Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

A God Damn Christmas Miracle!

December 25, 2022

I was not expecting that I would get my suitcase back today.

On Christmas.

ON CHRISTMAS!

Come on.

That’s like a stupid rom/com movie trope.

I mean, I can just envision the script, tired American in Paris for the holidays wears outfit four days in a row and cries in tepid bathtub after multiple delays and flight cancellations, losing baggage at Charles de Gaulle, battling with weary agents at Lufthansa who don’t give a fuck and just keep handing over a piece of paper with directions as to how to file a claim, buys wrong toiletries at Franprix (damn it I know better French than to buy sugar scrub instead of face wash), finally understands that French je ne sais crois of messy updo (fuck my hair is trashed after cheap toiletries and not being able to use a real blowdryer), no makeup (cuz was in suitcase that was lost) and world weary look-tres chic, tres sexy. Meets cute in a cafe when the regular notices same outfit on the third day in a row and falls in love when he takes her out clothes shopping in the Marais.

Well.

All of that was true except the last sentence.

I just took me out clothes shopping in the Marais.

But back to movie.

I mean, my life.

I mean.

Hmmm, what if my life were a movie?

What if the love of my life is just me?

What if I just keep falling in love with my own damn self?

An ex reached out to wish me Merry Christmas this morning.

Signal perfect teardrop rolling down face.

I am tired of this particular Christmas tradition, frankly, time for a new one.

I am ok with being alone on Christmas.

Not always, not for every moment of the day.

Not for the seven hours I waited for my bag, but you know, I wrote a lot, I watched Lady Chatterly’s Lover, I paced a bit.

I gave up the ghost around 4:30p.m.

I remember looking at my watch and thinking, well damn, there goes the day as it started to get dark and the suitcase had not arrived.

I sighed, thought about what I would make for dinner–I had planned ahead and grabbed a poulet roti, rotisserie chicken, from the frou frou boucherie on the block, so I would have a nice meal, yesterday.

So I was shocked and delighted when just after 5p.m. Paris time, my phone rang and it was the delivery driver!

I ran out the door (thankfully I had the keys in my pocket, I had a nightmare thought about running out the door and locking myself out, another movie trope, no?) and down the steps, opening the door to the courtyard just as the delivery service pulled up.

I have never been happier to see a suitcase in my life.

It looked like it had been dropped out the plane and dragged down the runway, but it was closed, and upon opening, all was there.

Thank goodness.

Makeup!

Bras and underwear!

My blowdryer!

My new boots!

My jean jacket I had just bought a month ago.

My favorite sweatshirt.

Note to self.

I over packed.

Of course.

I didn’t know I was going to wear the same outfit four days in a row, so there is that.

I put on some makeup, swept my hair up into a messy up do, I mean, I will fix that tomorrow with proper products and a good blow dryer, and bustled out the door.

Christmas night in Paris is not a real big night out, but I needed a walk after staying inside all day.

It was a lovely night, I caught the sliver of the new moon climbing over the rooftops of the Marais, walked by Hotel de Ville and smiled at the kiddos riding the carousel, I walked over the Pont Notre Dame and circled Ile Saint Louis, remembering all the many times I have crossed that bridge.

I have crossed quite a few bridges in Paris.

I have lived here poorer than a tit mouse.

I have cried in cafes here.

I have struggled.

Even with a little money in my wallet and my Air France credit card, Paris is not easy, the bureaucracy, the time it takes to get things done, it wears you, I mean, me, down.

My time in Paris has never been easy.

But.

It has always been beautiful, and perhaps those things most beautiful are not the things that are most easy.

I thought I was going to have an idyllic return, a victorious, sexy return to Paris, ten years later, turning 50, and eating at some fancy restaurant with my Parisian friends.

I was sitting in SFO instead waiting for yet another delayed flight to load.

I thought I was going to wear chic shoes and pretty clothes.

Not my Vans sneakers all week long, but hey, I still have two days to rock some heels (fyi, how the fuck does Emily in Paris totter around in those heels all day long? No fucking way) and will perhaps tomorrow night when I take myself out for a fancy dinner.

I did, however, master the messy bun, the scarf (grabbed at COS in the Marais), and the side bag swagger, and the no makeup look, except a red lip–the only makeup I had in my possession, a red lip crayon.

It’s been a trip.

Things I have figured out.

-How to turn up the hot water heater in the flat, sorry Air BnB person trying to save on utilities, I paid an arm and a leg for this place and I deserve a hot bath, I’ll return it to its lukewarm setting when I leave.

-I speak better French than I give myself credit for. Many, many compliments and looks of surprise when I say I am from the US.

-I still don’t speak French as well as I want, like, um, hahahaha when I told the delivery driver he was tres jolie (smacks forehead) and then quickly changed it to tres gentile (jolie is pretty, gentile is nice).

-I love the Metro, well, most of the time, there were some strikes and driver shortages, so it was rather packed, but it is simply an amazing train system, and off all the places I have been, probably the easiest to use.

-I don’t need to do the Louvre again, this time I skipped it, I went to the Palais de Tokyo, the Centre de Pompidou, Musee D’Orsay, and Musee de l’Orangerie. Those are my favorites, I don’t need to kill myself drowning in tourists trying to take a selfie with the Mona Lisa.

-Palais de Tokyo has the best book store and cafe hands down, of any museum I have been in anywhere.

-Saying please and thank you and have a good day and using manners gets you really quite far, I sort of already knew this, but I find it rather comforting the little formalities, the have a good day, have a good night, Bonnes Fetes, et al, makes things a little more human.

-I don’t like how much time people spend on their phones here, I was surprised, phone culture here has caught up with America, and in some ways, seems worse. Maybe it was the pandemic. It made me a little sad to see it, but there are still people on the Metro reading books.

-I don’t want to come back to Paris alone.

Yeah.

Your read that last one correct.

In my many times of traveling here I have not done it with a true partner and though I am my own good company, I am a little tired of being the solo lady traveler in Paris.

I’m not going to quit traveling, but after time number eight, I think I want a different experience with the city.

And with myself and with someone else.

I had an ex reach out prior to my trip on WhatsApp, a different ex than the one who caused the tears, (the only platform he’s not blocked on, but is now, thanks) and wish me a happy birthday and hopefully I’ll be enjoying a romantic time in Paris, and how I deserve to be with someone who loves me–can’t argue that, but please, stop.

I am my romantic time.

I’ll draw a bubble bath, watch a movie, have a snack.

And plan my last couple of days as a single lady in Paris.

The rom/com trope is that I am happy and ok single.

And that I can have complex emotional feelings and experiences and long for a partner too.

I have had some very intense dating experiences this year.

And I forgive myself for that.

The change now is to surrender, like I did my lost luggage, not look for it on apps, or dating sites, to not project myself as larger than life, to be vulnerable and let myself be approached.

I tend to have men project (and some former female friends) on me a certain fantasy of who I am.

Because I live grand, I write this blog (though, honestly, not always the best reflection of me it is sometimes taken to be a completely accurate picture of my life, when it is just a montage of snapshots) and I live with my heart of my sleeve.

I want to be gentle, be approachable, and maybe soften up the makeup and glitter (a little, not doing away with it all), wear my hair up messy, and be ok with being human and older and still not having it quite altogether.

I think it’s tres chic this.

Thanks for the lesson Paris.

