Monday, November 24, 2014

Return to Dick Mountain

So T-Bone was jettisoned and guess who calls? Right on the motherfucking heels of that shit. Don Juan/Hypocrites. He called and I had deleted his number so I answered with no fear or hesitation, thinking it was a student or the Gurl Child.  When he said, “Hi.” Followed with, “It’s me.”, the bottom dropped out of my stomach and I wondered what in the world he’d be calling for.  I just couldn't imagine and my mind raced out a 100 different scenarios in a split second before I simply said, “Hi.”

He stumbled over his words but eventually told me he wanted to say hi and see how I was and he’d tried to tell a person we both knew from Schmome Schmeepo to tell me he’d said hello but then what kind of coward would he be if he didn't tell me himself and a bunch of other stuff that I didn't really hear because I was still wondering what this was all about.
He said that he’d missed me, that he knew he had no right to be saying any of this to me and that he would understand completely if I hung up but he wanted to tell me, “Hi.”
I simply said, “Well, hi.” Again.

He asked what I thought about his calling and I said, “Well honestly, DJ I don’t know what to say.  I’m dumbfounded and I’m going out of town and I’ll be back next week and I guess we can talk it over then?”

He acquiesced immediately and said,

”Whatever you want. Take your time.”

I said okay back and we hung up.  I still, to this day, wish I’d have been a bit more of a hard ass.  Made him work harder for my agreement to even speak to him. Chances are, it would have turned out the same but I would have maybe come off like a bit more of a someone who wasn't a doormat. 

In any case, he sent some of the most panty-melting, heart stopping, Nicholas-Sparks-would-be-proud sweet talk via text until I finally said, “Yes, come by the store and we’ll talk.”
He walked in while I was working and my stomach flipped and I grinned because there he was. He followed me throughout the store, he told everyone he was there to take me away from it all, he practically made me swoon and he waited for me until I had closed the store.
I walked to my car slowly and I was so scared and sick. Why? Why was I scared? Because last time he had so completely broken my heart that I drank myself into a crying, sobbing stupor that had my best friend and daughter pouring me into bed?  Because last time it had taken me weeks to feel normal again? Because last time I had taken back TBone on the rebound from a shattered heart? No biggie.

There we stood in the parking lot, his arms around me while I felt my worth being buoyed.  I felt at once stupid and elated.  Why did I need this indecisive jackass to make me feel so good about myself and yet here he was, another one crawling back. He was offering himself up as my life partner telling me that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Telling me how insane he was to ever let me go.  How perfect I was for him and that he would NEVER EVER NEVER do to me what he’d done to me before.  Never shut me out and push me away ever again.  That he loved me like he loved no other.  I cried and felt an enormous sense of relief.  I told him that I felt like less of a fool for putting myself so completely out there last time and I wasn’t as stupid as I’d thought before. 

I was wondering to myself how two men had come to ask for me back in the space of just a few months and how had I ever settled at all at any time for anyone. I must be pretty fucking awesome.  The glow of all that awesomeness led me right back into temptation with DJ.  I ate it up.

He held me and crooned, “Oh baby, you are not stupid, I am. I’m the fool for ever thinking that I could do better than to have you in my life.  You are beautiful and a beautiful soul. I can talk to you and tell you my heart and my fears and I can trust you with them.” He laid his hand on my heart and said, “I was the stupid one and I’ll never let you go ever again.”
I cried from relief. I cried from the relief that I hadn’t imagined all that had gone before with us. I had agonized over whether I’d imagined this great love and passion and here he was telling me he felt it too.

I pulled back and asked point blank, “Why did you leave me then?”

He paused, he took a breath and launched. “Remember when I first started this job and I told you I needed to get some good shoes and slacks and you offered me your Macy’s card?” I nodded and opened my mouth and he held his hand up. “And you did that because you thought we were going to conquer the world together and now I understand that, but at the time I felt like a supreme failure.”

I wrinkled my brows and backed up against the car and hung my head.  “I offered you help and you didn't want to take it and so you flirted with some girl on Facebook and then broke my heart?? How do I know if you were to get sick or if something terrible were to happen, you wouldn't act exactly the same?”

He advanced and scooped me off the side of the car.  “Because I realize what an idiot I was. You were right.  You were right about everything. Nothing and no one in my life has or ever will compare to you.”

I sagged against him and buried my nose in his neck. He still smelled so fucking good. We kissed like we’d never kiss again.  Ridiculously passionate, grasping and desperate right there next to my car. I was swept up in all those sweet words and let myself be carried away.  I told him I would give him another chance that I’d loved him so and never really stopped and he told me the same.  We hugged and laughed and talked and kissed and it was a bit of delicious déjà vu in that parking lot where it had all started.

So it went … loving messages and conflicted schedules and stolen moments and we did more this time.  We all went to dinner…me and DJ and my daughter and his 6 year old son.  The Girl Child and his Boy Child cut up and played during bowling and then dinner.  Suddenly, as we were sitting at dinner, his BC said, “Is she my new sister?” I panicked and all the blood drained to my toes.  He didn't ask me and so I sat back in the booth and let his dad take the lead. 

His father took a drink and said, “Yes.”

I almost slipped under the table in shock but it felt like he was all in this time and I began to relax into it. We looked at houses; we talked forever about what, when and where. I stopped looking for work out of state and decided that this is where I could stay because this man, this great love and I were going to build a life together. I really could not have been happier.  In those moments, I was standing in the sun again because this guy had so much more than any that came before… a hard worker and a good father and dedicated to succeeding. He was sweet and complimentary and appreciative. I had a purpose… for all of us. 

