Monday, February 28, 2005

02/28/05 Monday

Despite the cold bugs that seemed intent on having a frat party in my head, the weekend wasn't bad at all. Maybe some of the intensity I was feeling physically was caught up into the web of dread I felt about a couple of things I really didn't want to do. Anticipation of a conference call Friday with XX had me tied in knots, I knew Friday night was going to be WORK instead of fun (I hate character creation!), I STILL haven't finished my taxes, and seeing "visual clutter" everywhere I looked with people coming over Sunday.... as those little critters moved their party kegs into the cobwebby space between my ears, I just wanted to stick my head under the covers & hide.

I know, it all works out in the end. It ALWAYS works out in the end. Even back in the days when I was performing (band, chorus, theatre), anticipatory angst threatened to hoist me high over something nasty & let go. But it ALWAYS worked out. Ok... one time I can remember it not working out -- Tammy&I once tried to perform at a theatre contest with something like 3 days and 2 practices notice & failed most miserably. But we had fun anyway, and other than that, it has always worked out.

Friday was more pleasant than I expected since for much of the evening it was just three of us. Some of what I hate about character creation is the time it takes. Some is the lack of intimate knowledge I have about the choices, some is the dread I feel at discovering later that I should have spent my points in other areas, and some is the pressure I feel at being so darn slow to create when everyone else is so much faster. (Never mind that they know the systems & have been doing it for years.) Hey, I'm an overachiever. A Perfectionist (I'm working on that.) But, like many things dreaded, the only way through it was through it... and we did get through it.

Saturday morn, day, & night I spent alternately cleaning like a madwoman, racing hither & yon to a few necessary stores & errands about town, and between these short frantic bursts of activity, collapsing into a fever-slick sweaty heap of a nap (man, those little bugs can PARTY!). No way could I make the 2.5 hour drive home to my oldest friend's (28+ years?) most recent grand opening (I so need to call her tonight to apologize!) only to turn around & come back, so spent a bit feeling guilty about that, too. But the house got The bugs darn near wore themselves out with their little orgy of fun in my head, and B's room ALMOST got clean.

Sunday I woke up feeling SOOO much better! Think it was the feng shui in the house? Split, repotted & thoroughly watered the asparagus fern, fixed the shower door, mopped the kitchen floor, vacuumed, & hid stuff off my back porch so it was possible to walk through again. Don't ask me when I'm gonna clean out the cat room... it's scary now, but at least I can't see it! People started arriving about 2:00, J&I got dinner bubbling away on the stove, then tossed it in the crockpot to tantalize us for a few hours, we set up the board... and enjoyed each other's company all afternoon. Once everyone left I faced the fact that the kids made B's room look like Tornado alley, and I STILL have dishes to do (small kitchen. ), but it's aaaallll worth it. Somehow the house just feels different -- better -- when people I love have come & spent time in it with me. Thanks, guys -- please come again soon!

Today? Today I still have a few sniffles to tend to, but as long as I don't overdo it this week I should be fine. I woke up to a light dusting of snow on the ground that once again has disappeared now that I look out my office window. I swear there's a ripple in the space/time continuum between the living room & my office! Work looms -- visits, voicemail & another meeting with XX tomorrow will keep me more than busy once I'm done stealing some moments from my "lunch hour" to write here. A brief but sweet note out here let me know I've been missed, and purely by coincidence, that I either have more work or more begging (of someone who can code) to do on this blog format, 'cause it didn't let me know anyone had made a comment. A nice letter from someone I care about arrived & set to rest a couple of persistent "I thinks" and "I wonders" that have been hanging out in my head for several months now, despite some concerted effort to make them relocate to The Void. I talked briefly with my mom & was glad just to hear her voice. Moms are such a great thing. Maybe I'll even do my taxes tonight. Feng Shui my "to do" list. I'd rather have people on it than taxes anyway.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

02/26/05 Saturday 10:00am (ish)

It's got me. Damn the changing seasons that can't make up their minds whether to be nice or nasty! I fell asleep on the couch last weekend & it was beautiful out: Doors & windows wide open, house smelling awesome.... woke up shivering my gluts off -- it had SNOWED. A lot. My body's been warning me all week that one of these moments I'm going to look around and find that I've been slam dunked by some annoying little virus. I've been a little draggy in the evenings, & towards the end of each day all week I've felt that little scratchy sensation at the back of my throat that -- if you're really paying attention -- just screams "SICK cooooming!!"

Typically I have amazing recuperative powers, which I attribute mainly to "the routine": When I have the faintest indication something not so nice is on its way, I immediately take care of me. Emergency measures are instituted with alacrity: Meals with fresh fruits & veggies straight from Farmer's Market.. forgo as much as possible imbued with preservatives & junk! No red meat. Bath, hot as I can stand it, for at least an hour before bed. At the same time, herbal tea w/ honey & lemon.. again, hot as I can stand it. (Raises your body temperature in an artificial "fever", so your happy little T cells get to working furiously.) A vitamin & two tablets of vitamin C once per day, and as much sleep as I can manage. If I catch it quick, most viruses decide the property doesn't look nearly as promising as they first thought, cut their losses & move on within 24 hours.

