Soft Boiled Egg

Time enough to write today?
I think there must be.
I am feeling decent.  Sufficient.  Improved.  Supported.  Free.  Slightly masterful.  Lots of disparate concepts, but overall: good.
I got in early to help with a meeting where I did not need to help which I have decided means I can leave a bit earlier.  I paid my credit card bill.
I got requests to help from a few counterparts who really appreciated it and which I had time to focus intently upon because I am mildly without tasks, as I’ve mentioned.  One of whom always said hi to me in the hallways and I would smile back and it is only at this point that I realize what her name and department is.  Now, I hear she thinks I am great which is the thing that is said about someone who smiles at you when you pass in the hallway.  Apparently, they need help and they don’t have help.  And I can provide help and have oodles of time.  I am hopeful that in some way a few well-placed favors with a few people might save my skin around here.  That is the sense here, that in the end, like any society, it just works best if you go ahead and scratch someone’s back based solely on the tacit understanding that someone’s going to decide to scratch yours.  Eventually.  Work your nails down to the nubs and never tell anyone you’re feeling itchy.  Nobody wants a job, everyone will offer a favor, so scoot along little cowgirl and try and make friends.
Trying to make friends and not just endlessly curt and awkward circuitous conversations.  That’s the philosophy right now.  Just befriend everyone and say yes to the grunt work because, frankly, you can handle grunt work.  This higher-level tarantella everyone else seems to be able to accomplish in their high heels and pearls is not liable to be your dance.  Not ever, not after years upon years of knowledge being foisted upon you and experiences to teach you better than you know right now.  There will be no graceful flamenco.  You just try and do-si-do and promenade, do whatever the caller asks you do and hope no one pulls out the hook while you’re on stage.  I need to enjoy this time.  It is awkward to try and nose about, forage for the truffle of a task to keep me from seeming like I sit at my desk and write blog posts all day.  But somehow, I will end up in some spot that will demand more of me than this and I will look back and sigh that I didn’t keep it a secret so I could sit and spin on the company dime.
No.  That’s not in my blood.  The guilt, my friends, the unholy guilt of just trying to type this up before I go, oooh.   Still, the feeling of knowing the post is done is worth a twinge or two.  I like that I have that time.  Having the food there is so valuable, too.  So much easier just to let the refrigerator contain the wide expanse of possibilities and know that in just a few days, I’m going to restock and can make a whole fresh batch of choices so I don’t have to panic.  I can already tell that when I do have another meal out, it will be something that I look forward to, that will actually contain some element of celebration and achievement in it rather than an almost burdensome excess.  A demand to fill up on salt and fat and smile.  Quality vs. Quantity.
In the same vein, I’ve started making some lists – looking ahead to the holidays – realizing that if I can get a few stitches in now, how much more enjoyable it would be to have
If I can figure out who needs a gift, who needs a card, well, maybe I can print the addresses on labels, maybe I can draft a general Christmassy letter that people will be pleased to read, and I can actually take care of what I always want to – which is to make people feel joyful at Christmas.  I always run out of time, and in the past been embittered with the retail holiday gloom, but now, there’s a chance to both have the money and energy to be smiley and bake cookies and feel cheerful for more than just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Of course, this does make me mildly irritated that J is too anxious about things to come and see me and eat turkey at my table.  This means I will have to be constantly pulled over those days to check in on him, mid-meal, even.  I will feel a compulsion to keep one foot in each world when I am so craving the silence of my own imagination, the quietude of being untethered to a computer desk, to making jokes with the family, to the congenial world that we make when we are all together at Thanksgiving.  A place he doesn’t know, and much as he would like to know it, it’s far too far a trip to consider.  It seems thus.  Not on a whim.  But this is well past a whim, past a favor, this is…the job.  The job of being together that neither of us wants to concede we’re employed at, despite finding ourselves clocking in and out everyday.
Eventually, I think I’m going to get stretched too far to come back together and I’ve never chosen this unknown world instead of my own mind to save me from being split.  Really, King Solomon’s never concerned himself with my heres and theres.  He is fine if I am bisected along my spine and useless everywhere they lug me.

