The Book of the City of Ladies

We can at least get you loaded, we can at least get you started.  We know that much.  The grand and collected we.

I am so confused about what I experience with you, so I need some sort of break.  I don’t know if you’re pulling away.  I don’t know if you’re mad at me for the support and ties and the graces my life does have.  I don’t know if you see this as some great kindness that protects me from a theft of my fate – I would have seen it that way once, but I am the only one who can It is not a punishment.  It is the clearest path I can discern.  Not to avoid breaking my heart, but to live a better life now and not once you come to whatever decision you are going to come to.

I hate that my kind, good heart represents some kind of too much or not enough or something I’ve yet to have clarified. So this is a time for the chaff to separate from the wheat.  I refuse to chase someone who isn’t clear on what he wants from me and doesn’t want, right now, things I am finding really important like being undeniably important to someone.

This sense of peace that washes over me when I come to terms with the fact that I have no control over his heart, over his fears, over his pain and what he clings to or releases.   A painful peace, a thought that has to be born new every time.  It is only my journey I can possibly concern myself with.

I am thinking about the Decameron.  About pilgrims, each with their own tale, walking together.  About mistranslations and palimpsests and stories retold over and over again, each time with a focus on something slightly different so you don’t see the source at first.  For Boccaccio, though, the women still had things to say. I am thinking about the Group and words used like single.  He said he was single.  He is single.  We’ve never said that we feel he is not.  I have never said I feel I am not.  I am reading into shorter sentences and thumbs up and days without calls.  I am inventing a frame story for all of this and ascribing low-esteem where I do not know that it exists.  I am busy building big structures to blot out the sunrays of all of my fears.  I am thinking about how I do feel and what this means.

I think it means I’m ready to give a damn about me.  About the truths I know.  About the universe I have built and the bed I choose to lay in. This also means I can be grateful and read The Decameron and Tom a Lincoln and watch a movie and make some toast and contemplate what more I can do to improve my outcomes.  How asking for what I want never occurs to me.  How appreciative I feel to be even at this point of pain.  To think at all.

One more day of freedom.  Very grateful, too, to have this page to write upon.

Palate Cleanser

That bright white space.  It feels deeply comforting tonight.  Ready and in alignment with the rest of me.  Somehow a bit minty.

Tomorrow we’re greeted with May.  I did not decide until late last night when I was putting together the order that I needed to use this shot to work on something that doesn’t make me feel gross.

The fitbit is charging.  I rode the bike for ten minutes but felt as though I could have done an hour.

I am deciding if…

I just need to take off the shackles and start to run.  There is a race horse in here, biting at their bit, legs aching to burst out on the fields and move, a whole body at a time, away from the starting point.

Critics are so very unwelcome.

I need the time of day.  There are things that I would like to have written down.  Being called sweetie unbidden.  Being thanked for being around.  Measuring spoons for emotional interactions.  Scales constantly recalibrated.  Am I moving into the deep water or is the tide just rolling in?  I have to see more and I think to do that, I have to up my ante.  And I have to risk what’s on the table.  I have to actually play the game.

No lies, no obsfuscation, no half-truths, but it is still a game with rules and win/lose criteria and even if you use the clearest version of your head where sits the clearest version of your eyes, you can still miss the thing right in front of you.

Of course he still loves her.  Of course he does, despite this savage pain that is okay and not okay simultaneously.   She is beautiful.  The elf against the me, the little hobbit which I find as savage a comparison as I can both make and endure.  I have craved a lithe, ethereal frame to match this striving, if woefully deluded soul.  I have been cast in a smaller role.  With imperfections a’plenty.  And every now and then she intersects us.  A facebook reminder.  A bill.  An Amazon list she’s made and I am suddenly…not cast aside, but bid to sit alongside in hallowed suffering until the razor-sharp pain subsides.

I am quite prepared for such a task.  For abeyance.  For the washing of feet.  For the silent process of taking on pains that have nothing to do with me.

But having been told, more than once, more than I could cast as just a trick of light, that I am wanted and am beautiful, been given enough leeway that I can crawl up to sit at this dais and sup off the golden plates, it’s hard to to feel as though it’s all a joke.  Fuck.  It’s not a joke…I just…no one’s said it’s a joke.  Nothing’s been rescinded.  Nothing’s been withdrawn.  Things have been doubled down on.

It’s just this idle thought that comes to me when things are quieter, our words are less at ease: thoughts are occurring to him that I can’t stop.  He is working her over in his mind as a cow works a cud, until there’s no juice left.  That dwelling on her absence is more important than acknowledging my presence.  That I am a soft, comfortable kind voice that doesn’t threaten the past because it has no future.

Those kisses that can’t hold, those tears that can’t draw back.

