today's 27


I feel like trying my hand at a list - lists and other obsessive-compulsive activities are my attempts at relieving anxiety.

How about a list of my favourite anxiety relieving activities:

1. Cleaning my apartment
2. Searching the internet for 'answers' that don't exist, until things feel 'ok'
3. Eating
4. Not eating
5. Running
6. Forest gumping it (aka walking really far)
7. Coming
8. Peeling my nails
9. Flossing and brushing my teeth
10. Sitting in the bottom of the tub with the shower on pretending I am in the rain forest (ok, shut up)
11. Calling my mother
12. Getting angry at my mother when she fails to make me feel better (the most disappointing thing I have discovered about life so far is that parents are not G-D. When all is said and done, they don't know best. Growing up is one big disappointment and disillusionment.)
13. Planning massive life changes like moving to California or joining the Peace Corps
14. Obsessing over what I could have done by now but didn't
15. Trying to get my head around the concept of infinity
16. On a similar note, trying to fathom the notion that the universe never ends - what does that MEAN??? (#15 and #16 always make things worse)
17. Taking a sleeping pill or an ativan and going to bed as soon as I get home from work
18. Writing - blog posts, random sentences, words, poems, short stories, angry pretend emails
19. Aggressively exfoliating and removing hair
20. Torturing myself with sad movies or music resulting in copious crying (as attractive as it sounds)
21. Buying things
22. Calling Josh and crying (lucky for him it's over the phone therefore sans visual)
23. Reading my fave blogs (I love you guys)
24. Going out for drinks and telling all of my friends how much I love them (at least I'm not a mean drunk)
25. Re-arranging my banking, which always ends in leaving me with no room to breath, which then requires a re-rearrangement and feelings of self-loathing and guilt when I find I am unable to live on nothing (go figure).
26. Re-reading a clinical text, which leads me to see how riddled with gaps my knowledge base is, which brings me to read the more fundamental professional texts, which then leads me to see that what I really need is to go right back to the basics and re-do the hard sciences: bio, chem etc... The next thing I know I wake up in the morning in a bed filled with textbooks (I think we can safely put this one into the #15 & #16 category).
27. Making lists

Thursday, December 01, 2005

standby


I want you who washes my back, hot water turning my skin pink, a warm soapy face cloth in slow circular motions. You who rinses the cloth under the tap and wrings it out from the nape of my neck, water trickling down.

I want you, who slides me across the bed, with an arm under my back and a hand on my face, your eyes never leaving mine.

I want to buy you cherries and mandarin oranges from a special market.

Last night was only enough to put my search on standby.

Monday, November 28, 2005

open doors


Nothing closes right on me. The seal isn't tight. I am not just talking in metaphor here. My mother always told me I needed to learn how to keep my mouth shut, for one. Then there's my heart. No big deal, it just comes with doors that don't shut properly. I know my mind certainly never shuts down, even through teeth grinding sleep, but neither does it produce clean, distinct thoughts. This is my nature. I am built to flow freely, contrary to all of the best training. I am not to be held back.

Two important things to discuss:

1) I am about to embark on a 3 1/2 week holiday to the other side of the planet
2) Today is my blog's first birthday.

Just in case something happens to me while I am away, or my life changes, I want to appreciate this moment. This very minute - not going to bed, even though I know I will be tired tomorrow, writing with the television on in the background, eating peanut butter and banana. Life moves quickly and is unpredictable. Despite all of the complaints and angst, and often because of the angst, I want to live. I love to live this imperfect life. I love every single ion. Good and bad and everything in between. I love the grey, even when I can't handle it. Bring it on.

Writing makes living tolerable. I will continue to do it in some form always, with or without readers, but I would like to thank all of you who visit my site. Thanks for the kind words, for good advice, for making me think, and for making me laugh.

I leave in a few days. My anxiety level is on the high side. I may post while I am away - just not sure of the logistics. I will most certainly post when I am back.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

maybe he is looking for Arty after all


I can feel him in the pit of my stomach. Not many have been able to leave me like that.

There's more, and there is less. Ben and I kiss well together. I think that says a lot, but there are things that temper my excitement, which might work in my favour. Everything has been going well, despite the heartbreaking family history I accidentally lured out on our third date and the anatomic, shall we say, 'rarity' I found on our fifth. Then there was the near miss collision with my finger nail and his...

Never mind. What I am trying to say is it all felt so right, until this afternoon. We spent most of the day at his place. The music was not great (ok that's a fourth problem), but everything else was. I had to leave to get to a friend's apartment which is about 5-10 minutes past mine. Ben was driving me home. I asked if he could drop me at my friend's place.

"I know you have to get to your dinner, so feel free to say no, but would you mind dropping me at Anna's? She's at Yonge and Heath."

He looked at his watch.

"Ahhh. Ummm, I have to be there at eight.... Oh, I feel bad....now you're gonna think I'm a jerk..."

"Yep, probably. Don't worry about it - not a big deal."

"No, I'll take you, don't worry."

"No really, it's ok. Just drop me at home"

"But you're going to think I'm a jerk."

"Yeah but too late, you've already said it, so either way I would think that. You might as well just drop me at home. At least then you'll get to the party on time."

I let him take it as a joke and the subject got changed, but it sat, along with lunch, in the pit of my stomach. I waited to see what would happen next.

He dropped me at home.

He has been nothing but sweet and considerate since the beginning and I am trying not to allow this to let all the air out. Maybe I am over-reacting. Everything else today felt so nice. I guess it was a burst of cold air. Thankfully my expectations aren't overinflated this time, so I am banking on the air releasing slowly rather than in a dramatic balloon pop. There is still time to patch up the leak.

Your move Ben.

Friday, November 25, 2005

bento box


He eats the real sushi. Not the stuff with avocado and faux crab. His plate holds firm, semi-translucent cuts of fish, carefully pressed onto rice. I wonder how they would taste...how they would feel. What does his meal say about him? Brave? Refined? Oh G-d - I must like this one.

I gravitate to the playground of a bento box. So many things to do, so many textures and flavours, I don't know where to begin. There's the cloudy soup of miso with rectangles of dark seaweed, and cubes of soft tofu. This alone is pretty enough to paint. Smooth creams, beiges, and winter whites soften the stark textured greenish grey. Then there is the salad. I could drink the ginger dressing, which more than makes up for the ubiquity of iceberg lettuce. There is just enough tempura for a bite of shrimp, eggplant, and zucchini dipped in salty sweet sauce and surrounded by crunch. Next, a handful of california rolls with tiny orange bursting bubbles and then sweet teriyaki salmon. It makes me kid-happy, like the way I used to feel hiding in a fort made of strategically placed blankets. I wonder what that says about me?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

two chances

I had two chances to get to that place on time. It never occurred to me that in real life I would never have agreed to go. I was rightfully nervous about it, racking my brain with how I would get the job done - last an impossible 12 hours. The first time it was a false alarm. I awoke disoriented, thinking I had to be there in 15 minutes. At the very least it would take me an hour. Panicked, I called and one of the clinical leaders answered and was suspiciously nice, telling me,

"no, don't worry. You weren't schedule to come in until 3:30 PM."

I fell back into a deep sleep. This time I awoke at 5:30 PM. 5:30 PM! Two hours late. The room turned cold as stone. I went over every excuse I could think of so that it would not be my fault. Over and over. The call never came. I was done there. They were furious. I wondered why I should let it bother me. I wanted no part in that place. Still toward the end of the dream I I knew I had to make those calls. I spoke to each horrible person- each miserable unhappy person.

In the early morning darkness of my bedroom I recalled every word with excruciating detail. Every apologetic, pleading word.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

where the surf meets the sand

He asked me if I was "arty"” and seemed pleased when I told him I was. Lubricated by background noise and drinks, we had much to discuss. He is intelligent, confident yet humble, good looking, solid, kind, and funny. He comes from the coast too, from a background similar to mine, both Jewish and unpaved rural - he from fields of flax, and I from steaming innocent-eyed cattle. The sobering moment came with a comment other girls dream to hear. He told me he sees some of his friends getting married out of proximity or convenience rather than love.

"This", he told me, "will not do".

Like the example set by his parents, he plans to meet someone and spend the rest of his life in love. I nodded in agreement, telling him my mantra,

"I would rather be alone than lonely with someone else". As it slipped from my mouth I felt like a liar.

He lost me then. I was as sure about the impossibility of being what he wanted as I am about global warming. I could see all of the future disappointment clearly, but I smiled through, listening, feigning enchantment. Should I accept the lot I seem to think is mine?

The next day, in a meeting, my mind drifted back to the conversation. First, reveling in the early feelings of possibility. Then the clouds rolled in as they had that night. At the time the darkening had seemed so rooted in fact, but it began to look very different in the light of day. Nothing is manageable when examined too broadly. The world becomes impossible, and it seems that we face a lifetime of tragedy ahead - serial tragedy. This is never where fun is found. I want to let fun unfold.

