Tuesday, February 28, 2006

long time gone

Just spent five days at a Process Work seminar on the coast with absolutely no internet access at all. Unbelievable. Sorry I didn't give some warning of my impending absence -- I had visions of sitting in internet cafes, blogging with leisure and abandon while the waves crashed against the rocks nearby, but alas -- there was no internet. And I surprisingly didn't miss it.

If I was more sophisticated I would post a link to the Process Work Center -- maybe someday I'll learn the basics of this medium... but until then, go google it yourself if you're interested. It's wonderful. SK organized the seminar brilliantly. (Perhaps I should write "organised" to honour her Britishness...) Yachats was gorgeous. The ocean was stunning as usual. The seminar itself was fabulous. The house we rented was unbelievable -- me and SK and two other women -- in an incredible house right on the coast with a sweeping view of the sea. Incredible.

Anyone who hasn't experienced the Oregon coast -- or the Pacific Ocean -- wow. You're missing something life-altering.

I'm un-fucking-able to relate anything about this weekend right now, I'm afraid. Realizing how inadequate all these words are. All I can say is, it was great. And I can't wait to write more and more and more about it or about *something* -- not now though. Now I pack a bag and head to SK's. This is the beginning of the countdown -- the terrible march towards her departure for Australia. We have almost exactly two weeks. Then she will be gone for almost two whole months!! What will I do??

Also, tomorrow is the beginning of my big lent experiment. For forty days (not counting Sundays), starting tomorrow, I'll be "fasting and praying" and exploring my "Jesus process" as my process work friends might say. Good ol' Jesus. No animal products, no alcohol, no sex (that doesn't start till SK leaves though... sorry Jesus. But it will last longer than 40 days, sadly, so it'll be recouped...) Today I ate a farewell bacon cheeseburger and right now I'm drinking a beer. Going out w/ the tiniest bang. That's my style, I guess...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

the past is water poured in a river

A few days ago I had some marriage-memory-moments. I ran across my marriage certificate Sunday night and then, Monday morning, I found myself walking by the exact spot my "wedding" took place, on the sidewalk outside the Multnomah building.

I thought: "Hmm. What are these marriage moments all about?" So, I asked the trusty tarot cards. Mock me if you will, but the tarot cards, as usual, were right on. I got the card that encourages us to remember lost love and days gone by. It told me, among other things, to reflect on my last relationship because any unfinished business will be visited upon my next relationship. Seriously. Could the cards have possibly given me a more appropriate answer to the question? I doubt it.

So I dug out the framed photo of me and CB that was taken while we were in the line about an hour or so before we were actually married. It is a gorgeous photo, if I do say so myself, and despite the painful break-up, I love the picture. First of all, it is huge. Not enormous, but bigger than small. I guess it's the size of a piece of notebook paper. And it's in a lovely wood frame. And there we are, in front of this pale brick building, arms around each others' shoulders, in our matching biker jackets (how gay is that?) -- and we look so happy. So peaceful.

Yeah, it's a lovely picture.

So I've had this picture on my desk for a few days now. I'm honoring the relationship, honoring what was, but also trying to figure out how what "was" fits in with what "is" -- it's tricky. I look at the picture and I see two very happy people with a lot of love between them. I look, especially, at myself. My hair is much shorter than it is now, I'd just started growing it out. And I'm wearing that biker jacket and a blue scarf I never wear anymore. But I look deeper, at my eyes, my smile. I look almost gauzy and glowing -- my eyes are half-closed, as though I'm in a trance of happiness. And I have this sweet smile -- not a big toothy grin. Just a sweet, peaceful smile.

I look sweetly happy. I look young. I look at that face and I know I am not that person anymore. There is something innocent in that face that is gone now. I can't quantify the changes or sum up the total difference -- I just know as life with CB flowed on, I was challenged and I struggled and I was hurt and I caused hurt and I made hard choices and I became very serious and I drifted through circumstances, especially toward the end, that felt very dire.

I remember, during the middle of CB's bender, long before I was thinking of leaving, before I realized the enormity of the problem -- how the problem would continue to compound, snow-ball, roll forward, shifting and growing -- I would come home from school and find CB drunk, despondent, crying, staring into space. I remember feeling so broken inside, so sad and so completely terrified -- to watch this woman I loved come completely apart. Fucking heartbreaking! I remember sitting with her on the porch on one particular day after she'd yelled at me, then cried, then given me some long rant about her current state of mind (which sounded to me like cold wind howling -- words with no meaning -- no logic) -- I sat, finally, holding her, thinking "she is a little child" and thinking "I am finally a grown up." Such a sadness in this assessment of adulthood. As though being adult means taking on the saddest possible task forever.

Our marriage was an experience that is over. I will eventually put this picture back in the closet and finally call her about picking up my mail and see how she's doing. But for now I'm not ready. For now I'm still letting it all sink in.

stolen word of the day

I was just looking something up on my trusty Merriam-Webster Dictionary website and happened to notice for the first time that they have their own word of the day feature. Go figure! So I checked it out and it happens to be a word I like a lot. So I lifted it. Here it is:

The Word of the Day for February 23 is:

epistolary • \ih-PIST-uh-lair-ee\ • adjective
1 : of, relating to, or suitable to a letter
*2 : contained in or carried on by letters
3 : written in the form of a series of letters

I'm a little bummed, b/c I can see by the pronunciation key that I've, apparently, been giving it more of a Southern pronunciation (ep-i-STAH-luh-ree). Maybe not Southern, but that's what I blame whenever I realize I've been saying something funny...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

not gonna drop it. a.k.a. -- lent will make you vegan

I'm not done obsessing over lent. Sorry.

I lifted this quote from Wikipedia: "Fasting during Lent was more severe in ancient times than it is today. Meat, fish, eggs and milk products were strictly forbidden, and only one meal was taken each day."


So, having pondered all this research and considered my options, I've devised a plan for my own, first, secular observation of lent. Here it goes (**watch for the major caveat at the end**):

1.) I'm going vegan. I did it for a year and I liked it. Forty days should be a snap.

2.) No sex. (Seriously, watch for the caveat...)

3.) No alcohol. Yep, that's right. No alcohol.

4.) Less caffeine (weaning towards none -- but quitting cold turkey would kill me. KILL ME.)

5.) Less abusive, overuse of resources, specifically, less driving my car. More bicycle, more walking, more bus.

6.) Daily meditation. (The prayer part of the 40 days of "fasting and praying"...)

Ok, are you ready for the caveat? Number one and two don't go full-swing until SK leaves for Australia mid-March. Sorry, but she's just an innocent bystander. I can't let her be harmed by my weird little experiment. And, once she's in Australia, number 2 will suddenly be much, much easier to observe. Practically a given.