See what happens when I ignore myself? "SCHWAT!" I've been falling asleep early almost every night this week (despite the alluring options requesting my company out here!), but that just doesn't do the trick... and now it's got me. I woke up this morning feeling like I'd been on an all night drunk. (no, I hadn't!) Head pounding, throat raw & dry, lips cracked, body aching, stabbing lazers shoving their way through my pupils from behind every time I refocus my eyes on something else. Crap. Alright... emergency measures forthwith. I'm gonna go hydrate & do the bath thingy, then go back to bed. But I'm telling you, it'd better be gone by tomorrow-- I have company coming over.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

An Honest Personals Ad

Appearances can be deceiving
optical input, data receiving
fair of visage
soft of skin
I really am that shallow.

Make new friends, but keep the old
Friends, I said! Not
lovers, dolt
Why would you want someone that shallow?

Love of language and facility to use it
with a minimum of “dammits” and “%$#^its” and shit
lucid of tongue
facile of pen
I really am that shallow.

Passion’s fruits were ne’r so sweet
as just before become replete
soft persuasion, proclamation
anticipation, acclimation…
wish I were that shallow.

Cleanliness is next to holy
Yes, I’d dance with you… if only
sweet of breath
you must stink pretty
I really am that shallow.

Talk to me, communicate
all your dreams, thoughts, foibles, Fate
promises kept
cobwebs swept
really am that shallow.

Soothe the beast with a talent for music
pick a note & know how to use it
a gift for a verse
or can you dance?
I really am that shallow.

Loving is a tie that binds
unless an errant impulse finds
Don’t be.
I won’t be

I’ll never be that shallow.


02/24/05 Thursday -- Internet Dating, The Rules

  1. Learn to write. Someone asked me once whether I had ever given thought to the fact that by eliminating from my potential dating pool people who aren't all that skilled in the English language (or any other for that matter), I might be missing out on some good stuff. Maybe. However... I don't care how thick are the rose coloured glasses you have on, get this straight: Dating is an interview. I don't care whether you do it online or IRL.. you're in the business of presenting yourself, faults & all, to someone who's maybe gonna have to put up with your sorry ass for the rest of your respective lives. And when you go on an interview, if you want to succeed, then you want to present yourself in the best light possible. I am NOT saying "lie like a rug". I am simply suggesting that you put your best foot forward. Use the tools available to you to their best advantage. That means that if you're going to use the internet as a way to meet people... learn to WRITE! Holy hounds of Bacchus, people... if you can't write, why on earth are you using a medium that is virtually all composed of the written word? Go out dancing, buy people drinks, meet them in the supermarket, church, flirt with telemarketers, offer to walk your neighbors' dog on a Saturday if you must... but pick a forum that plays up things you're GOOD at! Cripes... you wouldn't take a blind person to a silent movie, would you? Learn to WRITE or get OFF the 'net!
  2. Be honest. As mentioned earlier... do NOT lie like a rug.. or a toupee... or anything else furry, limp & potentially nasty that might cross your quirky little subconscious mind. I think we all understand that each of us may perceive ourselves in a slightly different fashion than does the rest of the world. But you, sir.. with the 148 contacts (all women) on your IM list, are not a "caring, simple, one-woman man looking to start a future with someone special sometime soon." And you, ma'am... with laryngitis from screaming for the last 6 hours at your 5 welfare-fed children are not "a sweet natured princess looking for her prince." Maybe you were when you were a sophomore in High School, but things change! Put out the cigarette while you're typing & take a good look at yourself & the life you live today. Toss in a couple of things you're still striving for to show you have goals & aspirations, but then have a sharp-eyed friend with a callously honest bent give your profile a look-see before you put it out on the dream market.
  3. Add a pic. Better yet, several pics. OMG... we all know we shop with our eyes. Or rather.. well.. let's just say the eyes pass on the information to the rest of the anatomy. It may be vital that there be a far more substansive package behind the pretty grin, but every single one of us wants to at least know that we're not going to be shopping Schnucks for their quality paper bags for the rest of our lives. Yes, photos can be deceiving. That's why more is better -- over a couple of years, or in different locales & different moods... several well chosen photos that show you at your best & maybe even your not-so-best give the viewer a comfortable feeling that this person will at the very least fall within their "acceptable range". Hey -- most of us don't want perfection, we really just want "good enough". Once we love you, we'll adore far more of you for far more reasons than you ever thought possible.
  4. Say something real. If someone's shopping the personals, how many profiles do you suppose they can look at in a single session between supper & M*A*S*H? 20? 40? Now granted, some of the subject headers they give you on some of those sites are repetetive & lame... but at least they give you a place to start. Ignore the header itself & make your own topic if you need to, but say SOMEthing! How many of them do you think a person worth having is going to look at if all the profile says is "I'll tell you later"?
  5. Quit flirting. Wait.. that's not as off the wall as it sounds at first. What I mean is quit with the standard, preformatted, boring little "I Like You"'s and "You're Cute!" crap. Send a real email with some real words in it.. ask a question or two to get the ball rolling. Start a freakin' conversation.
  6. READ their profile. Got a response to one of my profiles the other day... know what it asked me? "Do you have any kids?" The answer? Yes... living with me full time. Plain & clear, right up there as part of my basic information. Now... since I was actually in a GOOD mood at the time (having made it to the salon to get my legs waxed despite the aforementioned child), I kindly operated on the presumption that what they were really asking was "how many & how old". So I popped off a quick chatty little reply giving that sort of information... plus a bit more... asked a coupla quick questions.. that sort of thing. Know what the schmuck said next? (Without any reciprocal information, I might add.) "Cool. So what are you looking for in a man?" A brain, jackass. Without it you obviously missed the 200+ some odd words where I described what I was looking for. Read the profile!
  7. Use alternate contact information. Lots of people out there (myself included) are not going to drop their precious fun money into a personals site on a regular basis. Dude! Maybe you don't, but I've got real, LIVE friends I can spend time with for FREE! Yes, there are freebie sites, but they're becoming few & far between, and that's not usually where the salmon are swimming anyway. However, most (not all, but most) of those sites have so much traffic they can't hand filter every ad that comes in. A little bit of creativity will get past their standard filters: your email address.. your blog site... your phone#... your IM of choice & pen name.... something that someone who is both paying attention and really interested can use to find you somewhere else out here in this big wide electronic world. And if someone you're interested has that sort of information in their profile... USE IT! I have 103 messages sitting out on one site waiting for me, & I reFUSE to plop down the green to be able to read them. My email addy is in the profile .. use it. Geesh... it's there for a freakin reason.
  8. Be careful. I know.. lots of freaks out there, yadi yadi yadi.... Only you can make decisions for yourself about how comfortable you are or aren't with any other given person. Yeah, people can lie to beat the band on the Internet & be someone completely different than they are IRL. But can't they do that IRL, too? Ask the first 10 divorced people... scratch that... I'll expand the population to people who have even broken UP with someone ANY time in their lives. Ask them why they are no longer with the other person. The majority of your responses... regardless of the intimate detail (and you might just get some smokin' detail if you play your cards right!).. will be either "they changed", "I changed", or "they just weren't the person I married/started out with." But do set yourself at least some minimal lines & limitations beyond "they're breathing", eh?
  9. Move it to the real world. OK... maybe what you're looking for is something that never leaves the glowing screen in your little whack room in Boise. Bully for you, but please mention that right off the bat? Most of us out here are hoping to meet a warm-blooded, living, breathing person to leave their socks on our floors, forget our birthdays, and stink up the bathroom after a round of belly-bombers. OK... that's not really what we want. But even that beats the screen&keyboard every Saturday night for the next 30 years! The 'net is a great medium through which to meet someone, but if it's gonna go anywhere, move it to the real world as soon as you have a hopeful comfort level that you're not talking to the next featured guest at your local blue.
  10. Be ready for it NOT to work. I'm gonna get yelled at for this one.. so just go ahead and shoot me for sounding like a pessimist. I'm not, really -- it's far more a "hope for the best, just plan for the worst" sort of mindset. There's something undefinable that happens when you meet someone face to face. Regardless of the depth or breadth of your conversations... no matter how many intimate personal secrets you've shared online, how much change MaBell has managed to squeeze outta your cell phone bill this month, or how many hours you've burnt up the web-cam exchange, that in-person obscure "chemistry" that makes or breaks a first meet is something that cannot be duplicated, imitated, or replicated via any forum so far known to common man. At some point you've just gotta take a deep breath & pray like hell that Cupid's standing over your shoulder with a bazooka.............. and that he's on your side.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