Yesterday I officially convocated. Grad school complete, I went to a party with an eclectic crowd. Standing aside, there was a moment when I felt like running, seeing so many unfamiliar people streaming in from the cold. What will I say to them? How will I manage to interact, be charming, interesting? I brushed off my questions like dust, grabbed a glass of wine, and stepped into the party. I was spellbound by a Woody Allen who wore white gloves and would shake no hands, yet consumed canap├ęs with reckless abandon, choking and spitting, while talking about germs. I fell head over heels in love with a married english professor in his sixties and with his wife's flourless chocolate cake. I glided between discussions of documentary production, acting, yoga, Hong Kong, South Africa. I had fun.

Later that night when I got home from the party, there was a message waiting for me.

"Hey Rachel, it's Ben. I had a great time with you last night and I hope we can go out again."

I smiled to myself. So do I, Ben. So do I.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

my blanket

Sometimes I look you up. You are my nail biting, my pacing. You are the place I burn off excess energy.

Sometimes I think of you when I am trying to sleep. You are my blanket with triangle edges. You taste good when I hold you in my mouth.

One day, like the blanket, the nail biting, the smoking, the eating, the not eating, you too will pass. I will get to an imperceptable place and you will fall away. I will forget why I ever needed you.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

context


I am hungover, watching tv and computering in pajamas, with crazy hair. Pretty happenin' for a Saturday night. I should be out with the accountant, but I had to let him know it wasn’t going anywhere. It was hard to do because I feel like I should have really liked this guy. It was clear he liked me and I could tell he was a good person. In fact, one of the things about him that made me hesitate was how easily I could envision him as a good father. How pathetic is that? I know, but it’s not my fault. It’s psychobiology bitch.

Moving on. Last night I met up with a group of friends to see a band. The stellas tasted great, the music good, the crowd…meh. One guy approached me at the bar, made small talk and then invited me to leave with him and his friends to go ‘someplace else’. I politely declined. He returned a few minutes later:

“Hey, ah, listen, my buddy and I are debating something and I, ah, wonder if you can settle it for us.”

Hesitantly, “...ok.”

“How old are you?”

Confused, I looked at him, trying to figure out if I had misunderstood the question.

“How old am I?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you serious?”

He nodded.

“Alright. I’m gonna give you a little piece of advice, and I suggest you listen very carefully, because what I am about to say might aid you in your quest to pick up in the future.”

“What? Ok, I know, I know”, he laughed, hands raised in surrender, “It’s my friend. He made me come over and ask you.”

I smiled at him fake sympathetically. He continued to look at me like he expected me to say something else. He waited. I took a sip of beer and stared back.

“…well, ah, yeah. No, so, really, how old are you?”

Are people really that stupid?

The rest of the evening was uneventful, except that apparently at the end of the night I wasn’t “making sense”. I do recall petting the embroidered eagle on some boy's jacket. I think I told him I liked his 'hawk'. Dana insisted on driving me home because she didn’t think I was in any condition to take the subway. Well played, Rachel, well played. Also, I tried to convince her to drop me off at the 24 hour drug store near my house, since apparently I was ‘in the mood to go shopping’. She put her foot down, which is a surprise, and insisted I go home. I can only imagine what I would have come home with. Never mind, I probably would have fallen asleep in the blood pressure booth.

bubblegum ice cream

As a kid I dreaded loose teeth like funerals. I would go through all of the Kubler-Ross stages, wiggling them to test them and then trying to convince myself a tooth wasn’t really loose. I would bargain ‘Are You There G-D it’s me Margaret’-style, to let me be that special person who doesn’t have to lose their baby teeth. Maybe it had something to do with my father threatening to tie my loose teeth to a door and then slam it. He always coaxed me into letting him check how loose the tooth was. I would fall for it everytime, inherently wanting to trust his word.

“Just let me check if it’s ready. I won’t do anything, I’m just gonna check.”

“No! I don’t want you to – you’ll try to pull it.”

He would laugh like he always did when he was scaring me. Somehow I always relented. I can still feel his father-sized fingers reaching into my mouth, and always wiggling the tooth too hard to just be checking. From that vulnerable position, despite struggling, I could not get away.

As I got older I got good at keeping my loose teeth to myself. I knew I could handle it better without him, and I did.

The last baby tooth came out while I was in the back seat of the family car, driving along the winding harbour highway, eating bubblegum ice cream. Without a word I dried off the tiny tooth with a kleenex, carefully wrapped it up, and slipped it unseen into my coat pocket. I returned to my ice cream, my eyes fixed on the deep blue of the harbour.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

it just might work

Walking to my echocardiagram, the sky exploded in thunder and lightening. The rain was driving, almost tropical. Normally, for those of us who search for signs, a violent storm would be ominous, but not then. At that moment I felt better. I don't know, something about electricity coursing through a surprised November sky made me think about how I don't often have trust in my body, and how sometimes unexpected things happen. For me, this was a sign that my heart just might work.

I was right. It looks like there is a minor problem, but nothing to write home about. No gaping, flopping ventricle, no evidence of a massive heart attack. I have to await the final word, but it looks ok.

Monday, November 07, 2005

don't tell my heart

"Hmm. Your blood pressure is high. Do you get white coat syndrome?"

The air hisses out of the cuff.

"Ah, I don't know. Probably. You know what, I rushed around this morning to get here, so I am not really surprised."

He listens as I explain, still holding my arm. He reinflates the cuff.

"Hmm. Well, still high. My concern is really how high the diastolic is, you see, cause if it's always elevated then there's a chance that your left ventrical could hypertrophy. It's just something we need to watch for."

"Ok"

"Have you ever had an EKG?"

"No."

"I think it would be good to do one, just to get a baseline. Normally I would send you downstairs and get a nurse to do it, but since you're already undressed I'm just gonna run one right here."

He pulls aside my paper gown. I am completely naked. I stare at the ceiling as he sticks leads on my arms, my chest. I am starting to get cold.

"Ok, here goes. Just don't talk or move around until I let you know it's finished - I only hope we don't run out of paper."

Moments later I hear him tear off the strip.

"Ok, got it. Just give me a minute or two to look this over."

He sits at his desk, his back facing me. I sit up, tucking the gown around my thighs. I strain to see over his shoulder, but he's too far away. I give up and look around the room. After a couple of minutes pass in silence he swivels around in his chair.

"I need to send you for an echo."

"That doesn't sound good." I try to sound calm, "What is it?"

"Well, your EKG is abnormal."

Things started to get blurry at this point. I know he told me the strip indicates that I might have had some kind of cardiac event. He said that if I was an overweight older man, he would say I had had a heart attack or an ischemic event in my past, but that since,

"you are 31, fit, and thin, it's probably nothing."

"Am I going to drop dead?"

"No, no, I just want to play it safe. That's why I am sending you for the echo. Look, I like to be very thorough. I just think it's best to start with a clean slate, you know?"

It felt like one of those moments. The one you always look back on because it was 'the turning point'. The moment where everything changes. I have never been so aware of my heart. It feels broken. I am scared. I am afraid to go for a run, afraid to go to sleep.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I clean my computer for visitors, but my apartment is a mess

One thing that appeals to me about 'the blog' is that you write a succinct paragraph or two and you seal it off with a press of a virtual publishing button. It is easy to keep things under control when they are small. Little pills go down smooth. I can go over and over the wording, finely tuning until my neurotic element has cooled off. While this most definately is an exercise in writing, for someone whose default is sterile technique, the true test would be to keep writing. Leave something undone and come back to it. Not once or twice, but over long periods of time, meandering in wide and unpredictable turns, writing without knowing where I am going, risking getting lost all together.
 
Several years ago I left home to move far away. From a small town to a big city. Brave. right? Not really. As soon as I arrived I found a small safe space, a handful of close friends, a careful career, and I have barely moved since. Around the same time I arrived, my boyfriend moved to the other side of the country. We tried to make things work, but my insecurities and the distance wore us away. I never really got past it. Up until then I was always in a relationship. At first I thought it was courageous to stay single. Glamorous even. I would walk the unfamiliar streets feeling like I was in the lead role, waiting for the drama to unfold. Now the city is smaller, the cement has set, and extracating myself from solitude feels next to impossible. Last night I tried. The wine wasn't enough.

No matter where I go I always find a hiding place or two. Like air and water, it is a necessity of life for me. I started this blog almost a year ago. Was it brave to let go and write for a potential audience for the first time? Since I could use a pen I have been writing for myself alone, putting it on paper, and hiding it in creative spaces in my bedroom, in my apartment. And now in cyberspace. At first I thought writing for the blog was a big step, but when I look at it this way I am not so sure. I am anonymous. No one I know, knows about this blog. My writing has not entered my life and my life has only come into my writing in small, unrecognizeable pieces. Where is the growth there? In fact, despite being anonymous, I am still unable to write with abandon. It turns out that all of the things in my real life that I allow to restrict me, continue to weigh on me here. It is a microcosm. Writing now is just like it was when I was writing before. It is me, leaking out the sides. I am tired.