I am not sure when I will see you again, but until then, thanks for teaching me all the things vulnerable and how to turn up the hot water heater in French.

Trop gros bisous.

Longings

November 7, 2022

I have been sitting with this topic for a little over a week now and really contemplating what I long for.

Last Friday, not this weekend, but the one prior, I had a pretty revelatory session with my own therapist.

Who clearly stated something that I have never been able to articulate.

That I am afraid of my longings.

As soon as he said it, it threw light on so much of my life.

He asked me, “what happened to you when you were younger when you longed for something?”

“I was shamed, humiliated, made fun of,” I answered immediately, there was no pause to think.

My therapist went further, “you were striped naked, you were beaten,” he introjected. “If you longed for something you were going to get hurt.”

Tears filled my eyes.

Fuck.

Of course I am afraid of my longings.

I was also taught a lot of other not so great things.

I’m not enough, I’m ugly, I’m fat, I’ll be alone forever, I’m not lovable was basically the message I got.

I had to earn love, achieve love, work for love.

And so often, I still did not receive it in a way that was healthful for me.

I was eviscerated for my achievements as well.

Mortified by achieving, yet also pushed to achieve.

I have to do everything myself, take care of myself, and defend myself.

Things I learned to do well.

I also have to take care of everyone around me.

I am not allowed desires, dreams, hopes, longings, and if I should voice them I’ll just be ridiculed for those longings.

One of my longings is for romantic intimacy.

Partnership.

Shit.

I just teared up.

That old story, here, right now, I’m not even allowed to talk about that.

Or write about it.

Dare I even post this blog about it?

I think so.

Because.

I am trying something different.

First, that re-engaging with a former ex this past September, a few weeks after Burning Man, was me falling back into the pattern of not letting myself long.

It didn’t work and I extricated myself.

With a lot of help from my people, sitting quietly, listening in to my body–all the reflux flair up that I hadn’t had for years came right back with a fucking vengeance.

And of course, my therapist, “the question is, why do you want to be with someone who is not honest?”

Ouch.

And why?

So I stopped and it ended as it was going to anyway, I knew it wasn’t good for me.

Moving on.

Doing work.

Doing the therapy.

Writing a lot.

Letting go.

Surrendering.

And when I said no to making myself small, all these kinetic, beautiful little miracles started happening.

I got my diploma in the mail the next morning.

I got unstuck with my book project and started a process journal.

I reached out to a photographer and asked to collaborate and got a “I’m very interested!” response and a “let’s meet for coffee.”

I saw a friend I haven’t seen in nearly two years and took her out on her birthday to breakfast.

I started writing the epilogue to my book.

I started blogging again.

I started, trying, I’m not always great at it, but trying, to lean into my longings.

I shifted my schedule a bit to open up my Friday nights so I can socialize more.

I’m digging into really old, deep, entrenched stuff with my therapist.

He said some very interesting things, he usually does, thank god for him, he’s the best therapist I have ever worked with, receently.

Like in my session this Friday.

He reflected that people are drawn to me, but that I project an image and instead of that, what would it look like if I was a magnet instead?

I knew what he meant.

I can have a big personality, I have presence.

For instance.

Dating.

I usually do the asking out, I think I have to, that no one is going to be drawn to me and that my longings will go unseen and that I have to ask, so I do.

A friend told me about this recently, “you come across as boss lady, soften it a bit, no body is going to ask boss lady out.”

Ok then.

Soften.

Draw to me rather than push away.

No more asking out guys.

Wait.

Let myself be asked out.

Actually, I have always, always, longed for this.

I have so infrequently had it happen, it seems a dream to have someone ask me out.

But, I think that it’s because I come across as unapproachable.

And I pine for that which is unavailable–not so much anymore, I am leaning, thank you–which is to say that my action is to focus on what is not really there so not to be hurt if I long for something.

Remember, I was shamed for having desire.

And I’m not talking erotic desire, I’m talking desire for affection, love, conviviality, joy, awe, wonder, laughter, closeness, honesty, play.

And.

I won’t sneeze at erotic desire either.

I am a sensuous being.

I long for touch.

The pandemic was rough yo.

Plus, the surgeries I had last year made it tough too, hard to feel sexy when you’re in pain.

Anyway.

Dating.

It’s back on my plate.

But this time no apps, no asking people out, no projecting out to the world.

Just a softening into the longing, articulating vulnerability, being ok with being messy, messy hair, no make up, well, not all the time, I do love me some lipstick, letting go of the crazy hair (hell my hair is crazy enough on its own) and going back to my natural color and yes, letting it go gray. I am of a certain age, it’s ok.

Just leaning in.

Soft, warm, sweet, longing, Coleman Hawkins on a rainy November night, with misty fog encapsulating street lamps, the heat turned on, the cats cozy curled up next to me, hot, homemade soup in a bowl, and looking out the windows at the darkening sky with longing that soon, yes please, there will be someone sitting next to me, who will put his arm around me and listen to the music with me, kiss the top of my head, and be absolutely ok with just me.

No striving to prove myself or be different, bigger, brighter, shinier, faster, more fabulous.

Just me.

That’s it.

And that is all that I need to be.

Warm, vulnerable me.

It Was The Best of Times

September 10, 2022

It was the worst of times.

This Burning Man was the best and the hardest and the most magical and connected and hottest and Jesus fucking christ on a pogo stick, the worst entry and exodus I have had.

And.

I can’t wait to do it again.

Next year I will have all the things.

And do many of the things differently.

First.

No more tenting.

I’m figuring out a better way.

I just can’t do the dust coffin again.

I’m too old, and frankly, for the first time, truly ever, I can afford better accomodations.

I’m not saying I’m about to go out and buy an Airstream.

But I think I can swing a little camper trailer.

This burn I literally put up and took down my camp three times.

It was a disaster.

Fortunately.

I had a lot of lovely neighbors at my camp help me out.

And that was a learning lesson in humility.

I do not like asking for help.

I like helping.

I am really fucking good at helping others.

But asking for help?

Not so much.

I had to ask.

And ask a lot more than I was comfortable with.

I also had no choice.

Like.

When I got sick and had to go to the medics.

I had severe heat exhaustion, vomited, had hideous stomach cramps, dizziness and lightheadedness.

I knew I wasn’t doing well, but until I threw up I thought I was muddling along ok.

This literally happened my first day.

I still can’t believe I wound up in the medical tents on the first day I was there.

And thank god I let myself be taken.

I joked that my first “gift” on playa was a bag of fluids.

But really, thank God.

I didn’t realize how sick I was until I was in the tents.

And the beautiful, sweet people who took me there and sat with me there and helped me get back to camp were angels.

The next day I got to experience a playa miracle when a person who I barely knew magically provided a new tent for me.

Oh, wait, I left that part out.

In a nutshell, I land on playa Friday night at midnight, in a white out dust storm, Gate is closed, I sit for four hours before I finally get to Will Call to pick up my ticket and vehicle pass.

Then I spend an hour finding camp because none of the signs are up and I keep missing it.

Find camp around 5a.m., sit on the corner waiting for anyone to stir to find out where I am located, around 6:30a.m. some folks start getting up, figure out where I’m supposed to be camp, get somewhat situated, connect with the friend I’m setting up camp with, help him get settled and get shade structure up, start to get worried around noon as I haven’t gotten my own tent set up and it’s getting hot and I feel a dust storm coming (enough time on playa you can sometimes sense that shit in the wind), unravel may tent and start crying.

