Being ourselves together.

21 05 2010

I’ve struck a strange sort of balance here. With this…relationship thingy, if you will. I think I got my head back on straight.

I hit a couple of really rough patches, dealing with it. In a backwards sort of way, I had it really easy for all those years without anyone. And when you’re alone and dreaming about being with someone you’re thinking about all the things they can give you: the affection, the skinship, the emotional support, the sex; much less time is spent thinking about all the things you’ll give them.

And it’s not even as clear-cut as that; someone who hasn’t spent many consecutive years without a partner might not understand. After so long, you become extremely attached to having only one person’s well-being to look after. You spend your hours thinking about yourself, what you need, what’s good for you, where you’re at and what you can do to get to where you want to be.

In fact, you smoke an awful lot just so you don’t have to be thinking about that so intensely 24 hours a day.

And no matter how sick you feel of your own company sometimes, you get used to it. It’s familiar. It’s simple. You set your own goals, and if you fail the only one you’ve disappointed is yourself and, let’s face it, you forgive yourself for minor setbacks pretty easily.

Then all of a sudden there’s this whole other person. With a whole new set of needs just as complex as your own (that you still haven’t even begun to nail down after 4 years). And because you did the whole relationship thing before, you feel a pressure – not really an expectation – to be really good at it. To somehow be in tune with her wants and needs at all times. To feel really intensely around the clock (and if not to take that as a sign of imminent doom. Oh, and by the way, after 4 years you suddenly discover all of the scars left by your interactions with women in the past. It was easy to assume there were none when you were alone.)

To be fair, for the last four years you have been able to anticipate all your needs; you have been able to solve all of your problems; you’ve gotten really quite good at taking care of yourself; it really has been all about you.

So you don’t – you can’t – blame yourself too hard for the ways in which you often catch yourself making it about you now. That when something goes wrong, you hold yourself responsible to fix it. The way you believe everything is going to be all right.

These were the realities of your daily existence.

BUT! I think I’ve got my head on straight. Of course I acknowledge that keeping it on will be an ongoing process. Potentially – maybe hopefully – a never-ending process.

I just know that we should be good to each other. Good, and patient, and trusting. Because the fact of the matter is that your trust could always be misplaced. There are no guarantees. And there is simply no way to know how things will end until they do, or don’t. Since it’s already clear that I want to be along for the ride, the only thing I can do is strive to be good to her and trust that she will be – that she wants to be – good to me.

I’d rather be along for THAT ride than for one of paranoia and neediness and insecurity. So for all I’ve been ranting about how different it is to be with someone, in this way it is just the same: I have to stay on top of myself. Recognize when my feelings are irrational; do not discard them, but seek their root; and above all, not let them manifest as passive-aggression, neediness, or any of the other countless things they can become when allowed to fester. Confront them by being honest with myself and with her. And don’t allow my problems to become hers. Because as we’ve covered, we each are still responsible for working out our own shit.

Now that I write this musing down, it sounds much more comforting and familiar than when it was tumbling around my head.

I don’t have to BE this new thing, this half-a-person, this part of a whole. I just have to keep being myself, and be with her.

The first part is well-trod ground. The second part is just plain fun.


That is one shit-covered fan, my friend.

20 05 2010

Where to begin? I haven’t posted here since the 12th of March – little more than 2 months ago – but how, exactly, to cover the in-between?

My life is at once precisely the same and somehow unrecognizable. But now is the time to sink back into writing and let it envelope me. The more distance accrued between myself and winter, the closer I edge to Miami, to reversal, to isolation, to utter, glorious, bone-chillingly terrifying newness. To reading and writing and living and TRYING.

A concept to which I have recently been re-introduced.

It’s funny, this blog-thing. It’s like a diary, but of course, being words plastered on this intensely public tube-space called the internets, I am obligated to count everyone I know among my audience, even though I can count my hits and I have no damn audience.

Nonetheless, this means no matter how much self-obsessed rambling I seem to do here there are some things – “feelings,” some might call them (strange things) – I would never post about.

Romantic feelings, if you must label them. In fact, in light of past experience, I very seldom share those sorts of feelings in ANY forum as mine have so often seemed to me misguided, misplaced, misunderstood, and generally whiny and lame.

I hate being whiny and lame. So much so that those sorts of feelings, those very particular feelings often associated (inaccurately) with the primary cardiovascular function, often send me into a whirl of depression, since they make me whiny and lame, incurring my refusal to share them with anyone and necessitating that I share them only with myself. Over. And over. Inducing a perpetual analysis of my own whiny lameness, and the internalized self-loathing which I felt only infrequently but which I always assumed must be channeling those “cardiovascular” feelings toward such blatantly unobtainable objects.

And that was what I wanted, or what I had convinced myself I wanted. Someone unobtainable.

* * *

Dear Diary,

I thought I was being so careful.

She slips in, somehow. Not under the radar. My initial cold assessment is an established defense, eroding grain by grain under every trickle of laughter between us. So fucking funny.