So, is this a diet? Is it an over-all health plan? Is that what lent is all about? One Christian website I visited said, in big letters, "LENT IS NOT A DIET PLAN." Funny. Ok, sure, not a diet plan. But I bet I'll lose some weight. What do you think...?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

more thoughts on lent

So, I've been doing a little research on lent. Turns out, the fast is 40 days because Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and pray for "40 days and 40 nights" to prepare for his ministry after he was baptized by John the Baptist. That's when he was posed three temptations by the devil. The first temptation, coming on the heels of the 40 day fast, was essentially "make yourself something to eat." Jesus, of course, made short work of the devil and his temptations.

Then, after that, he went down off the mountain and started amassing disciples. He ran across Simon/Peter and Andrew, who were fishing, and he said "follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Pretty soon after that, he was teaching multitudes, and to the multitudes one day he taught what are now known as the beatitudes. "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."

I used to be a Christian. Mormon, in fact. And, looking all this up in my handy little Bible (white, faux-leather cover -- I've had it since I was 4) I see little blue check-marks by all the beatitudes (Matthew Chapter 5, Verses 3-11, basically) -- the check-marks were made by my stepfather and indicate that I had been assigned to memorize these verses at some point. Fortunately, I think the beatitudes are nice and don't hold my stepfather's check-marks against them.

While I'm quoting scripture and am in the neighborhood, I dig this, Verses 38-39 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite the on they right cheek, turn to him the other also." That's Jesus talking, folks. At least, Christians believe that's Jesus talking. If more Christians listened to Jesus, the world would be in better shape.

Here's another nugget, verse 42: "Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." Or how 'bout verses 43-44: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy nieghbor and hate thy enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

I should'a been a preacher.

See, people. I'm no Christian, but that Jesus was a pretty good guy. Too bad so many of his so-called followers appear to be so woefully ignorant of his teachings.

Now I'm feeling even more inspired to go into the "wilderness" to fast and pray for 40 days and 40 nights. It seemed to work for Jesus...


I'm thinking about observing lent this year. I'm not exactly Catholic, but I was reading about it on Wikipedia today -- lent. Forty days of fasting and contemplation. Something like that.

Like I said -- I'm not Catholic, but there's something appealing about making a conscious effort to bring a certain element of discipline into my life. And I really believe that we can piggy-back on the energy generated by other people. Somewhere in the Bible Jesus says something like: if you get two or more people together praying in my name, then you're cooking with gas. I'm paraphrasing. But it's true. Same theory behind the mass buddhist meditations that actually had an impact on crime rates in the D.C. area a few years ago. I should google it and post a link -- so interesting, the study they did.

So I could observe lent and piggy-back on the energy of the faithful. Forty days of fasting. I'll give it more thought and figure out what to give up exactly.

dolly done right

Sunday night was the big Dolly tribute. It was an awesome night, though nothing happened according to plan. I'd imagined a lively gathering of lots of invited friends, people from different parts of my life who are dear to me in different ways and completely foreign to each other. I had this nice little fantasy that all these folks would finally meet and come together under the loving umbrella of Dolly's virtual bosom...

But alas, it was not to be. SK was feeling under the weather and stayed home with water bottles and tea. WASPy had a family dinner. Big A had to study for the bar and refused to take a break. Mog, who said she'd come, simply didn't turn up at all. And everyone else failed to RSVP. Their loss.

It was just me and my very, very good friend (we'll call her Leo, cuz that's her sign) -- Leo's my oldest friend in Portland, possibly the oldest friend I keep up with period. We go all the way back to a mud puddle outside East Hall, September of 1993, my freshman year, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina. A late summer storm had left the ground a squishy mess and Leo found me pacing slowly through, watching the muck squeeze between my toes. She thought I'd dropped something in, but I was just enjoying the mud. She joined me and the rest is history.

Leo is the most "country" person I know. Suffice it to say, when I'm around Leo, my accent sort of bubbles back to the surface. She was the absolute perfect company for a night of rowdy, country fun. The venue was totally packed -- 90% hot women -- it was a total dyke-fest-meat-market! Who knew?? Not me. The show was emceed by a very raunchy drag king and queen who started things off with a hilariously rendered lip-synch duet of Islands in the Stream. They get a C for the lip synching, but an A+ for the choreography, which was hilarious.

And thank you jesus, the bands didn't suck. Some were quite good, others stumbled along. But regardless, the audience seemed so genuinely excited about Dolly's music, every act was met with wild applause and truly open arms. It was a fucking blast. Leo and I, together, created a very Southern space for each other. I don't think I can articulate the feeling -- just know it was pretty awesome. I'm so glad she was there with me -- the whole night was like some inside joke we shared by virtue of our mutual Southerness. I love her for that.

Not only do Leo and I share Southerness, we share a certain mid-90's experience of dykiness that is mostly gone from the scene nowadays. I didn't realize it till the second act took the stage, fronted by a burly woman with a very butched-out, Amy Ray (you know, the hot one from the Indigo Girls) sort of vibe. Leo and I looked at each other as soon as this woman started playing her acoustic guitar and singing in her husky-throated voice -- we looked at each other and shared a brain in that moment. I think we both squealed. All these shared memories -- Indigo Girls shows, back in the day when it was still acceptable to like Melissa Etheridge, local dyke musicians on the scene in our college town, not the little gender-fucked punks we have around here (who are lovely in their own right) but good old fashioned burly dykes w/ feathery hair and acoustic guitars singing fucked up love songs. Leo said "Melissa Reeves!" and I said "Common Bond!" -- Two local dyke acts we loved 12 years ago. Thank god for Leo and thank god for burly dykes with feathery hair and acoustic guitars. Felt so at home, so nostalgic.

Oh, and best of all, that gorgeous, burly, feathery-haired woman with the husky voice and the acoustic guitar who reminded me so much of so many thing past -- she did an *ass* kicking version of Jolene. And, as promised, I went home happy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

post a comment, for christ's sake

I'm so thankful to have readers. Maybe equally thankful for my site meter which lets me know I have readers. But, come on, guys. Would it kill y'all to post a comment once in awhile? I read other blogs, I see all their comments and... frankly... I'm feeling a little left out. A little... neglected or unloved or something. And a little jealous.

Just one little comment, every now and again. To say something like "hey, that's interesting," or, "you're dumb." Just whatever comes to mind. Please?

remembrance of things past

Last night, I was cleaning out a drawer in my file cabinet and stumbled across a manila folder stuffed full of what amounts to memorabilia from my so-called marriage. It was all meant to go into a "wedding scrapbook" -- which CB thought was ridiculous and which I, actually, thought was kind of sweet. Though, for her, I pretended it was a joke, but insisted I was going to make one. Obviously, I never got around to it because the envelope was still full of our marital artifacts and stuffed into the back of a file cabinet drawer.

Among the receipts and pamphlets and extra post-cards, etc from our honeymoon, plus god knows what other stuff, I didn't really look at it, I found the piece de resistance -- the actual marriage certificate. My marriage certificate with my name and signature. What a fucking weird document, almost as weird as my "Junior National Rifle Association" membership card, which I've had since I was 9. (I'm hoping my membership to the NRA has expired like my marriage.)