 

Gleam of a Paua Shell

I’ve just watched a video of a spoken word poet who writes and recites and lives out a story of unwanted touch.

I, for my part, am trying to re-understand what it is now for me.  What it is to have your touch and not, to want it and not and want it again and not be able to get it because of inescapable truths about both of us.   That you suffer.  That I suffer to wait.

So strange to be walking this path and really have no idea where we’re going.  I have an idea of what I want to happen, but I can’t just go and buy a ticket and do it.  It has to be the right time and moods and time zones and availabilities have to collide and in the absence of that collision – I still feel a bit…frustrated.  But then he’ll talk about maybe me visiting him.  In a roundabout, adorable sort of way that doesn’t bear a sudden prod of, “Oh, should I pull out my calendar and look up flights?”  It’s this fragile ghost of an intention.  And then I remember that he’s not six months away from his divorce.  That life is complicated.  And I have no doubt of his feelings.

I am just selfishly desirous of a world in which we’re physically together.  One I don’t even know if I could handle especially on top of everything else happening now.

I have just completed all of the paperwork – all done digitally now – for the new job.  The new job that will lift me out of poverty and into a corporate universe.  A universe that I either will sink or swim in.  As part of the corporate onboarding (a term I’ll use now because that’s the kind of person I am aiming to be), there’s a website and as an aside on this website, a video of corporate values.  I wonder if, after today, I will mention work or what I will mention or where or if some additional layer of secrecy will be demanded upon my venting.  I have resources, but this is…home for all of that.  It’s just, maybe someday, some measure of the meat on the massive bones of this place will become known and attached to me and if there would be trouble if I’m ever anything other than utterly pleased.

Right now, there’s no reason to be anything other than utterly pleased.  It’s all done without a phone call.  I’ve passed the tests and all I have to do is agree not to act as though other people’s business is my own and to write out exactly how I’d like my pecuniary dispensation sent to me. But there is a video of the people who work at the company.  A very nice video, and I am pondering, how I cannot imagine being show in this video.

But then I imagine these techs, these corporate-looking bodies draped in suitedness, all of them go home and have their own weird lives and circumstances.  And I start to see myself, suited. Sitting at the same desks surrounded by the same dry-erase white boards and speaking in legalese as though I know anything.  I won’t know, but I can see myself capable of faking it until maybe the faking isn’t everything.  I can let myself visualize myself taking this on as a role, and not suddenly mutating into some sort of corporate husk.  Or, necessarily, falling on my face because I’m such an obscure and esoteric free spirit.

It is, in the end, just marketing.

The video, shot in the summer, where everything looks green and clean and enormous, has no words, but an obvious subtext: you will be happy here.  I want to fight against that, as I lay in bed, feeling the pudding in my brain.

But who is to say that I won’t?

And now I begin to think of losing weight.   With a pizza party tomorrow to celebrate the job, I’m wondering about how I gather the reins.  I am wondering how vital it is to break the chain Day One or if I’m setting myself up for failure.

Tomorrow, looking forward to getting some order around here.

 

Alka-Selkie

It doesn’t need to be carried further.

Yesterday I pondered how it would be today – knowing that today I would give my notice and begin to close this stressful chapter of my life.  Here I am on the other side of it and already the beasts that bay at my ankles seem hushed.  Still chasing, but they’ve slowed their pace.

The boss was not present today.  She had been flying around somewhere over the weekend – a fact that I may have been aware of, but did not register would impact me on Tuesday.  It is hard, at times, to register anything there.  Yet, today was a day of action so eventually, I got her on the phone and told her.  This…gave her a second of pause and then insta-delight on my behalf.  And that is how I shall take it and not linger on responses a moment longer.

Now, the countdown has begun.

Meanwhile, he jokes that I might set him aside.  That seems quite impossible now.  I still think of the RP’er, the road not taken, the life not lead, the role that can no longer be performed and feel regret.  Though it is not this piercing, gasping knot of pain.  It is more a curiosity that lingers.  A why can’t I just…?  And then I remember, that oh, there would be a lie between us.  There would be something unshared, that I would be experiencing with someone else, there would be an alteration of the good faith.  I’d be another woman who didn’t tell him the truth.  I do not want that.   I do not want to feel the way that would feel.  It would deflate and destroy any kick I’d get out of telling the story with this other person.

Really, I have to figure out the way to say what I want.  I’m getting there.  Closer.  I’m still learning about him while he goes to great pains to excavate my brain.  To understand how I think, as though that’s something he can accomplish in a few weeks when it’s been the work of my lifetime.

He calls me beautiful in a beautifully manic sort of way where after a litany of information and stories about super hero universes and minutiae he has sewn together into something greater than the sum of its parts, all with increasing speed as his mind clicks along, suddenly he’ll stop and say it.  You are really beautiful.  It throws me every time.  He thinks I have to chase men off with a stick.  It makes me laugh, not ruefully, as I once imagined would always be required, but just a laugh that says this is the year when assumptions are no longer valid.  And maybe he’s right in his way.  And maybe it only happened because I stopped fighting it.