02/23/05 Wednesday -- Big Things Come in Small Packages

Someone asked me not long ago something along the lines of what was the greatest thing a significant other has ever done to knock my socks off. Now that seems like an interesting thing about which to write! I don't remember what the conversation was, how we got there, or even quite what the answer was at the time... but now that I've had time to ruminate, there are three bits that answer that question, and a fourth from someone who wasn't exactly a significant other, but certainly belongs in this category. None of these things were "big" materially, nor did they take a significant amount of time. Just a smidgen of effort exerted in a desire to win a smile if not my heart. <~f~> My stomach still flips over when I think about them. For simplicities' sake, these are enummerated upon only in order of occurrance...

One. Has it really been a year? It has... almost exactly. Wow. One year ago Monday I was walking side by side with someone phenomenal on a crisp clear cold President's Day holiday, talking about all sorts of things... and nothings... and having suggestions tossed at me that perhaps here & there precious vacation days could be taken for the sole purpose of doing more things just such as this. Together. On several levels I was being pursued.. feted.. turned ON! Possibility was a blossoming flame on the near horizon, and I have to say that I spent a lot of time that day sublimating my intense desire to find a way to get myself pinned most thoroughly 'twixt himself and the nearest tree.... a nearby troupe of boy scouts and the lone elk not withstanding. No... that's not the moment in question, I was just digressing. The moment in question didn't end up in as neat & pretty a package as it seemed at the time, but I have to say hands down it was absolutely the most perfect answer/response I've ever received to any sort of query. Ever. In its elegant simplicity, I thought it said more to me about who this person chose to be than any millions of words that came before or could possibly come after. As part and parcel of an incredible package of other exhibited behaviors, I just knew an electric, stimulating, ultra-satisfying something had just dropped into my ever so unworthy lap, and I couldn't get enough of it. I forgot that men do that "thing"... where they give you their very all and then some in the very beginning, then once they know you're hooked, they back off into their OWN comfort zone, leaving you wondering where all the sparks went & what on earth did you do wrong? Damn Y chromosomes. The moment, you ask? It was oooh, so utterly simple,and yet enormous in its elegant implications: "I don't suppose you feel like coming over & hashing some (more) of this out now, do you? And thus give Monday all things good?" The response? Nothing else that could have possibly been said would have filled me further with warmth & a sense of being cared about, honored, cherished... desired. All he said was, "I'm on my way."