I didn't do anything special when I found this envelope, just flipped through it for the marriage certificate and stared at it in disbelief for a moment. Then I stuck it back in the envelope and shoved it all back in the drawer. Last night I dreamed that CB and I were on the mountain where my stepmother's family lives (lots of associations with that place -- stifling misery chief among them) -- and we were house-hunting. We were looking at houses we'd already looked at and noting that the houses had been improved upon slightly, readied for sale. Fresh coats of paint in snappy new colors had been applied. I felt curious about the improvements but the dream was pervaded by a feeling of sinking unhappiness buried under false optimism.

This morning I got up and drove my car down MLK to have an oil change and some minor work done. I walked back up Grand waiting for a bus and suddenly realized I was walking past the Multnomah Building -- the exact location of my "wedding" almost exactly two years ago. March 3rd (I think) 2004, after the City Council took marriage hostage and allowed queers to get certificates, CB and I hopped in that line that snaked all the way around the Multnomah Building and waited with hundreds of other couples in the cold rain to do something monumental, historic, foolish.

After our long, cold wait, after we'd made it inside the building, filled out the forms (my name went on the "wife" line, she got to be the "husband" of course, and we were warned by big dykes volunteering from BRO not to scratch out "husband" or it would void the form) and paid our money, we walked back out into the cold and found an officiant, some ministerial type guy from California, who performed the incredibly informal service. The only words he uttered that even resembled what I've come to associate with marriage were "I now pronounce you married." And that was that. We had witnesses, strangers from the line, who signed the paper. Then we left.

And we went straight to the bar! Surprise, surprise.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

eating greek

Last night SK took me to a shi-shi greek restaurant in the Pearl district for a belated Valentine's dinner. SK lived in Greece for something like 16 months and loves the food and learned a lot about it while she was there. SK has lived a long time in many places and she has a breadth of experience that is inspiring and intimidating at the same time. "Tell me again about the village in Nepal, the food in India, the land in Tasmania." My stories tend to revolve around a much more internal landscape, but we both manage incredibly well together.

The shi-shi Greek restaurant was dim and glittery and I regretted too late that I hadn't worn better clothes. Instead, I worked from 8 to 4 at my little homeless shelter and wore the kind of bum-wear normal to that setting and somehow resisted preparing for our evening any more than just that. Oh well. It was a passing regret that faded.

We saw a mutual friend who is a server (not a waiter -- but why a server and not a waiter? it is a mystery...) he is a server at this restaurant -- a strikingly gorgeous man I've known since 2001 and who I see very infrequently, so last night I noticed how he is aging, so subtly, his body changing slightly, thickening, his face ever so slightly slipping a little. Just a little. Some of the shine is off. Just a bit. But god, a beautiful man. And generous -- he sent over the tastiest prawns and gave us our wine on the house. A greek wine, I can't remember the name, but promised (warned) to be "piney" -- its claim to fame, its pininess. I (who grew up among the high pines of the southeast, having sucked many pine-needles in my day, licked stubborn sap off hands, etc) I was intrigued by the possibility of drinking piney wine and was a little disappointed that it didn't taste the least bit piney to me. Perhaps my palette was ruined by sucking pine-needles as a child?

Regardless, the restaurant was lovely, SK was un-fucking-believably gorgeous, and the food was a non-linear, meandering feast which took 2 hours for us to work through. It is now my most favorite restaurant experience. We ate slowly, we shared all dishes, I tried new things (mostly lamb, new to me), we talked and talked throughout and our time was punctuated with little micro-visits from Aleks as he whisked among tables tending to everyone during his very busy shift. Saturday night in the Pearl.

Then we walked to the car and looked up at the few stars shining bright enough to penetrate the city's penumbra of light-pollution. And it was all quite magical. The end.

Friday, February 17, 2006

bittersweet everything

Tonight I find myself home alone. I love my house. I've had a pretty incredible day and I'm here, for the first time ever, writing this from the comfort of my lovely little home, having just had wireless internet installed today. Yay for technology!! A sweet little hippie-boy who contracts for the mega-cable company came over and hooked it all up, and now I can sit at my desk (or my low-slung chair or my bed, or the toilet for that matter) and check my email, post a blog-note, surf Craigslist for the loveseat I need... anything. The known universe is at my fingertips.

But what's missing? SK.

I miss SK tonight.

We were going to meet up for drinks after her class which ended tonight at 9:30. But it was decided early in the day, since I'm not feeling so great today, to cancel. I kept my plans with Dreadlock, though, and we went driving all over northeast looking for a place to sit down and have a drink. Everything was completely crowded and obnoxious. We finally ended up at the White Eagle off Mississippi in that weird industrial-cum-yuppieville hangout area. I just wanted some tater tots and, after three other bars, it was the only place with *seating* -- this town is getting to be impossible on the weekends.

We sat there and talked a bunch of useless smack about nothing and I drank a very smooth oatmeal stout which was the nitro selection (I'll have to post a whole separate thing about "nitro" beer -- it's good stuff and is always on tap at the McMennamin's joints -- for those of you not in Portland... well... I don't know what to tell you. You're missing out...) So we dredged up as much work gossip as we could and then we both started losing steam.

Near the end, my phone rang and it was SK. I hate cell phones and the kind of access they bring to people in all sorts of situations, and if it hadn't been SK, I never would've answered while sitting at a table with a friend in a bar... but I'm just deeply, deeply smitten or something much bigger than that and... well... what the fuck am I supposed to do? It was SK and I answered the phone.

But it was awful. It was loud at the bar, I couldn't hear her, she couldn't hear me. We were missing each other, missing in every way. I asked if I could call her back in half an hour and she seemed certain she would be sleeping by then. I felt this awful sort of sliding feeling, like some bit of earth was sliding out from under my feet, like when you stand in the sand at the ocean and the tide comes in over your ankles then starts sweeping back out, pulling the sand, grain by grain, right out from under your little feet and you sink.

That's how I felt, sinking. Dreadlock and I were already waiting for the check. SK and I got off the phone and I rushed Dreadlock to her house, rushed me to mine, holding my phone through the pocket of my jacket, sort of chanting under my breath "pleasecallpleasecallpleasecall" but sort of somewhere knowing she wouldn't call. Knowing it was off-putting to catch me in a loud bar, sort of hollering into the phone, unable to hear, unable to speak.

What's happening? All these signals sometimes, we're sometimes just missing each other. It's so confusing. Everything takes on a feeling, a meaning, much larger than life. Is this one of the red-flags we'll note with a bitter sort of head-shaking wonder later, much later, retreating to separate corners to recover from wounds we've caused each other? I certainly hope not. We manage pretty well with our little scorpionic idiosyncracies and, truth be told, as terrified as I am, I just think she's perfect.