The “upgraded” new tent I had splurged on was a mesh top.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD kill me know.

I bought a dust coffin.

But with no other options.

I set up said dust coffin.

Storm sets in.

Sequester in dust coffin, try to nap, in a my dust mask and goggles and basically I could have just been on the open playa, there was so much dust, I was covered.

I might have slept an hour.

Maybe.

Which is why when I got sick, I got so sick, I had’t really slept in 36 hours, that and not enough food (I actually had been drinking a lot of water) led to the heat exhaustion, plus, well, duh, the heat.

So.

I’m telling my story about the multiple vans I had cancel on me, three separate reservations that all canceled on me and how I had to take my tiny Fiat and make the drive and basically halve the things I was bringing and I didn’t stage my tent and fuck my life, dust coffin, and the folks I was sitting with the next day commiserate, they’d had van cancellations too, and then.

HOLY SHIT.

My friend’s boyfriend goes behind the magic curtain and comes back with a tent, the same tent I used to use, so I know how to set it up, and it’s weather proof–no mesh top, no dust sifting down from the ceiling, “I’ve got a spare, you can use it,” he says.

So, I tore down dust coffin, and set up a new tent.

Two camp set ups in two days, extreme heat exhaustion, long wait to get in, not even on playa a day and a half and I thought, wow, this is really intense.

And it got wierder.

Harder.

Dustier.

And, as always, more magical in ways I could never expect.

I met and connected with new friends.

I reconnected with old friends.

I missed seeing a bunch of folks I for sure thought I was going to see.

I randomly bumped into someone I hadn’t seen in 8 years as I was pulling out on my bicycle from one art piece to head to another.

I got to go on an art car I have always dreamed of getting onto and rode one of the amazing mechanical carousel horses on it.

I danced.

One day, lost in a dust storm, shocker, I know, dust storms, I found myself so far beyond the area I was looking for that I just tried to find shelter to ride it out and stumbled upon a very, very, very lavish camp.

They had amazing music, and, holy shit, A/C.

I mean.

Fuck.

A huge common tent with A/C being piped into it.

There was also a lot and I do mean, A LOT, of drugs being very openly consumed.

I did not give a fuck.

I was sheltered in A/C dancing to amazing music.

I was never offered anything and I didn’t want anything and I didn’t care that there was so much wealth on display, all I did was, every once in a while, stop someone who was cavorting to ask for a water.

I was kept well hydrated and I danced for over three hours until the storm passed.

Then merrily took my tired knees back across playa on my bicycle.

I got to see my original poems hung up in the Museum of No Spectators, that brought big walloping tears to my eyes.

I had secret dream when I was young to see my art in a museum.

I was blown away by that.

Later in the week, with friends and family-an uncle on my father’s side of the family, I walked in my cap and gown and had a dear friend and the architect who designed the art piece, hood me in a graduation ceremony.

It was profound and moving and it meant an awful lot to me.

I also, promptly, got lost on the way back and wound up taking over an hour to find my way back.

Surreal to get lost in a place that I have been to so many times.

I star gazed in deep playa.

I cried in the middle of an art piece that moved me beyond words.

I danced in line waiting for ice.

I met a lot of international folks.

I got to know folks at my camp on a deeper more meaningful and intimate manner than I have ever experienced.

I don’t know how to write about one of the things that happened at camp that profoundly affected me without making it about me and I have been wondering for days about whether I would even write about it, or write a blog at all about Burning Man this year, though I have wanted to process it (my damn therapist had to cancel this week) but I do want to mention it lightly with respect and grace over drama.

I witnessed a death.

I was a first responder and performed CPR.

I was not a hero, but I was present and I am so very grateful that I was of service in the moments I was there.

I was also in shock at what had happened.

I leaned into people at my camp.

And I let myself cry when I could.

I only told a few people about what had happened.

Most of what I talked about was very minimal.

There was one person who heard the whole story, had been there when I walked out of the trailer stunned, held me as I shook with silent sobs and took very kind care of me.

I witnessed the camp come together in a way that stays with me, and I suspect, will always stay with me, to honor that person who passed and hold space for all those affected.

I told a woman who was there in the depths of the experience with me that this camp, which I had camped with twice prior, was now my camp for good, I was a member and I wanted a service position, I would be attending the business meeting and picking one up, commit to coming back, camp with them and be of service.

She welcomed me and suggested something to me and the next day I was elected to that position.

So.

I am going back next year, and every foreseeable year I can.

And I stayed, of course, I stayed, for the Temple burn.

Man burn was amazing and fun and I love me some pyro, yes, yes I do.

Temple was sweet, a touch sad, but not as forlorn as I have experienced it the few times I had been prior.

Honestly, I have only seen two Temple burns.

This burn was soft and sweet and though tears slid down my face a few times, it was not the horrendous vomiting of grief that I experienced after putting my best friends ashes in the Temple my first year.

Sidebar.

Yes. I do, now, know, that ashes are not welcomed there, but I was not aware of that at the time I went in 2007 for my first burn.

I can’t take those back.

And my best friend is always out there for me.

As I packed up my tiny car and got ready to sit in exodus for 6.5 hours, had I fucking known, ugh, I heard music from the camp next to me and I burst into tears.

You always get me at the end Burning Man, don’t you?

It was my friend’s favorite song playing.

It was like getting a soft kiss on my forehead, like he used to do, as I left the burn and headed home.

Tears wet on my face.

Gratitude for the intensity and the humility and the deep connections I made.

Shit.

I didn’t even tell you about the sauna in an Airstream I got to have, but I’ll save that for another day.

It is late.

And I have sleep to catch up on still.

I’ll see you in the dust next year.

You can’t get rid of me.

Seriously.

Burning Man, you got me for life.

Damn it.

Music For Dancing Slow

March 13, 2022

Oh bunny.

All the feels.

I have been thinking about you a lot recently.

You’re just in the air.

In my dreams too.

My God. I really have had a lot of dreams about you recently.

I used to not dream so much about you.

I don’t know why now.

But there it is.

Maybe it’s because I was in Hawaii recently.

I wore the necklace that you gave to me, the little glass heart, the one that you handed to me that day we drove to Sonoma to have a picnic.

The day I gave you cuff links, out in the high grass while we picnicked and made out and I was shy about showing you the tattoo I had gotten for you.

You told me a story about having bought the glass heart with a little fold of yellow ribbon in the glass, from a jewelry vendor somewhere in Maui and how it pulled you to buy it and you didn’t know why you were buying it.

For someone you had not met yet.

I wear that heart a lot.

I wear the bracelet with the infinity sign on it, every day.

Every day.

I’m still in love with you, likely always will be, and that’s ok.

You in the ether, ephemeral and close and then far away.

In my dreams, in my thoughts.

I sometimes still think that I will end up back in your arms, years later, run into you and be once more with you.

Hopeless, die hard, romantic here.

I don’t cry as much over you as I used to and I try to date and I’m not always so upturned over you, I can say I’ve moved on, a little, but I “pray, every day, that you’ll be back in my arms once again.

That just spun out into the air from my speaker.

It’s from one of the songs on one of your playlists that you made for me.

I haven’t listened to it in a very long time.

But.

I have been thinking about it.

Because.

Analytics.

What does that mean exactly, you ask?

Well.

Lover.

