Category Archives: Relationships

Nest

2 birds

I may be slightly different from other women in that I don’t take much pleasure in either being needy or being needed. I find both sides of that coin rather suffocating. What gives me the greatest pleasure as a mother is seeing my chicks fly free of the nest and become the awesome superstars they were meant to be. This year has been extremely satisfying for me in that regard. Yesterday was the birthday of my eldest. Twenty-seven years! Passed in the blink of an eye. I love them both more than any words can express. Again, happiness and gratitude.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Nest

Advertisements

More Than This

The first time I heard Roxy Music was at Stacey’s apartment in downtown Chicago, in the spring of 1983. I was a classic rock girl and Bryan Ferry was club music. I didn’t go to clubs; I listened to the Beatles and Stones alone at home. Actually, nothing has changed… but that’s beside the point. I don’t remember why we went to Stacey’s either. We were both taking a computer class and broke for lunch or something. She lived nearby. What I do remember is that she turned on the stereo and fired up her bong. It was the first time I’d seen a bong too. I lived a very sheltered life, in the middle of Chicago. I declined her offer of smoke, but I did get intoxicated with Roxy Music and bought an album soon after.

The only reason I’m even bringing this up is because I was listening to RM’s greatest hits the otter day in my car and I thought, holy shit, I’ve been telling peeps the wrong thing all these years. I always say I moved to California because my parents said they’d buy me a car, which they did say, but that’s not why I left ~ I left because my heart was broken.

Stacey and I were talking about men that day, of course, and I confessed I had a crush on Mark, who was also in our class. Mark and I regularly created outrageous fictions about adventures we had together and no one really knew what was going on between us (nothing), and the rest of the class thought we were very entertaining. Sometimes I would create my own individual stories for Mark, so he wouldn’t think I was such a boring boring. He had his own individual stories for me as well that I didn’t know what to make of ~ they were wild and crazy, occasionally verging on the sad.

Eventually we became lovers, in the summer, though I knew it wouldn’t last. My heart broke the first time we were together, as it always does when I know something will fail, and I floated off into that strange limbo of soaring dreams mixed with crushing despair. It’s a potent drug. I never turn something like that down; I simply wait for it to disappear because I know it will. Each time might be the last, so each time is incredibly wonderful, like I imagine it might feel to be on X, though I never have been. What writer would turn this down? How many chances do you have to experience this in your life? You wouldn’t be able to describe it otherwise. I might have only had the once… but as luck would have it, it’s happened a few more times.

Our relationship ended mundanely ~ I had to work, and Mark wanted to go camping. He asked me to go with him, and I couldn’t, so he took another girl. That was in August and I kept working as my parents planned their move out West. I vaguely said I might stay and find a place with a friend, but I made no plans. My job consisted of formatting disks, all day long. I sat at a reception desk and did that, crying silently.

In September, my mother said, you’re not really staying in Chicago, are you? My father said he’d buy me a car if I moved with them. It sounds amusing to say I left for a car, but I would have left in any case. Chicago is nothing but a big frozen heartbreak; that’s why I’ve never gone back, not once. I like to leave places that remind me of bad times; I like to throw everything away. If I can’t, I gather it all together for an emotional bonfire and a story is born. Sometimes the story lies dormant for several decades, apparently.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Dormant

Windsong

I can’t seem to forget you…
Your Windsong stays on my mind.

Remember that commercial for the Prince Matchabelli perfume from 1980? I thought about it tonight when I unexpectedly ran across someone online from years ago and remembered him, but he had no memory of me at all. It was so vivid for me too, that connection we had during a time that was intense and painful for both of us, about a decade ago, and yet… it clearly meant nothing to him. Nothing at all. He apologized for failing to remember me, but it’s happened before, many times.

When I messaged this man, I was so… buoyant. I think that’s a good word for the emotion I felt earlier today. I had to shop at Target, and the whole time I was a bit floaty, thinking to myself how wonderful it would be to chat with someone who knew me from the time before… before the divorce, before my mother was gone. Why this is important to me, I don’t know. But it is. And so for a couple hours I felt light and happy, certain that my life would take a new direction as the man and I renewed our friendship.

I came home, put my stuff away, fed my kitty, fed the feral kitties (all three were around tonight!), got a snack, logged back on, and after a little while a message arrived. The man did not remember me. Oh well. Then that old commercial jingle popped into my head and I wondered if it would be possible to find it on YouTube. Of course… first hit.