Two. At some point early on when we were dating, the car B's dad drove for one reason or another wasn't working. Now... it's important to know that the two of us had disparate work/school schedules, and we had to grab our time together catch as catch can. Often our stolen moments were naught but a sleepy kiss hello and a settling into a cozy warm spoon before dropping back off to sleep together in the wee hours between staggered shifts. Without a working vehicle on his end (I was on the side of town AWAY from work for him), we hadn't seen much of anything of each other for a fairly long few days. One afternoon, I heard the lid on my mailbox open & shut, & a knock on my door. Thinking it was the mailman, I ran to my room, tossed on some clothes & went out to pick up the mail. What was there, you ask? Lying in my mailbox --special delivery -- was one special deluxe, delivered with Love, Symphony candybar. With almonds. See... much earlier we'd had a conversation about "favorites", & I'd done a bit of casual drooling over wanting one of those (none in the house, & us far too occupied to go out just for a candy bar!). So, in an ever-so-successful attempt to tickle my fancy, the sweet boy rode his BICYCLE all the way across town to secretly drop a bit of sweet in my bin & hie away. It wasn't so much that he remembered what I liked as that he made the effort. Ok... it was the combination. But that he thought I was worthy of making time out of an ever so packed life for such a simple & incredibly romantic gesture.... <~f~> That particular brand of candy bar never tasted so good...before or since.

Three. Ben & I lived together for nigh on five years. I have to say that he is the one man I've ever built something with who, without a doubt, truly loved me. Every part & particle of who I was, who I'd ever been, who I might become.. for better or worse, the phenomenal and the ugly, he accepted the package. He loved me. He loved me. Completely above and beyond anything he wanted, desired or dreamed of for himself or anyone else he'd ever met - family included - came his love for me. It enveloped everything we ever did together, and made it oh, so very hard to let him go. I have accepted the fact that I may never again in my life meet another man who will cherish me as utterly as did Ben. In many ways, that's ok -- it's a trade off. There are other things in a relationship that also need to be there for it to last a lifetime, and some of them just weren't there for me with Ben. If I spent even a moment, I'm sure I could name a thousand things he did in our time together that knocked my socks off. He did it almost daily! Even when things got rough between us, sweet things came far more naturally to him than did mean. But the one that I'm remembering now? I have a moment in time carefully preserved in one of those little bubbles in my head.. Ben was always cooking me something. Being in retail management at the time, something of a perfectionist, and utterly dedicated to my manager on a personal level, I worked an awful lot of long hours on my feet making the store meet our expectations. Ben liked to putter in the kitchen now & then (On our first date he made me authentic, homemade enchiladas... and even deigned to sully them with sour cream just for me. Mmmmm....), and often made me a little sumpthin sumpthin just to tickle my tastebuds. One day on my lunch hour I was traipsing the mall in search of sustenance, and there happened to be a craft-fair of sorts going on. One booth had these cute little ruffly country kitchen aprons for sale, and as a bit of a joke, I picked one up just for my special chef. Cream, ruffled, with tiny pink roses all over. He laughed ever so hard when he opened it... but the joke was truly on me a few weeks later when I came home from work to be greeted by Ben cooking me dinner.... in nothing but that apron & aftershave. Life is short -- eat dessert first.