I could be wrong, maybe I am, but I also wonder, could he, is he, “it was not so long ago that you broke my heart, tears on my pillow, pain in my heart, caused by you, if we could start anew, I would take you back and tempt the hand of fate” is he out there reading my blogs?

Also.

Side bar.

Wow.

This playlist seems a little too prescient.

You made this for me for our six month anniversary, I asked you to make me a playlist for slow dancing with you.

I wanted love songs to dance to and these are love songs, but they’re also predicting heart break.

Did you know, even back then, that we would cause each other so much heartbreak?

So, so, so much.

Someday, someway, you’ll realize that you’ve been blind, yes darling, you’re going to need me again, it’s just a matter of time.

Fuck.

You knew this was going to happen, didn’t you, we would bash our hearts out on each other and hurt each other and try again and again, so many times.

GAH.

Maybe I should stop playing this.

That was like a side bar to the side bar.

Back to the analytics.

So, my blog lets me know a few things on the back end of the platform that no one except me can see.

I can’t see who reads my blogs.

But I can see where in the world my readers are coming in from.

I can see how many reads a day I get.

I can see if someone is in the archives.

And.

I can see what particular blogs are being read.

And.

Well.

I’ve been seeing something recently that makes me think a lot about you darling.

And maybe it’s not you.

But someone, once a week, on Thursdays, which are actually Fridays for me I think (WordPress is on a different time zone so I don’t know if it’s actually Thursdays when the blogs are read), reads a bunch of my blogs.

And two of them constantly pop up.

“Love Songs and Nail Salons.”

And.

“Hello, Stranger.”

It feels like you’re out there, quietly waving to me.

You haven’t called me or texted me or emailed me.

You did connect with me briefly, oh so damn briefly back in October, just days before my dissertation defense, and we could have talked, you called after receiving a card from me, but when I had to go into a client session you left a voice mail and that was it, not another call or text.

Despite telling you I could talk, I sent you a text later after my session ended, but you said you were on “East Coast time” and going to bed and you never reached out again.

I got damn angry.

That riled me up for a while.

Then I had my surgery and had to finish my dissertation and then it’s the holidays and my birthday and that’s when I wrote Love Songs and Nail Salons.

You are intertwined with my birthday and you might always be.

I’m not sure how long this person, you or someone else, I like to pretend it’s you, I like to pretend you’re reading this now.

Fantasy.

Hope.

Idiocy.

You pick.

I don’t care if you don’t want me, I’m here right now, I put a spell on you, because you’re mine.

Boy howdy, you put together one hell of playlist darling.

Shoo bop, shoo bop,

Hello stranger, it seems so good to see you back again, how long has it been?

Seems like a mighty long time.

Oh fuck.

Wow.

That pulled some tears up.

Hmmm.

Yeah.

I still have all the feels.

I am grateful to be writing this though.

You’re not going to read it.

Someone will though.

And maybe that’s ok.

When the love is this strong it doesn’t go away, the grief, the pain, the sorrow, time doesn’t heal all the wounds, the arrows of love from Cupid’s bow, my container to hold it all just got bigger.

You know.

What I used to tell you to make the hurt less, um, hurt”y”.

Sometimes God breaks your heart to break it open and make it bigger, all the better to hold more love.

Can what you’re thinking bring happiness, or will it bring misery?

Honey bunny.

You knew.

You knew we were doomed.

You don’t have to tell me pretty baby, you want me to try and forget you, I’ll do the best I can.

I should have listened to this closer.

I think I was just so damn enamored with you at the time. So fucking in love with you.

I remember when I was told, people will tell you all the time who they are and what they can offer, believe them.

Yeah.

“I want to fuck you,” someone told me recently. He’s not available for anything else, and I heard it loud and clear and expect nothing else from him.

Should that come to pass.

Repeat to self.

When someone tells you who they are, believe them.

I wanted so bad to believe that you would get out of your situation.

But you told me all along, you couldn’t, that you wouldn’t.

And here I am, still, wondering, but maybe….

Ah.

Big, deep breath.

I had a revery once, last March, and I can’t even believe I am going to write this, but I am, because that’s what I do.

(“I could never write a blog,” an ex-lover once told me, “you wear your heart on your sleeve, you tell things about your life I never could.”)

While I was in Joshua Tree being all woo woo with a bunch of girls in the desert doing a guided mediation and a sound bath, how much more woo can you get?

But once I stopped having contempt prior to investigation.

Something happened.

I had a vision of the two of us.

I‘m a fool to want you, I’m a fool to want you, to want a love that can’t be true, a love that’s there, for others too. I’m a fool to hold you, such a fool to hold you, to seek a kiss that’s mine a lone, to share a kiss the devil has known. Time and time again, I said I’d leave you. Time and time again. I went away.

I had a vision of us in Hawaii, living together at the end of our lives, on a lanai, or a porch, you had me in your arms, I had long, long, long hair, threaded with gray and I was so frail, and I died in your arms while the moon set over the ocean.

I can’t get along without you.

Oh love.

Maybe that’s all there is to this love, this exquisite pain that lets me know I have loved and lived and still have so much life yet to go.

I don’t know who’s reading those blogs of mine so assiduously for the last stretch of time, but it’s put you in my mind.

If you ever go, darling, I’ll be oh so lonely, I’ll be sad and blue, crying over you, dear only.

By the way.

I had that vision far before I was even thinking about Hawaii or going to Hawaii, and now having been and knowing how much I resonated with the islands and how much you do too, oh Maui baby, I do wonder.

Maybe one day, some day, far away in the future, in another life, in some other dream, I will see you on a beach somewhere and be once more in your arms.

Unforgettable, that is what is what you are…like a song of love that clings to me, ooh, how the thought of you does things to me. Never before has someone been more unforgettable.

Until then, sweet heart.

Be kind to you.

Love yourself.

Take care of yourself.

And I will do the same.

Are you lonesome tonight, do you miss me tonight, are you sorry we drifted apart?

You gave me something no one else ever has and I will never forget it.

Even if I never see you again.

I will always have you in my heart.

Always.

Because.

Love is strange.

I Would Follow You

January 17, 2022

To Wisconsin.

He said, underneath the heat lamp at the outdoor cafe.

On our first date.

There have now been four dates.

Tomorrow will be number five.

And that is all you need to know about him.

I would like to spill all the words and looks and the synchronicities and the eyes, oh, the eyes.

But.

I am not going to.

I spill so much of my heart on these pages.

“You wear your heart on your sleeve,” an old lover once told me, “I could never write about the things you do, share the things you do, it’s what makes you a good writer.”

I don’t know about that necessarily.

I think a good writer is just one that writes.

I still write every day.

In the mornings.

Three to four pages, sometimes just one or two, but I always write.

I don’t show up here as often, sometimes I think it might be time to hang up the blog, but I just keep holding onto it.

There is something here still for me.
I am not sure that there is anything here for you though.

I just keep letting you go.

I don’t know who shows up to read these ramblings any more.

I don’t know who you are.

I do know that you still read the words.

Sometimes you search me out.

Sometimes you find me on some old social media post I thought I had scrubbed away.

Sometimes you find me with esoteric search engine terms.

You keep finding me.

And I keep writing for ghosts.

This time.

This time though, I am writing for me.

About a month ago I sat down in front of my computer with too much eye make up on and a bushel of glitter and my hair wild and I did my dissertation presentation for a friend who is a film maker.