What will happen when I meet someone and try to incoorporate them into my life. Will my writing go? Will I continue the slow leak in secrecy or will I ever grow the balls to share myself. A voice somewhere inside me screams, no. Never. I think I recognize it as the voice of the infant version of me, the toddler, the young child. The voice of someone whose world blew apart and had to do everything to prevent it from happening again. Hold it together, Rachel.

So I wonder, am I really living more boldly or am I just really good at pretending. Going through the motions of what bold would look like.

I need a drink. I need to shrug it off. One of these days, when I am truly brave, I am going to do all of these things, without cleaning up. I will leave my notebook on the table, someone I love will see it and they will not think it's crazy, or self-indulgent, or cheesy. And even if they did, they will still love me. Whoever it is will have to be special. They will be getting more than they bargained for.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

more than the color of his shoes


What if I find out there never was a true talent?

I have always imagined it there, awaiting discovery. I was either not “applying myself” enough, as countless teachers and my parents told me growing up, or it was not the 'right' time.

What if it was never there at all? Would that be a tragedy? It feels tragic. Where would that leave me?

Like a honeycomb dripping full, so many things bring me pleasure: working through to a perfect combination of words, a violin echoing on the walls of the subway station, the sound of an orchestra tuning their instruments, nestled into the backdrop of hushed murmurs of the audience, ballet class to a grand piano, being overwhelmed by the sky, being what someone needs at the right time, feeling skin against my skin. And how these things catch my breath, leave my heart aching, wanting to remember every sweet drop.

If in my last moments I see that rather than a talent, an appreciation or a participation is all I have to offer, will it be enough?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

bug bite in November

It was not so bad. He was well dressed, well mannered, witty, and kind. You can see kind in the eyes. You do not necessarily see unkind, but a lack of kind is always suspect.

“So, did you like him?”

My brother’s question sounded more like a demand. For a 19 year old boy he sounds a little too much like my mother.

“I think he's a great guy…I am just not sure how I feel...”

“Rachel, if he's so great, what’s the problem?”

“Aaaah, I don't know. I just don't feel overly attracted, you know?”

“Come on! Attraction can grow over time.”

Seriously, if Evan didn't incessantly talk about "smokin' girls" and "smokin' dubes" he would be indistinguishable from a menopausal women.

I immediately knew how to put an end to the conversation. This came from years of experience guaranteeing private mother-daughter telephone calls after I moved away from home. My Dad would pick up an extension and instead of asking him to get off the phone I would pretend I didn't know he was there and say "my period cramps are terrible" or "my boobs are killing". Without a word he would hang up.

“You're right, Ev. I need to give this guy a chance. I think next time I go out with him, we should have tons of drinks and..., you know, just see where things go.”

A moment of silence, “Oh, no, no, no, sister! I don’t want to hear about it!”

And that was the end of that. Yes, I was giving him a hard time for my own amusement and to put him in his place, but it was not entirely a joke. Maybe that is exactly what I need to get over that sterile shield and into the real mess of things.

One think I know for sure: I made a decision a long time ago that if, in someone's presence, I find myself wanting to change too much, anticipating someone’s desires or preferences before my own, and doing things differently than I normally would, I should reconsider spending my time with that person. Whether it be a friend or a date, if the things I say and do begin to feel foreign to me or the air is like molasses, it is a red flag. Often I am already in it when it registers, and sometimes I have to make a hard decision. Eventually it will be made for me anyhow, because it can never last.

Maybe it is a good early sign that I felt entirely myself on the date.

On a side note, I just got a bug bite on my finger – in November.

We don’t have bugs here in November.

Maybe it is a sign.

Monday, October 31, 2005

how friends work

Teeming with hormones, my eyes leak to 'California Dreaming' and how it fits the day. All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey.

Young couples in the class put diapers on dolls. Kneeling on the floor in crumpled business casual, skirts and ties, I imagine they are all so capable in their everyday lives. Here they are in red-faced panic, trying to learn things that will soon be like breathing, little do they know. My heart aches.

Compounding my soft heart and hormones, tensions are building steadily at work and tomorrow I have plans to go out with the guy from last week. When it feels like a date is "looming", it is lonelier than having no date at all. That one is hard to explain any other way. I don't feel like I have it in me right now, but at the same time, having it seems like the only way. At one particularly airless moment, when a bridge seemed like a good place to go, I got a voicemail at work from Josh. Let me preface this by telling you he had no idea how my day had been. He generally does random things, which is one reason I love him so much.

"You are my sunshine" he sang into the phone, "my only sunshine, you make me happy , when skies are grey...". He sang the entire song, I am sure. I rolled my eyes, trying not to smile and pressed double 3 then 7. "

"Message deleted."

The next message was Josh again. First he cleared his throat and then, singing in his 'good voice',

"you are so beautiful to me...". And so fake serious.

This from a big burly guy with baseball mitt hands. I laughed despite all of my efforts. It's like he knew, somehow. It was enough to send me on a detour, out of the rut, at least for the night.

I called him later and we talked for a while. I confessed that I ate a whole Halloween bag of Dairy Milk mini chocolate bars.

"Wow! Not bad! You lonely?", he asked.

"Yes."

"Rough day?"

"Yes."

"You horny?"

"Yes."

There was a pause for a moment.

"So you're filling a void."

"Yes Josh, you could call it that. A huge fucking void. A massive gaping hole", I laughed, "and if it takes a bag of chocolates once in a while...."

...or voice mail serenades...

Whatever it takes.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

shout out


It was warm and sunny. I had lunch with Josh on a patio and we did crosswords. He was annoyed with me because my concentration was spread too thin, between the newspaper and the continuous stream of people to watch. I was just happy to be outside. For the end of October, sitting on the patio is pretty rare. Weather here can be touch and go this time of year.

Last night I went for a run at dusk. I dressed for cool and had to keep peeling layers off. I ran through neighborhoods with adorable brick houses, coated in carpets of leaves and glowing orange at the windows. Inside I could see people gathered around kitchen tables, a young boy standing at a porch door, in anticipation for someone to arrive. I passed people and their dogs, couples in Saturday night clothes parking their cars for a pre-movie dinner. Despite the warm air, the smell was autumn through and through. Fallen leaves and chimney smoke.

Tonight I went again, only this time, with the time change it was darker. Warmer though. It was quiet in a Sunday night kind of way. Just before I left I was hit with a fear that if something should happen to me, no one would be home to know. My plan was to leave squash baking in the oven and sauce simmering on the stove. What would happen if something happened? Would my apartment eventually catch fire and burn? At that moment it actually felt irresponsible to think I would return home safely. That is just crazy. I was not going to let myself get away with that. I decided to assume I would be ok. I had to. I took a chance and ran.

PS I would like to give a shout out to AMP along with the following message: Have a good night!

Friday, October 28, 2005

adhesive remover

If I do not say it, it will not exist. That assumption is my silent partner - if I was a betting man, I would say I must be stuck in some early freudian phase, 'anal' or 'oral' - something like that. [thanks Tenor - have fun at the races]

If I think or plan something, my next step is always to tell someone about it. I have always envied those who gracefully and modestly keep everything to themselves until the perfect moment. Everything they do is layered in gloss.

Why am I compelled to tell?

On my way home from work today, I was hit by a revelation of vast proportions. I might have come to a decision; made a plan. I have been paralyzed for four years, my brain a petri dish just waiting for even the most microscopic creative spore.

I have figured it out.

It came to me in a moment, the perfect culmination of much of my varied and seemingly unrelated education, skills, and interests. There are so many times that I think I have stumbled on a lead, only to be met with a million reasons why it would never work. If there are no reasons to be found, some version of my broken neck will inevitably surface like a dead body.

So far this time, this has not happened. At this point, any barrier I have managed to throw at myself has been met by a - if you can believe it - SOLUTION.

Now I am breathless to tell anyone and everyone, to make it official, to trap it between my thumb and index finger. But I am going to resist this temptation because for some reason I have a feeling that this will be good for me. Even if only for a short time. Let's face it, the only gloss that suits me is what I put on my lips [Bobbi Brown].

Perhaps I am growing, learning to trust myself. Whatever it is, for now, it stays here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

on the table

I am at work today and my stomach hurts - I feel like lying down. There is no one around and my door is locked so I contemplate it for a minute, knowing I would feel better if I did. I imagine crawling onto my meeting table in the center of my office, and that unbeknownst to me the table has some rare inherent flaw and it cracks under my weight. I see myself crash to the floor and I break my neck. Unable to move I lay broken on the floor, waiting for someone to find me.

Do you see what I do to myself? All of this in a one second flash. No wonder I am so stuck right now.

It’s the broken neck.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

this guy is the limit


I have been internet dating off and on for a while now. I have met some really interesting people. Some have made it past the first date and others have made it for a month or two. Many are one-date wonders, either because I don't like them or they don't like me (I know - hard to believe). Unlike most of my friends, I have never had a catastrophic date, but neither have I ever been swept off my feet.

