Saturday, April 15, 2006

One Night Nuthin'

Tonight I'm lookin' for a one-night nuthin
I'm not lookin for that one-life somethin

A flare of passion
In a heathen den
Go out alone
Come home with him

I been findin ones that seem they'll be the ones that stay
But they're the ones that hurt when they go away

So now I'm lookin for a one night nuthin
Come on Darlin' - what do you say?
Buy me a beer
and show me the way

Woudn't you like to be my one night nothin?
Maybe a week or a month
If we like it enough
Then we can go our separate ways
No worse off than we are today

I've got a hole to fill in a heart that hurts
Let's smother it with whisky
As we laugh out loud and flirt
Swing me round that hard wood floor
Put your hand on the small of my back when we leave through the door

Just don't ever tell me you're plannin to stay
That's not a game right now
that I'm willing to play

Hit the the road before you love me
Move along before I care
Sweeten sorrow with a kiss
Or fuck me on a dare

Hey, Baby.. whaddaya say?
Wanna be the one that doesn't go away?
Well I'm not looking for that tonight anyway.
That's on a real long list I prob'ly ought to throw away
A list we put a title on & called "Someday"

I'm just lookin for a one-night nuthin
Wishin it might turn out to be a one-life somethin

I don't expect to find it
Fairy tales are naught but mist
Come & be my one-night nuthin
show me what love might feel like
if it did really exist

Lyrics by Amy Kruse (04/14/2006)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Questions Hard to Answer 2 (and not nearly as pleasant as 1)

"Where are you? How are you?..."

He sent me that in an email yesterday. How do I answer that? Do I tell him about how my body crashed when he bailed? I who am never ill finally laid out by some common bug b/c grief is the greatest anvil of them all, pounding me into oblivion. Should I tell about the three days shivering under covers unable to get warm yet sweating like it was 110 in my house, all the while remembering lying next to him while he was sick, taking care of him, feeling his fever break then come back in the night, trying to keep him warm, cool him off, take care of him while he was down & out... because I had to, because I wanted to, because I love him, and that's what you do with people you love? Do I tell him about how going to bed at night alone sucks? How about waking up in the morning & how much that sucks too? Do I tell him about how putting my watch back on (I haven't worn it in a year) feels like a heavy symbol of loss: I stepped out of time to be with him, now it resumes. Do I tell him about how I can't seem to be in the car for stretches longer than 15 minutes without my thoughts straying where they've been used to going for so long now... and having to dry my face & compose myself before I go in anywhere? How about how I finally realized I just have to keep kleenex in the car for awhile b/c my face was getting sore from wiping it off with napkins? Let's see.. should I tell him about all the long walks I've had to take before I go in to my friend's houses because once I start mourning this loss, I can't quite stop... and there's nothing they can do, they don't need to see this any more than they already do. How about how two weeks later I STILL have laryngitis that took my voice completely for four days, and would probably go away if I could just stop screaming at the sky in utter fury & frustration now & then? Maybe I should tell him about how Stacy's grandpa died, about trying so hard to be there for her & badly needing his shoulder to lean on? About how the grief of loss seemed to swirl up and get all confused with losing him & how that felt like such a betrayal? How about all the thoughts while I'm standing there in the middle of other people's pain about who will be with me when my family dies.. and knowing he no longer belongs by my side in that picture in my head? Maybe I should share all the other times that kaleidoscope after that - pictures of times that will not be? I could go on & tell him how that was amplified by realizing that all the people around me were having the same thoughts - grief is grief / loss is loss. Some may be greater, some lesser, some may have more tendrils of connection to severe... but it feels the same when you're going through it. How about I tell him how my daughter misses him too? Should I tell him that? Or maybe I should tell him about how even talking to someone new & interesting flops, because in the end, no matter how new & interesting they are, they're just not him, & I really thought I would be sharing all the new & interesting people that came along with him? Oooh.. I know.. maybe I should tell him about accidentally logging into his calendar because I was on autopilot & that's what I've done darn near every. single. day. for the last year and a half... then actually throwing up when I saw it? When, in a horrible split second, my mind's eye saw all those days & things he's doing that do not & will not include me? I don't want to go there any more... that was rough. How about finding his picture in my purse where I had forgotten I had folded it so carefully so long ago to carry him with me? Telling my co workers yesterday that there would be no more anecdotes & watching the look in their eyes change as they realize that once again I am the undesireable? Finding him out of my head only when I'm fourteen sheets to the wind drunk on my ass stupid? Then realizing that if I can think that, then he's not out of my head after all? How about telling him what an odd mix of warmth, grief, comfort, anger, torture and happiness it was to be in someone else's arms for a couple of hours when that someone was someone I can believe in? Maybe I should share how my friends have snuggled up around me, stepping in & taking turns, being there & supporting me without being intrusive? How they just appear here & there... taking time & initiative to simply BE there with & for me, taking care of me? ME! I who never lets anyone take care of me... and I let them... because I finally have nothing left to take care of myself. Should I then go on to point out how often he failed to do just that? Maybe I could point out to him how little he really cares about me with the example of a single incident: while we were talking together about this part of my life coming to an end, he answered his fucking cell phone. Twice. (No, it wasn't an emergency, or anyone in distress. They were purely social calls... & from the next love of the moment, no less.) I almost can't think of any better way to show someone how truly insignificant they or their feelings are to you than to answer your god damn cell phone when you're in the middle of an intimate conversation. How about I think of more pleasant things & explain how my friends silently seem to understand how great this grief is to me, how far into my soul I let him step, & how supperating is the wound with him gone? And then I would have to tell how there are no words to say how sweet it is that they know there is never any way to the other side of anything but through it... that grief must be felt & released & felt again & heal from the inside out. How they seem to understand it's not a matter of expunging him from some tiny corner, but a matter of removing him from every second that I breathe, & that's just not an easy thing to do? I could explain that this is a helpless place: his absence is shards of glass in my soul, but his presence - even once removed - just grinds them deeper. I cannot even imagine trying to explain what seeing him would be like, it's difficult to even consider. Maybe I could explain how my friends understand that I didn't ask him to be my man, my boyfriend, my lover, my only other.. I asked him to become family, I made him family in my heart, and in one short conversation he showed me he had never really accepted that invitation, nor understood it. How they don't ask me to hide this grief, or put it away because it's embarrassing to them, or not feel it at all... they just love me, & stand there reminding me with actions instead of empty words that they, at least, will remain... because they ARE family. They get it.