It was not as good as when I defended my dissertation and was awarded my PhD, that feeling of being so in the moment and not even realizing the camera was on was not with me when I did it for my friend.

But.

He got the gist of it and he liked it and he said, yeah, we can make this into a film.

It had been suggested to me by one of my former supervisor’s that I make the dissertation into something, a one woman show, a documentary, a film.

He said I had it, that he could watch me present the work all over again, would pay for it and that it was better than a lot of what he’s seen on Netflix.

I mean.

Fuck.

What a great compliment.

And also.

Fuck.

Scary and wonderful and am I really going to do this?

I mean.

I just finished my PhD.

I have a full time therapy practice.

Shouldn’t I just be taking long walks on my days off?

Just looking at the sky and the city and breathing without the pressure of a writing project on my shoulders.

Just walking around and watching the birds wheel in the sky.

Just listening to music on my Airpods and smiling that I don’t have to go anywhere, don’t have a deadline, don’t have to do another draft or edit or more research.

I can put away the research.

I have shelved the books.

I can let it go.

Or can I?

There is something here.

There is a story and I do think there is a movie and so does my friend.

When I started writing my blog, twelve years ago now, I would sometimes get a line of words in my head or a phrase and I would know, that’s my blog.

That’s the line.

That’s my way in.

I don’t actually need anything more than that.

Just the line.

What follows after that line I never know.

I just have a feeling for what has to be written in the next moment, the next breath, the next beat of time.

And I kept thinking about how my friend sent me the info about how to write a screen play and how it should be a certain kind of way and I was like, well, damn, I don’t have the “ending” you’re supposed to have.

But who ever does have the ending that they’re supposed to have?

What if it wasn’t bad timing lover, friend, soul mate, what if it was just that we weren’t meant to be, not really, not ever and we stole something, took away light from the moon and carved out a tiny moment in the soul of the world and hid our love.

But it couldn’t stay.

We weren’t meant to be together.

We never were.

Because we aren’t.

So I let it go again.

Let you go again and choose something else, I look up at the stars, the moon be damned, and find a new way forward.

It is dark and it is new and I don’t know where it’s going.

But when I put my hand on his back last night I thought I might just find a new way through.

And I might just have an ending to my story that has hope.

It may not be the fairy tale ending.

I have had my heart broken too many times by the fairy tale.

It will be a different story.

A new story.

And yes.

It will be a love story.

My love story, though.

My way through.

My way out.

When I chose to walk out the door to my apartment and take a right and not a left and meet him at the corner of the street and take a deep breath and say.

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you.”

And really, really mean it.

It really has been so nice to meet you.

I don’t know if we’ll ever go to Wisconsin.

But that you would follow me there.

Well.

That is one hell of a way to start something.

Something that begins with hope.

When Jody Sings

January 10, 2022

I remember dancing to this song from Masters of Reality in a red and blue gingham check skirt that I had made from one of my mother’s old house dresses.

I was wearing a navy blue leotard body suit with long arms and had a black sweater or cardigan tied around my waist.

I remember the sun shone through the windows of my bedroom on Franklin Street in Madison.

The light dappled through the trees and I was wearing blue stained glass earrings in the shape of elongated tear drops.

My boyfriend of two years, at the time, had hung them in the window from the screen so they caught the light and put me in front of the window with his hands over my eyes.

It was likely the best gift he ever gave me.

I felt beautiful wearing those earrings with my hair down and long and curling.

I was twenty one.

He had introduced me to a lot of music that I had no clue about.

I also introduced him to a lot of music he had no clue of–jazz and blues mostly and some classical.

The music I had grown up with, my step-father’s much played genres.

My boyfriend at the time, the blue stained glass earrings boyfriend, turned me onto what I would now consider classic alternative music.

Jody Sings is from an album called Sunrise on the Surfer Bus by Masters of Reality.

I had never heard anything quite like it and I loved the album.

He also introduced me to Soul Coughing, Jeff Buckley, Beck, Cake, Morphine, Annie DiFranco, Tori Amos–all of whom we saw in various concerts.

To this day I get some kind of sneaky cred for having seen Jeff Buckley live in concert on his Grace album tour.

I will never forget his rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” it blew my soul open.

I broke down into tears when I heard of Buckley’s death weeks after he had passed.

He introduced me to Phish as well, not that I ever became of big fan of them, and a lot of heavy metal, Pantera, Sepultera, and the like, as well as Primus, who I wouldn’t call metal, but I was fucking blown away by when I saw them in concert.

I don’t know why this week I thought of Master’s of Reality, it just popped into my head.

Listening now, fyi.

And I suddenly remember that girl dancing barefoot on the warm summer sun wood floors in my bedroom.

I didn’t know that my boyfriend was in the doorway watching me dance.

I spun around with my skirt flaring out and caught him staring at me in the doorway.

The look of love in his green eyes still haunts me if I think about it too long.

He loved me, more than I think he even understood, especially after I broke up with him five years into the relationship.

He never really knew me though.

I was nascent.

I was incandescent in my beauty and I never knew it either.

And as the relationship went on, painfully, unhappily, co-dependently on years after I should have left him, I gained weight and gained weight and suffered deeper and deeper depressions.

I had no idea I was depressed.

That 21 year old girl had no idea how dark life was going to get.

My boyfriend cheated on me, twice.

He got caught growing marijuana in our house.

We both wound up with felony charges.

Mine got dropped.

He went on probation.

He went bonkers when he had to stop smoking pot.

He started drinking really heavily.

I realized I was in love with another man.

Who, now I can see, oh can I see, quite clearly, was unavailable and the love was always going to be unrequited (though he told me once quite drunk how much he was in love with me), which was my way of staying safe.

The love of the unavailable man.

My music, blue stained glass earring boyfriend, lost it when I broke up with him.

Lost it.

Hit me.

Spit on me.

I ran off into the night.

One very cold January, Wisconsin night, dark as sin, snow piled so high, no cars driving down East Washington at that late hour.

I ran out of the house in my flannel nightgown and made a phone call to the police from the payphone in front of the grocery store a block away.

I was terrified.

It was a long, scary night, and a story for another night of blogging.

He stalked me for a few years.

I got a restraining order.

He broke it and because he was on probation for growing pot he went to prison.

He’s married now.

Two kids, wife–former classmate of mine in high school, my how the world is small.

House in Sun Prairie, I looked him up a few times years ago.

I don’t wish him harm, he was in a terrifying place and lost his mind.

I grew.

And I also stopped being available to available men.

There are many other reasons why.

I needn’t list them to underscore how the things I did to protect myself came back to haunt me later.

Oh siren song of unavailable men.

It’s been one year today, one year since I saw you last, my love.

My former lover.

And things.

Well.

They are a changing.

New therapist.

New year.

New PhD.

New dating attitudes.

New healing.

I’ve had three dates with three separate men this past week.

I have a second date with one of them tomorrow.

I don’t know where any of it’s going to go, but I do know, that I am moving on.

So when I hear this album, it’s still playing, but we’re almost to the end.

It’s only 45 minutes long.

I can still be that beautiful barefoot girl with the long hair in the long skirt dancing on the warm wood floor, my hips swaying, my arms in the air, ecstacy.

I’m 28 years older.

28 years wiser.

I have been to hell and back.

I have put myself there.

I have rescued myself.

I have had so much help.

I will never repay it no matter how much service I do.

I feel like I am breathing again.