Two-Minute Conviction

I am in it for the titles, baby.  The titles and the glory.

If I didn’t have this impulse that I wanted you to read this, perhaps I would find myself breaking away at top speed to write about all the goings-on of now.  How we have leapt forward into some place new and how this means something I am nervous to decipher.

I won’t let you read it, though.  That’s a silly idea.  Not all the things I think are meant for direct transmission.

What a fumbling, stumbling, space I am in.  My equilibrium is gone.  We now have not only spoken, we’ve seen each other whilst speaking through the marvels of video-to-video simultaneous broadcast.  This has been a generally pleasing development.  But it drops a veil.  It raises a portcullis.  I am known in a way I cannot be unknown, not with him, or anyone.  We smiled, giddily, at each other.  I became, in some ways, a real person. At least for him.  He has always been realer than anything I am used to, but nevertheless, I imagine J. will not actually become a human being until I hold his hand for myself.

I am not complaining that this has happened. I am just mindful that these things – romantic connection, delight in another human soul, caring about someone’s well-being so deeply you shudder with the weight of it – things I have so pondered for so long and been drawn to since I were aware they existed in this wide and often heartless universe are happening.  They are unfurling their crimson sails and the ship is sailing where it is steered.  Straight into the mists where lie rocky shoals or else some far distant land of milk and honey or else just more waves and water until we all run out of food and look thirstily at the salt-sea that surrounds us.

And now, today, I feel softened and urgent and needful.  I put on makeup and set my hair just so in order to face this new reality of being visibly available, not just via voice.  I have let go of security blankets I have clung to for eons.   Negative and sour milk beliefs, deep sincere faith in my absence of worth, shackles of self-doubt to let this little engine that could, do have been poured out and run haphazardly down the gutters and gullies.  All away and not towards me. If I can be honest and analyze this choice that hardly felt like a choice at all when it was posed to me, this is a Tower crumbling to the ground.

This is a level of vulnerability that is profound, visceral, and truly, one I never reckoned I could find a way to evoke.  Now, regardless of what ends up happening in this relationship, this relationship I’m in, I’ve crossed this border.  I’ve set foot here and I can find my way back. Mildred has just been silent, face agog, as I have marched along without her towards a life that can’t allow for her to be in charge.

This is not in alignment with you today.  You want to not be solely these people who hit this pleasure button over and over again.  You want us to have conversations.  Be  edifying and surprising.  Give each other knowledge, tell each other about arenas and universes that are new, that we can be enlightened by, that we can be illuminated.

It is our remit and suddenly, he’s the raconteur with all the cards pre-filled with esoteric knowledge of grand cinematic or epicurean or psychological or miscellany and I hardly know how to take a breath.  The absence of an easy, pat answer frightens me.  I blank so hard I feel dictionaries crack against the front of my skull and break into individual letters.

I know about surrealism.  I know about gardening. Trillium, delphinium, rhubarb, nasturtium.  I know some French.  Je sais un peu de Francais.  Un petit peu.  I know about…the sound my dryer makes as it tumbles on a Sunday night.  I know about the route I take to work that snatches tires with its teeth.  I know about panic, hot air hanging where it shouldn’t in your chest and ballooning until you lift your mind out of position.  I know about feminism or the feminist lens as presented by academia ten years ago.  Cixous.  Rich.  Valerie Solanas.  A bit. I know about the red and the white, Emily Dickinson peering down through history at us.  I know about the sestina, the villanelle, the haiku, the heroic couplet.  I know about the saga and the fabliau.  I know about Wyf of Bathe.  I know about how to read a palm.  I know about David Eddings (only about Sparhawk and the Elenium and Sephrenia, and once I recall the spelling of her name).  I know about the river in the morning when you are the only one awake.  I know about riding with relative strangers through downtown Los Angeles in the middle of the night, falling asleep at four am.   Yet, he asks me for something interesting and I stutter.

I say. I don’t know.  I’m not the kind of person who can talk about things.

Which is such a baldfaced lie and yet it comes to hand so quickly I have to try and swallow the last of it back before I think I mean it.