Perfectly not calling back tonight. It's well past any reasonable window of opportunity. So I'll just go draw a bath (keeping the phone nearby, just in case) and I'll lay there enveloped in hot water and patchouli soap, just daydreaming about her, sleeping soundly across the river, like a fairytale.

making a human of robotic me

SK is making a human of me. I'm not sure how. I'm not sure why her and no one before her. I don't really understand what's happening. I just know that I'm captivated and terrified. I want something so badly yet I clench up, resist, shut-down, back away. But keep some flicker of a tiny, dim light on in some window of my soul which she sees and reaches for and I find myself drawn up and out, a little more each time. It's amazing, really. Fucking unreal.

This is like nothing ever before. I feel all the time right on the verge of annihilating her. Annihilating the relationship. Not because I want to and not because she or it is so terribly delicate -- I just feel we are so precarious. I feel our mortality like Superman must've felt his own in the ice-fortress after giving up his powers to be with the human Lois Lane. How shocking that must have been. Suddenly freezing! Suddenly hurt! What is this?? This miracle of temporality, mortality, the mysterious ephemera of life!! To be drunk in love with something so terrifying! So, in fact, terminal!

I feel we are walking a narrow path across a high mountain pass and any false move will destroy us. Yet the experience is the all of our existence and to abdicate it would be a fate worse than death. Eternal, soulless boredom and a heart completely numbed, in isolation.

To borrow from the man in black, because she's mine, I'll walk that line.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

hebrew word of the day


1.) The "raising" of a Holy Spark back to its source, and
2.) the reconcilliation of two seeming opposites, either in ourselves or in the world.

"What does this mean? It means -- to paraphrase what Rabbi Gamaliel's most famous student, Saul of Tarsus, said -- that knowledge without works is meaningless. In this respect, "Tikkunim" are to Kabbalah what engineering is to physics: through their application the Laws of Kabbalah are constellated in action."

To further illustrate:

Simeon [the son of Rabbi Gamaliel] said: "All my life I have been brought up among the Sages, and I have found nothing better for a person than silence; study is not the most important thing, but doing [what it is you study]." -- Pirke Avoth 1:17


Every last word of this entry was lifted from www.kheper.net/topics/Kabbalah/tikkun-definition.htm, and inspired by... well... curiousity. There's a great magazine called "Tikkun" -- google it, it's cool. It is: "A Bimonthly Jewish Critique of Politics, Culture, & Society" -- that's lifted from their website, the address of which I might as well paste on here too since I've gone mad for cutting and pasting... www.tikkun.org -- there. Simple.

Tikkun is a great magazine I stumbled across a few years ago and I was just thinking of it tonight (while actively ignoring my consumer law professor because his class is awful) -- thank god for wireless in the classrooms or I guess I'd actually have to get a *legal* education here, as opposed to the sort of freelance, web-based self-education I'm getting instead. Though I could've stayed home for that, I guess, and saved myself a lot in student loans...

But I *fucking* digress! Check this magazine out if you're burnt on the lefty rags like me. The Progressive? The Utne Reader? The Nation? All nice and fine and relatively homogenous. Blech. I'm sick of them all. Check out Tikkun. It's good.

task master never looked so good

I'm writing from the office of SK. I'm in the peculiar position of being trained to replace her in her job during her eight week trip to Australia which starts mid-March. To say this causes mixed feelings is to utter a gigantic understatement. I love spending this weird sort of training/work time with her. I love that I'll get to sit up here at her desk, staring at her stuff and daydreaming about her, etc...

But fucking christ! Eight weeks is a lifetime!! What will I do for eight weeks here in sad old P-Town without the sexy woman I've grown so fond of??

Well, I'll get a lot of school work done, that's what. And I'm sure I'll write blog entries like mad!

For now, I will stop writing this, stop thinking about those awful, lonely, upcoming weeks and turn my attention back to my task-master, in her cute little puffy vest and her green scarf who will now teach me some new little chore or maybe, instead, she'll push me against the copier and molest me...

Office life...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

what could be cooler...

... than a live Dolly Parton tribute show???? Absolutely nothing (...except maybe an *actual* Dolly Parton show.)

As I sat down for coffee early this morning at my very most favorite coffeeshop on Alberta, I looked up and, through bleary eyes, saw a poster advertising this show (Sunday night at the Mississippi Pizza Pub on N. Mississippi). What I saw, actually, was this stunning, circa-1970, full-length photo of the platinum-tressed country-diva in this crazy, floor-length, sequined gown positioned so her enormous boobs stood out like the bulkhead of some seagoing cargo ship.

Wow. Dolly.

Just a week or so ago (who can tell time anymore?) SK burned me a copy of this awesome Dolly tribute cd, so it seems unbelievably serendipitous that a Dolly tribute show would suddenly turn up on the local scene. Can't remember the details, but it's a benefit for some women's music organization. The show will feature a bunch of local, female musicians doing Dolly covers, and while significant portions might completely suck and make me cringe and make my ears hurt -- if at least *one* person sings Jolene, I guarantee I will leave happy.

SK and I are going and I've assembled a small troupe of other good people to go too. Hopefully we'll find seats. I'm so fucking psyched!!

valentine wonders in work related setting...

Valentine's is not a holiday I tend to embrace. "Valentine" might as well be a synonym for "pressure" or "unrealistic expectations" or a bitter combination of the two. Not so, yesterday. Not so with SK. Yesterday, Valentine equalled understated appreciation and comfortable warmth. Plus a very early in the morning staff meeting.

I started the day by picking SK up at 7:45am outside work and whisking her off to the nearby Fred Meyer (like Wal-Mart for those of you not on the West Coast) so we could buy a bunch of breakfast snacks for the 8:30am all-staff meeting. Then I whisked her back, in my little golden chariot with no hubcaps, and in we went, with our bagels and cream cheeses and what-not.

We spent the next two hours crammed onto this tiny red velvet couch in the tiny "loft" office surrounded by coworkers who (with two exceptions: my friend Dreadlock and SK's friend Kiwi) have no idea that SK and I are, as they say, an "item." The whole staff more than fills the loft and SK and I were happy to have the excuse of a crowded couch to squeeze ourselves so tightly together throughout the meeting.

It was the best all-staff meeting ever! SK and I wrote notes like sixth graders and giggled through the whole thing. We were only mildly disruptive, even when drawing big goofy hearts on our papers and writing each other mildly provacative come-ons, which were quickly scribbled over.

The best, of course, was the gorgeous card SK had made and slipped me at the start of the meeting -- a photograph she'd taken of a sort of flower petal picture she'd laid out in the shape of a heart. Every layer of this card was gorgeous and made by SK and I was so overwhelmed by work, the meeting, the roomful of people -- I almost couldn't compute the reality of the awesome card. Planning, now, what prominent spot it will occupy in my new apartment...