I have had a few that made for a story, like when the guy left me in a shady neighborhood at night, in a rainstorm, so he could take the first cab (since I had an umbrella). Once I was safely in a taxi, I giggled the whole way home. AND he called me for a second date. I wasn't upset - just really amused (and not turned on). Another one, that lasted a few months, started out with the worst kiss ever. We actually had to stop, agree that it wasn't working and deliberately decide to try again. Although you can overcome a bad kiss with enough effort, we were never fully in sync. Maybe I could have saved my time on that one.

Most of my friends are in relationships. They think they miss their single days, and beg me to tell them my stories. This is both good and bad. It is often the first question people ask me, which can be agonizing when I have been going through a dry spell or am feeling dissallusioned. Lately I have been a little disallusioned.

Back in introductory psychology I had a little white rat. I named him Ruby-red-eyes. He did all sorts of tricks for pellets. As per the lab instructions, when we started to slow down the pellets, he kept doing the tricks. At some point further into the schedule of reinforcement, the pellets were jsut coming too slowly and unpredictably. Ruby-red-eyes performed tricks no more (or at least wouldn't have, but I felt bad and kept the pellets flowing).

I feel a little like my 'trick' performing days are numbered (which is now starting to sound like a bad analogy given the potential for misinterpretation). Lately I have received emails from men who are my parents age or my younger sister's age. I have received emails in foreign languages and ones that sound like they were written by a toddler.There are emails from people who are much smaller than me. Apparently a 105 pound, 5'2 guy is not an anomoly. How about the guys who email repeatedly. Let me tell you something - there is nothing appealing about that! Even worse, in your 6th email, telling me you think you saw me the other day (and I know I was really where you said you saw me) is not cool or a cute coincidence. It is CREEPY.

I am second guessing myself for putting the photos up and I am starting to loose interest in the process. I pin my hesitation on a variety of excuses. Some are listed above. Others, I admit, might be a little more irrational. For example, I didn't respond to one guy because I thought I could detect a slightly enlarged thyroid in his photo. I shit you not. I never claimed to be rational and I never said I was not a little neurotic, but maybe it is just a case of rat trick extinction. Maybe if Ruby had a voice, he might have told us he had stopped because he never really felt that tricks were his bag. He may have said he was bored and had moved on.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

rainy saturday soundtrack


On the way home from dance class in a cold fall rain:

Ocean size - Jane's Addiction
Headlights - The Arcade Fire
I hate everything about you - Three Day Grace
Slow ride - Beastie Boys
We are all on drugs - Weezer
In the end - Linkin Park
That voice again - Peter Gabriel
Turn me on - Norah Jones

Thursday, October 20, 2005

one grey day in the cemetery


When I look into my future too closely, it gets smaller. I see the handful of heartfelt statements, the milestone moments, counting the number of casualties. They are all a blur before they even happen. What if some of these things never happen and others happen at all? That occupies my mind, forcing me to get so close I can only see it in segments.

I see a commercial on tv and in a moment my life flashes before me: All of my dreams. my mortality, wondering if the people in my life really understand how much I love them.

Bad things could happen and will. It is too painful to imagine. Years go by lightening fast and before I know it my light will go out and I will cease to exist at all.

Will someone someday jog through the cemetery, reading aloud the names on the graves, as I did today?

"Harold Hartford Mackenzie", I read to my friends in a pretend stern voice. "He was a good man." They rolled their eyes, laughing. I continued,

"Do you think old Harold would have thought, 70 years after he died, that someone would speak his name?".

But does it matter? It does, I think, somehow.

It is my tendency. It ribbons through everything, this push-pull, grey-less place.

If I talk about it enough will I find a way to stand back?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

good

Still trying to get used to my new office. This morning a deep low hiss emitted from a vent above my desk. At first I could not pin down where it was coming from. My brain initially registered the sound as an airplane coming too close, leaving my heart pounding - thank you Osama.

Now I am curled up on my couch with my fleece blanket and a great TiVo lineup. What makes it even better is the contrast with weather. It got cold this afternoon. The leaves are turning and thinning and the sky heavy with autumn clouds. But here it is good. All good.

It is amazing to me that I still feel the love for my apartment. The warm, safe feeling has managed to survive in the face of an unsettling break-in, a student-like blend of gifted furniture (which my Mother fondly refers to as resembling a "dog's breakfast" - what the hell does that even mean?"), and the theft of my brand new Lululemon pants from the laundry room. That hurt. When I got home today and turned the lights on, my space glowed a warm yellow. The kind of light that you see from the street when you are walking at night that makes you want to go inside. This place fits me perfectly, like a favourite pair of jeans.

Sure I would love to have a washer and dryer so I would never have to venture out into the wilderness of the building (which is how it feels, minus the beauty), a dishwasher, and some storage for...well anything. I could probably think of a million things to wish for: world peace, Gwyneth Paltrow's body, Howard Stern back on the radio, win in my hockey pool, end poverty, fall in love, health for all...

But right now, right here, it is all good.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I will ride on the float with you

It was the first night I was home. It was a dream that has been haunting me.

There are some things that are too delicate to share, at least until they are more sturdy. Sometimes though they stalk you until you deal with them, even if it means putting them out there in an abstract but manageable form:

She cried, pointing to the picture of a woman. I knew she was telling me that it was all wrong. Everything she had done was a lie, and she had done it all for me. My years as an imposter came crashing to their end. It was all over and I belonged nowhere. No anchor. It was rightlfully pulled out from under me.

I will ride on the float with you, I told her, in spite of it all.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

can't bare the wear


I recognized the long white shirt he was wearing when he returned from Shul as the one he wore for his wedding ceremony. Mildy embarrassed that he had left the house like that, I joked that it looked like he was wearing a nightgown.

"Hey listen, when I die this is the shroud I will be buried in. You wear it at your wedding, at Yom Tov and when you die."

My raised hand preceded my words,

"Ok, enough. I don't want to hear about it!"

He grinned at my horror, my discomfort was his entertainment. Why do men love the reaction?

He asked me if I thought he should dry clean it now, 'just in case'.

Having lost my sense of humour completely, I didn't want to know that this was the very thing he would wear when he was dead. I knew if he died before me, I would remember this conversation verbatim. It was one of those moments that you know will mean something big someday. Almost a deja vu of a deja vu.

"Change the subject", I pleaded. You would think a nurse would be better at the whole 'we are all going to be dead someday' notion.

"Why?", he laughed. "What's the big deal? You might as well get used to it. You'll be buried in one too."

Thursday, October 13, 2005

aisle seat

She called me the day before Yom Kippur and told me she wasn't coming with me. She "didn't feel like it". With all that she has been dealt in the past few years, and knowing her as well as I do, I wasn't really surprised. When I got over the inital knee-jerk response of feeling let down, it took only a slight shift in my view and I was fine with going to Kol Nidre alone.

Such a contrast with the summery Rosh Hashana on the coast. I rushed to shul from work in a cold October mist, drinking a chocolate milk on the way because there was no time to eat. I kicked off fallen leaves, pinned by the sharp heels of my shoes. The air smelled like Halloween.

I arrived with a few minutes to spare and took a seat by the door. I was uneasy. I thought maybe I would feel better if I moved to the back, toward the middle, but there was no room for my coat and my bag and I felt even more awkward. I was embarrased to move again, but convinced myself to do it anyway. This time I chose an aisle seat, like I do when I fly, and I felt better.

Like an orchestra tuning their instruments, the murmer of hundreds of people warmed me. A hush came over the room as the service began and I focused on the familiar words and melody.

No matter where I am in the world, even if I am alone, I am at home with these sounds.Tears welled in my eyes as the last line was sung.

I gathered my things and shuffled at the speed of the crowd, out to the street. Under an umbrella I walked to the subway.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

my streak

Today was a perfect blend of working hard, slacking off, playing tennis, and talking to my friends. My tennis pro and I know someone in common and he asked me if I too thought this girl was really "sweet". She is one of those people who finds saying 'fuck' really awkward. I agreed that she was sweet and then he said,

"You... now you have a bit of a trouble making streak in you, don't you?" I responded with my thumb and forefinger about an inch apart,

"just a streak".

I only met him last week and our conversation has been limited to grips and serves, but he was right. I do, and I was so happy to be me at that moment. I guess I am glad to have a flash of interesting. I am drawn to it in others. It is all in the eyes, and I could feel it in mine today.

The day changed course later and I find myself trying to shake a bad feeling. I spent most of the night glued to the television, uninspired and unproductive. I have screened every single phone call. I feel like smoking, and I haven't felt like that in months. I won't though.

Instead I will eat frozen yogurt with sliced bananas, feel some relief having written something (even if it isn't much), watch a little more tv, set my alarms (plural), and then spend some quality time alone in my bed...

Monday, October 10, 2005

aftermath


It was fleeting. It was a memory of a feeling, or thoughts that surround a situation rather than the situation itself. It alluded to things the rest of me has always known - a tampering I was sure anyone could see. Even smell.

Monday, October 03, 2005

green


The grass is always greener. It is.