And the grief that once choked me has finally lessened it’s grip.

Maybe it was the warm green eyes of the man on the date last night who said, “I would follow you to Wisconsin,” maybe it’s just God, maybe it’s the music.

Maybe it’s love.

The love I have chosen for myself and the realization that I can hold space for that beautiful girl because I finally belive.

Really believe.

That I am a beautiful woman.

Worthy of love.

And.

Worthy of an available man.

Jody Sings

Lucky one
I am too
Lucky three
The one for me
One, two, three

I’m on my knees
Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by
Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by yeah

Lucky one
I am too, yes I am
Lucky three
The one for me
One, two, three
I’m on my knees
Yeah, yeah, yeah
On my knees
On my knees
On my knees
On my knees

Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by
Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by
Yeah

When Jody Sings, Masters of Reality, 1992

Love Songs and Nail Salons

December 11, 2021

Today I was out and about.

I got my nails did!

It was so lovely.

I haven’t been to the nail salon since a few days prior to my surgery.

Now.

That’s been approximately 7 1/2 weeks.

A long time for this lady.

I love getting my nails done.

It has been a splurge of mine and also a bit of a living amends that I have been making for a while now.

So to go nearly two months without is saying something.

I don’t indulge in much.

No alcohol.

No sugar.

No drugs.

No flour.

I mean.

Let a girl get her nail salon on.

However.

Nail salons are also emotionally intense.

First.

One is held hostage for an hour to an hour and a half while the toes get painted and the finger nails are polished up.

And one, I mean I, I am forced to sit still and feel all the feelings that wish to flit through my mind.

And then there are the love songs.

I mean.

Is it just some romantic comedy trope, but do all nail salons have some sort of love song loop or playlist?

My salon does.

So I spend the entire time listening to love songs and trying to stay out of the dangerous neighborhood of my mind that is you.

You, my darling, you.

I seem to get more and more space from my heart ache and loss and longing for that old unrequited love siren song.

But get in me in a nail salon and I get teary.

Sigh.

I really am trying to more on, but I did seem to get walloped by it today.

Maybe it was just that I haven’t gotten my nails done for a while.

Maybe it’s that my birthday is next weekend.

49.

I am going to be 49 years old.

How the fuck did that happen?

My birthday last year was basically in lock down.

But we managed to spend most of the day together.

You cleared your calendar and I felt pretty damn special.

I won’t go into the details of the morning, although I can remember it very, very well.

We were supposed to go to a fancy French restaurant…..

Aside!

I’m going to Paris next year for my birthday and Christmas!

I figure, 50 years old is a milestone year and since I celebrated my 40th in Paris, why not my 50th?

I booked myself a pretty Air BnB in the Marais District.

My favorite neighborhood to stay in.

And it turns out to be a five minute walk to my best friends home!

I was in Paris for my 48th birthday too.

Missing you, although I was dating someone else.

A very short lived relationship.

I keep fucking hoping that one of these days I will actually be in Paris with a partner, not longing for unrequited love to come swoop me off to Cafe Charlot.

I mean.

The cheeseburgers there.

Divine.

Anyway.

We were supposed to go to a fancy French restaurant, but shelter in place happened again literally the day before my birthday.

So you scrambled and found a sushi place that was doing take out in Half Moon Bay.

We drove to Half Moon Bay and held hands and listened to our various playlists and I sat next to you, while you drove, intoxicated once again with you.

Trying.

Really trying.

To stay present and in the moment.

And I did pretty good, in hindsight, I know I was just compartmentalizing like a mad woman, but for that afternoon I managed ok.

Although, you caught me looking out at the ocean once and you knew, you always did, that I was sad.

We parked in Half Moon Bay’s cute little downtown and walked around and went to a florist shop and I got a painting that I just looked up at and a Christmas ornament–currently in a place of honor in my bedroom.

We walked past this ridiculously cute bed and breakfast and fantasized about going there next year.

“Let’s take a whole weekend next year for your birthday,” you said.

Which would be this year.

Except.

I broke up with you again.

I’ll never forget you saying, “I am so tired of breaking up with you,” the last time I saw you in person.

I’m tired of it too.

So.

I wasn’t too thrilled to be in the nail salon listening to love songs.

But.

I didn’t die.

I didn’t burst into tears.

I’ve definitely done that before.

Although.

One did slide down my face.

See.

The story goes.

I’ll be single forever and I’m getting old and you were the one and I can’t have you and I’m going to wither and die on the fucking vine.

But.

The thing is.

That is just a sad story my brain tells me.

Yes, baby, I miss you.

And baby, it’s cold outside.

And baby, I’ll always love you.

But I don’t have to be held to some cross of martyrdom and sadness alone and lost in my fantasy world of you, pining for some day, some day.

I’m allowed to be with someone.

And love will find me.

I know it will.

Even if I am haunted at the nail salon with love songs that make me think of you, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other love songs out there for me.

Someone is singing one for me right now.

Maybe I’ll hang some mistletoe in my doorway and wait for the caroler’s to come.

I’ll be waiting.

Patiently.

By my pink Christmas tree.

Yeah.

I did that too.

heh.

I figure that I couldn’t go out and get a live one this year, too soon since the surgery, too much lifting and even thinking about getting one on the roof of my car was too overwhelming.

So I ordered a fake one.

And since, I mean, it’s fake, why not just fucking embrace it and really go fake.

I got a 7’5″ pink glitter Christmas tree.

I know.

I am not fucking around.

And today I decorated it.

It is beautiful.

And though, I thought, wouldn’t it be sweet to have you over, it would always be sweet to have you over, I can’t imagine that after 11 months of not seeing each other, you want to come over and look at my Christmas tree.

Even though the two ornaments you’ve given me are hanging up.

No one knows but me anyway.

Sigh.

Merry Christmas lover.

I hope you are well.

I still think of you.

You are often every where I look.

But like I said.

One day soon.

I’ll have a love to keep me warm.

I will weather the storm.

I thought you ought to know my heart’s on fire.

Listen to this blog on Spotify.


Boom

September 11, 2021

It’s the last word of this beautiful, exquisite, love story.

Foodie Love.

I have no idea how I stumbled onto it.

But I did.

I have cried watching every episode.

It is all the things.

I watched it nostalgic for places I have never been, Limoux, France, Toykyo, Japan, Barcelona, Spain.

My friend M. would tell me, “Car! Why have you not gone to Barcelona, Car? It is so you, bright and colorful, eclectic, eccentric, beautiful, you would fit right in Car. You should go.”

I haven’t been.

Damn you pandemic.

I haven’t been anywhere, Joshua Tree I suppose, but that didn’t really feel like traveling, since I was in Paris, December of 2019 celebrating my birthday and Christmas because I could not handle having another Christmas or birthday without you.

I had a brief boyfriend for a moment, we would text often when I was in Paris, the texting was sweeter than the actual relationship which went so fast it was surreal.

He said he loved me on our fourth date.

He asked me to be his girlfriend on the second date.

I should have ran away then.

But he was sweet and smitten with me and young and for just a few moments he would make me forget you, oh eyes of blue.

Until he didn’t.

In fact, he made me miss you more.

You haunted me all over Paris, despite this texting flirtation with the young man.

I bought him chocolate, thinking of you.

He ate the whole box when I gave it to him, like the little boy he was, in one sitting and gave himself a stomach ache.