We spent the rest of the day, sadly, apart. She stayed there at work after the meeting was finished, and I ran off to a day full of internship work and classes. Later, I wandered into the Market of Choice (sort of like Whole Foods, but smaller) before a class looking for sushi (which I didn't find) and came across this gorgeous bulbed plant with what looked like a giant, human heart about to burst from a tall, thick stem -- the flower, still tightly packed inside itself, was darkly red, the color of blood. It now sits in SK's breakfast nook among other potted bulbs, waiting to burst, straining towards the sun.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

piercing word of the day


Function: adjective
: having a piercing or penetrating quality

a lovely little life

SK and I, founding members of the Mutual Appreciation Society, having decided we can better appreciate ourselves and each other by spending a teensy bit of time apart, spent the night apart last night. It was pretty great. Besides writing a thousand emails through the day and speaking on the phone once or twice, we mostly left each other alone and got shit done in our own lives. Tough to do at this stage of the romance... but we were troupers.

After a *very* productive day (and after cooking possibly the most gorgeous meal I've ever seen -- beets and carrots and beet greens over quinoa -- deep reds and oranges and greens -- where's my fucking camera when I need it??) I headed out for beer with Mog. Not counting the 3-second interchange we had at that party a few weeks ago, this was the first time I've seen her since leaving her bed early one morning way back in December.

Turned out to be pretty cool. I was hoping to get some career advice and that didn't really happen. But we had a great chat and I feel like we're finally on solid ground. Ironically, she's got a new girlfriend and her life looks strikingly like mine now: daydreaming a lot and trying to drag normal routines through the thick sludge of new love. Sounds gross, but think of the sludge like a thick stew of honey that slows everything down but makes it all really, really sweet.

Now I'm planning a housewarming party and, at this exact moment, preparing to rush off to my one o'clock meeting with bird-lady. Oh joy!

Monday, February 13, 2006

because i love the absurd

By the way, does it surprise anyone to hear that our snarling devil of a vice president "accidentally" shot some old guy in the face while hunting this weekend?

Yeah. I didn't think so.

too much of a good thing

I'm feeling pretty fortunate as I sit here in the casual study wing of my school's library with a 180 degree view of the gorgeous and currently misty Tryon Creek State Park which this campus abuts. I've been staring dreamily out into that mist for almost an hour, catching sight of occasional robins and bluejays, noting the striking red hollyberries among the dark, waxy leaves and amazed by the varieties of moss and lichen which cover almost everything out there. It's pretty fucking gorgeous.

I was chastised by an Austrailian woman recently for saying "potty-mouth" -- b/c, apparently, "potty" is a word in her country reserved for those under the age of 3 and it seemed silly and embarassing to hear it come from the mouth of an adult. It is, I guess, one of many American quirks that make English-speaking foriegners shake their puzzled heads. Hmm. Regardless. I have a potty mouth. Thus, the woods are fucking gorgeous.

I can't write about the thing I sat down to write about -- having too much of a good thing. I can't make my fingers type any words on the subject. Like the repellant poles of magnets, my mind veers left or right but won't connect. I have much too much to assimilate. SK has short-circuited my internal wiring. I'll need a little time and space to rewire.

Tonight, instead of going to the L word at the dyke bar with SK as originally planned, I will go, much later, out for a drink with Mog in a neighborhood bar. Mog, who graduated from law school last spring and passed the bar last summer, has been, for many months now, *not* practicing law at all. I'm finding myself, suddenly, not *wanting* to practice law at all. And I have sought Mog out, like Obi Wan Kenobi, to give me some sage advice on living with a useless J.D. -- How does she feel at this point working at a coffeeshop post law-school? How did she relax into this "lawless" life? What are her plans? I need to know. My future, it seems, depends on it.

Until then, I will be a good law student. I am on campus. I will go work on the last of my internship project. Then I will actually begin the research for my big project this semester. I was going to write about the legal struggles of transgendered people, but now I'm thinking I might write about the legal struggles of the intersexed (once called 'hermaphordites')... those kids from the queer youth group brought up the subject last week and it looks pretty fucking interesting, to keep up w/ my potty mouth. So... we'll see.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

stripping to transparency

Sitting now in a very loud coffeeshop on Mississippi, having loaded the over-size dryer at laundry on top of the hill and put 48 minutes of quarters in. The day is gorgeous, sun is shining, actually warmish out there. One of those unexpected days, a blessing, that makes the air and the people in it buzz.

I'm recovering from an emotional hangover. Too much of something last night -- something bumbling, clueless, unaware. SK came over early, we made dinner, we forced our way through a tricky conversation about boys and sex and bodies and strap-ons and... I say it all because it's uncomfortable and I want everyone who reads it to cringe a little. We spoke these things so clumsily, with so little intimacy, as though filling in forms at a doctor's office.

It was as smooth as a sack full of wrenches.

Felt just as warm.

Why? Why push through this way? Why force this out? Why not slow down a little, why not wait, why not touch while talking, why not talk more softly, why not let our eyes see more tenderly the things we were each exposing? We're so good at this kind of sharing?

We will talk more. We will unfold it. We will bring the intimacy back into our words. We will smooth the hard edges and warm the cold joints of these conversations. They will become, in time, part of the flow that sustains us. For today, we sit on separate sides of the river which divides this city, and we think about what we've done.

Friday, February 10, 2006

a little train of food

Tonight bird-lady mercifully suggested we reschedule our meeting for next Tuesday -- three full days away! So, at 6pm I found myself done (DONE!!) with my project with three point five hours to kill before meeting up with SK for drinks after her class. What to do? I was pondering my options when, out of the clear-blue, this chick I met online awhile back instant-messaged me and we concocted a plan to meet for sushi.

See, CB. I can be spontaneous.

So, internet-Nicki and I met up at a sushi joint on NW 23rd. Yuppie central, but it was cool. I got there first and waited outside because the scene inside looked tricky and I didn't want to go in first. Pretty soon she pulled up on her little red scooter and in we went. I knew before we got there that sushi bars like this exist, but I'd never been to one and I felt like a little kid when we walked in.

The "bar" was enormous and snaked all around the room. Running along the length of the bar was a moving conveyor of sushi plates. I was mesmerized by the spectacle and there is no way I could adequately describe it. I know you've all seen these, other people have seen them, just not me yet. Standing back, surveying from the door, it was like a sushi-wonderland with a magic sushi-train chugging its way through the crowd.

It was so cool! Finally we sat and I stared, wide-eyed, as all these lovely dishes slid by in front of me. Meanwhile, internet-Nicki, who is a regular and who knows what everything is without having to look it up on the cheat-sheet, was snatching plates off left and right. I had to ponder everything and choose carefully. I'm slow anyway, but my natural snail's pace was compounded by pure, dreamy wonder. It all looked so good! And it was so pretty!

I'm in a bit of a gorging process these days, overeating like nobody's business, so I think it's a miracle that I got out of there having eaten only five little plates. Two sets of rolls, one plate of fried dumplings, one plate of some weird sweet rice thing wrapped in a skin of tofu and fried (I said it was weird, didn't I?) and a dessert plate of fried cream-cheese wontons with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar. Fucking Christ, those were good! I thought crab-rangoon was the zenith of the fried-cream-cheese-wonton experience... but no!