Four. In all our many years of knowing one another, and despite all the odd permutations our relationship has survied, Dave & I have never been a "couple". There have been interesting and confusing undercurrents as long as I've known him, and we've certainly dabbled in dangerous waters more than once, but never have we fully crossed that unfathomable line. There's just something in our souls that gets us all sorts of mixed up about each other, I think. Anyway... one New Year's eve, I was in the throes of maturing adolescent angst over one "Brian". Things between Brian & I had gotten rather heated.. in a good way (teenage simplicity, folks... not heated the way relationships get today!)... and we'd spent several evenings over the course of a couple of weeks playing hither & yon at innocent young love sorts of activities. Then.. as New Years' approached, I planned a party. Sounds like fun, yes? A casual little get together on New Years' eve with a cute boy who kisses really really well & some of your closest friends? Would have been grand except Brian showed up with a date. Yes, folks.. the oldest schmuck way in the world of telling someone you're done.. he appeared at a party to which I'd invited him with a date. Now even as an adult that would sting more than a bit... but to a kid? I was crushed! Humiliated! And as hostess of the party, how on earth was I to deal with THIS situation? I hid for awhile and cried, is what I did. Alternately ranted & raved... and cried. At some point Dave called to check in before driving over - I don't remember why, but he was probaby checking to see if he needed to stop at the store for ice or something.. irrelevant. He heard me crying. Listened to me rant & rave, heard within his own heart every wrenching frustration my agonized little soul was feeling. Never said a word but that he'd be out there in a few minutes. It took him longer than a few minutes, but not by much, and when he arrived? Full suit & tie. Freshly showered, smelling unbelievable... I think he might have even brought some sweet traditional token like flowers or wine or something. My White Knight appeared like magic on my doorstep, by suggestion alone his appearance & actions screamed to everyone there, "Hell yes, don't I LOOK like her date? This is New Year's, I was Invited, and she is Special. I have taken Effort to show her so, and anyone who doesn't think so is a bloomin idiot & doesn't know what the hell they're missing out on." Brian & Tara (yeah, I even remember her name) didn't stay a whole lot longer after that, and the rest of us had a bloody good time that night. It's not the only time Dave has saved my bacon, nor the only time he's gently touched my innermost soul with his caring in ever unique ways, but it certainly stands out there. While much of that New Year's memory is enveloped with the sea of hurt & frustration I felt over Brian... there's a sacred bubble salvaged and polished to a bright sheen around Dave & his silent actions that night. Hell.. there's a sacred bubble salvaged and polished to a bright sheen around Dave. Period. He's my White Knight. My Lancelot. Pure -- if you know him, don't choke: He is! -- perfect on a whole other plane than that of this earth. He is one of the few, if not only, people I know who can curl up in a corner of my soul and be comfortable.. and a tiny spot is forever reserved for him there. In this life as well as the next.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

02/22/05 Tuesday -- Speaking of a Smithy...

Some things you just can't concentrate properly on until some of the other detrius of your life is taken care of.. sorted through.. out of the way. Doesn't mean your mind can't dwell upon it, because the human mind is an amazing thing -- I find that an unbelievable number of unrelated topics can coexist and evolve (or fail to evolve ;-) simultaneously in that little bit of grey matter parked at the top of Mount Amy.

Speaking of which.. once in a great while someone happens along that makes the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up & your body do involuntary Kegels. Sometimes it's the way the smell... or the way they dance... the way they look, move, walk, talk... if you're very lucky, it's the way they think, and most lucky; a combination of the above. Least often, and a very close & iffy second in the "importance line" for me: it's the way they write.

Our first communication began with his tongue in cheek query directly to my email: "Do I win anything?" A sparse 22 words later, he'd managed to impress me, flatter me, titillate me, leaving me wanting more... which, I'm coming to understand, is something of a calling card with him. A surrepticious link in his profile (kick ASS! I LOVE it when people are smart enough to do that sort of thing!) led me to his blog ( ) where many more words began to flesh out an awfully interesting persona fairly dripping with wit, charm, intelligence, thought, sweet caring moments, responsibility, laughter, interesting connections & hobbies ... aw, hell -- read him yourself.

In short order we'd moved our little mutual admiration society into a more versatile IM, and enjoyed a couple of uncharacteristically intense conversations for someone I've known for such a brief span of time. Not only that, but in re-reading those conversations (ain't archiving da bomb?) I find that I don't -- scanning them quickly -- get the same bacchanalian feel I had in the thick of things. I began to wonder: Had I imagined? Surely NOT! Went back, read more slowly... and lo and behold, soon there came that tightening of the stomach.. flushing of the epidermis... frission down the spine... and *blush* as I mentioned earlier... involuntary Kegels. It was an intimate dance of wordcrafting, little standing alone but as one small comment followed another, layers of inference built upon layers creating a heated environment far more breathtaking than any I've been privileged to in quite awhile. It was beautifully interspersed with tiny fragments of respite, often laughter, that related to nothing heated at all. Amazingly enough, not once was there ever an outrightly crude statement belonging more to a third rate brothel than an awesome conversation. Unbelievable.

If he lived closer than 854.8 miles away (dammitall anyway), I'd have already broken my own rules & had one of us on the other's doorstep (maybe other parts of the house, too? >:) ) quicker than you can say "lickity split". Can he call me? Hell yeah. Just as soon as we develop some other topics of conversation. I have a daughter to raise, and spontaneous combustion isn't covered in my life insurance policy.

02/22/05 Tuesday -- Hawaii

Hawaii. They're going to freakin' HAWAII on vacation. It's not fair! There's just no justice! Oh, alright... there's plenty of justice. They've scrimped & saved, born with one another in good times and bad for 10 whole years, are raising two great kids, going to school, working full time, are fantastic friends to their friends... dammit. Plenty of justice.

I don't DESERVE to go to Hawaii & I know it. I went on that cruise last fall & still find myself feeling a little guilty when I think about the money I spent. I shouldn't be thinking vacations at all unless I have a nice healthy chunk of emergency dough stashed away somewhere. But I'm not a saver in the same sense of the word as my soon-to-be-Hula'ing friends -- I have to (and do, btw.. I'm not a complete idiot) trick myself into holding enough back to pay my bills, into saving for retirement. I'd faaar rather swap out the twenty in my purse for a nice spontaneous lunch at Applebee's than put it in the bank to accumulate interest and become something much more lovely than either the original $20 OR the lunch. Immediate gratification, that's my bag! My albatross? Dammit... it's my money. I earned it, I spend it! Oh.. wait.. now I'm responsible for a whole 'nother person in the world. Oh yeah.