Image

Happy Birthday Mommy

Mommy

4AM

I watch from my window
While your tail lights vanish in the rain.
The streets smearstain
Into a red and green fingerpainting,
Flickering with the traffic signals,
As fickle as your interest in me.
Blurred and tearstreaked,
The wet masterpiece
Stays illuminated
By a cold lemondrop moon.

I know I’ll never see you again.

All the frothy promises
And cottoncandy plans
Dissolve in the morning mist.
My lips still hum from your kiss,
But I feel your vague disappointment,
Your perpetual darkness
Guarded by barbedwire.

I wander outside to feed the ferals—
Two slinky shadows, silhouettes cut from coal;
Crunchy nuggets clink into the cats’ dish.
How I wish I could make a wish,
But there are no do-overs here.
I always fail with a complicated man;
I don’t respond well to the tortured genius soul
Who needs the perfect femme fatale,
A Marilyn to his Al.

I fail with the uncomplicated too.

You told me I was nothing like her,
The ex who depressed you—
I thought that was a good thing;
But now I imagine you search
For her likeness,
In hopes of recreating some sick
Woody Allen type lobster scene,
To find catharsis
And absolution.
And though I sneer and snark,
I want to play a part
In this execution.

I gaze up at that judgy stone face,
Unflinchingly—
In my disordered state:
Jammie pants, damp coat,
Tangled mass of bedhead.
“Is it something I said?”
Yes.
I ponder this relationship chess;
I might just be on the precipice
Of finally understanding
Something,
Anything,
A small piece of this
Jagged, glassy, bloody puzzle.

“Is it something I didn’t say?”
Also yes.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Precipice

A Territorial Story

I wanted to be your moon,
Distant and removed,
But necessary
As gravity;
You were my only focus.

While you tilted elsewhere,
I evolved to revolve,
Resolved to be resolute,
Orbiting in tribute.
But I was too creepy
In my silent devotion—
Round and round,
Full, half, harvest, dark,
Managing your oceans.

I learned to parallel park
By necessity
In the crowded airless
Density
Of nothingness.
I confess,
I was served
The restraining order
Yesterday.

Sometimes moons get distracted
By stars.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Territory

My Little Soul Dude

Obvious

 

This is Gatsby when I first snuggled him at the Orange County Animal Shelter back in December 2011. He was 6 months old.

Isn’t it obvious we were meant for each other? ❤

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Obvious

Skimming the Surface

I like working. I like jumping into an all-consuming project where the hours just fly by and I forget about lunch, forget to check my phone for messages, and 5:30 comes before I even realize it. I’m not one of those Monday haters. In fact, work saved me, not just financially, but emotionally when I went through all my crises of the past 15 years. It’s been my rock. But I didn’t realize I missed working full-time until I began again. When I stayed home with the kids and la-la’d around, skimming the surface of the days, I thought I liked my life that way. But I prefer working, having a place to go every day, and a reason to get up and get ready in the mornings. Several years ago, when I was first divorced, I met a man online who lived far away. For whatever reason, he fell for me and offered the possibility of a future where I could be with him and no longer had to work. That held no appeal. It seemed a regression to a superficial life, where I sit at the table and see what’s on the surface, but am not allowed to look beneath… and who knows what lurks under there. Despite everything, I’m happy now. That may seem a surprise, since I complain a lot, but that’s what bloggery is for. I can’t very well go on and on about hey it’s a nice day and nothing went wrong, the sky’s blue, and I don’t have a headache. I’d lose my 12 fans!

This isn’t what I meant to write. I was thinking to say something about how I’ve been skimming the surface of a lot of books lately and not finishing them, which is why new ones aren’t appearing as fast on the sidebar there (unless I get halfway I don’t think it’s fair to say I read it/star it). I have no idea what happened, but I guess we’ll go with this. My 15 year workaversary is coming up at the end of the month, so it feels appropriate.

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Surface

10 Years After

Exactly 10 years ago today I flew to Maui with my husband and children. I still have the children, though they are adults now ~ two beautiful daughters, smart, kind, good people, successful college grads, and fully employed. I no longer have the husband.

Sometimes I think about an event and say to myself aha this is the moment my marriage really ended, even if it hobbled along for years after that. Hindsight is so awesome, right? There are times I believe my marriage collapsed in in 2001, 0r 2004, or on this trip to Maui in 2006. But who knows.