One thing I have learned about myself in the last couple years since leaving Tucker is that if I don’t have direction, I’m not happy.  I can’t just drift by every day and escape depression.  The more days I let just float by without doing something in service of accomplishing something else, the more the black fingers reach up and pull me back under the covers.  Enveloping me and soothing me into nothingness.  Nothingness with nachos and Netflix...but nothingness nonetheless.

This purpose and drive moving forward made me overly optimistic and I suppose slightly blind.  It happened that our schedules conflicted so much that we hadn't seen each other in over a week when he called me very early on a Monday morning.  So unusual for him and it threw me.  I won’t divulge the entirety of the situation but he had an issue with his son that had sent his ex-wife into a full on freak out.  A freak out that was not warranted but pushed DJ into super fixer/sponsor/protector/man mode. 

I offered what I knew to be calm, sage, loving advice because I’d been through very much the same thing with my daughter and step kids and told him that I was here for him and anything me or the Gurl Child could offer was his.

“Thanks, Medi. If I don’t answer my texts or call, it’s because I’m wrapped up with this. I spent all night with Barbara last night trying to calm her down.”

My brain imploded.  You spent all night with your ex-wife trying to calm her down???? What the codependent fuck?!?

I was silent and I think he sensed that did not settle with me particularly well. 

“Her fiancé is out of town working and she had no one and she’s really flipping out. I had to stay with her and keep her calm so she didn’t make the whole situation worse.”

“I understand. Something like this can be unsettling but it’s what kids do and I’m sure it’s nowhere near as bad as all that.”

He hesitated and sighed then, “Well Barbara can be a bit hysterical when life doesn’t follow the script but we’re talking about my son here. I needed to keep the situation as calm as possible.”

“That’s fine. I understand.” But I didn’t understand.  I felt like I was dealing with a pack of idiots here and wanted to shake them all and knock their heads together.

That moment, when he called me by my name instead of baby or honey or sweetie; that moment was when I really knew.  Oh, I hung on for 3 more weeks sending encouraging emails…hearing from him via phone call exactly twice and a few scattered texts, but I knew. 

Here’s the thing…he had all these wonderful qualities. Goal oriented, handsome, cared for other people but he was also tortured. I knew this already from the last go round but I had let the fact that he’d tortured himself over losing me sort of blot that out. Have you ever met someone that doesn’t necessarily seem happier when things are going wrong but they seem comfortable there? This, I was discovering, was DJ.  He picked up misery and wrapped it about him. He wore it well and may not have reveled in it but he certainly thrived.  He wore the hair coat with pleasure and I finally figured out why.

 He once told me that being 20+ years clean and sober was still a struggle some days because when things were going well were the times that he thought, A beer would be good right now, I can handle a couple of drinks.  So…he was more comfortable in turmoil or strife.   He could handle that.  He could work his steps and talk to his sponsor and go to meetings and have this thing working that kept him on a path that he knew how to navigate without fucking up and using or drinking.

There was also this slightly martyr-ish portion that told him if he had to sacrifice his ultimate happiness for it then that was okay because he was doing important shit.  He was saving his kid or the world or whatnot. I was vaguely reminded of my dog that used to roam our acreage and always managed to find something dead somewhere to roll in.  He would come home reeking of funky decay and be thrilled with himself. It’s like DJ shrouded himself with funk because it was his comfort zone.  It was the only way he knew how to forge ahead with any sort of regularity or normalcy. He flourished in his funk because happy and normal was scary as fuck.

The two phone calls I DID get from him were one sided conversations about how he counseled his ex through everything and kept her relationship with her fiancé intact because he was, in fact, such a fucking wonderful stand-up dude.  Those things made me angry when they should have made me proud of him but how is it a man can ask someone to share his life or even say, “You are the love of my life.” when he doesn't even manage to speak to them or think about them for 3 weeks?

I was already lounging in bed one night wondering what the fuck I was going to do about all this when called and he said, “Everything is starting to work out and the counselor told us much of what you told me and I think everything is starting to get better.”

“Well that’s great.” I answered cautiously and without much enthusiasm. 

“I’m ready to see you, babe.” He said it quietly and I made him repeat it.

Not I need to see you, not I want to see you but I’m ready.

Omg hallelujah. He’s ready.  I should drop everything and make sure I can meet all his needs in this moment.

Guess what?  I’d been ready for weeks but what I wanted hadn't mattered.  I felt sort of like an asshole and as if I were being a bit selfish because he was dealing with shit about his son but I also knew deep down that they’d all overreacted and turned something that most kids with blended families go through into a major ordeal that didn't need to be one.  I felt like a casualty of a stupid, pointless war.  Not to mention all I’d been going through and it hadn't been world ending but it had been a pretty shitty month for me.

He said, “I’m going to text you first thing in the morning even if I don’t have anything to say.”
I told him okay and that I’d talk to him the next day.  Guess what, again? Nothing.  All morning I stared at my phone willing the light to notify me that he hadn't forgotten about me, that I mattered to him as much as he mattered to me.  At 11:55 while it was still morning, I texted him.  I sent it on Kik so I knew when he had read it and that he had simply chosen not to fucking answer me.