My sides are splitting. I must be emerging from my skin; didn’t know I was trapped.


Refreshing. Kinetic. Straight.



By definition not worth my attention.

…but she’s loud, opinionated, brilliant. (Like a light bulb as much as an inventor.) So she’s the center of attention with or without my approval.

So lonely, so pretty, such a lack of diplomacy.

What I’m saying is, she has everyone’s attention the minute she walks in the room in those dark skinny jeans and the suede fuck-me boots…no – what I’m saying is, I get lulled by the press of the crowd of everyone who meets her and then is in love. You know the feeling of not being afraid because you’re not alone. Even if you should be.

Keep it to myself – sort of. Joke with her and she jokes back. Tease her – she can take it. Stay up late talking till we’re practically asleep on our couches across the room and she doesn’t seem to mind.

I come down from bed in the mornings, she’s still there and no matter how softly I step when I come to collect my belongings, abandoned in the half-sleep of parting the night before, she always wakes, always, and seeing me, never once rolls over and goes back to sleep.

In this way our midnights blur into mornings. It has become suddenly strange that I’ve told no one about this person whose movements seem to dictate my day.

But what should I do? Straight, straight, straight, she keeps insisting, in a way that is not insisting, in fact, in a way that is never articulated but for those moments in which I prompt her to deny it and she evades me.

Somehow after weeks of this I am less of a wreck than I have ever been. I can, after all, like someone a “normal” amount. (That’s what I say when I start to speak it.)

Some days she’s lonely and laughs just a little too loud and I can’t stand the stories about the boys she can’t stand and the admonitions of her best friend that they’ve never deserved her and I’m feeling indignant and there it is again.

So I write her a note, a nothing, a digital-age slip of parchment under her door, telling her things that seem so apparent from my couch that I cannot for the life of me comprehend she is not used to hearing. Adorable. Hilarious. Brilliant.

In the end, I man up.

* * *

So where am I now? Soon to be alone again, but that was always the plan. And in the meantime I am absolutely drunk on the smell and the pacing of her breath. The places our skins touch. The distribution of her freckles. The sincerity of her professions. That the width of her smile seems now a measure of her proximity to me.

Sobriety was never my strong point.


12 03 2010

I’m sitting bored in front of my computer, with Facebook open on the screen, and I compulsively turn to my phone to check Facebook.

I don’t even want to talk about it.

Superpowers and the coming of spring.

1 03 2010

Hiya, blog. Apologies for the spotty coverage…and that the times I feel most pressed to post are when I’m down. That’s always been how it is, my blog tends to reflect a much bleaker existence than the one I live day-to-day. Good times aren’t quite as easy to articulate.

And to be fair, this winter has been a bit more of a minor note than those past…or perhaps that is just an illusion sponsored by the fact that life has been pretty damn good of late, for all my whining.

The snow played its part in bringing everybody down. Days on end without sunshine are stressful enough for me, and compromised driving conditions added the extra dimension of work stress which is only ever a factor in a will-or-won’t-I-get-there kind of way. And my new-found impatience with the job is an enduring truth from the last entry. Now that I know I’m out of here in the fall it’s getting very, very hard to continue to feel indifferent about showing up day in and day out.

Shh. I am hatching a plan.

In the meantime, I have single-handedly prevented the accumulation of snow and coerced the sun to return with the sheer force of my will and the support of a happy sunny-sunny boy.

That’s right, I have superpowers. Next up: I usher in the spring. (Check the forecast, bitches, it’s working.)

Keiko is coming and, with her, a much needed vacation. My rent is going down. I got a big tax refund and a bonus from work, so in the space of a couple of weeks I seem to have amassed a grand in savings. I’ve been out to the bars, met new people. I’m down a pant size. My rents got me a surprise iPhone. Obviously I’m being reminded of the balance in the universe. Sometimes you just can’t help but feel unlucky, no matter how much you tell yourself it’s not true. But if you focus on the positive, on appreciating all you have, the world seems to reward your strength.

NOT, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.

Oh, Mr. Hopkins, your verse is so sexy.

So for right now my agenda is simply to wait out these weeks leading up to vacation, and enjoy my rewards. What more can I do? My life will change very drastically in the coming months – you might, if you were being trite, say I’m about to embark on a new chapter in my life.

But this chapter has been warm and exhilarating, full of light and adventure and love, and it deserves a hell of a conclusion.

some days, like this one

15 02 2010

…are just a funk you can’t dance to.

Yesterday while we were watching TV Deb spoke the phrase “I miss the rain.”

Those first few hours of winter wonder have curled up and died and rotted rather odiferously with the stress of car driving and car parking and car repairing after car driving and parking fuck-ups.

I may be hormonal but joy is hard to come by. Even as the future Dr. Bito.

Excitement is tempered by much anxiety. About moving, about paying for moving, about schoolwork, about teaching, about being so very alone so very far from home.

About leaving home feeling like the last cog of a shattered machine dropping through the floorboards where none of the other cogs will ever find it again even if they come back.