I’ve visited Maui twice (and the Big Island on another vacay) and loved it so much. What a gorgeous piece of paradise. But as my regular readers know, I don’t enjoy extensive traveling, and so I probably won’t go back again. It’s a long plane flight (for me) and it’s expensive. Takes a lot of planning. Etc. I don’t like to leave Gatsby either. It’s important to me to spend at least a little time with him every day. I feel something’s missing when I don’t.

As I age, a new feeling has begun to coalesce: I can like things, even love them, and not ever have to own them or experience them again. Forex, a house. Sometimes I think, oh gosh, I’ll never be able to afford another house and I “should be” sad about that because isn’t that the American dream, to own a house? But I ponder that more and realize, no, I actually don’t want the burden of home ownership again and I’m happy I’ve had it a few times, when I was younger and had more energy (and when my mother was around to help)… that’s enough. Living in an apartment is easier.

The couple times I did stand-up comedy were fun and I’m glad one of my friends highly encouraged me to try it initially. People seemed to be a bit puzzled that I wasn’t going to do a third routine, but all I wanted to do was prove (to myself) that (1) I had the confidence to go up there in front of a live audience and (2) I possessed a bit of talent to get a few laughs. I accomplished these objectives. I had no need to continue.

A serious destination vacation, such as a trip to a beautiful island, is also something that shall have a happy place in my memory box and not be an item on my “bucket list” (such as it is). What lurks on that mysterious list anyway? When I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know. 😉

212335551_849f78564d_z

Worlds Collide [Dating Story]

[Names and some other specifics changed to protect identities.]

Some time ago I met a man on a dating site. Let’s call him Walter. He was a teacher. We chatted on the phone, made a plan to meet at a local cafe, yada. I was pleasantly surprised to discover in person that he was a nice-looking guy who seemed smart, funny, etc. Then he looked out the window and said, “Hey, there’s my roommate!”

I saw an elderly lady walking slowly down the sidewalk. “Her?”

“Yeah, the old lady!” Walter laughed. “A couple years ago I answered her ad for a roomie because I didn’t have much money after my divorce. We hit it off and have been together ever since. This is our second apartment together.”

“Oo-kay.” The woman was probably around 80; Walter was my age, around 50. “Doesn’t that interfere with your social life?”

“Nah. We have our own rooms and bathrooms. Sometimes when I have a date we all watch TV together in the living room. It’s totally cool.”

Walter and I hung out for a while longer and I asked him why he broke up with his last girlfriend. “Skyler was a wealthy divorcee,” he told me. “Traveled a lot and played golf all day, but I had to work. Eventually she got really clingy and wanted me to move into her house.”

“But that seems ideal,” I said. “Or… didn’t you want to leave your roommate?”

He shrugged. “I like my life the way it is.”

Walter asked me out again, but his sitch with the roomie was just too weird and I declined. I didn’t understand what was going on there, plus Walter didn’t seem like he wanted any kind of serious relationship in the near future. I don’t like to date just to date. End of.

Around six months later I met a new man on a different dating site. Let’s call him Hank. I really liked this dude. We chatted, made plans, yada. In person, he was even better. Very smart, very funny. I had high hopes for this. We went to a nice sushi place for our first meeting, not a boring coffee date. It was all going really well, I thought. Then I asked him one of my standard questions: what happened with your last girlfriend.

“She was a wealthy divorcee,” Hank said. “Traveled a lot and played golf all day. That’s not really my lifestyle. We were together only a couple months.”

“That’s funny,” I said. “A guy I met a while back said the exact same thing. And she asked him to move in.”

“So did Skyler.”

“Oh, my God! It’s the same person!”

Hank stared at me. “The teacher who was living with the old lady?”

“She told you about him?”

“Yup. He was really weird.”

“Haha, I thought he was too. I only met him the once.” The conversation was so odd. Hank had dated, for a couple months, the woman that Walter had been with for a while. It was so bizarre that I’d picked both of them out of dating sites. Did they have a common quality that attracted Skyler and me, or was it all a logistical coincidence of ages and locations? I felt very awkward and uncomfortable for a few minutes, pondering this while keeping up normal chitchat.

But the rest of our date went fine, I thought. No problems. I had a good time. Hank seemed to as well. We hugged and said we’d stay in touch. And we did, a little. But he never asked me out again.

Time passed. Finally I emailed Hank and said hello bla bla and hey why hadn’t we gotten together again?

Hank said that was a good question and it deserved a thoughtful answer.

But I never received one. Or any answer at all.

The end.