I wrote an email that day and I agonized over sending it. I agonized over and over.  Was I ready to let go of this shit?  He had made me realize what I wanted out of life, finally.  I had been adrift since I’d left Tucker and didn’t know if I’d be trying to travel the world or be looking for a place to settle down. I basically hadn’t figured it out.  The excitement I felt when looking for a place to raise our family together was genuine. I hadn’t felt it because it was what he wanted.  I had seriously felt it in my heart.  An experience during all of this where the Girl Child had friends over and I cooked them all breakfast and we sat laughing and chatting had made me realize that I am happiest when I’m nesting and being a homebody. It solidified what I wanted. For that, to him, I am grateful.  He helped me find my way but sadly, now it just wouldn’t be with him. 

I sent the email which you can read if you click the pic over there.   Who knew if I’d ever be able to see him face to face again? I wasn’t important enough for him to make time to see much less even text me apparently.  I felt awful and okay all at the same time and mostly like I’d been on a rip roaring roller coaster that had taken me to an incredible high full of promise only to leave me 3 seconds later feeling like I was going to puke. 

He sent a short text two days later:

You’re right. You were right about all of it. I’m sorry I dragged everyone into this

He missed the point. He missed the entire fucking point. It solidified my decision but it didn't ease the hurt.  I’d made the same wrong decision twice. I’m going to blame it on hubris and chemicals.  His stroking my ego was legendary and I’m not gonna lie, he made my panties fall off but he had to go.

It was a mess. I was a mess.  I have no idea how I feel about anything anymore except I know more of what I don’t want.  I know I’m ready to settle down and I have to be happy doing that alone.  Unfortunately, this little episode catapulted me into Tinder/OkCupid frenzy in an effort to bandaid the stab wound, which I can assure you has made everything shittastic for my emotional well-being. Whoever said the whole getting under someone to get over someone was the thing apparently had zero emotional baggage.

I’m not trying anymore.  I’m going to make some goals that don’t have penises involved.  I’m going to post a prologue for my book this week. I’m going to make myself accountable for finishing the damn thing. If I’m not holding a copy of my book by 2016, it’ll be because I wrote a piece of shit and not because I didn't write it.  


Friday, October 17, 2014

TBone Reheated

I picked up my phone and stared at it with a bit of incredulity but mostly this feeling of satisfaction and smugness crept in unbidden, delicious but tinged with guilt because a good person wouldn’t be so arrogant. It was TBone.

There I sat, still reeling from Don Juan/Hypocrites and even though it’d been many weeks, I was still pretty torn up.  I had so loved him and thought we could make a beautiful life together and then he was gone like I didn’t matter at all.

TBone on the other hand was asking me to go to dinner with him.  I didn’t answer right away. I didn’t know what to say.  We were more than likely the same two people with the same differences we’d had last time.  I just couldn’t believe he was messaging me. He’d acted like our breakup had been a complete shit storm and I was more than just a little surprised at the contact.

I finally answered and said sure and he seemed really happy. He continued to sporadically text and I answered.  Don Juan had really ripped out my heart and TBone was being nice. Salve as it were. I knew though… way back in that place where you know things.

I went anyway. We had the dinner. He took me to a nice place and I had too many cocktails and he sat across from me staring adoringly.  At one point he said, “You’re so smart and beautiful and NOT crazy. Whatever I was doing that got on your nerves before, I’ll quit doing.”

I smiled at that and told him, “We are still the same people. With the same issues.”

He interrupted me with, “I didn’t have any issues.”

I clamped my lips shut and leaned back in the booth.  I had plenty of them and I wondered since he’d busted my Facebook blog page if he’d actually read the blog and then assumed he must have.   It wasn’t anywhere near complimentary and I felt he must’ve read it by now.

We started the dating. Again.  It was somewhat okay.  At first I was swept up in all the nice, all the feels as it were.  He was still handsome and accommodating and the sex was different.  Like not as bad at first but shockingly quick and he’d developed a habit of yelling out during his crisis in a loud extended way that made me cringe. Every time almost. I found myself frustrated for different reasons than before but still frustrated.  He had eased up on the kitty cat talking but told me he loved me immediately during our first time out.  It was disconcerting but after a while, I fell into it too. It seemed easy. The same shit we did before revisited and again, it was salve.  I didn’t recognize it fully or maybe I just didn’t want to. Don Juan/Hypocrites had just really taken me weeks to feel normal again and this was balm for the wound.  

So it happened that after exchange of love and a few weeks, we decided to go visit my parents, me and TBone and the Girl Child and a camper and his decrepit Bronco.  TBone exhibited nerves at the prospect of meeting my parents and I told him to calm down and relax. They’re regular peeps and they wouldn’t give him a hard time even if they hated him.  Tucker was proof enough of that.

He showed up with the camper and we loaded up.  It wasn’t too bad going up there. He had brought his boys to meet their mother to visit for the 4th of July.  Most of the visit was okay.  He was trying too hard and I could see that he wasn’t content unless he was sitting still and doing not much and smoking a joint.  I mean, I knew he smoked but it was just so evident that he wasn’t happy at all unless he was high and to hear him tell it, he “never got high”.  Whatever.  So we had a fairly okay time but when we headed home the aforementioned decrepit Bronco started to have some problems.  It was overheating and exhibiting some electrical issues and he proceeded to grab his rosary and rock back and forth as he was driving.  Genuflecting like a lunatic, swinging those beads around with them knocking all over the place.  I am not a believer.  He knows this and I know he’s a Catholic and I accept you have to do what you have to do to get by. Believe what you like and that’s all cool but the display that he put on was discomfiting almost frightening. Even on my most fervent, prayer-filled days, I would not have acted like that in front of anyone for any reason. It bordered on mania that was more than a little unsettling. 