Thank God for electronic transfer. There's something tricksy about how not seeing money... not holding it in your hot, sweaty, grubbly little hand makes it not truly exist. Oh, sure.. the credit card pitfalls work in that dangerous sort of way, but unreal green can work in your favor, too. Payroll direct deposit that can be split into multiple accounts... I'd be in deep kempche if I changed jobs to a company that gave me a paper check again! But.. knock on wood.. I haven't. Hope not to. I rather like having the big money decisions taken care of impersonally & automatically every two weeks, yet still remain in my complete control. May be the saving grace of a relationship, too, should I ever marry! Why, you ask? Two control freaks arguing over money.. *shudder*

Money disagreements have killed flat out or eroded away more marriages over the years than any other single issue I can think of. So... average out the bills, have one great big pow wow each year to keep the budget on track, keep ice & medical cards handy, be prepared for enormous angst and mind-blowing makeup sex, but set it up to have the bank divvy the paychecks for you into appropriate accounts for the next year. His / Hers / Household expense / Retirement / that sweet little 'vette someone just HAS to have / new roof on the house / Vacation / Kids Christmas / How to shack the P's up when they can't take care of themselves anymore / Child Support / WHATEVER the split needs to be. Oh, sure... there will be little skirmishes along the way. But at least you've carved out the big battles without carving out chunks of one another. And then there's that mind-blowing makeup sex to look forward to......

02/22/05 Tuesday noonish

It's Monday... no, wait, it's Tuesday. Damn Monday sorts of holidays, anyway. And while I'm at it, damn the President, too.. I didn't need a day to honor him. I didn't vote for him anyway.

While officially it's Tuesday, I am lambasted with Monday sorts of things -- voicemail overflowing with snotty little "I left five messages and you didn't call me back yesterday" messages (never mind that I very clearly posted everywhere possible that the company was CLOSED yesterday, and my vmail in any event states clearly at all times that I'm NOT in the office, I will ATTEMPT to call you back within 48 hours!), emails demanding retribution & answers to questions for which there are no answers. You know, ma'am/sir.. I could offer you some creative solutions to those issues, but I'm not sure that your company's accounting department will approve the expensing of either acid or hemlock. I know mine was a tad concerned when I tried to push through the .38 and a fist full of TNT as party favors for a meeting with XX.

Not to mention that my daughter this week is being a snotty little 5 yr old bitch. I thought I wasn't supposed to get this sort of attitude out of her until the teen years got at least a LITTLE closer?!?!? Of course, the moods are quicksilver... within mere moments I will have crawling into my arms the sweetest kisses any mom could want, often accompanied by a quiet little "ssshorrry." Yeah.... me too. Geez, I love her.

Monday, February 21, 2005

02/21/05 Monday -- "Skin on Skin"

He held my hand. Oh -- he didn't HOLD my hand. We didn't go skipping happily - or steamily for that matter - together down lover's lane or anything like that. Actually, more than one "he" held my hand that night, and more than one are deserving of a bit of written remembrance... but for far different reasons, and She (the Muse) is firm in Her demands that this be done now.

We are Just Friends, out playing with other friends... having drinks, dancing, laughter, music, comradarie. Surrounded on all sides by stubble-faced young pups still wet behind the ears and eager young lasses wet elsewhere (I'm sure) but tossing their hair hither & yon in that intense and yet nonchalant mating dance the young do. And some of the "young" rubs off on us wee bit older folk -- the alcohol works it's devious magic, loosening inhibitions. I find myself giggling (of all things!), flirting shamelessly. Fleet of foot and effervescent with an artificial giddy happy high. Have you ever bother to notice that each flirt has its own flavour, it's own depth, it's own special sort of meeting of the souls... or not....

I was saying: He held my hand. Laughing, pulling man after man out onto the packed dance floor for a few stolen verses of vertical comradarie, I targeted them all. Tall... short... bald.. hair long and face grizzled with beard. Was even once rewarded with two light brief sweet pecks on the lips from an acquaintance I have long deemed "the most sensual man I've ever met & will never sleep with." (He can't quite decide whether to be flattered or frustrated. lol!) And toward the end of the evening, when the high is beginning to wear thin... drinks left melting on tall bar tables one dance too often to matter whether or not the waitress whisks them away, I asked him to dance. Barn dance -- other partners and potential partners already dancing, gone home or collapsing in various fashions -- and so I gather my hutzpah about me in a final glittering swirl of flirtatious twinkle, bat my eyelashes beguilingly and beg.

You see -- I know he is not attracted to me in a partner sort of fashion. I'm not guessing, not speculating... I've been told flat out. No, not by him! That would be both rude and unwarranted, and we're both far better caretakers of the human soul than to cause that sort of crude damage when it's unnecessary. And it wasn't necessary -- we have far too many well meaning, matchmaking friends that thought we'd make a nice match early on in our acquaintanceship! Bless them for their loving thoughts, I say. Unbeknownst -- as far as I know -- to either of us, our friends queried one, then the other, and then parcelled out bits of information judiciously to either side. I grin as I think of all the permutations of those conversations that may have composed reality, vs. the version that finally reached each heart & ears. I digress, truly, but it bears upon the point in question, so I will tell you true what happened to me, and what information came my direction....