I like listening to him think aloud.  I like drifting off under the melodic tones of his voice.  I like the trust that means I can luxuriate in his presence.

But there is more to me than that.  And more is needed to sustain us both.  A bore who doesn’t think for herself is a depressing self-definition.  What a grasping, anxious pit gets centered in my chest when I think about myself trying to be a lover who has no opinion but yes.  please.  okay.  Not one of being beautiful enough, but of smart enough and that is a shock to the system.  A piece I’ve taken for granted so long that suddenly my bluff has been called and I’m sweating.

How much has deserted me in this effort to keep myself away from the danger of being known?  How much has been paid to an internet with no vested interest in insuring my intellect is exercised?  How much of a quicksilver facility for fact and fiction has been mortgaged for a silence I did not want after the first day?

More than is fair.

Time to read up, fill this well, and let the awe of being changeable yet still, find the words that match its feeling.

Chiaroscuro with the Cynosure

It’s Sunday night, nearly Monday morning so we can afford some big ten dollar words if it suits us.

Here’s the state of affairs.

The man, for I could hardly call him a boy, is a lot.  It’s a lot to deal with.  His pains and anxieties and my own aside (and that’s no small burden to stop attending to), even his affection is this full cup every time.  And I, with thoughts and fears that have nothing to do with him, find myself hunting for moments where I can work on those jitters and big plans and not be the perpetual sounding board.

That we can talk for two hours as though it’s a few minutes is promising, but it’s also, at times…oppressive, is not the word.  Demanding? I just find myself unable to say, hey, hello, I have things that I need to do.   But I do say that, eventually, just not mid-stream.  And those streams and threads of thought are long, indeed.   Long and covering worlds in spastic leaps of loose, ungathered thought matter.  Listening and empathizing and enjoying and participating where I may means I am quite tired in advance of a new week.

I think I sound ungrateful which I never mean to be.  Not having waited for such a long time for someone willing and happy to be so intimate with me.  But I don’t know protocol.  I know I can do whatever I want, I can ask for whatever I want.  That it’s not a hostage negotiation.  That he doesn’t want me to feel bound or constricted at all.  I just am learning for myself what the boundaries are and what my tools are when I feel sort of emotionally spent, how to get him to follow-through and hear that in me without feeling like awkward about expressing that I am just not…in cheerleader mode or Florence Nightingale mode or bro mode.  But exhausted, anxious girl who just wants to silently be in her own head.  Mode.

We’ll get there.  It’s just a lot.

Meanwhile, I reckon with the first year that taxes are not easy.  This is because of all the fucking around that happened moneywise last year so that I made choices about health insurance – choices mostly by failing to choose – and that means that the refund I always receive is likely to be a relatively small charge.  But nevertheless, still a lot cheaper than actually paying for that insurance which I could have used but could only afford technically.  So that’s frustrating.  Compounded by the fact that as soon as I walk in the door to do the taxes, the sister pulls my arm and says, you’re going to take over your student loans, aren’t you.  It’s like $22,000, but that’s only like $115 a month.

I mean, yes.  It will not be a big hardship in a couple of months to do that.  But her adjudicating what is financially right for my parents (of course they’re fine with me paying it, but they’re not making any demands for it this hot second), is really frustrating.  This idea of being forthright and upstanding is great – but I, right now, am on loose change while I wait for my owed money to magically appear.  That’s frustrating that I am made to feel like a derelict jerk. I know what my mother’s chemo pills cost.  I know that they’ve helped me out and it’s time to repay these lengthy favors.  I just can’t until I can

While over there, and huffing over these bits of reality, my mother decided to rub my shoulders and it was terribly painful.  That, and the fact that I am grinding my teeth and suffering mightily for it (I have a mouth guard situation, but I don’t like it, and don’t feel comfortable sleeping with it in so it’s hardly helping.   I wish I could relax.  I had a bit of a caffeine-induced panic at the office the other day.  I am thinking salt, sugar, fat and caffeine have their role to play in all of this so I’m striving to find a way out of using them as life preservers.  They’re utterly the opposite.