I got him a t-shirt from a cafe, one of my favorites in the Marais district, Cafe Charlot, a cafe I wish I was sitting with you in it, dreamily gazing at your over a cafe creme. I told him it was a future promise, I would buy him a bacon cheeseburger with pomme frites when we came to Paris together….if the relationship lasted that long.

It did not.

Last long.

That is.

On my birthday you looked at my LinkedIn profile. While I was in Paris texting the young man in Oakland.

I discovered this days later and teared up, you had not looked at it in secret mode or private mode, or whatever it is that lets you look discretely at someone’s profile. You looked and wanted me to know you were thinking of me on my birthday.

This last birthday.

We spent it together.

Half-Moon Bay.

I wore Comme de Garcon and black Tretorn sneakers.

We ate take out sushi at the beach.

You told me, “next year let’s go away for a whole weekend, find a place like that little bed and breakfast we walked by in town.”

You wanted to come again to that beach before that, make a picnic, have a blanket, burrow into a dune, burrow into me.

“I just want to get lost in you,” you said to me often.

I was alright with that.

I liked getting lost in you too.

Of course.

All the sad things came back to me, the reflux flared up again, damn you internalized feelings, the tears started up again and we’d agreed, if I got sad, we would stop.

I got sad.

Christmas day by myself sitting at my kitchen table eating oatmeal opening up a present my mother had sent me, a duplicate of an ornament she’d already sent the year before.

I burst into tears.

Thinking of you with your family in your house with your wife and your child and your dogs and your Christmas tree, wearing new Christmas socks and smiling, smiling, smiling.

Last week, last Sunday, I mailed you a card.

I wrote, “tu me manque” in French.

I miss you.

I pressed my lips to it, leaving a kiss mark on the interior of the card.

A big glittery card with a heart on the cover and Je t’aime on the front.

I do like the Frenchie stuff you know.

I carried it around for a day.

Don’t mail it.

Mail it.

Don’t mail it.

Mailed it.

Then I woke up the next day in a panic and had fantasies about stalking the mailbox and making the mail man, woman, person, give it back to me.

Even though I knew they would not.

What the fuck did I do?

I had a nightmare.

I dreamt your wife found out about our affair.

I dreamt it was March 17th and I was making you a birthday cake and you were so mad at me that your wife found out.

March 17th is not your birthday.

And I never told your wife.

But you did.

I think, in some ways, she always knew.

Maybe, maybe, maybe she was ok with it, not consciously I suppose, but maybe it helped the facade of the partnership.

Affairs are not the problem in a marriage.

They are the symptom of a problem.

And often they are had to keep the relationship going.

One gets what one needs to stay in the marriage.

“I just want to get lost in you.”

I gave you love and wrote you poetry and baked you cookies that you would keep in your glove box.

I wonder if anyone ever got in your car and marveled at the smell of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that must have permeated the entire interior.

Better than a paper evergreen tree air freshener.

I made you happy.

Until I made you miserable.

Gave you that ultimatum.

Drove you to panic.

For that I am everlastingly sorry.

Watching you have a panic attack when I asked you to chose between her and me.

Gah.

Years later your face still haunts me.

I did try you know.

I tried to be ok with it and bend and contort.

I wanted you so, so, so bad.

I still do.

Never stopped.

And that is ok.

I can want you and I can not have you.

I walked around Jefferson Square Park this past week, past that stupid mailbox where I mailed that card, and realized, fuck, really truly realized, that I knew, knew in my heart, that you were never going to leave your wife.

So why did I keep going back to you?

Why?

Love, I suppose.

Tragic, romantic, unruly, unreasonable, stupid love.

I’m paying a lot in therapy to figure this all out.

And I know where it stems from.

Childhood abuse, blah, blah, blah.

I am writing, have written I should say, a dissertation on it.

I know the material pretty well.

And yet I can get stuck there again.

Beating myself for doing something my little inner voice said, hmm, maybe don’t do that.

I didn’t send you the playlist on Spotify, at least I didn’t do that, the one called “I still love you.”

I know, very creative.

But I didn’t.

I just listen to it and cry.

So.

Watching this show stirred all the things.

As two souls find themselves, two wounded humans, on a first date in Barcelona, having a coffee, and the arc of the love begins.

It’s astounding and so well done.

The scenery made me long for travel again.

The writing, suberp.

Really, the best, and the acting, so, so good.

I felt bereft watching and a deep longing.

I want all those things, the passion and the intelligence and the balance and the power, the love.

The first time the couple kiss, one of them says, “boom”.

And you, the viewer, the watcher, the voyeur, know, what they are saying is “I love you.”

I want that.

I want that with someone.

I almost wrote with you and deleted that.

The small, quiet, inside voice knows that is not possible.

I have to want it with someone else.

I have to let go.

I have to hope that you don’t get the card, it gets lost in the mail, or it is returned to sender, address unknown.

I have to let myself meet someone else.

Someone who will be ok if once in a while I cry at a show reminded of you, even if they don’t know why, they will hold my hand and kiss my neck, scoop the hair off my face and look into my eyes.

And say.

Boom.

Odds and Ends

August 30, 2021

Bits and pieces.

I have not been here in a while.

And while that is not exactly true, I am here quite often, I have not written in a while.

Oh.

A poem every now and then.

I have one niggling at the back of my brain that I should have written on Friday afternoon when it struck me but I couldn’t quite get myself to sit down and do it.

So.

I find myself here, at the keyboard, writing and thinking and sometimes, oh, sometimes, dreaming.

Thinking about you and where you’re at and how is the pandemic treating you, things like that.

Or.

Do you ever walk past my apartment, slow, longingly, thinking about ringing the buzzer.

It happens once in a while.

Someone will buzz my door and I think it’s you, but it’s the wrong time of night or I am in a session with a client and cannot answer.

I do go and look.

But if it was you, well, you are long gone.

Other times I think, you drive by, you must, not that often, but often enough.

Do you see the lights on?

Do you look for the Marilyn Monroe print high up on the wall, the one you can see from the street through the top fo my window where there is not a blind, or maybe the top of the David Bowie book up on the ledge-the one you surprised me with, that you bought at Dog Eared Books in the Castro.

Do you?

I think you do.

But what do I know?

Not a lot it seems.

Even though I keep myself busy with all the things.

School, work, school, work, recovery, repeat.

Week after week.

And thoughts of you.

Urges to be seen by you, drive by and see me out for a walk around Jefferson Square Park, too far off your route even where you in my neighborhood.

Or.

Since the weather has changed, not much, but enough to drive people to the park to catch the sun before the inevitable fogs rolls right back in, see me sitting on a bench in Octavia Green reading a book and sipping a sugar free strawberry soda through a green and white striped straw in a Mason glass jar with a handle; the only drinking jar left in the group I bought aeons ago.

Every time I go to Octavia Green, I think, maybe today he will see me.

Stop.

Park the car.

Get out and walk to me.

Surprise me.

Face full of sun and hope.

Despite myself and all the years.

Four years now that I have had you in my heart, if not always present, no not always present, so not here, just there, over there, on the other side of a hill, watching the moon rise and set from a different part of the city.

Sometimes the moon annoys me.

Stop reminding me of him.

Go away now.

Leave me be.

And yet it goes on doing what moons do.

Wax.

Wane.

Repeat.

Ah.

I digress.

See.

I get lost, in the dreams and hopes, the fantasy and revery.

The longing, sigh, still in my heart a dark romantic thinking up poetry to write about you.