Ironically, though, in between all the reverence to the lord, he was puffing on his one hitter with my kid in the car.  I just looked at him with murder in my eyes and he finally set it down with a look that was disgusted. My daughter was dead silent and bug eyed in the back seat watching everything.
We then drove the 3 ½ almost 4 hours without stopping because he was afraid the truck wouldn’t start back up.  We got home, we piled out stretching and I said, “Wow, thank goodness. I’m dying of thirst.”

Only to be answered by TBone with, “Yeah, well I haven’t had anything to drink since we left your parents’!”

I really couldn’t believe what I’d just heard and all I think was

 Congratulations! You’ve just won the Thirsty Games!!!

But … because I am the person I am and I knew that he was very stressed out even though the worst that could’ve happen was to wait on AAA, I went directly inside and made him a cold drink.  He was sitting on the couch and leaned back as if he’d just gone through complete hell…duuuh-raaahma.

I handed him the drink, and the winner of the Thirsty Games, who had had to go 20 minutes longer than me and the GC without a drink, took it and set it on the coffee table without so much as taking a sip. I stared incredulously as he then said with all the zeal he had in him, “I know you don’t believe it but the Lord got us home.” I felt a snap, an imperceptible hitch in my feelings.  That moment was the beginning of the end.

I thought,  Did the lord also tell you to toke up with my kid in the car so we could make it home?

I turned and grabbed GC and we left to get food. That night, after he’d fallen asleep, I got up and slept on the couch.  I couldn’t bear it.  The GC was on the other side of our sectional and I snoozed until about 9AM and got up and made some coffee. I got back on the couch with my blanky and coffee and snoozed off and on.  About 11:00AM, Tbone got up suddenly as if it were 6AM and he were the motherfucking poster child for early risers and began to bark at us.  I stared blankly while he growled orders, “WE NEED TO GET UP AND GET THIS DONE.” 

I said, “Uh, if you need to go, then go. We’ll figure out how to pick up her car if you’re in a hurry.”
He stopped in his tracks and looked at me. Let the back pedaling and martyrdom commence.

“No, it’s just that I thought we should get this over with and….” I interrupted and repeated myself in a very kind, even tone and he again refused to leave and I said, “Well I’m going to get breakfast and coffee and then call the shop and we’ll figure out when we’re getting it after.”

He went outside, presumably for his wake and bake and the GC and I again left. I called and the guys were at lunch and we couldn’t get the car picked up til 1.   We returned to find him sitting on the steps of his camper in what looked like classic pout pose.  I told him that they wouldn’t be back in the shop until 1PM and he could leave if he wanted and it’d all be fine.

I think he told me no but all I heard was, “Wah.  I’ll stay. Wah.  Poor pitiful me. Wah. Martyr. Martyr. Wah. Can you see my cross? Wah…”


I’m trolling Facebook on the couch, waiting to head out and my son, who is the world’s BEST drama queen had posted:

Tired of no matter what I do it’s not the right thing.

Tbone had liked it and commented:

I know what you mean.

I absolutely lost my shit then and I told him about it.  I confronted him with the fact that you don’t put your shit all over Facebook much less on my SON’S page and what’s more he was relating to and commiserating with an 18 year old kid. Like I said before, that was the beginning of the end. It deteriorated quickly after that. He hadn’t actually read the blog and he did manage it a fit of pique to find it and read it. He sort of figured out what I really thought after that. In the end though, it was not so much a “you’re not good enough for me” judgment as an “I judge you to be too different from me for this to work.”

I have loved and been loved. I have not, however, ever been taken care of so completely that I didn’t feel absolutely alone in my skin at all times.  Normally, I’m okay with that …it’s just those times that you feel like if you have to be in charge of one more motherfucking thing without SOME kind of backup, you’re going to lose your shit in a special way. 

I never had that person there that was my lover and who understood me. I have my friends and I have my daughter and my family but it isn’t the same. It’s not the same as being skin to skin with someone, sharing breath with them and knowing that they cherish more than your body. I want that intangible feeling of having someone to fall back on when I am low.  Someone who will say, “It’s okay that you feel shitty right now because I’m here.  You feel shitty and we’ll take care of this together and you won’t feel shitty anymore and I won’t make you feel even shittier for feeling shitty.”  No scorekeeping, no I did this, so you have to do that.  No guilt.  No obligation. Just love and acceptance. Someone who would be there regardless and wasn’t trying to take advantage of me in any way. Someone I could feel safe loving and giving my heart to and would give theirs right back to me for safekeeping.

I had been very guilty in my younger years of rejecting anyone that seemed like they “loved me too much.” So much self-loathing abounded that I began to reject any club that would have me as a member.  I felt that had happened with Don Juan and his own feelings of self-worth were what got in the way between us.  I hadn’t wanted to be like that and had given people chances they didn’t deserve because I wanted to be sure I wasn’t doing that exact thing, passing something up fundamentally good because I was damaged. Enter TBone and my need to fair and think everything out instead of going with that thing that I know from that place where you store up the shit that you JUST know.

I can handle being by myself. It’s okay. I can do that. I can get through the times when I’m adrift in a sea of chaos and feel like I’m standing stock still in the middle of roaring bedlam.  After all is said and done, the only person I need to worry about being fair to, is myself.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mediocrates Meets Hypocrites

So I was in love and I thought with someone different. Someone self-aware and whole.  Sure there was a ton of self-reflection going on and at times he seemed flighty and unsure of his course but he always seemed to work it out. We talked about the best sequence of actions for getting a home together, how long we should wait, etc. Whose house first or fully together when we were ready. We talked about all kinds of things. We continued to steal kisses and see each other and bask in the glow.