What a good night. And now I'll be heading over just a few blocks to meet up with SK and the rest of my night will pass in absolute bliss. If it wasn't for the heartbreaking daily absences, I'd probably die of bliss overload with SK. It's a good thing we're both busy, I guess.

Life is good. :-)

the most disappointing break

There is no coffee for me on this campus. I was sitting in the library working on my stupid internship and I started fantasizing about a wonderful, delicious, 8oz. double americano. So I decided to splurge on a break after only an hour of work and I dragged myself over here to the LRC and nearly fainted when I saw the coffeecart was barren and dark with no coffee in sight! Damn this campus! It's a ghost town on Fridays. How will my brain keep working without coffee? How will I carry on???

I was planning to sit here in the LRC with my deliciously stout little coffee and write some magnificent story about how wonderful my life is right now and what a glorious evening and morning I had with SK. But instead, I sit here with my water, no coffee, my head in a perpetual fog, feeling nothing but homesick for SK's presence and the utter inability to articulate anything.

So -- maybe I'll try again later. After the project is done and bird-lady has chewed me up and spit me out again.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

one last something before i cycle home

That's right. Cycle. I have a bicycle and now I live close enough to my favorite coffeeshop to cycle here. However, after living my sedentary slug's life for so long, the ride over nearly killed me. My legs still feel like jelly, after 45 minutes sitting here, but fortunately the urge to go puke has passed. I'll get used to it, but for now, jesus christ! Who knew two small hills could do so much damage?

Last night in my Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Law class, we had a group of kids from this queer youth program in town come give us a presentation. It was pretty funny and a far cry from the kind of "panels" I used to be on back in undergrad, 10-12 years ago. The campus queer club was always being solicited by professors of such classes as "Abnormal Psychology" to produce a panel of homos to sit in class and answer questions generated by students, usually written on note cards and turned in to the prof while the panel was setting up. We got to answer such gems as "How do you have sex?" "How does it feel to know you're going to burn in hell because God hates you?" And "Aren't you disgusted with yourself?"

This group last night said next to nothing about sex or sexual orientation. They talked almost exclusively about gender identity and gender expression. There was an unbelievably tedious vocabulary lesson -- who knew the intricate difference between "bisexual" and "pansexual" -- ("Bi means two, like a bicycle with two wheels," Luka explained. So I wondered for the rest of the night what a pancycle might look like...) And who knew that "respecting people's pronoun choices" was a big issue these days...? If we're down to fighting over pronoun choices, I think we're in a pretty good place in the general scheme of things.

Good that they're talking about gender identity and expression, actually. I'd be willing to bet that 99% of the violence and harrassment that is heaped upon queer people or people assumed to be queer comes as a reaction to/against the gender expression of those people. I know on my own journey, the only times I've ever felt genuinely afraid and in danger, the source of the problem for me was not that I fucked women, it's that I didn't look enough like one.

The scariest encounter I ever had happened because these frat boys thought I was a gay man, for christ's sake. I was walking to my car after a late night class in undergrad, short hair and androgynously dressed, walking stupidly down a dark street toward a secluded parking lot, when this carload of boys in ballcaps cruised up slowly and yelled "faggot" at me. They paced me, and kept yelling "faggot! Fucking faggot!" intermittently as I walked and ignored them.

Finally one of them said, "You got anything to say, fucking faggot?" And I wanted to yell "Yeah, I'm a dyke, asshole! Get it right!" But, loving life as I do and wanting to preserve my own, I said "No." And kept walking. I did not break stride. They drove off and I still had 100 yards to reach my car. The road they were driving made a loop. I walked on, didn't run, and thought "They could drive away or they could loop back around to keep fucking with me. When I said "no" did they realize I was a girl? Is that gonna be the thing that really gets them going? Makes them come back and drag me into the car, maybe show me how a real man fucks or how a woman ought to be fucked? Is that how this night will end up?"

This was two years after Brandon Teena, a biological woman living as a man, was raped by a "friend" when the friend realized Brandon was a "she" -- was then killed after reporting the rape to the cops. Brandon Teena, famously portrayed by Hillary Swank in Boys Don't Cry, a movie I cannot and will not ever watch. I don't remember if I knew the Brandon Teena story as I walked to my car. I didn't have to know that story to "know the story," if you know what I mean. I knew the possibilities in my bones like rabbits know that wolves will chase them and eat them.

They did not come back, I made it to my car, I was shaking when I got home and couldn't believe I was shaking. I was living, at that time, with DL, my very, very good friend who now lives in Atlanta. DL was then the president of Campus NOW. She saw immediately that I was acting weird. I didn't even realize how weird I was acting. My girlfriend was there too, Renee. DL and Renee were both so alarmed and I kept saying "It was nothing, I'm ok, they didn't do anything, they just yelled some stuff." I didn't feel like I had the right to be so freaked out because "nothing" had happened. Earlier in the semester, some girl was gang raped at a frat party. I kept thinking, "This was nothing. Nobody even touched me," thinking of that girl and her experience. I drank a beer. I kept shaking.

Gender expression. Yeah. My gender expression is what kept me out of public restrooms as much as possible and what made road trips so hard. My gender expression is what made my life in the rural south such a dangerous obstacle course. My gender expression is what drove me across the country to this liberal utopia. And now look at me -- hair grown back out, looking and dressing more like a girl than ever before. But you know, still, I get "sir"ed. Just the other day I got a "Hey buddy, can I get a light," as I walked past a guy on the street.

So it's in me. Whatever it is. Regardless of hair.

It's interesting.

stimulating word of the day

As always, for SK, great inspiration of great words:


One entry found for proprioceptive.
Main Entry: pro·pri·o·cep·tive
Pronunciation: -'sep-tiv
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin proprius own + English -ceptive (as in receptive)
: of, relating to, or being stimuli arising within the organism

addendum re: future

Reading what I wrote yesterday -- what didn't get published till today b/c blogger was on the blink -- it almost makes me laugh. I sound so pitiful and so dramatic when, the 100 percent truth is this:

I am totally in love and that has thrown me into a headspin of dreamy bliss -- the contours of my future couldn't *be* more palatable. And all I want to do, when I'm not wrapped around SK, is stare out a window daydreaming about the beauty and wonder of life.

Appellate advocacy is still dry and boring and I still hate my internship. But I just wanted to add some balance. My life is great. Better than great. Un-fucking-believable.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

future suddenly uncertain

Not that it was certain before. It just had more palatable contours.

So, I spent a couple hours today working on this project for my internship. By "project" what I mean is "someone's social security case." And by "someone's social security case" what I mean is "the shit I thought I wanted to do for a living after school." And you know what? I fucking hate it. I absolutely fucking hate it. It's boring as fuck. It's totally disheartening. I think of bird-lady and I want to go kill her birds.