When I was younger I always wanted to be older. I still have not gotten over the pivotal moment went that wish fell away. It dissapeared and I was left wondering where my youth went and wanting to get it back. Now I am caught between that feeling and the inevitable biological clock. I envy my friends who are getting married, buying houses, having children. I am so far from that at the moment, but when I do get there I will think back fondly of this time in my life for the freedom and the lack of responsibility.

It really is THE time right now. I live in a great young area in a big city. I am not tied down to anything or anyone. I am healthy, my body still young and efficient. I have good hair and legs. Gravity has not had it's way with me. My parents are still thankfully vital and young. My future is full of possibility.

Now is the time to take it all in and enjoy it. Now is not time to worry about how much longer I have until I fall into the 'cougar' category, or imagine never meeting anyone and how I would manage a family solo. Even if that happens, thinking about it now isn't going to change anything except take away some of the joy of the moment.

Aaaah, the ocean air optimism...

Friday, September 30, 2005

the sky is the limit


Last weekend I went to a physician-organized charity event with a friend of mine. It was pretty uneventful. There was a cover band and there were lots of good looking people. We were standing at the bar when a guy squeezes in next to us, holding out his money. He looks at us and then down at our drinks. Before I know it, his wedding-band adorned left hand is passing us drinks. We talked to him for a couple of minutes. He was cute in an Andrew McCarthy sort of way. Later he brought friends over and they unsuccessfully tried to sway us into doing some tequila shots.

Now for the strange sequel. The young, married, drink-buying physician was on my plane yesterday. What a small, small world.

Also on the plane three rows behind me was dermatologist. I only know this because he was developing power point slides while sitting next to me at the gate. Being a bit of a voyeur, of course I read them over his shoulder. We had matching computers. He asked me if I knew where he could plug in his computer. I felt safe talking to him because he reminded me of my father in age and appearance, but part way through my innocent comments about how our computer's match and my asking him how he likes his, I began to doubt his smile and his heavy gaze were just polite. It all came into focus quickly and I worried that he was taking me the wrong way. I turned my attention back to my own screen. A few minutes later he asked me where I was sitting on the plane and to my relief we were not together. On some level I felt like I had done something wrong. Why should it bother me? If he was attracted to me, why is that my problem? Why do I feel it is my responsibility? I don't have to be attracted to him and it should be ok to be friendly without fearing misinterpretation.

Why can't I be oblivious for ONE minute?

anything can be everything

In what seems like only moments later I am in a sweeter, kinder place - literally. I flew 'home' to see my family. To the coast, where the air is saline, the pace soft, and the people real. I love living in a big city, but when I come back here I feel like I discover a new level of comfortable. As I get closer I yearn for the ocean, for family-full kitchen cupboards, for meals cooked with love, for traffic that stops to let me cross. I melt back into this life for an instant, but then the stresses re-affirm themselves, dwarfing all of the rosey memories I managed to collect, lubricated by distance. My anxiety level will build as my visit comes to a close. I will cry and feel desperately lonely as I say goodbye. I will worry about the inevitable bad thing happening. The plane will lift off and as it levels, so will I.

On approach to my current home, I will begin to look forward to the hustle of 16 lanes of traffic, to the garish billboards that line the way into the city, to the most breath-taking of skylines, to the 2-minute walk to everything, to my routine, my cupboards that house only carefully selected healthy foods, to the possibility of pioneering a life.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

writing on the box

On the window of almost every newpaper box in my city, in the same hand, one word is written: "lies". Efficiently, the act and the word reflect angst, dissatisfaction, defiance. I can almost hear the deep, raspy accusation. At once I am proud and amused. It is so clever I wish I had thought of it first.

***

I haven't left the house all day. This cold is moving into my chest. I am incabable today. I wash the dishes and then I have to lay down. I take care of a little business and then I nap. I want my Mama.

tender skin

I have some kind of viral thing. At first it felt like strep throat, but then yesterday it turned into fever, aches, congestion. I haven't slept much, but since I am not going to work today I am not too stressed about it. I can sleep through the day if I want. Reminds me of being home sick when I was little. There is very little on TV at 5 AM (or at 1...or 3...). My mother is not a sleeper. She watches tv off and on every night, and sometimes all night. It is bizarre that she can still function. I get so stressed if I have trouble falling asleep.

Lately I have been falling asleep without incident, but I wake up an hour or two later. That is new for me, and it is very much like how my mother "sleeps". I hope that it is just an anomoly.

Yesterday I had to do a million things at work on no sleep and not feeling well. So many changes. Change leaves me vulnerable. Nothing dramatic, but enough to stir things up. I need this to happen to bring in some fresh air, but it stings. My skin is tender lately and change leaves me wincing. I am comforted by the notion of routine, settling deeper and deeper into a track, but that is not living.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

ativan

I took an ativan to help me sleep. It is a pleasant dizzy. I welcome the subtle wave of lightness. Subtle.

If it wasn't nestled into a backdrop of coursing electricity I might even miss it. Nestled, warm, calm, like a hot bath.

Monday, September 19, 2005

as I lay sleeping

It was better than a Monday should be. I was busy enough so that I felt semi-productive, but not so busy that I couldn't have coffees, ponder life, and take a walk in the warm September sun. How I love the warmth. This summer has been a gift.

I met up with Shoshanna for a run after work. Thick grey clouds began to fade in over late afternoon and thunder storms were looming, but they held off for the whole run and then some. We strolled around the hood, stopping in various fruit markets, picking out the best produce. She got strawberries and rasberries. I bought blue prunes, which I had never had (they were delicious), and picked up some heirloom grape tomatoes of the most unbelievable deep orange and burgundy. They were like candy.

By the time I made dinner it was almost nine - just in time to watch Prison Break and eat frozen yogurt to the sound of thunder. I took a hot bath and I am about to read and go to sleep.

I so rarely have trouble reading - it's my thing, but not this book. I am trying to get into "As I Lay Dying", by Faulkner. I feel like I am reading chinese. The only good thing is that for an occasional insomniac, two pages in and I feel like I am reading an organic chemistry text - out like a light.

Bon Soir.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Vedder and butter

I saw U2 this weekend - had the worst seats in the house, and that is no exaggeration. In fact, to say I had the worst seats in the house is an exaggeration. I didn't have a seat. I was in the back row, standing room only.

I have never been a big fan, but someone bought me a ticket and I knew it would be a good show. It was. One of the big highlights was when Eddie Vedder appeared on-stage and sang a song with the band. I love the surprise appearance. The only problem was the sound quality. I could hear the music well enough but could never hear what Bono was saying.

***

Sunday night....always a crappy feeling for me. However, I did play a great game of tennis today. My serve was like butter.

Friday, September 16, 2005

how

How do you reconcile ruthless living at your most human moments: a
deathbed, a crisis, at a birth.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

commonplace


The city is dense with tourists and stars. On my way to work this morning I saw people that were clearly new to the city, looking around, taking everything in. It is a summer September day and I am a part of the city.

When I go away, I too drink in everything I see. Since I can remember, wherever I go, I am captivated by and in envy of the people who belong, doing their normal everyday things. I wonder what it would feel like to be them, going to work, running errands, impatient under the weight of a world so unfamiliar to me. Somehow the mundane becomes exotic. The people I watch are not aware of the significance of their lives, just as I seldom see my life as unusual. But this morning I did.

Seeing people seeing me living this life, in this place and moment, was exhilarating.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

litmus

The date went well I think. I found him handsome, cute, and bonus points for being tall. He was a gentlemen and good to talk to. He had interesting things to say, but he didn't put it all out on the table at once. I could be tempted to spend some time with him. I think that the best sign was how I behaved. In the presence of some people I am almost unrecognizeable. It is always good when I am as close to myself as possible. And I was.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

a perfect match

This afternoon: me, the waterfront, and a blind date. We will see if this character is worth further development, but in the meantime, I am too nervous to have lunch before I go, but I don't want to get shaky/hungry when I get there, so I just had such a perfect snack. Almonds and blueberries. Now that, is perfection. If only I could find that kind of perfect in my date.

looking back, looking up

I just wanted to say a little something to commemorate the sad anniversary of September 11th. Where were you and what were you doing 4 years ago today? I will always remember what I was doing. I don't know how to link back to a previous post of my own (if anyone knows, feel free to let me in on it), but I will leave you with my experience of that pivotal day - one big stone thrown into the pond.

***

911

There was a segment on the news about 911. It still rouses up so much in me. I have always meant to record my memories of that time. I was afraid they might start to fade, but they haven't.

I remember it was a beautiful warm morning. It was my last day of work as a nurse in a pediatric ICU. I was in a four-patient room when I noticed some of the parents gathered around one of the televisions mounted on the wall. I was at the bedside with my patient who was having a cardiac ultrasound. The ultrasonographer and I both stopped to see what was capturing everyone's attention. It takes something big to pull parents of critically ill children away. The only sound in the room came from the cardiac monitors. Hands to mouths, we all stood starring at the screen in collective horror, shock, disbelief. I will never forget the tears streaming down the face of the ultrasonographer when the second plane hit.