And so it happens that one weekend I go to meet a friend at the bar where she works.  We are going to eat and hang out but she has to work.  There are families there and kids singing karaoke and I take a stool at the bar and she and I chat in between her customers.  A 100-year old pipe liner sits down and buys me a beer.  I drink it and I talk to him as he regales me with his own brand of cowboy poetry and bull riding stories.  It soon becomes evident that I cannot drive home in my current state so I start to drink water.  I drink like 4 bottles…turn down more beers from more pipe liners and I go home.  When I convey this tale to my beloved 3 days later, he becomes shitty and sullen.  He withdraws and goes back to work after our supper together and I wonder "What the fuck?"

Ensuing discussion reveals his disappointment that I let someone buy my beers while sitting in a bar without him. Further, he is not the sort of man that would ever let there be any doubt about the fact that he has a woman and he would treat her with the utmost respect to include not letting another woman overtly flirt with him, hug him or put him or his woman in a situation that either of them would have to be embarrassed about later. He told me that a girl at work had been hugging him and he knew I didn’t like it much even though I hadn’t said anything so he made sure it never happened again.  He didn't want anyone anywhere to think they’d had something over on me where he was concerned. I loved that.  I loved it.  I knew he was upset and I knew why and what’s more I wholeheartedly agreed with it.  I’d never had a man say anything like that to me.  Now though, in his eyes, I’d sullied the whole thing and I tried to explain that he could walk in that bar with me and he would have no reason to be embarrassed, it simply hadn't been like that.  Long story short, we hashed it out. I have a tendency not to be the one to put up a fight or try to prove my point because it’s exhausting but I thought he was worth it….that our future was worth it.

So the moment that it happened that I saw the fateful post on motherfucking Facebook on another girl’s motherfucking page and I said something about it; about how that wasn't respectful and about how if all three of us were ever in a room together that I would be embarrassed and belittled; about how I was hurt about how it belied the exact thing we’d almost broken up over a month before….I expected an apology. What I got was defiance. It broke my heart when he puffed up.  I knew right then it was over. Shit, I knew the moment I’d seen the post it was over.  

In the end, I imagine that he was not ready. He was still trying to put the pieces of his life back together and we crashed into each other in an unexpected and passionate wave that proved to be too much for him and all of his inner conflict. I don’t think he meant to be a hypocrite, he just could never get out of his own way. I ended up feeling like the long suffering wife who sees her husband through medical school only to be dumped when he becomes a doctor.  I know that’s not exactly fair to him but it is still how I felt. I had dropped everything more than once to take him meals. I had put gas in his car to help him get to work and made sure he had things for his son. I had gone out of my way to make things work between us and did it happily because I thought we were working toward a future. It seemed the minute he got a better job and things were looking up though, he no longer needed me and that is just the most crushing of blows.

I told the bestie that I was going to just start being a bitch from here on out and she said, “No, you won’t. That’s not who you are.”

I tried too hard and gave everything but I don’t know how to do it any other way.  I go out of my way for the person that I love and I’m going to have to make damn sure that next time, whoever he is, doesn't
see me coming from a motherfucking mile away.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Don Juan

Okay…so…I met him at Schmome Schmeepo.  He was working there as a second job just like I was in order to supplement the old income.  He was technically my subordinate for months but there was just something about him.  I was drawn to him. He is Mexican and swarthy and clean cut but I could see a snippet of a tattoo on his chest when at times a button was undone.  We must name him and one of my besties calls him my Latin Lovah but we’ll call him Don Juan for a myriad of reasons.

I would check the schedule to see if he was my loader for the night.  I would try to chat him up whenever possible and he smelled so fucking good all the time.  I was still dating TBone when he started so it was nothing more than distance flirting at first and then….then I found his profile on OKCupid.

I thought ok, well he’s not seeing anyone then and by that time I was not seeing TBone anymore either so I can sort of hook this up maybe??? Could I? Do I chase men? Not usually, but let’s see how this shit goes. I had gotten his number under the guise of needing it for work but one night when I was not the head cashier and had been sent to garden to cover a break, I texted him. 

I told him he needed to come out so I could smell him.  It was about 3 ½ minutes later that he appeared.  We chit chatted and he asked if I was going to smell him and we leaned toward each other. Goddamn, he smelled so good. He always did.  We were inches from each other as I sniffed his neck and when I glanced up, our eyes met and it was electric and sexy and close and hot and there were a million things said without saying anything…and right then the bitch on break came walking back out.  FUCK!! So we popped apart and headed back into the store talking and grinning.

Later that night, I was manning self-checkout and got my courage up and I texted….”Whattya say we go make out in the parking lot after we close this dump?”

I pressed send with feelings of terror and exhilaration. Then I watched as he came in the store and went back out of the store, pushing carts and laughing with the lumber guys.  No answer.  No eye contact.  So me being me, I tried to lighten the mood with a joke because that’s the sort of idiot I am and texted, “I have gum.”

Still, just nothing.  Omg, he read that and now he thinks I’m a whore and OMG I’m technically his boss most nights and holy shit WTF, he doesn’t even know what to say to me, he won’t look at me, omg, omg, omg, omg.  How can I get out of here without having to talk to him?

Because self-doubt and panic…that’s my jam.  Then I heard him laugh.  Quite loudly.  I looked over and he had his phone in his hand and he was texting back.  My phone beeped and I pulled it out of my pocket to read, “I’m parked right next to you,,,,I’ll see you there.” He puts commas in everything he texts and I decided it was charming.