So, here we are.  Brave new world.

 

Diaphanous

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A woman in the shop used that word to describe a dress, offhandedly. I love that word.  I never describe anything as diaphanous, mostly out of but in my mind, in my ideal world, every bit of fabric is just precisely so.

It comes to mind now as I’m watching an impromptu marathon of Say Yes to the Dress and there’s just piles upon expensive piles of diaphanous forms and I shudder and think about a driving a phillips head right through my temple while I smile, empathically delighted in the delight of these strangers.  One person’s love for another makes all the world more loveable.  One person’s true faith makes it all that bit more viable.  I try and believe that.  I try and watch those shows because it is so easy to believe that I don’t add into that count, that I’m not part of the flow of luck and romantic energy.  That I somehow repel it.  But mostly, I just avoid it because it causes me pain.  I find dresses beautiful, love stories diaphanous.  And, tonight I watch it because you haven’t written me back and I could so, so, so use a message from you tonight.  Like that would make me jump up and down and sing songs.  I don’t know how or why or what is going on to preclude that from happening, only that it is WAY out of my purview to complain, but damnit.  It’s too late, now.  It’s just…

I need to look in other avenues for some sort of intimacy and…whatever, frivolous fun? Wordplay? Gamesmanship. Distraction.  Diversion.  It’s ironic that it feels like it helps me be sane about one thing during this era of utter insanity.  I can’t hang myself on this one hook that’s so high off the ground, and yet.

Maybe right now I am profoundly motivated by wrapping the feeling of fantasy around me.  I’m thinking about starting another Mass Effect run.  I am thinking about how I can do exercise in a house that’s around 80-85 degrees at night.  I am thinking about minutiae and shows to catch up on and from time to time I will even ruminate on my story.

Reality is not breaking me in two, though.  I don’t want anyone…well, it is, but I am capable of being strong, as the quote goes, in those broken places. Work was actually, for the first time in a long time, okay today.  Okay in that I got paid a bit.  I also was on my own to just work through some paperwork I needed to work through and I had to go downtown and drop something off and that broke the day up.  I just pretended I was finishing things off because I was leaving, and it became easier to make decisions.  There would be no second chances to worry about it.

Now, now it’s late and I still need a bath.  Tomorrow it’s shop day.  Tomorrow it’s back to the thoughts of the body and dresses I will not buy.

 

Within the Cylinder

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I am actually in a rather pleasant mood and I am loathe to break it with the tapping of fingers on keys and the spinning of straw into gold.   I am just here.  Being and not stressing.  I feel like this is required right now.

Still no news on my mom.  I send my parents a text message about loving them, thinking that if they had news, they’d reply with it.  They sent me one back saying they love me, too.  If they’re aware of anything more than that, they’re not saying.  I am 99% sure that’s not true.  They haven’t heard and that’s it for the moment.  I find it completely impossible to press the issue any further than that.  I think it’s got to be a good thing that it’s not so clear-cut, not the sort of result where they throw up their hands and just know it’s bad.  But maybe it’s the opposite of that. I have no way of knowing what to find hope in.

I did not hear any correspondence from work – good or bad or otherwise.   I also heard from my lovely, lovely Italian friend and just hearing from her made me feel much better about life and reality.

I had a pleasant day at the shop.  It was not hard to bear on my feet and I have money enough to pay for gas to get back there tomorrow and possibly a paycheck to get tomorrow.  Possibly.  I did have to sit in the shop and watch what the event I used to run be held right in front of me.  There were a few brief moments of wondering what it would be like to exist under this new regime, this new space where we hire everything out and everyone’s a stranger, and there’s lots of young dudes wearing matching t-shirts and hauling cases of beer around.  I would have,  I suppose, been quite bothered and interested by that.   Mostly, however, I thought about how nice it was not to have to worry if the storm was going to wash out all that work (it didn’t) or if some other issue was going to show up and need to be discussed in the street or if we weren’t going to sell much of that beer.  Now those are not my problems.  They are nothing my opinion is solicited on.  They mean…nothing to me.

And, then, out of the blue, you missed me.  Or…whatever.  You checked-in and our schedules did not coincide, but, yeah.  That was a nice half a second realization that my nebulous thoughts about whatever the fuckity fuck it is we were doing being over, well, that… they aren’t true.  Or they don’t have to be true.   So, yeah.  That’s good.

Other stories will have to be told tomorrow when I return for more fun and games.  I need to work on my short story.  But then, two days off.  Two luxurious days of independence and house cleaning, oh my stars.