I want to enjoy these new things in my life.  I want to not sit for hours worrying about how to do what I did yesterday.  I want to feel trust and comfort in my mind and body.  I want to not be damaging myself and pretending that I am not aware I’m doing it.

Okay.  Enough.  I shall carry on.  I am missing this.  It feels like an odd shadow to me to not be here.  I think maybe it was the wrong choice.  Ah, well.  2017!

 

The Ender and Her Game

Life is so wildly unpredictable in 2017.  This is the year of bonkers and inexplicable ends to eras.  The year of hairpin turns.  A year of growing up taking place in a month and a half.

I don’t know how I suddenly am shifting into a new job that I am not terrified enough about and yet, here I am, googling resignation letter samples and deciding that

Somehow, I know that they are really going to demand a sharpness of me that right now is oatmeal.  But while other people can look sharp as a blade and don’t want to do the work, I want to get in there and take on tasks.  I want to try.  Which is something, I suppose.  I was surprised with my ability to express that and convince the boss and her boss that I could do it with what I think was more earnestness than bullshit.

When I have a comfort level, I can rattle off a list of to-dos like a gatling gun.  I can move when I feel trusted and I’m hoping I can get to that point and not get shifted by personalities and demands.  Strength in myself is going to be key.  Being willing to say things are key and use adultspeak will also be key.

The parents are over the moon.  They’re crazy.  They don’t seem to question that I can handle it.  That’s nice.  They’re willing to help me if I need it through this transition (I will) and we’re having celebratory pizza next weekend.  The all-holy benefits.  I mean, life has given me this shot, I don’t want to fuck it up, I am just freaked out about my shitty habits and laziness in a job where organization and promptness is so essential.  So.  Being thoughtful, learning, reading, getting some support about it, and then…letting it go.

One way in which I can be distracted is the guy.  J.

I don’t know what I am supposed to do.  I adore him, really.  Acknowledging our imperfections, the alterations we’ve made in our lives to get by, what is not easily resolved, I think he’s wonderful. But I haven’t found the way in to the conversation I want to have.  It will happen, I know it will…

The thought in my head right now is that we have to meet.  I’ve thought that since early on, but out of the blue, that becomes financially feasible.  It becomes possible for me to buy one or both of us airfare and a hotel room and food somewhere – here or there or just somewhere in this universe – for a long weekend.  Before, it was this frustrating impossibility.  Neither of us can afford leisure travel. But, with the new job, supposing I don’t get sacked or thrown out on my ear, will mean that I can make it happen, at least once.

And I feel like we have to meet because this is so much fumbling and messing around and weirdness that has no organizing principle.  And that’s fine, that’s okay, I am completely tolerant of having an intense flirtation on the internet.  I know that land very well.  But there’s this piece of it where it’s also this other…real life component where it’s mutually agreed that it would totally be happening if we didn’t live in way disparate parts of the country.  It is utterly bizarre to me that I can send a current picture of myself standing in front of a mirror and that doesn’t make the whole thing dry up.  Instead, quite the opposite.

But I don’t have the money yet and this whole gaming project I’ve helped him with isn’t off the ground and so I don’t know if I should even throw out a test balloon and say, do you want to do this…you know, at some point, somewhere?  My Valentine essentially just acknowledged that something was even happening and he hasn’t argued that.

It’s both happening and not happening for us at the same time.

Break for 20 minute call.

…yeah, so that call was the perfect encapsulation of my thing right now.   I want to be understood when I say that I don’t want to stop talking about any of the things we’re talking about – gaming, language, food, jobs, all the endless things he  (and I) know about.  I don’t want to lose this intimacy of connection, the kindness he shares with me, the intensity at times of his feelings, the way we feel…close, the beginnings of trust, but at the same time…the distance exists.  So I draft in my mind how I would write the character’s return to the RP’er and then feel guilty I can’t let that go.   I would let it go, if I could just feel like that part of it isn’t locked away to us for some unspoken reason.  Like, it was okay for a while, and now…no?

Just have a conversation? HAH.  Why do that when I can whinge on the internet?

