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


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


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.