That hit me today.

The fact that the only poem you ever recited and recorded for me, a Pablo Neruda that wrecks me, that I can’t find the damn recording.

I thought I had it in a file with your name on it.

Messages and photos and emails.

But it’s not there.

And I remember the book of poetry I gave you on Christmas Eve last year and how you said, “we should read these to each other.”

Fuck my wayward heart.

Why today?

Why did that little bon mot pop into my head?

You’ve been on my mind.

When aren’t you I suppose.

But more so now than you have in months.

It’s been eight months since I saw you last.

Seven’ish months since your last text.

I was mad at you.

Told you to leave me alone until you figured it out.

Seems you haven’t.

Figured it out.

That’s what I tell myself.

He’s figuring it out.

Gah.

Even to myself that sounds asinine.

Yet.

Hope.

She springs eternal.

Fuck you hope.

I did something yesterday.

It felt feral and impulsive.

And I did not stop myself.

At first.

I did later.

I pulled a card from the metal heart on my desk that I bought for you over a year ago and wrote tu me manques.

“I miss you” in French.

I signed it.

Sealed it.

Wrote your address on it.

Stamped it.

With, oh apropos, the LOVE stamp.

Flipped it over and stuck a crow sticker with a rose in its mouth to the back of the envelope flap.

And then looked at it.

Propped it up on my computer.

What the fuck am I doing?

It was a little like the other night when I held my finger hovering over your private Instagram account.

I almost hit request.

I did not.

But fuck.

It was close.

The card was like that.

I asked God for a sign.

I know God doesn’t work like that.

Not usually.

I threw it in my bag and went to lunch with a friend.

I had coffee and told that friend what was in my bag.

I sat in the park.

I texted another friend and told on myself.

Although to be frank, honest, virtuous, vigorous with my truth, I knew the latter friend would cosign the card.

He thinks we should be together.

“He’s the love of your life, figure it out!”

He didn’t coax me to mail it or not mail it.

He did ask me if it was a love letter.

Sort of.

I walk around with it in my bag longer.

I waited for the sign that never came.

I walked past the German restaurant on the corner and put it in the mailbox.

I woke up this morning and thought to myself.

What that fuck did I do?

It’s Sunday, can I get it back?

And.

You know.

I don’t want it back.

I just want you back.

Same as fucking ever.

Sigh.

My heart.

I miss you.

Je te veux.

Tous les jours.

I probably always will.

I tried to run the numbers in my head.

How many days till the card reaches his PO box?

I mailed it late afternoon yesterday, a Saturday, which means it’s still in the mailbox on the corner, as it’s Sunday.

It will get picked up tomorrow.

Process Tuesday.

Maybe land in your PO box on Wednesday.

Maybe.

But the thing is.

Though I used to mail you things weekly.

I haven’t for eight months.

Maybe longer?

Do you even check the mail there anymore?

I wanted to send you a chip on your anniversary.

I didn’t.

I wanted to send you a birthday card on your birthday.

I didn’t.

I wanted to let you know when I landed in the ER.

But I couldn’t.

No other sound is quite the same as your name

Good grief.

I should stop listening to music, I get smacked with the sads sometimes.

Anyway.

I really tried to not reach out.

I deleted your number in my phone.

I don’t email you.

But I come close.

I thought.

I just have to make it through my dissertation defense.

I just need to heal from my next surgery in October.

And how long.

How long before you figure it out?

Or I do.

“Why can’t you be with him?” My friend asked.

I told him all the things and he just sighed, “I don’t like how this movie ends, you’re supposed to be together.”

You would think that.

I have only had one soul mate.

You.

I have only really loved one man.

You.

But sometimes you don’t get to be with the one you love.

I’ve read a lot of books, that seems to happen an awful, awful, awful lot.

It’s only in movies, spun sugar fairy tales, that we end up together.

And I swear we were our own little movie, the romance of it all was horrendous.

Heartbreaking.

And so delicious.

I remember one of the last things you said to me about Sabrina and Nick.

“That’s us.”

And I freaked out.

“They die at the end and get to be together in the afterlife! Is that how I get to be with you, when we’re dead?!”

I think I hung up the phone on you.

I was devastated.

But once in a while, I think, what if you meant what the characters said to each other.

“We’re end game.”

Is that what you meant?

That somehow we end up together, in the end?

I sure hope so.

I suppose I shouldn’t have wrote the card.

Had some fucking restraint.

But I didn’t.

Maybe I’ll regret it.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Maybe I’ll regret writing another sad lonely hearts club blog about a man who is just there, over the hill, but not here where my heart beats still with longing and thoughts of what if, oh what if?

Sometimes I think that maybe it’s just this down time.

This little whiff of time after turning in my dissertation to my committee, this little jot of time before I have my final push to finish my PhD.

Maybe I’ve had a little more time than usual.

And the grief it sank in and got me again.

I suppose I shouldn’t take actions out of sorrow.

But that wouldn’t be very poetic.

Now would it?

The deed is done and I can’t take it back.

You’ve got mail.

Love Bird

August 9, 2021

I don’t remember when you called me that.

but it sticks.

Like ink under my skin.

A foreshadow of a tattoo to come.

Lovebird in script across my left hip.

On the backside, where I am inexplicably ticklish.

The only place on my body.

I expect the pain will be.

Excruciating.

Anything, I have learned, that brings such pleasure

Also brings.

Such pain.

Like the fire on my arms tonight.

I should not be typing.

I am healing.

Another kind of transformation.

This body of mine undergoes them it seems

All the time.

This, I sense, is a practice.

How can I say I miss you?

In some evocative way that will sing down, once again, into my arms

The moon.

A moon I no longer hunt for.

A moon I no longer sing to.

There is no moon without you.

There will be, a crow moon, a cherry blossom moon, a blue moon

But it will only be the moon tattooed on my back silhouetted

By the wings of a crow.

The one that carries my heart in its claws.

The sharp needle will poke my pain out again.

Again.

And.

Again.

And.

Again.

This moon I will never see, not with my own eyes, except

Perhaps in photographs.

Like the pictures I pulled from the drawer a few nights back.

Along with a scattering of blue boxes tied up in ribbons.

The tickets to the ferris wheel.

The room card to the hotel in D.C.

A paper wrapper that once held a bouquet of flowers.

Cards with butterflies and glitter.

You know how much I like things that sparkle.

A tag from a Christmas ornament–“New York is always ours.”

And letters.

All the letters.

I think I made it through two?

Before the grief swallowed me once more in its maw.

The pain it sings in my arms.

This time.

The bottoms.

Not the tops.

My dragons rest on top, one for each arm.

This pain has not healed yet.

But it will.

And the inky blue tattooed there will be the sky.

The same color of your eyes the day I fell into them.

Fell into you.

Fell for you.

Fell in love with you.

Soul sky eyes of blue.

There will be clouds that drift in that sky.

And my dragons will fly me through.

The pain will pass.

My heart will heal.

And every once in a while.

I may catch a glimpse of you in the echo of a song.

Or in the backward glance I throw at the mirror.

Where I will see just a glimpse of that word.

Lovebird.

Above my left hip.

Where you once so causally caressed me.

Undressed me.

And left me.

I will brush my hand over the calligraphy, wistful and soft,

Like unexpected snow in spring

And then I will fly,

Fly.

Fly.

Fly.

Away.

Free.


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