The night we first met I was being "set up" -- yes, all ye who have been drug willing or unwilling to a blind date, feel free to shudder along with me -- "set up", I say, with a friend of a friend. I didn't know at the time that everyone invited to this costumed dinner party knew about it, and wasn't fully aware that I was entering innocently into a den of friends already well acquainted with one another, myself the only odd man out. Not that it mattered! I'm nothing if not bold when I can put on persona and costume and flounce about as someone else :-) I'd not met this date, not seen picture nor received description, although we had exchanged some few emails by way of introduction, and solely on the muster of pen and personal recommendation agreed to meet. 'Twas a good way to meet, truly! But alas for the future comradarie of me & my date, I was.. within mere minutes of entering the soiree.. greeted by gray-blue eyes that settled piercingly on my soul like a gentle hawk. In retrospect, that was all I saw. It was one of those tiny moments in time that has swirled round and round in my head, stealing away other experiences in its selfish insistence. I am peripherally aware that my date was oh, so very nice to me. My conscious memory reminds me faintly of his intelligence, his gentlemanly airs, his sweet nature and courtesy. I have vague memories of some other very powerful and interesting personalities -- titillating company, I can tell you! But try as I might -- I would hate to be rude! -- my attention was then and later seized, stolen, snared, enthralled by a single person sitting far and miles away across an expanse of dinner table a mere three persons deep. And indifferent. For all that the few times our eyes met and held, I think not that there was a flare of intrigue either but myself would be willing to act upon.

I reflected after that those eyes were just an anomaly of the soul. Away from their snare and without visible pursuit, I reasoned I truly did not find myself all that physically attracted to him, brushed it out of my mind and turned my concentration to other pursuits. But through these friends we were thrown in company time and again, and each time we are together there are these damn little tiny pockets of time appearing with a soft "pop" and refusing to go away. I was asked and asked again - subtly at first then more obviously - whether there was anything there, and for awhile I said only "no"... then one day discovered I was wrong: at least on my end, that was no longer a true statement. When considering an afternoon that included his company, I was excited. My heart beat fast, my palms dampened, my attitude vascillated beyond my control twixt haughty, giddy and various levels of contrived indifference. Finally I said "Yes, damn it! More so than I wanted! I am interested." And our mutual friends fed this newly acknowledged desire of mine, dangling in front of me numerous potential trysts and invitations to which we were both deliberately invited.

Some he attended, many he did not... meanwhile the reasonable, analytical portion of my brain clammored louder and louder to be heard, saying that the Hounds of Hell would not have kept him away if he were on his part interested in me. Then the chances of Fate stepped our way, changed the flow of shared friendships and brought to the fore a far different influence of personality as primary. This friend I trusted to search out Truth, and trusted well, I think: in very short order came back the information ferreted in ways I know nothing of -- "No, I'm so very sorry, I don't want to tell you this, but he doesn't feel that way about you."

My response? Hmm.. not heartbreak. Not anger. Not irredeemable sadness. Simply acceptance, and an immediate resolution to turn my tide of thought toward some other end. A firm resolution: "Well then, he'll make a wonderful friend."

He seems to me to be a simple man, yet so filled with complexity there will never be an end to discovering something new and exciting within him. He is strong, yet I see a softness in him that begs silently for surcease... for comfort. He is eternally considerate, and yet Loki himself parks in the corner of his soul and laughs at his occasional antics. He is quiet, and yet his very presence dominates the spirit of every gathering of these kindred souls. He is unpredictable, yet still one knows most dependable to the very core of self -- word is bond, and a true calling for assistance of any kind would never for a moment be denied.

I work consciously & determinedly to keep my tide of thought directed towards a deep & lasting friendship... and slowly, ever so slowly. His is not a soul you can simply punch into uninvited and grab a piece to meld with your own. Tiny brave forrays of "trust me?" combined with long hours of simple waiting... living... breathing the same air, laughing the same life where it overlaps. I gather tiny bits of information about him as they drop like golden pearls, and reciprocate when asked with deeply faceted jewels of my own. If I'm very lucky, in many years I will suddenly realize that this person has become a soul-friend that will not fade away into the vagaries of the changes that living life often brings, but who will still be in my world when we are both old and grey, and then needing naught but friends about you who have lived some of the same life you've lived.

Of course.. my body still from time to time betrays my conscious efforts, as does my vivid imagination and a heart ready to love but with noone warm & breathing in proximity to reciprocate. Naught can I do about that but keep it inside -- I would NOT on purpose for any cost foolishly jepardize this slow delicate building of a different sort of bridge! But behind a locked away door in my heart, the occasional simple fantasy will gambol unrestrained for a few moments.. a happy child unhindered by adulthood's knowledge.