We got into my truck and started laughing at how ridiculous we were.  Then proceeded to do the whole this is my life talk…for about an hour.  It finally got quiet between us and he said, “When do we get to the kissing part?”

I smiled and pushed the console up and slid over next to him.  It was sublime.  The first kiss can be awkward but it was warm and soft and perfect.  We kissed and talked and kissed until the windows were fogged up.  He told me I was beautiful, that he’d been watching me, that he had wanted me. He told me all sorts of romantic, dashing fabulous things. I started getting sleepy and we realized it was 12:30 in the morning.  We texted each other good night after I got home and I drifted to sleep that night on a cloud.

We repeated the same sort of thing several more times over the next 3 weeks.  It got very heated but he told me there was no way he was taking me in that truck, that he wanted all of me and we would do it right or not at all.  We did more talking and the lay of the land was that he was a year out of a divorce that had left him struggling after he’d made some poor choices.  He lived in a mother in law suite at his aunt’s house and so there was no going back there for us.  I had the girl child at my house and so unless she was out for the night, he wasn’t spending the night with me.   

The Last Love of Don Juan - Daniel C. Chiriac
Third week, lo and behold there was a free night and he could come over…and of course motherfucking shark week shows up.  We talked it over and he was going to come for dinner and we rented a movie.  Just a nice little date and more making out.  I cooked us a casual dinner and did the fun part.  The makeup and hair and the omg we’re not going anywhere so what do I wear and then he was there.  We ate supper, we watched Man of Steel and we made out on my couch like teenagers.  He whipped off his shirt and I almost fainted… there it was, a strong perfect chest with a tattoo of his son’s infant footprints. He kissed the breath out of me and we finally stopped and finished the movie and I sent him home with blue balls. What’s the lady version of blue balls?? Motherfucking shark week.  

It took another week before he didn’t have his son and I had an empty house.  I cooked a meal, I primped and powdered and lotioned and stockings and lingerie and a little black dress.  He showed up smelling and looking so good and we ate dinner but the tension and longing was thick.  We talked and I began to put the dishes in the sink.  He came up behind me and started kissing my neck. I turned and sank into his arms and we made love.  You would think after more than a month of heavy petting and anticipation it would have been animal and it was…a little, but it was more sweet and passionate and wonderful than I’d experienced in a long time.  There was feeling and adoration and he whispered Spanish in my ear.  He could have been telling me directions to the library and I wouldn’t have known or cared. 

The discussions that followed soon after had snippets of things that told of his intentions for a relationship and not just messing about.  I had the same feelings and couldn’t believe I was experiencing them.  We talked about our future plans and he spoke of rebuilding his life and being proud of his choices and I talked of many things and remember him telling me, “Don’t talk like you’ll have to do it all alone.” We fell in love over Christmas. I sewed matching PJ’s for him and his 6 year old.  I bought him presents and made him cookies and we spent every minute that we weren’t working or busy trying to be together.  There was not as much sex as there was kissing and hugging and talking.  It was a real grown up relationship and he treated me like no one has ever treated me.  He called me his Queen.  I felt as if I were floating on air so much of the time. 

The other side of this coin is that he is 21 years clean and sober and attends meetings and counsels others. He takes phone calls at all hours to help people and I loved this about him but this all leads to a lot of self-reflection and all that sensitivity and caring means that though he had a bit of swagger with everyone else…almost a bit of a dickhead sometimes, he was conflicted. A lot.  He was conflicted when things went badly and he got behind with his bills.  He was conflicted about whether he was ready for our commitment. He was conflicted when he was offered a management position. He was conflicted over everything.  All the time.  At first, I felt like a wise calming influence to him. I felt useful and like we were part of a partnership where we were helping each other but I soon realized he could justify anything and talk himself into the choice he wanted in the first place most times. I felt like I was useful and part of something great.  I felt like this big, strong man that no one saw a weak link in needed ME.  I was special enough for him to show his weaknesses and to wise enough for him to bring his burdens. We talked about a home together and our future.

But…those times that we talked and I felt like I’d talked him off the ledge and he would text me later and tell me how grateful he was for me in his life.  I clung to those.  I clung to the moments that we stole kisses in parking lots, the times that we finally got my house to ourselves and had sweet, quiet time together, the times he looked at me and said, “Why are you so beautiful?”

I would find out soon enough though that I should have listened to the voice in my head that said, “Can you spend your whole life supporting and building someone up that needs this much validation? Of course you can. You love him.” I quieted that bitch. She’s a smart bitch, though.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Being Kalinda

Does anyone watch The Good Wife? I just started a binge watch of the first season as part of the March 2014 Mediocrates Depression Tour.  I’ve watched all 8 seasons of Weeds, 2 seasons of House of Cards and now The Good Wife. I’ve currently made my way to season 2. I normally don’t like a weekly episodic that wraps up neatly at the end of the hour.  I like character studies.  The Good Wife as it so happens out is a veritable cornucopia of character studies. I catch myself sort of ignoring the weekly legal drama and focusing on the soapy operatic deliciousness. I adore Josh Charles and have ever since Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.  His unrequited love for Alicia didn’t quite fly with me at first but it became a matter of course as I sank deeper into my covers with the small screen churning out the theatre. 