I am just in such a different, demanding place than I ever have been.  I feel tired and achey and the dancing around things I want is wearing me down.  I will figure it out, I just sometimes need to put words to it so that it has a home someplace other than battering about in my skull.

The tagline holds true.  “I will change.”  I have and I did and I am and I will.

 

 

A Long Post

A long post is not something I want to write.  But I need to write something.  It is striking how easily a habit can begin, how easily it can be dropped.

It seems impossible that it’s been a week since last I wrote, it feels like a hundred years.  Like a whole…bizarre saga has unfolded around me.  There’s been a sense that real evil has re-entered the atmosphere.  I’ve been hungrier than I feel is fair for someone who works as many hours a week as I do.  I have freaked out.  I have calmed down.   I’ll freak out again.

I don’t know if I have a boyfriend.  I have something very close to that if we aren’t concerned with the proper, scientific terms.   I have someone in J. who cares, at least, who listens to me and shares things with me.  And who is into all the other stuff with me that needn’t be listed here.  That’s, yes, I have not fully broken with reality and invented one.  He lives and breathes.  Far away and I am, for the first time, actually sad about that.

This was a week where I found that out and also found out that I’d have to break someone else’s heart and my own.  A circumstance I have never had to deal with in my life emerged and the details of which matter deeply to me, but I do not care to share here as some sort of springboard to personal conversations I am not willing to have.  Suffice to say, years passed and there were no buses to board.  Suddenly, I get a clue and buy a ticket and they all stop at my feet, swing their gates open, and say they’re heading to very disparate places.  I can only get on one.  So I picked and that didn’t and doesn’t feel great…a life unlived that I can see unfolding just on the periphery of this one.  And it’s odd to sit and think, well, maybe I can have both.  Maybe this won’t work out and I can still have access to that other situation.

And that is depressing because life, I believe, does not work that way and…I don’t want it to work this way, because I have this whole other weird and intriguing and challenging and good path to follow.  It’s just a trade-off that I had no idea I was making.

There’s a lot more detail, I have documented it elsewhere for myself, but this has been a bit of a big one personally.

This was a week of hard conversations and good conversations and the “president” losing his mind, or if not losing it outright, giving it away to one of a cadre of dark overlords.   Work is driving me to antipathy.  No news on any jobs I’ve applied to.  I spoke with my cousin and that was mostly regarding politics, and my limited knowledge of online “culture” such as it is and eating hot dogs and pickled apples.

I need to call my mother.  I need a bath.  I need to charge my fitbit and get ready for an early morning.  I need things I cannot have.

 

 

 

 

Playlists

The dreaded longer post.  The state of the union number 3.

I have, per…a conversation with the guy who needs a better nickname, but I really don’t want to make spades spades yet, about 30 minutes before we’re going to talk.  So I am going to try and make the most of it.

What I want now is to check in with me.  Check in on how all of this nonsense and madness and life is going in a way that the daily posts were making perfunctory and dry.  Desolate.

So, yes, the dude.  The guy.  We’re…he’s…it’s

It’s interesting what it brings to the fore and what it ignores.  Being called adorable and beautiful to me feels like some sort of food caught in my throat.  I don’t know what to do with it, how to get it down or up, or what.   So I find myself just sort of holding them until they dissipate.  The compliments, it’s really odd to me.  Not that I am so opposed that I demand he stop giving them to me, but mostly because I feel like that’s an another layer of awkwardness I want to avoid, and I think it would irritate him over time for me to be constantly negative about myself.  I mean, I’ve seen a LOT of TV specials about all this, so…

We’ve had a couple conversations, ones I’ve initiated both in text and in talky-talk, where I talked about the speed of things, about liking him but not necessarily being where he is…needing time, needing to process, needing to be alone.

I am really curious about this barrier of feeling like “what would people think?” Though, now that mother and sisters generally know that he exists…but nothing really beyond that, it’s hard to figure out why this nebulous thing can reach down and shackle me.  I LIKE innuendo, I like joking, I like being on the edge of things.  But maybe before, things were never all that significant.