Last week bird-lady said to me (didn't intimate, hint at or imply -- she said it) "If you want me to hire you this summer, I want to see a lot of enthusiasm for this work -- I want to see you actually doing more than your required ten hours." She looked at me knowingly then shrugged her shoulders and followed up with "Of course I can't *ask* you to do more than the required hours, but.... *But*..." And she smiled, having made her point. I felt like I was talking to the godfather or one of his cronies.

You want to work for me, you got to work double-time, off the clock, you got to prove yourself.

I think this work sucks. I think appellate advocacy is dry and boring. I want to walk around in a daydream. I want to read my fucking Sunday New York Times and write blog entries all day. I want to travel. I want to wake up in the morning in SK's bed and, instead of jumping up and running off to procrastinate somewhere, I want to roll over, put my arm around her and go back to sleep. Or stay up chatting. I want to have breakfast with her and read the paper together and take a long walk and go to a coffeeshop and, and, and, and fun stuff all day.

I don't want to wake up stressed out because there is no end to the amount of work I'm supposed to be doing and no structure whatsoever. I don't want to sit for hours in front of a computer summarizing two hundred pages of medical records, not sure what I'm doing or how to do it, while my back and neck knot up and burn with pain. I dont want to be so far behind in the reading for all my other classes because this internship takes all my resources. Fuck.

I'm feeling frazzled again.

the fog my head is in

Had another session with my counselor today. Less helpful than last time. Instead of a bolt of lightening, illuminating my inner life, it was more a stick stirred into the mud at the bottom of my lake -- now everything's all cloudy and swirling.

One good thing: I'm done feeling guilty for leaving CB. In fact, I'm feeling a pure and unbridled annoyance with CB. My counselor, Lisa, said (after I ranted about my run-ins with CB before and after moving) "Wow -- sounds like you're *really* annoyed with her." Lisa was smiling this big, warm smile when she said it.

Yeah. I am really annoyed.

Last night SK and I went to the dyke bar to watch the L word. I noticed as I drove us there that I was feeling more and more apprehensive. I spent a *lot* of time hanging out with CB in this dyke bar and her ghost is in every corner. Not to mention, her actual self could show up any minute. It is, after all, her favorite bar, regardless of the love/hate relationship she thinks she has with it.

SK and I sat in the car debating the possibilities before we went in. I posited a dire prediction about CB's behavior if she was to show up. I guessed that she would confront us -- there would be cussing -- there would be sneering and disparaging of my "patterns."

SK said "What will you do if she says those things?"

My first thought was, "I will have to protect SK from CB." Noble, or something, but ridiculous. I struggled. I thought, "what's the *right* thing to do?" I couldn't find an answer. I can't remember what I eventually said. It involved me saying "Fuck you," and getting angry...

Then SK said, "What I think is that you should agree with her. You should say 'yes, this is my pattern. I love love. I gravitate towards love. It is who I am and who I have always been.'" It was really sweet. Really incredible. It changed my whole perspective. Why have I struggled against CB? Why have I felt the need to defend myself, defend my choices, defend my life? Ridiculous. At that point, I felt this great weight drop off me. My headache and backache sort of dissolved, instantly.

Today, Lisa said, "You feel so congruent suddenly! You finally agree with what you believe."

And that feels pretty fucking great.

Monday, February 06, 2006

the sun, remember?

It's that glowing yellow thing in the sky that tends to disappear from the Northwest around October. It's back! It's making everything so shiny and warm and I find myself feeling kinda disoriented...

Could be sleep deprivation. I've had the unbelievable fucking honour of sleeping next to SK for several nights in a row now and the absolute thrill of proximity keeps me buzzing late into the night and wakes me, still buzzing, early in the morning. It is not uncommon for me to slowly drift up from sleep at 6am realizing she's there. Often she's awake too and there we are, 6am, dark sky, staring at each other, lit as we are by the tiny glow from an outside light. Staring with total amazement and gratitude to find ourselves waking up together. So fucking incredible. *She* is so fucking incredible.

I started this blog in December in the middle of eviserating my relationship with CB and extracting myself from it, like a baby stuck in the body of a dead mother is cut free, pulled into the air, allowed to live. Part of that process was about redefining myself as a single person and attacking this so-called pattern of swinging from relationship to relationship. Needless to say, it's a little more than ironic that I now find myself totally crazy about SK -- I've checked and rechecked myself around this. It feels so organic... it feels so organic and so good and so real and so right, it seems insulting to the universe to equate it with any fucked up old pattern, any kind of robotic, rote behavior. Ridiculous.

And frankly, I'm starting to question the validity of this idea that I've got a pathological pattern at all. I think I have *had* some kind of pattern, but it isn't some static thing. It's like an old, rusty, rattletrap car rolling down a hill, picking up speed, gaining momentum -- and as it rolls and rides and bumps it shakes parts and hunks loose -- they fly off -- nuts and bolts and mirrors and lights and fenders and doors and the steering wheel and seats until nothing is left of this pattern but the wheels on the axles -- carrying me smoothly along, coasting off into the future. There was very little left of the pattern with CB. There is less left now.

I've been clinging to this pattern to excuse or explain my behavior rather than look honestly in each moment at every action I take, every choice I make. This no longer feels right. I'll talk to my counselor tomorrow about it. She's so great, I want to know what thinks about it all.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

trouble in blogland

One of my posts has disappeared!! What the fuck!?

I just posted that last message ("getting unsettled") and suddenly I looked and saw that the message that should've been right before it was gone. Completely gone! Missing!

Perplexing. I just got an email today -- a comment posted to the site and forwarded to my email -- and that commenter expressed that he or she had experienced troubles trying to post a comment to that message, the one titled "friends are fun" or something like that.

What's going on in blogland? I can't tolerate this blog-anarchy! I need these techno things to run as they're supposed to run! And finally I got a nice comment from one of you lurking readers and now I can't even locate it on the blog!


getting (un)settled

(written around noon, in my apartment, cut and pasted to the blogger at the coffeeshop now)

I am in my new apartment, my new home, sitting in my low slung, slouchy chair next to my coffee table, drinking peppermint tea, having just finished off the leftover half-chicken and roasted vegetables SK brought over last night. I’m stuffed. My Sunday New York Times is beside me on the coffee table and beside it is a two-inch thick Social Security file and a yellow highlighter. I need to be reading the middle chunk of that file, the part that contains the medical records, and highlighting the golden nuggets so I can later come back and, as succintly as possible, summarize those records. I should’ve been working on this project all week, but I haven’t looked at it since I left bird-lady’s last Saturday night. And I don’t want to look at it now. I want to listen to KMHD Jazz and read the Times and I want to keep unpacking, organizing, arranging, clearing, cleaning, settling, nesting. I want to lay on my bed in the next room and just stare out across my little apartment, absorbing it all, letting it all sink in.