And there... there he held my hand. (yeah, back where we started ;-) I asked him to dance these steps he'd never danced, he declined. I asked again, still begging in flirtatious childlike fashion, he made excuses. Then the tone in my heart changed for just a moment in time, the silly woman-child dropped away and Gea herself looked out from the depth of my soul and asked a third time. "Please will you dance with me?" She asked for more than a simple surcease from dancefloor sideline angst, she asked most humbly for a few moments in the dance of the living. In a celebration of humanness -- to touch, to move together, to see if hearts beat in unison so close together. She asked him to lead, and allow us to follow. He saw the change - he felt it happen, I saw it in his eyes. I felt it in the air between us as the connection changed, the current altered. Oh, it didn't go THERE, silly reader -- you ought to know by now this isn't that sort of story! But it deepened, gained breadth, dove into a place where the waters run deeper, not burbling quickly over rocks with much noise and little effect... but a place where the current runs strong and silent and eternal. His mouth said again no, but I knew it simply had not yet caught up with current events. I knew the true answer to this plea was now yes, and that when he returned we would dance.

I reached for his hand, grasped it, & as his fingers curled around mind in reciprocation I turned to lead him to the dance floor. As I turned, my arm extended behind me, simple physics forced our palms to twist one against the other, our fingers to change position... and smoothly, silently, with the inevitability of something set in motion that cannot be stopped, as time around me slowed, the bubble of memory formed itself, and that simple twist of direction changed further... palm slid against palm, fingers opened & moved, spread, closed again, met, merged, passed one another, and he was Holding my Hand. Truly holding it, not simply being led from point A to point B. Palm against smooth, cool palm, heartbeats scant milimeters from one another, fingers truly entwined in an intimate dance of their own. And as is the way with slow deep currents, again something altered. No longer was I leading him to the dancefloor, no longer was I the aggressor. Conquered in the span of milliseconds, something inside me acquiesced to a silent order old as time, bowed proud head and while remaining simultaneously both fierce and meek, acknowledged leadership.

I tend to lead on the dancefloor... have to make a conscious effort not to do so, it's a failing of mine that over the years has subconsciously sent many a potential dance partner in search of other options. Of course, most men don't truly lead -- either on the dance floor or elsewhere! If you're not a dancer, or have never had a truly good lead or good partner, I don't think I can explain to you wherein lies the difference. But if you have.. you know. It's the essence of Dance itself.. the mergence of selves. Well... He leads. Well. He says he's never learned to dance, but ye gods... he can lead, and that's far more important that a million fancy steps. Does he truly not know that?

I pause in my scribblings & reread what I've already done to see where I should go next in this story... and I find I've written out my insistent Muse's proddings: that split moment of infinity where he held my hand, where something older than time altered current and Fate spared an approving nod in our direction. But while there may be layers and layers of existence, the one we live in.. the plane where the dishes need to get done & work looms low on tomorrow's horizon.. that's the one that rules action if not heart. Loki's still on the sidelines laughing his fairy little ass at me, and in the real world I'm back in firm control of my determination not to press untoward advances to one not welcoming them. But I will toss this fey bubble of memory and desire behind the door with all the others for the happy innocent child to play with, and hope her mirth continues to filter through in bits & pieces to keep a twinkle in my eyes and my sometimes solemn soul.

02/21/05 Sunday -- Simple Things

It's always the little things that stun me. Halt my world in its tracks, stop my heart.. my breath... that create tiny pockets of time where time ceases. These are the things that demand from me to be written, not major events of politics or mankind already expounded upon by hundreds of thousands of newsies both official and redundant. Not great truths that even unspoken drive our social interactions. Not hopes for helpful discussion on some pesky problem with my computer... or my child... or my home... or my pets... or my man... (or lack thereof)... or my car.. or any of the other thousands of topics that people come to this the web for to seek advice and commiseration. The things that prod my Muse into insistence are naught but tiny little spit seconds of experience physical or etherial that swirl endlessly in my head. Slowly, lazily -- lazy, but nevertheless insistent --- then faster... faster.... finally becoming the buzzing of a thousand thousand beating wings demanding to be put to paper and fly, even if only to my solitary pen & pad. I think sometimes that I can ignore them and their memory will go away. Fool.

"Think of me?" he asks...

She was feeling a warm, lazy sort of something that evening as her bare feet padded softly across the linoleum. 1/2 a glass of Shiraz in hand she wandered to the kitchen, every now & then taking slow, lazy sips of the wine. Light from the Easter tree shone softly across half the room and the sharp harsh flourescent bulb under the cabinets above the sink illuminated the pile of dishes waiting to be washed. A mound of soapy suds beckoned. On the counter sat the detrius of a lovely meal, the makings of lunch for tomorrow -- 1.5" pork chops marinated in Worchestershire & dashed with onion salt, browned husks and silks stripped from grilled corn on the cob, all cooked on the grill in the cool spring evening, and some fresh garlic loaf bread w/ melted butter, only crumbs left to be brushed away. Something interesting played in the background, and many a thought swirled lazily in her wine-drenched mind.

When the dishes are done... and the wine gone... she'll pat barefoot back into another room, cozy up into something that resembles nothing like the warm body spoon she'd far rather fall asleep with, and drift off to meet Morpheus, her most faithful lover and steadfast friend.

The stars in the night sky outside will continue on their faithful trek.. oblivious, of course, to both simple pleasures and longings... twirling on into the eternity of an unfathomable universe.