Alicia is long suffering and quiet and as I watch, I find myself screaming at her to be angry, to stand up for herself, to say something instead of just standing there being silent through any and all outrages. As much as I love Chris Noth, (who doesn’t love Mr. Big or the plaid tie wearing Mike Logan?) I hear myself thinking loudly…Why are you letting that motherfucker back in your house after what he’s done? When her brother tells her that she’s like the person on the Titanic that drowns because she’s too polite to leave her room, I just cringe and think holy sheep shit, YES!!!! Then I wonder why I’m so irritated at her until I realize how much she reminds me of myself.

I often tell myself that staying silent will show my quiet strength, only it’s not strength that keeps me quiet most times.  It’s fear.  I slowly began to grasp that she’s handling her fears by internalizing and trying to deal as best she knows how; navigating uncharted waters with all the skill of Gilligan.  Just like me.  Reactive not proactive.  I have been spending hours lying covered with the heavy blanket of nothing only rising when required to work, visit the powder room, throw some food down my throat or sporadically shower. I had been in the midst of much worse but was dealing with boyfriend problems that were throwing my future into shadow and my certainty with my peace askew. I was handling it with much less aplomb than she and that was sort of pissing me off.

Then there’s Kalinda.  I love me some Kalinda.  When asked if she’s gay, her answer is, “Why does it matter?” That’s a great response and one I should utilize more often when asked questions I don’t want to answer.  She’s fearless and bitchy and everyone loves her for it. The moment that she told Alicia that flipping someone off was good for the soul, I had to wholeheartedly agree with her.  It IS good for you when the recipient has been deemed worthy. And so what if your answer or demeanor might possibly sting another sometimes? There are times that people deserve a sting and you don’t have to be hateful to deliver it as I was learning from good old Kalinda. Yeah! I should be more like hard assed Kalinda.

So, I got up.  I haven’t watched any more Netflix.  Well, not compulsively anyway.  I have laid out a tentative plan for my future that may or may not include my boo. I had hoped that this sensitive, caring, passionate man would be in my future but it’s gotten lost in the mist of neuroses and curiously, not my own.  I finally met someone more neurotic than I, it seems.  I have so many other things to take care of and look after.  A teenaged daughter about to be driving, a father with cancer, a mom who is caring for a man with cancer, a teenaged son that desperately needs guidance and refuses to take it, a career that needs nurturing.

I have to keep my head down and work this shit out and if he falls into place then that will be wonderful.  If he doesn’t, it’ll hurt but we’ll all make it. I don’t need anyone else to fix me; I can “fix” myself.   Don’t get me wrong, the nothing is there.  It’s jumping up and down and rubbing its hands together in dark anticipation but I will keep it at bay.  I’ve got things to do. I’ve got me to do.   

Sunday, February 2, 2014


I have linked aging to my maturity level my whole life as if the two were supposed to run parallel.  You get older, you get more mature but the two have run in very skewed manner since I have rarely accepted my lot in life, not gracefully anyway.  Unless, like a very quiet doormat translates to gracefully.  I suffered with massive, turbulent, churning inner turmoil and barely contained mental illness but only rarely handled any of it with any grace.  

For instance, when I was 10, I tried to commit suicide.  Months before that, my biological mother had abandoned me. Literally.  She worked nights and I got up and got myself ready for school every day.  I would see her getting ready for work when I got in from school in the afternoons and we would have perfunctory conversation only because my real mother just wasn’t very motherly.  Sometimes, I wouldn’t see her for a couple of days but I never worried; she usually popped up sooner or later and there was always food to prepare for myself. One time, after about 4 days, I thought maybe something was off. I was not allowed to use the phone, ever. So great was my mother’s tyranny that even in what I imagined was an absence fraught with foul play, I would still dare not to defy her orders.  So, after school, I walked to my grandparents’ house across town.

My mother and my Nana are English and I remember my Nana opening the front door of her house, looking down at me and saying, “Hello, Love. What’s this?”

I stared up and simply said, “My mom hasn’t been home for a long time.”

She backed up and ushered me past, “Come in, then.  Let’s sort it out over a cup of tea darling.” Her accent and the years she’d been in Texas always made darling sound like dullin and I loved it when she called me dullin.

My Nana constantly had the kettle on and she made me a cup just like hers which never failed to make me feel special and grown.

She indeed poured two cups and went to dial the phone.  I heard snippets of conversation.
“…Little one is here …. Where is she? she says …How many days dullin??” she yelled across the room.

“3, I think, maybe 4.” I was nursing my tea and feeling super special.

I could hear her say, “Oh no reason, just checking in.”

Nana made so many phone calls her tea was cold when she came to sit and she had to warm it up. 

She sat down and made a sort of a squeaky, chirpy noise with her mouth and said, “Well, why don’t you head back to the house and get your clothes all together and you might have to stay here tonight.  Papa will come by and get you before bed.”

I looked at her and thought, Wow. Maybe my mom is dead and that would be so great. I didn’t feel badly at all and I didn’t feel badly that I didn’t feel badly either.  I wasn’t explained to any further. I did as I was told, went home, got my shit together, made a sandwich and some Kool-Aid, fed the cat and turned on the TV.  I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get in trouble for it because my mother most assuredly was not coming home and hopefully had been grabbed and stabbed by some landlubbing pirates or something.  I fell asleep on the couch and was woken by a loud noise outside.  I opened the front door to see my Dad pulled up bobtailed in a big ass Kenworth.  He opened the truck door and my little brother scrambled over his lap and came running across the front yard toward me.  He hurtled into my arms and we hugged and hugged.  My dad had a huge smile on his face and told me to get my stuff.
I was ecstatic.  I loaded all my stuff in the truck and off we went, hundreds of miles away and away from my horrible mother.