My space. This is my space. I can stay here as long as I want. I can get comfortable. I can relax. I was telling SK this morning that sinking in here, finally relaxing, makes me feel like having a breakdown. I would call it a healing crisis -- what I call it when the body waits for a safe time to freak out. It happens to us all in school -- we struggle through a hard semester and grueling exams and then, the first day of winter break, the first day after the last exam, we’re struck by some horrible flu or walking pneumonia or stomach virus. We’ve held on and held on as we trudged through the hard stuff, then suddenly we let down our burden and burst into tears. It’s like crying when someone says something nice. It’s like that.

I had a knock at my door just a bit ago and you’ll never guess who it was. It was one of the movers. The stocky one with the bad trucker hat and the good trucker moustache. Oh the tragically hip Portland kids. He was standing there with his motobecane bicycle hoisted on his shoulder. He thought I might like to see *his* motobecane bicycle, since he had seen *my* motobecane bicycle. He has seriously misjudged my interest in bicycles. He also wondered if I would like to take a bicycle ride with him.

Oh my god, how novel boys are! Doesn’t my lesbian-ness just pour off me in waves? Maybe not now that my hair has grown back out. But really, he moved me! And not in an emotional/sexual way. In a U-Haul way. He’s seen all my books, the stickers on my car, he heard me bitching about CB as he was carrying my junk out of her house. What does he want? What is he thinking? I was flattered and perplexed and annoyed. I do not like to be dropped in on and I’m sure my body language made that quite clear as I stood in the door just staring at him, brow furrowed. But what I did, rather than tell him flatly to go away, was I invited him in for just a moment to see how I’d arranged things. And I gave him my phone number.

I felt like a piano teacher or an aunt or something. I said, “Here is my number. Next time you think you want to go on a bicycle ride, call me first.” My tone, I hope, did not convey the excitement of a young woman hoping to be wooed by a bicycling Portland hipster. There was no exclamation point at the end of the statement. My tone, I hope, conveyed that a boundary was being set, not that an invitation was being made. My tone, I hope, said “Do not drop in on me again,” while still leaving the boy a small window of opportunity. I don’t want to make him go away. I want to see what he wants. I’ll make him go away when and if he becomes troublesome or annoying. For now, I’ll study his behavior, if there is any after this encounter. How odd.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

the ridiculous circumstances of life

I couldn't pass up the chance to write from this space. I'm sitting my car, parked outside my favorite coffeeshop (the Black Cat on Alberta, for those of you who are curious) leeching off their wireless. Why? Because, at 9pm after the movers moved all my stuff into my new house, I absolutely *had* to run over to check for a message from SK. Why? Because I am completely, wildly, stupidly, crazily, intensely, ridiculously, passionately in love with SK. And because she writes great messages.

So here I sit in my car with my seat pushed as far back as it will go to accomodate my laptop which is resting against the steering wheel, the screen lighting up my face, reflecting in my glasses, startling passers-by and calling attention to my predicament... But what are you gonna do?

The movers were late, but so efficient and cute once they showed up, I didn't care. I pointed everything out that needed moved, then ran off to pick up some Taco Bell for supper and some Pabst for later. Yum. A winning combo that I'm sure I'll appreciate in the morning.

CB made an unwelcome surprise visit in the middle of moving. She just popped in to be an asshole for a minute and insist I remove the bed I had intended to leave for her son to use (since he recently moved in w/o a bed). She doesn't want the bed, so it has to go. She stood in the doorway, said her little bit, and left in a huff while I sat on the couch eating a taco and drinking a beer. I was so happy to be moving out of there I almost laughed while she glared at me, but I managed to keep my composure. My life is so great right now, nothing could phase me.

The movers packed me up so fast I hardly had time to finish my tacos before it was time to go. So we went. I made sure to slam the door extra hard as I shut it for the last time. Fucking stupid closed chapter of my life. Now it's time to work on the anger I'm still feeling. We'll see.

So the movers showed up at my house and unpacked like lightening. Next thing you know, I'm sitting around my new living room, piles of my shit everywhere, drinking Pabst with the movers, trying to figure out if they're hitting on me and deciding if I think they're cute. Little Portland hipsters with a giant van. They were cute enough, but alas, I kicked them out after two beers so I could come to the coffeeshop and read SK's message. Funny. I kicked them out even after they worshipped:

1.) my french motobecane bicycle,

2.) the longbarrelled ruger my dad shot himself with and

3.) the mountain dulcimer I was given as a college graduation present. The dulcimer is, by far, my coolest possession. My Great-Uncle Bob Mize made it, as commissioned by my dad, with wood taken from the barns of both my great-grandfathers. The top is cherry and comes from my grandmother's father's barn, and the back is walnut and comes from my grandfather's father's barn, the barn of my childhood memories and rompings. That dulcimer is fucking awesome. I can play three songs on it, and god bless those little movers, they actually asked me to play something and they listened and appreciated it when I did.

Fuck it's been a great night. Now I'm heading home (home!) to start unpacking and sorting out my shit. I love my life.

live from the lion's den

Lucky me, the lion's not home.

I'm at CB's waiting for the movers. I hate it here. She's been smoking in the house since I left and now it stinks in here like a cheap motel. Not to mention, I sit here with the constant nag that she'll turn up any minute. I gave her plenty of notice of my moving plans and I think she'll stay away, but still... my body feels nervous even if my mind knows better.

One bright spot was seeing the next door neighbor and her six year old daughter. They were great neighbors, so sweet, and the kid is pretty awesome. They gave me a big, three person hug and told me they missed me. I was planning to send them a card to let them know I appreciated having them as neighbors. Maybe I still will...

I got here way earlier than I needed to. I had a lot more to do, but when I got here at 3 I found that CB had done most of it. I was not particularly pleased, but I know she worked hard moving all my shit from my room into the living room for the movers. I'm sure there's something cathartic in it for her. Gives her some measure of control in this situation which, otherwise, leaves her thinking she's powerless. Of course, she never was powerless in this relationship, but it is her pathology to feel that way.

My plants and musical instruments are safely loaded in my car, out of the way of any bumbling movers. Everything else just sits waiting. Crossing my fingers and hoping my ginormous desk fits through the door of my new apartment...

new place -- all mine!

Having a new apartment all to myself is like being left alone in your parents' house at age 10. I feel giddy with freedom, goofy beyond reason. If I had bought myself a particularly springy bed, I would jump up and down on it. (As it is, the ceilings are pretty low anyway, so...)

So I can do whatever I want! I can eat anything at any time! I can pick the music! I can play my guitar at midnight or before the sun comes up the next morning or both! I can take a bath before bed and a shower as soon as I wake up and there's nobody there wondering why all the excess hygiene! I can hang plants everywhere, and there's no one there telling me maybe those plants would be better over here or over there or probably those plants are going to die in the low light, I should've gotten different plants. No! There's nobody saying any of that! I'm alone! And it's fucking great!