Soon the unit manager went room to room, telling us that the televisions would have to be turned off for the rest of the day. The world might be permanently changing, and while none of us knew how much more was to come, the manager wanted to make sure we retained focus.

I almost never took a break when I was working, but that day I did. I ran to a payphone and called my friend Shane who lives in NYC. It took a few tries but I got through. He told me he was ok, but was at that moment, standing by his window watching what was left of the towers. "Oh my G-D, Rachel! You wouldn't fucking believe what I am looking at. You wouldn't fucking believe it", he repeated again and again.

Hanging up, I could barely breath. I needed to get outside. I stepped out of the climate-controlled hospital into an unseasonably warm September day. The sky could not have been bluer. It was the same clarity and vibrancy of the sky in NYC at that very moment. I sat on a bench a block away. There were these bushes with the most beautiful huge white flowers. Fall flowers. I lit a cigarette and looked up into the blue sky.

Friday, September 09, 2005

move over grover

It is no surprise, really, that if you take away the fear and vain attempts to manage an unmanageable world, the original trigger remains. It makes sense that it persists, only without blinders to obscure the view.

My life used to be a series of limitations and ruminations, but I shed those skins. I thought I would never be able to get out from under them, but now I travel, I plan, I make decisions without feeling the weight of the entire world. That's great, right? But I always thought that if I could rid my life of those things, everything else would be fine.

I think this is a lesson to us all in a world where we expect either a pill to fix everything, a book packed with catchy slogans to have the answers, or a bald Texan on TV asking, "and how's that workin' for ya?" to change your life.

Problems don't just dissapear. They never will. You can't spray your life with an antibacterial cleaner. They might not be as big as you thought, and you might not need to spend your life in a defensive stance, but problems persist.

Like the monster at the end of the book, maybe I will discover that the vastness of my great abyss was but an illusion.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

what I know

Maybe when the stitches come out I will stop being afraid I might come apart at the seams.

I am anxious and angsty. I think I made up that word. I am afraid that this is not a transient problem, but more of a personality trait.

Tonight one of the friends I met for drinks told us about how, over time, her soon-to-be ex transformed into a completely different person from the one she fell in love with.

"He became increasingly sullen, depressed, resentlful, and so angry", she told us, an eager audience.

It turns out that the 'person' she fell in love with was just a phase, and that everyone in his life knew him the other way.

'He has always found things difficult', his best friend told her. 'We didn't know who this new guy was'.

We were all absorbed in the story and shocked that someone could change that way. No one could blame her for leaving. Life is too short, right? She gave it three years. Who could blame her? Really, what could anyone expect?

I could never blame anyone for leaving and THAT is the problem.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

miracles and noises

It was Chanukkah in September. My Ipod was dead, dead, dead. Five minutes before I had to leave work I remembered I forgot to re-charge for my trip home. I plugged it in, went to the washroom, came back and left for home.

It lasted the entire way!!!

Simple pleasures.

My soundtrack:

Subway train, New York Dolls
Sexy Plexy, Jack Johnson
I gotta getcha, Jermaine Dupri
Sleeping in, The Postal Service
Creep, Radiohead
Let your backbone slide, Maestro Fresh Wes

********

That noise from the Emily Rose movie trailor scares me. I feel like hiding a knife under my pillow.

Monday, September 05, 2005

objectivity

I am the proverbial intelligent, attractive 31 year old woman that feels like she may have missed the relationship boat.

Through high school and university I was always in a relationship. Since I moved to the big city at 23 I have been single. My initial goal was to experience being just me at first. Then it became about fear and I started on the path of least resistance.

I was still ok because I had great friends and a lot of fun, but now I have endured too many waves of friends engaged, married, house-hunting, and baby-making. I am at my limit. My friends and my therapist aren't enough anymore. It would be so nice to share a bed, the rent, the weekend, the future. I spent the last 8 years not trying. I have dated lots but I haven found few men that I feel anything for. The couple of men that I thought might have potential still saw fucking as the object.

If I have to look at one more ring or house...

Unless they are mine, I am just not interested.

comforter

The two red-heads in my life came to me in my dreams, together.

When they were real they were surreal. Each in their own way.

Ethereal, ephemeral, cream and curls.

He held her hand and they smiled, telling me they were alright.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

object

I have been planning it for months. The next time I make a tangible mistake, I want to capture the object of my human error.

My mind doesn't want to cooperate. I have spilled, I have broken, but immediately I become selectively task-oriented and I clean it up without a thought.

Maybe like in the previous post, I will be able to wait this one out. Maybe everything will float.

choose your own adventure

I was hurt. I was afraid that a slight was intentional. The end of the world.

Only this time I didn't absorb it. I didn't pretend it came from me. I took it for what it was. I made it clear it wasn't cool with me. I listened and then I let it end. It didn't stay with me any longer than that.

It lifted off in a vapor.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

on the fear of crib death

I remember when he was born, being afraid of crib death.

I heard on some television program that there was a risk for up to 2 years. I felt like I was holding my breath every day for 24 months plus a few more just to be safe. This memory comes to me as my visit with my brother comes to an end.

I was angry and anxious when he didn't arrive at a meeting place on time and he didn't call. When he finally called to say what happened, I was furious.

"I am going to kill you! Where the hell are you?"

I - am - going - to - kill - you

As the words came out of my mouth, I knew I had made a mistake. How could I say such a thing? What if something happened to him and that was the last thing I said.

"I'm sorry Rachel, I had no signal", he replied in a meek apologetic teenage voice.

He seemed unscathed, but I carried around a lump in my throat until I saw him again. Later that night I found somewhere to slip it into conversation.

"Sorry about saying I was going to kill you today. I have no idea why I would say something like that. it just wasn't-"

He interrupted me, putting his arm around my shoulder and grinned.

"It's ok Sis"

It's ok.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

almost oblivious

What were you doing today? You coaxed me with that attitude of unconditional acceptance, many years in the making. You say I shed my skin. So why were you laughing? Was I the old lady with the children's backpack? Or, was it some kind of love?

Maybe it just isn't my problem to figure it out.

my house

I had minor surgery today. I asked Lana to come over and wash my hair for me. I felt like a kid. It is strange not to be completely self-sufficient. There is something frightening about it too. What if I ask for the help and my wall of independance starts to crumble. It took a long time to build and fortify that wall - all of my life. What if I allow myself to remember how nice it is to lean on someone a little. Irrational fear leaves me feeling like my independance is a house of cards. I need to remind myself to see the gray.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

not sure why

Lustre, luster, lust.

Monday, August 29, 2005

the smallest details

Before I went to sleep last night, I took the photograph of my Bubbi and her sister from my night-table and looked at it as I often do, searching for the smallest details. The men in fedoras in the background, the clothes, the shoes, the hair, their hands. Do they look like mine? It is late 1930s or early 1940s. A calm before the end of the world. I wonder if the others in the photo survived. I wonder how long after the shot was taken that my grandmother's sister was brutally murdered. How long before my grandmother was tortured to the point that she would never be able to truly live again.

My face is wide like theirs. I feel I have so much of them inside me.

My Aunt wears a sweater with a heart on her chest, pom poms hanging from the neck. Frivolous, it seems to have been made for me.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

sunday syndrome

I can't make up my mind today. Should I put the laundry on? But I want to flip my mattress before I put clean sheets on and it is hard to do alone. I also want to buy a satin pillow case because I read in a magazine that you won't wake up with crazy hair or face creases. Each a bonus. My only concern is the pillow would inevitably slide off the bed in the middle of the night and then you would be uncomfortable, creased, and messy.

I made a pact with myself that I would cut it out with the regular manicures and pedicures. I have been spending too much money. But Lana called and asked if I wanted to meet up to get our nails done this afternoon. I am trying to resist, but it is hard. Especially since my nails really need to be done and I hate doing my own. The polish is starting to chip. It is my birthday...

Last night my dreams were frantic. I awoke feeling like I had been beaten up.

Life is such a mystery. If only I knew the end.

If I knew the end, nothing in between would mean much.

I am glad I don't know the end.

Don't tell me - no matter how many times I ask.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Arcade Fire

The Arcade Fire. I haven't heard a sound that made me feel this way since high school and Led Zepplin. It sounds like David Bowie and Peter Gabriel. It feels like home.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

eating of the green spiky things

The wasps are in a frenzy. Well past their prime, it is summer's unsettling last gasp.

But the squirrels behavior is purposeful. Human-like. They search out acorns and spikes. There is security in their purpose. It nudges me. Gently presses against me. Warms me.

Happy Gilmore

I pulled a full-on Happy Gilmore on the tennis court today. There was a rage-skill mismatch. I had so much pent up energy, I needed to play like Venus to disseminate it in even packages. Alas, my game could not keep up. I was close to walking off the court for a moment but I pulled myself together and somehow it melted away.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

detonation dream

This morning I awoke to my alarm radio, and in my half sleep I thought I heard the news reporting a series of "detonations". What I thought I heard was, "the first of the detonations was in California". In my half sleep I could feel the 911 kind of fear. A minute later I got up to turn the news on but could find nothing (thankfully).