An impatience I’ve only just begun to let myself feel, with the interminable hours at this shit-boring job.

Impatience with repeated questions from old friends, seeking new stories when I have none worth telling.

What can I say. Sometimes I find happiness with what I have, savings and snow and sulking be damned.

Just…now is not that time.

defining moments.

8 02 2010

When I look back on this winter, it will be at the back of Matt’s wool-lined jacket as we trundle down the middle of the usually busy city streets in the snow. I will see this in the half-glow (not white, not yellow) of everything but the sky, uniform mellow in the early, starless dark.

What sound like discussions of the litigious implications of plowing snow that does not belong to you are really whispers that are barely whispers, floating us in the brick-funneled wind that would swallow us up, night like this.

We will tear the shells from our teeth like windows, let the white night dance crowd in, brazen as we are against the bilious blizzard, close and warm and unafraid.

If you are listening carelessly, it makes the sound of nothing at all.

The sting of laughter between my eyes makes a Deborah-shaped imprint in the snow, the laughter itself a shy last scrap of strength pushing outward on the closing fist of February. Smoke braids up wool and fleece and batteries and competition into a patchwork musculature obscuring our cheap IKEA frames.

But at my house we have always raised rebels against the cold, teaching subversion in stews. When you spot the light shaken from our windows, is it a sparkle? Or a quiver?

punched in the face by destiny

25 01 2010

So an interesting thing happened to me, I guess.

We had something of a party on Friday…well, it started off less as a party and more as a couple of separate friends noting that Friday might be a good day to hang out. But since, in my experience, impromptu parties are often the most fun, I decided to flex my karmic party muscles, cast out a general invite and see how many people would bite.

A good number did. Iron Wolf was there, who I haven’t seen in almost 8 months. Speaking of which, when people talk about coming over to hang out, am I supposed to automatically assume they’ll be bringing the person they’re sleeping with? Because I missed that memo.

It’s not that I dislike her bf in any sense…I actually think he seems like a really nice dude and I would sincerely like to get to know him better. But when a close friend who dropped off the radar – like, literally – for 8 months wants to hang out is it wrong of me to expect that I’ll get to hang out with her, sans accoutrements? Especially when no accoutrements were mentioned at any point in our various conversations leading up to said event.

BTW, I think that’s how I’ll refer to all boys from now on. But seriously. Off-base? Whatever.

So, the party. We were having a grand old time, playing energy-drink Kamikaze never-have-I-ever, which I venture to say was an even bigger hit the second time around. Anyway, as always I was taking pot-shots sure to get other people drunk, like my go-to “Never have I ever sucked a dick,” etc.

On this particular occasion my pot-shot was “never have I ever slept with more than one person,” which, come on, is a great cheap shot in a drinking game. But no sooner had the phrase passed my lips than J was literally on top of me, yelling how-can-this-bes even though I know for sure she knew this about me before fucking Friday. Then she says “I’ll fuck you just so you’ve slept with more than one person!”

And I replied – out loud, I’m pretty certain – “You missed that train.”

I’ll be honest, whether I said it out loud or not, I’m totally pleased that it was my first reaction to that particular drunken declaration. Then J punching me in the face took a little of the wind out of my sails.

Right…in…the eye. Why??

No one seemed able to say, least of all J. Kim said it looked as though it might have been intended as a play-punch, i.e. one that wasn’t actually supposed to land. I have no idea. J seemed genuinely confused, and launched immediately into a diatribe about how she would never mean to hurt me and how she loved me so much more than all the other people there.

So in the end, my ego was re-inflated even beyond it’s original size, the party when on smashingly, and J ran off and passed out.

Still, I can’t help revisiting the situation with some puzzlement. As irritating as it is for someone to offer to fuck you 3 years after you would have bent over backward to fuck them, that was far overshadowed by my happiness to discover that I didn’t even entertain the possibility. I spent at least a year thinking I would never attain the point of actually being “over” her in every sense.

And you know, even though I was pretty sure I had expunged all trace of more-than-friendly feelings for her a long time ago, nothing corroborates that like point-blank rejecting someone’s fuck offer.

Jesus this is a weird post.

Anyway. I was thinking, then, in my befuddlement over the punch, that perhaps this was a SIGN from the UNIVERSE.

You know how I go in for that shit.

Kim Murray says that on the one hand, she’d like to think the universe is not that petty, but on the other, it does tend to choose unlikely conduits.

Doesn’t get much less likely than that, I guess.

But the thought that this is some sort of cosmic kick-in-the-ass, well…it doesn’t really feel like it. I don’t feel more motivated to try to find a partner, I don’t feel particularly lonely or horny or any of those things that indicate a physical or emotional void.

But I do feel a little more self-conscious about not feeling those things. I always spend a lot of time wondering, Why? Why do all these people place so much of their emotional stock in sexual relationships?

So far the only aftershock from the punch is my new wonderingment: Why don’t I place any of my stock in sexual relationships??

Ugh. Cuz pretty people make me lose my damn mind.