Sing To Me


Sure thing pumpkin.

“Alexa, play Mike Doughty, Sunshine,” I said, holding my sick, feverish little monkey in my lap.

Alexa complied, “now playing MIKE DOUTY, Sunshine.”

I always correct her, “Doughty, Alexa, get it right.”

And he sings.

And I sing.

And my charge burrows into my arms and snuggles in my lap and is warm and feverish and sweet and a total cuddle puddle.

I told Alexa to play Doughty on shuffle and the next thing you know, “Sad Girl, Walking in the Rain.”

Um.

Oh my God.

New music.

Yes.

I had forgotten that his new album was released in October.

I hopped onto my phone, tapped my Spotify, and yes, there it was.

The Heart Watches While The Mind Burns.

I am listening to it now.

It’s good.

But I’m partial.

I am partial because I am a wordsmith and I have a tiny crush, always have, probably always will, sorry not sorry.

And because I can carry the octave he sings in pretty well.

I don’t sing all that well, but I can get out a little husky phrasing.

It was a good day for the singing.

My nose has cleared up and though I still have a cold it’s not as bad.

I also made myself get up and go to yoga and about half way through class I could tell I was working through it.

The cold is lessening its grip.

I am hopeful that by the time I get to school this Friday it will be completely out of my system.

Not that I would skip school if I was sick, I haven’t missed a day yet.

I will miss a half day on Saturday, December 10th, a dear friend is getting married that afternoon, so I’ll be missing the last class of my Child Therapy class, but I think that should be ok, I’ll miss the final project presentation of a few of my classmates, but I will have all of my own work done.

It will be the first time I have missed a class.

I firmly believe that most of the battle is won by showing up.

Show up to the screen.

I blog.

Show up to work.

I get a paycheck.

Show up to my notebook in the morning.

I get relief and direction for my day.

Show up to the yoga mat, again.

I get some anxiety out of my body, I feel better and I stand straighter.

I’ll fucking take it.

Show up to a church basement after work, in the dark, sit and get some relief, get some connection, get some not so lonely anymore feeling in my heart.

I ran into an old acquaintance, I’ve known him since the beginning of my recovery and I asked if he had gotten my invite to my birthday party.

I told him to come out.

We suffer from the same loneliness that so many of us suffer from.

I realized today though, as I was lying on the yoga mat, that I’m just used to that pain.

I was born in that pain.

I know that pain so well and how to navigate the dark swell of it as the waves build and peak, that the black silk heavy weight of those waters can pull me down in it’s comforting embrace.

But.

What if.

What if I choose differently?

Maybe I will be uncomfortable.

But I won’t be lonely and when I get used to being happier, which I am getting better at all the time, maybe I won’t sink into that drowned ship of isolation.

“When’s your birthday?”  He asked.

“Sunday, December 18th, pinball at Free Gold Watch in the Haight, I sent you an invite on facecrack,” I told him.  “Please come, and come again on Saturday, it’s good to see you there, and we usually fellowship after the meeting.”

I’m pretty fucking proud of myself for throwing myself a birthday party.

Sunday, December 18th, I’ll be 44.

I’m going to have brunch at Zazie’s in Cole Valley around 2p.m.

Then pinball at Free Gold Watch on Waller Street from 4-7p.m.

If you’re in town, come play!

I made a facecrack invite and invited about 200 people and 20 people are coming!

That’s actually pretty fucking good for facecrack invites.

Folks are pretty busy during the holidays and my birthday is the week before Christmas, I am always at odds with any number of holiday parties and galas and events.

So I decided to do what I really want to do.

Brunch with some of my dearest friends and then pinball.

I love me some pinball.

I’m happy to have gotten such a nice response to the invite too, of course who doesn’t like an arcade for Pete’s sake.

I’m very happy to be doing something fun on my birthday.

Last year was so hard.

Sad girl walking in the rain.

That was me.

I had to work that day and it down poured all day long.

Buckets of rain.

I had made plans to go to do the deal and then get a late dinner with friends and a man I was pseudo dating, for lack of a better adjective or descriptor and on my way to doing the deal, getting soaked, it was coming down so fiercely, he sent me a text and cancelled.

My birthday.

He cancelled on my birthday dinner.

I wanted, just then to get all upset and irate and have a resentment and take some one else’s inventory.

But.

I am reminded.

I don’t want to take his inventory as I don’t want to make his amends.

I cried.

It rained.

On my birthday.

Sad girl walking in the rain/wide brown eyes seek the sunrise/dryer in the morning light.

I wore a sky blue dress and a white crinoline underneath it.

The flippant edge of my dress buoyed up by the fluff of fabric underneath could do nothing against the sorrowful pound of my heart as I walked alone up Church Street.

Solace for me later in the laughter of my friends.

The relationship rapidly unraveled and it did not matter that I loved him very much.

It did not matter that he loved me very much.

It was working, couldn’t work, wasn’t going to work.

Then today, I thought of my birthday prior and the Christmas alone, as my boyfriend at that time of year decided to spend Christmas day with his ex-wife.

Don’t worry about breaking my heart, I’m doing it just fine on my own.

There’s a picture of me that day, Christmas day three years ago now, sitting in the sand dunes in that I got so many compliments on, so many.

I found it sad and sweet and funny too.

Alone.

On Christmas day, taking selfie’s in the sand.

Sad girl sitting in the sand.

Ha.

So.

This year.

Something different.

First.

There’s no man in my life to not live up to my stupid expectations around my birthday or Christmas.

I made my own damn plans.

I’ll buy my own damn flowers.

And.

I’ll take my own damn self out.

Thank you very much.

I also have plans to be with friends over both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And let’s not forget.

Pinball, bitches.

I’m super stoked to be doing all these good things for myself.

Just because I’m used to being lonely doesn’t mean I’m alone.

And.

Just because there’s comfort in the familiarity of pain.

Doesn’t mean I have to continue to nurture it.

I choose happy.

Damn it.

I choose joy.

 

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