Sunday, August 14, 2005

hypoxia

I went to an amazing dance class, came home and had a long shower. Sometimes I like to sit in the bottom of the shower and pretend I am in a rainforest. I have been doing that as long as I can remember. At 30 it still works.

In the afternoon I met some girls and went shopping. I bought a skirt and some Bobbi Brown. It was a lot to spend in a short time, and it lacked the normal post-shopping high. A lot of things have been short-circuited lately.

Maybe it is my dissallusionment with the tenor, the recent marriage of my father, the tumultuous visit with my mother, and the conflict between my inner life and my lacklustre existence. Sadly I realize that I am the one who maintains the status quo.

My blog is one little piece of me that is allowed to exist, but only in a bubble. It serves a purpose, but there is a limit.

The oxygen is starting to run out.

Friday, August 12, 2005

flashing gems

Shoshanna and I went shopping after work. It started out with some light browsing, but before I knew it Shoshana was trying on a handful of clothes in a variety of sizes, forcing me to decifer between items that looked virtually identical. Quickly I lost track. Her questions are almost always rhetorical and I could have just as easily been picking my nose the whole time instead of concentrating like a three year old trying to color inside the lines.

I was unprepared for what came next. Shoshana asked me if we could look at engagement rings for 'a minute' because she wanted to show me something. We were supposed to be shopping for specific things, of which rings were not one, but how could you say no to such a reasonable request? That 'something' turned into many things. I was blinded by flashing gems and smiling faces. Try as I might, my heart just was not in it. When Shosh senses she is losing her audience she weaves her face back into their line of vision until they relent. We finally left, but only because the store closed.

This little side trip also proved shocking. Did you know that a simple 1-carat solitaire can easily run you in the $25,000 range? I did not. Suddenly the challenge of finding a future husband seemed that much more insurmountable. I swear I thought $5,000 to $10,000 tops! Where have my friends been coming up with that kind of money?

We went to grab a bite to eat. Shoshana talked about work, the kids she teaches, told me stories she had already told me. I kept having to say, "yeah, you mentioned that..." In the background there was a birthday party and clapping and camera flashes....it was all too much. The night was like a fat man in a wife-beater who smells of booze and old spice. And I was the wife.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

a moment

Dance class felt good tonight. I always leave feeling a couple of inches taller. It is the music, the beauty in the simplest of positions, the way my muscles feel.

I met Candace for lunch. It already feels different. She leaves soon, but I think I am the one who left first - my cardinal rule. I did not think about how it was our last time to hang out, just the two of us, until I shut the car door. Even then I only gave myself a moment, wiped the tears, and got back into the data at work.

The tenor told me that he thinks I underestimate the role that having someone in my life would play. He thinks having a true connection is of the essence for me. I think he is quite the romantic, but I hope he is right.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

and I awoke with a stiff neck

He said that getting upset more frequently was a good thing – it showed I was growing. There were other people in his office again but this time he asked them to leave because he knew I was not comfortable with them there. Later we were sitting outside. I had a blanket on the pavement and he sat on the grass. I asked him about his earliest memories from grade school. He told me one about a holocaust memorial and he cried and I cried for him. He wiped my tears with bits of leaves. I held him and consoled him. I asked if that was ok, and it was. It began to rain. He got under the blanket with me to stay dry. The blanket could not keep out the dampness altogether but that too was ok.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

outside of in between

Really I am just a big sentient ball of emotion and passion. It worries me when I overflow to much. If anyone read my posts of late they would see things have been more down than up, although there are many normal moments in between where things feel good. Behind sunglasses I cried all through the grocery store today, and all the way home. I worry that I will never be better. I worry that it could get worse and I am not sure if I can handle that. The uncertainty scares me. I worry that I freudian typed 'patient' instead of 'passion'. What is that? Is it my destiny to be a patient or do I have the stamina to make it and even flourish with the passion and emotion? Maybe in the writing, painting, dancing. My gossamer cocoons.

crying all around

I went out for dinner and drinks with my friends who are moving away in a few days. It is my old roommate Candace and her husband Adam who live overseas. They came back for a year and lived next door to me. We have become very close. Lately though, things have been strained. They have been spending more time with our other friends - another couple. It has been hard to be the odd person out. They are a lot of fun and Adam is very protective of me - he thinks of me as a sister.The feelings around the whole situation have been messy. I love them, feel hurt, sad they are leaving, and left out.

Tonight we were out for dinner. Another friend of mine was talking about a girl he had been seeing who moved away. He had been adamant throughout their relationship that it was mutually casual, but I thought he would surprise himself when the time for her to leave approached. He was telling us about saying goodbye at the airport. I asked him if the girl cried and Adam seemed irritated and interrupted me,
"Rachel always has to ask the craziest questions!"
I tried to explain that my question had context that he was not aware of, but he continued to argue.
"You know Adam, if I commented on everything that people said that I thought was strange, I would be talking an awful lot."
"I hold back commenting on a lot of things, trust me."
At that point someone interjected to change the subject, but my lip was shaking and tears were pooling in my eyes. I pretended to look in my purse for something, trying to stem the flow that was sure to be impossible to stop. Adam reached toward me and put his arm around my shoulder. He squeezed me,
"I am sorry."
The tears flowed freely now. I was embarrassed.
"Me too. I am just in a bad mood."

Truthfully I had not been in a bad mood. I am not sure what I was.
Part of me knows all of this is about being sad, being stressed about the move, and anticipating the upset of separation all around, but the other part of me feels insecure and vulnerable and wants to know, was I being annoying?

Earlier in the evening he had snapped at Candace as he often does, making us all feel uncomfortable. Any one of us could have easily criticized him for it, so why am I unable to tolerate someone criticizing me? In other words, what I am trying to say is that even if my question was ridiculous (which I don't think it was), it doesn't mean I am all bad, just like Adam is not all bad in my view when he does something I think is wrong.

Things surprisingly got better from there, but my heart still aches a little. I am going to sleep.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

his shoes

His shoes are the color of the best cherries
Delicious
Subtle and succulent
They hold his feet
Once an unnatural butterscotch
Out of place in objectivity
His wife is an apple
And I an orange

too many cupboards open

There is no reason. My clothes feel constricted
I am going to jump, out of my skin
The stupid fucking show on tv paused
I am rushed and prolific and stunted

Too many cupboards open
My shoulder, my breast
I cannot keep track
I need to stand back to close up this gap

Sunday, July 31, 2005

chocolate milk

I attended my father's third wedding today. I have not lived with him since I was a small child. I have distanced myself from him over the years. When I met his soon-to-be wife before the ceremony, she kissed me on both cheeks, but her eyes were cold.

Before I arrived I was happy that I would finally be able to stop feeling guilty and responsible for his sadness and I was thrilled for him not to be alone. But for an instant I was the eight-year old girl who had to spend weekends away from her friends, in her father's sparse apartment. As I recall, there was little joy there. I looked forward to the smallest of things, like how he allowed me to drink as much chocolate milk as I wanted and play his records for hours. The music we listened to was entirely up to me. These fews simple things made leaving my life behind and keeping my father company on the weekend manageable, until one day a woman moved in and put an end to that joy. She did not want me to be hyper so I could no longer have chocolate. In hindsight I see that she just did not want me to exist.

My father has since moved on and so have I. The distance has settled in, making firm tracks. Mostly I am ok with this. Afterall, it is what I have always wanted. It is my relief, only when I met this woman today I could see it in a breath. If that little girl in me ever changes her mind, it is too late.

Sold to the women who does not care if I ever have chocolate milk again.

Friday, July 22, 2005

taking a stand

What is it about taking a stand or making a statement that results in people madly searching for inconsistencies?

I do not eat pork, but people often ask me why I do not have bacon with my brunch. After my explanation, some go further and go through a list of foods to challenge me, "yeah, but do you eat ribs? Do you eat hot dogs?"

A friend of mine is kosher style at home. He has his own flexible rules which are certainly his own business, but that drives people crazy. They prod, they debate... why?

I am boycotting products from France because of their recent bigot anti-semitic behavior. They served Evian at a meeting I was at yesterday and I drank it. I did not buy it, but how quickly do you think my colleague pointed that out?

Is it that people wish they too had standards? Do they wish they had something to care about? I don't get it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

no insulation

My body is starting to feel like an efficient machine. Suddenly what I am putting in it matters and I am able to do things with ease that I never could before. I am playing tennis, walking, dancing, and running. It gives me a rush and makes me want more. At the same time I am trying not to think about it too much. I am trying not refine what I eat and what I do to a sharp edge. I need room to move. I need allowances. This is the best I have been, but what if this is just more of what I have always done.