Eventually, though, in a world surrounded by testosterone, I sank into a slight dark princess, Lydia Deets-ish place.  There were nothing but boys about all the time.  I felt all put upon having these men all over the place and then the boys in the countryside that flocked to play with my brother were ever present and always taunting.  I was shot with their BB guns, I was forced to kiss one of them at BB gunpoint once.  I was pushed, prodded and picked on mercilessly. 

One day I’d had enough. 

I cleaned my room. Put on the nicest dress I had and wrote a very moving suicide note.  I say that because I don’t remember what it said but I know that I was very sure it was devastating.  I went to the medicine cabinet and checked myself in the mirror before I pulled it open to do myself in in the only way I’d ever heard of…with a bottle of pills. I sat down on the edge of the tub and proceeded to gnaw up every last one of the chewable, fruit flavored Tums in the family sized bottle. I went then and placed the suicide note on the yellow frilly pillow sham next to me and laid upon the bed…crucifixion pose, like any good martyr, and waited. I waited for the sweet release that only about 15-20 fruit flavored antacids could bring.

After what seemed longer but was probably 10 minutes or so, my brother burst in the front door and into my room and asked what the hell I was doing. 

I bolted upright and grabbed the suicide note. I hadn’t figured on having to explain myself. I was going to let my beautiful, lifeless corpse do the explaining.  He grabbed the note from me and after reading it, he paused and looked at me with a furrowed brow and then he just hugged me.  He said, “Let’s get rid of this and me and you will play in here. Away from everyone outside.”

So the nature with which I handled being abandoned earlier was practically heroic compared to being picked on and the ensuing botched suicide attempt. Turns out though, all that abandonment shit ages, and not well.  It sits and ferments and comes back to haunt you.

The decade that followed was confusing and full of more chaos brought on by spotty parenting and oppression. Mother blew back into town and Dad let her back. By the time I turned 20 I was marrying a virtual stranger, thousands of miles from home in order to feel as if I belonged to someone. My dad had driven me to upstate New York on a run to Canada. When he met the beau I’d been corresponding with for a mere 6 months on a snowy, bone-chilling night outside a barracks on Fort Drum, he was not thrilled…in the least.  The last thing he said before he loaded up to leave the next day was, “Whatever you do, don’t get married.  I’ll come from wherever I am and get you if you need me…just call.”

I agreed and sent him on his way.  Two weeks later, I called him to tell him I’d wed the aforementioned near stranger. He blew a heavy sigh, “I knew that was gonna happen.”
Aging 10 years hadn’t improved my thought processes or injected any maturity or wisdom.  Aging – 10, Maturity – negative 20.

Fast forward another 10 years to the second husband and I turned 30 and I was feeling as if I had it.  I had two babies and a child groom (5 years younger than me) who was devastatingly handsome and equally as devastatingly simple.  I had accepted that lot and was fairly secure in the feeling that I had “grown up”. I liked turning 30.  I had hitherto held the design that things would be better when I got older; that as I aged, magical insight would settle about my shoulders like I was a Disney princess being attended by benevolent woodland creatures. I felt as if this were happening when I turned 30. The thing I had always waited for had arrived.  The 10 years between 30 and 40 pretty much dashed that all to hell.

When I turned 40, I was so miserable and dealing with inner crazy that I often dreamed for an amorphous blanket of nothing to swallow me whole.  The aging process had not, in fact, conspired with the universe to turn me into an astute, happy sage. I waited and waited for everything to get better but as I looked in the mirror, I noticed that I was getting older and for the first time, I noticed the wrinkles. I noticed the not as smooth skin, the stray hairs growing in weird places, the flesh that did not snap back, the hair that was oh so slightly thinning. The fact that my world was completely spinning out of control behind me as I examined my many flaws compounded every last one of them.

I hated that my body was betraying me. It was all I’d ever had when my mind was constantly on the blink.  Big boobs can get you through a lot, don’t kid yourself. Now though, they were turning into 38 longs instead of DDD’s.   It was all so terrible and I cried.  I was old.  I had to face it.  I was my mother.  I was chunky and old.  I couldn’t be anyone’s real fantasy any longer because I was practically geriatric. The only thing that any man had found interesting about me up to that point was gone. My looks had just disappeared.  I cried.  I cried a lot.  I avoided mirrors. What little self-esteem I had vanished. Aging had finally caught up to me.

It is a mere 4 years later.  I will turn 44 in two weeks and I feel fabulous.  I look like a 40 something woman and I’m okay with that. I have wrinkles, I am doing a thousand pushups to help curb the southbound journey of my boobs, I’m poofing my hair with outrageously priced products, I drink a lot of water and take a lot of supplements. I am, indeed, trying to look as good as I possibly can…

BUT I have found that feeling love and peace inside shines love and beauty to the outside. The person I love, who loves me, watched me act like a complete happy, doofus moron for months before we got together.  Just like I do with every friend I have. I was myself.  My real true self.  The one that breaks into song for no reason and whose feelings would best be expressed in a monologue from TV’s Portrait of a Teenage Centerfold. The person that has for the first time really, truly found joy in living every day. Don’t get me wrong, shark week rears its ugly head and the hormones rage occasionally, but I don’t cry every day anymore. I suppose mostly that is because I realize with age comes aging. I won’t have every day forever and for the time I have here, I want the most out of every last second. I don’t want to be crippled with worry or anger or self-doubt or self-loathing. It’s a waste of precious time and I want to live before I die. 

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