Still, when I say I have to be away for a while and he says he misses me, I don’t dislike that. When I have a little time to not be trying to constantly calculate how to maintain sanity and still listen to what he says, I do feel like, hey….baby, about it all.

I feel sometimes like I am moving a hundred mountains inside just to keep playing along.  But, he’s made it clear that I don’t have to act anything out to amuse him, I don’t have to be there…but he wants to go there, in terms of…everything.  He has the fearlessness I definitely do not have.  And sometimes I am clear on wanting that or not wanting that, but mostly, it’s just this mushy pile of “this is OK at this exact moment.”

Health…at the moment, I feel generally, okay.  Status quo okay.  As part of the birthday celebrations, I was given a Fitbit Charge 2, which isn’t entirely working right yet, so I am just trying to not feel suddenly like I am able and endowed with healthy lifestyle requirements but that this can just be a nice tool for me.

I also unfollowed a particular woman on FB whose views were giving me agita.   Still thinking about the wrongness. Life is, essentially, way, way too short.  Gah.

Work: No news on job I applied for which I do not take as good sign.  Need to spend evenings looking and…the time on the phone with The Guy is not helping with that.  One more day until the boss returns and I…I need a plan.   Tomorrow involves the bus and everything I hate about the bus so ugh.

Birthday – I’ll probably have more time to talk about that tomorrow as I may have hours to stew and write and consider.  Very lovely lunch of roast beef and salad and green beans and mashed cauliflower and potatoes and au jus plus a sugar-free cheesecake.  All of which were heavenly and that wasn’t just the wine talking.  Very thankful for the fitbit.  Things have to carry on.

My father was silly and pulled a Happy Birthday banner out of a drawer and he and my mother held it up for 5 seconds and he said Got it? And I said yes.

This is a year of a lot of yes and I don’t entirely know why that is or how that is…but it’s true.

I haven’t even gotten to say anything about the March and how deeply impacting I feel it was for the whole of the nation.  It’s just the beginning of so many good things.

 

 

Jitter (The Linen Lifter)

The first week is now done.  Sunday to Sunday.

You didn’t hear from me yesterday.  That’s okay.  I was busy, at least insofar as I find things to be distracting and computers unavailable.   No pictures either.  When I loved the pictures, it was great.  When I had zero interest and was tired and the pictures, toward the end, finally after 6 years had eaten up all my wordpress space and I was going to have to buy more for the stock images of pencils and sunrises, less so.

I suppose the thing from this week that I’d want recorded for posterity is that I spoke to the guy today.  He asked and I thought for half of a half-second about pushing it out.  I’d planned to do it…well, eventually.  Soon.  Sometime. If I had to.

But he asked if we could talk about the game stuff I was trying to figure out so he could keep working on whatever he was working on and I said yes.  And then, right then, he called and then I answered.  And then we talked and I pretended I was at work for a while until he told me I had a good voice and I had already immediately, but viciously repressed, liked his voice.  I said I was shy.  Like he needed to know I was shy and this could be awkward and he said I could always just hang up if I needed to, entirely seriously, and I laughed, already calmer, that I would never just hang up.  And so we talked and it was the way you would talk if you were into someone.  The both of us.  And I talked about how I so disliked my speaking voice – the electrocuted squirrel it sounds like to me – and he had this scientific explanation at hand about the three different voices, the vibration of bones and how if you put pressure on your ears, you’d hear better how you sound to others.  And then we talked about the best stats for rogues and then the internet died, and there was calling back and texting and talking about shyness.   We talked about dinner, and there was the awkward, half-giggly talk to you later.

He did not, at any point, seem to be despairing at the laborious task of talking to me.  I did not, at any point, make some completely ridiculous statement out of nerves.  I could be reading the whole thing wrong, I could be being manipulated, I could, I could, I could.  But…

And so…that was a thing.

Maybe it shouldn’t be this way, but mostly everything else pales.

I loved the show I went to.  Ate well until I ate poorly, getting back on the horse for a while.  Not stressing about that when I have 900 other things to stress about.

I will see you for a longer post in a week.  This, in its way, is really helping me.