I can't possibly answer his questions with all that... or even any of that! It's just not socially acceptable. Not that that has stopped me all that often, but we're in a new ballpark now. I stepped into a sort of trust with him that he did not understand, that he rejected, and I can't go backwards... there is only ever forward or through. I can't trust him with my heart any more: he doesn't understand that, either. So how do I answer those questions?

The only socially acceptable answer I can think of is "I'm fine." And that would be a lie: I'm not 'fine' at all.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Part of the Process

In a very real way, those few people who are my intimate friends are with me always. In my mind's eye, some part of them is always just a 1/2 a step within my reach. It is always as though if I made just 1/2 a step, just a 1/4 turn, I would find them there, waiting to be a part of every single experience large or small, public or private. Ready to share this laugh, that tiny sorrow, this interesting fact about something utterly inconsequential. Like when you are partners in a room of people, always acutely aware of where that other person is, who they are talking to, what sort of conversation they are having. Every now & then you share a glance & a smile that connects you more intimately than a kiss, and even as you have your own conversations with completely separate people, you are still a part of what is going on with them.

Removing someone from that place of intimacy within my self & my life is an exhausting process. Not only mentally, not just emotionally, but physically exhausting. One doesn't realize how many thousands upon thousands of thoughts you have in a single day, each one including - even if as a shadow of presence or possibility in the background - those intimate someones.

Now there is, wearily put back in place, a conscious trigger to edit every thought, every feeling, every nuance of possibility that crosses my path: Remove Them. "Oh, and then we could ... " remove them. "Ooh... what if we...." remove them. "Oh, of course we'll have to include..." remove them. "Ah, what a lovely day to share with..." remove them. "I want..." remove them. "I need..." remove them. "I wish..." remove them. "What if..." remove them. "They would think..." remove them. "Right now, they would be..." remove them. "Mmm... that breeze on my skin..." remove them. "What a funny thing, I'll share...." remove them. Every leaf on every tree that leaps out at me as such a beautiful green carries with it a need to remove them from that 1/4 step of sharing... because that is where they have been. That has where I have trusted enough to let them in & where they have belonged, where I am accustomed to feeling their presence... and where they have finally said they never felt they truly belonged, and where they do not want to be. They have chosen. In some way or ways I am not enough, I am lacking, once again and still insufficiently desirable. My pool of intimate friends is one lighter (becoming one lighter): they are no longer to be a soft comfort that silently cushions every harsh thing the world contains. Remove them.

My body, never sick, breaks down under this invisible effort. The tears I cry are not only an emotional release, an anguished cry into the universe, but are sometimes simply a signal of physical exhaustion. I ache. Physically. Sleeping is either a fitful thing or an utter collapse for a few minutes or a few hours. Muscles cramp here & there as I do mundane nothings, tiny physical wounds become great barriers to movement. My sinuses fill, making my head feel filled with cotton & my ears throb as though surf were pounding large volumes of angry waves into a small closed cave. I have lost my voice... literally! Hoarse as the day begins, by evening speaking is a mighty effort & I cannot imagine having to talk on the phone & hold meetings when tomorrow's work day comes. I could not answer the phone when it rang tonight because I had no voice to speak, and sitting at a chat window sounds like nothing so much as a way to torture my lower back. Dammit to every hell that was ever conceived... love removed, trust aborted, desire stuffed back into some lonely cavern where it can scream & not bother anyone but myself. It screams & screams until it has no voice left; still screaming in a silent rictus, but certainly not bothering anyone else. Don't bother anyone else. Kill desire along with all those other thoughts. Oh yes, you must kill desire too. Remove them.

My other intimate.... my intimate friends surround me, pick me up & when I cannot take another step on my own, they carry me into tomorrow. Even as I laugh into the daylight and fill the weekend with frenetic activity... even as we tell stories of times when life was good & happy & laugh in excellent company... even as I give & receive comforting touches, caresses, hugs: those essential physical manifestations of comfort and caring and love... even as these people who love me send waves upon waves of reassurance that they at least will be here for an eternity of tomorrows... even as someone I love sits with me in silence, keeping me company through parts of this wake and sharing an indulgence in tiny tubs of ice cream... even then, thousands upon thousands of edits: remove them. They are not here, this is not where they wish to be: remove them.

Grief is a physical process as much as it is an emotional passage, and I am fully aware that at some point this too, shall pass. The intensity of any sorrow never remains as it begins. After awhile you become numb to the constant flaying, those nerve endings of self unable to provoke the same exquisite pain: eventually it will hibernate & hide somewhere deep inside, coming out from time to time to surprize you when you weren't expecting it. Over time it will come upon you less often, perhaps only in intense moments, sometimes in infinitely soft sorrows... but it will no longer be this constant conscious thing that it is now. I know this, I have been here before. I know how long it takes to walk this shadow of death - I am all too familiar with every intimate step. I know this is not something you can run faster through - it only expands to fit you.

So I... (*%&$~!. I wish they were here, now, in my arms.

Remove them.