It is tough to get close to something that I have had a problem with in the past. It would be like lighting cigarettes for all of my smoker friends. It is easier for me to stay far away from focusing on exercise and eating well because at some level, deep down, I want to starve. It sounds crazy, and it is. It doesn't make sense in words, but these dark pieces surface when I get too close, too anxious, overwhelmed.

In my early twenties I shifted the focus from my physical appearance and control over my eating to paralyzing fear of almost everything. My fears have all but peeled away, but I realized that I had lost touch with my body. Is there a way to safely focus on this now, to be a healthy sexual woman? One thing I know for sure is that if I do not try I will never know. I could live a safe, lonely, insulated life or I can press on despite the risks.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

alternative to being stuck on the tracks

There are always pivotal moments and they seem to come at once, separated by long meandering normal periods. These are moments that change reality.. This week I finished grad school, had one of my elaborate unconscious fantasies about the tenor pulled out from under me, and this morning for a brief period, I worried that my sister was on a bombed subway. I woke to a phone call from a friend, which I didn't answer because I was still trying to sleep. I never got back to sleep so I checked my message. It was a friend of mine from NYC:

"Hey, I just wanted to find out if you had talked to your sister. I hope she is alright. It is horrible - brings back all my September 11th memories."

I freaked out. I had not heard anything about the underground bombings. In fact I didn't even know what she was referring to expcept that it had to be bad. Crying and shaking I tried to call my sister at work, hoping she had made it there before the bomb. She didn't answer so I left a message. I tried her cell and home numbers but couldn't get through. All the time I am trying not to picture what could have happened. Feeling like I think others have felt before they got "the bad news". I called my mother at home and on the cell - no answer. I called my Dad at work but he wasn't there. His secretary told me my mother had spoken to my sister. She was ok.

After a couple of hours I got through to my sister. She had been underground when it happened. The train stopped and they were stuck for over an hour, told that there was a power surge. They finally evacuated the train and my sister only found out what happened when they got outside. Thank G-D she, her boyfriend, and their friends are ok.

I feel shell-shocked myself. I am anxious and can't help but obsess over the precariousness of life. If my sister had left a few minutes earlier, things could have been very different.

A couple of my friends called right away, but I don't understand why a couple of my very good friends did not. So dissapointing. Dissapointment sounds like a mild word and the lack of calls sounds like a small thing, and I guess it is, but dissapointment is on a continuum from mild to horrific. It is a driving force that shapes our lives and forms who we are.

My dissapointments have taught me to see tragic things as the alternative to being stuck on the tracks, and while like today that is true, there must be other truths. My experience may not have taught me these alternative truths, but they are there. I would like to find them so I can save my panic for dissapointments on the horrific end of the continuum. Friends can be dissapointing, but does that have to feel so tragic?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

summertime rolls

Just like I thought, a moment went by and I am finished grad school. I feel light and slightly confused...once again I can see the future. The uncertainty and novelty will soon dissapear. I will be unable to hold onto my appreciation. I will wonder about my purpose. I will envy students.

After work I went to play tennis and I had a shit game. There was a moment where I thought I would break the racket in rage, but I moved on and my game improved a bit. Still, I craved more exercise- I wanted to be hungry for air. Maybe it is all of that pent up energy.

I have dance class tomorrow but that will not come close to making up for the Korean barbecue I had for a celebratory dinner tonight and the Ben and Jerry's phish food for desert. I think the whole Korean meal is conceptually appealing, but it was a little more than I needed. More meat, more cooking my own food, too many cross-contamination threats to track. It was hard work. I felt like they should have paid me! Even the shrimp came with eyes and shells. I can not talk about it - it's making me a little sick.

Phish food reminds me of my sister who is a deadhead and a lover of Ben and Jerry's, my brother who is a fan of Phish, and my Mom who used to sing me Dead songs as a small child. I never understood all of that, but oddly enough the other day I bought a pair of Birks, which I vowed I would never wear and always made fun of my sister for wearing. They came out in a one-strap style in metallic gold and silver - they are actually cool!

I spoke to my little brother. I miss him. He makes me nostalgic for everything I have left behind. I am moving farther and farther away, and I don't mean to. I resist like a tired puppy laying down in the middle of the road, deadweight, only I am on a conveyor belt. No amount of pulling back is going to stop me from moving. Is the goal to learn how not to resist? To stop resenting and envying what I have left behind or never had? Get off the conveyor belt and return to where I came from? Unfortunately I think that you can never go back. You can not unlearn experience, can you?

I need to get it out - a word about my friend that is going through a major life crisis. Just when I thought things were going to be ok, they went back downhill. They plummeted. Then there was a resurgence of hope and yet again, disappointment. I am not sure I can take this anymore, so I can only imagine how it must be for my friend. I don't understand why things have to be this way. I am not a very strict Jew, but I pray in my own way on a regular basis. I have prayed so many times for my friend to be well. For my friend to be happy and well. I just don't understand why things are such a fucking disappointment sometimes.

I know this all sounds sad, but please know it is peppered with sunlight.

Monday, July 04, 2005

hum

Tonight I can feel the buzz. A hum just under the surface of my skin. In a split second it will be tomorrow and I will look back at this moment.

I will have finished my presentation, I will feel relief, but not as much as I would have thought two weeks or two months ago.

I can taste it like it has already happened. Everything has already happened if I think about it long enough.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

say the word

"I love you Rachel. You have been my best friend since we were little..."

"I know", I tell him. I do, but more than that, I know what's coming next. I have known for a while, deep in my bones. My chest tightens. He continues,

"I think we need to give 'us' a chance".

He is Jess. The kid in grade school who used to torture me. He hit me when I tried to play with his toys. He let me join the boys playing football at recess. Later playing took on a whole new meaning for the two of us. We taught each other the basics. Later still, our friendship remained. Now after all of this time, and when I am feeling so lonely, he dangles the proverbial carrot. He has everything he could possibly want in this world except for someone to share it with, and he thinks I am that someone.

"It's you Rachel. It's always been you".

Except I think it has not always been me and is not now. I think of it from every angle. I try to find an opening, but there are none. I am short of breath. I will the cab to make the light.

"You're lonely Jess. You're lonely and you are confusing our love for something more."

"No! No...., you see... that's where you're wrong. You are wrong. We need to give us a chance. We do. We owe it to ourselves".

The cab pulls up to his hotel.

"Look Jess, get some sleep, OK? We will talk in the morning."

He shuts the car door.

The phone is ringing as I walk into my apartment. His voice is thick from all of the drinks. He confronts me, forcing me to talk, to be more blunt than I want to be, more sure than I feel.

That was exactly one year ago. Last week I went out for lunch with Jess and Alex, a friend we grew up with. Jess has moved on and I almost forgot it happened, my guard back down. Finishing lunch, Jess talked about his current girlfriend. It is getting serious. Alex interrupts him,

"Whatever! You know that you and Rachel are going to end up together. We all know that. Why don't you two?"

Jess turns to me and answers Alex, without taking his eyes off mine.

"Rachel knows how I feel. She just has to say the word".

Only I am not going to say the word.

I hope I am not making a mistake.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

so close

I am so close I can't see straight. By next week this time I am going to be virtually finished grad school.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

here's to hoping

So far so good with the letting things go and living. However, my contact with humans has been limited this weekend so we will see.

Today the weather was perfect and I spent the day at a pool, swam outside, and did some of my reading. Saturday I put in a solid 8 hours of research work. I have also been really great with walking and eating fruit everyday. I feel good.

Friday I had a run-in with the law - the law being my date. It was our second time out and...let me put it this way, although there is something to be said for a guy with handcuffs and a gun, I am not feeling it. With all of that equipment, let's just hope he is not the angry type.

My throat is feeling sore all of a sudden, my Tivo is on the fritz (in the middle of a great documentary) and I should be doing something project related rather than sitting here and writing this.

Goodnight.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

camouflage

I have not posted lately. It is not because I have had a meltdown - that would have had me posting more. I have been trying to finish up my grad school work and I have been planning my trip to Australia. My therapist is on vacation and writing, my most therapeutic activity, seems to be resting as well.

Speaking of therapy, I think that when faced with a problem or a conflict, I do the opposite of what many people do. I talk too much. I actually think this is one of my 'maladaptive' behaviors cloaked in 'adaptive'. I think it falls in line with my old ways of anticipating every move, putting everything in its place - my sterile technique. Only this one resists recognition because it plays the authentic part so well!

In my continued efforts to make the most out of life, I am going to try not to talk and think every situation inside out. If I sense a negative vibe from a friend in response to something I have said, I do not always have to address it, think about it, debate it, and consider it from every last perspective. Not only will I not bother addressing it, I am going to resist, despite the clouds of doom that threaten. In fact, they are my cue - if I see the clouds and I feel I have to do something to prevent them from rolling in, I should stop and let it pass. The world will not end. People do not always leave and if they do, it is outside of my control. I don't have to be the sad kid whose father drove off. I don't have to sit at the window, straining to see his car for as long as I can, waiting until I am sure I can no longer hear the sound of his engine.

With or without me waiting, he still leaves.