REPORT A PROBLEM
When did I start suppressing my femininity? Why do I do it? Is it that important to be ďone of the guysĒ? Iím more comfortable around men; I honest enjoy sports, war movies, card games, and tequila. But Iím still a woman. I like perfume, nail polish, and make up. Why canít I seem to find a happy medium? Sometimes I find myself actually squashing my feminine side just to conform. Is it really that important, the need to ďget alongĒ? I sometimes wonder if the guys would like me anyway, if they would be just as comfortable around me.
The water is still, until you hit the surface. Itís cold and almost unforgiving. But as your muscles move and adapt, they warm along with the water. One length completed, kick off the wall, cut the water like a knife. Thereís no one there to encourage you. You donít need them anyway. Itís all in your head. ďFasterÖfasterĒ, you hear the voice say. ďWatch your formÖkickÖkick.Ē Three laps completed. Four laps completed. Five. Almost there, half way point. Breathe. You canít think about the clock ticking away, it wonít help. Seven laps down. Eight. Nine. Almost thereÖdonít forget to breatheÖSPRINT!
Am I getting old? The old music seems better than the new. Sure it can be dated, but who cares? Roll down the windows, turn up the radio, play that one track over and over. Stevie NicksÖmove on to Whitesnake. How about some Jackson Browne? The sound fills the car, it washes over you. Turn the volume up. Push the peddle down farther. The wind crashes over you, your hair is blowing all over the place. You canít tell if itís a good mood, good endorphins, or what. All you know is that it feels good. You canít drive 55!
Iíve been going about this all wrong. I need a new perspective. Think of the Seinfeld episode where George sleeps under his desk while working for the Yankees. Classic. Didnít think it would ever apply to me. Thereís nothing here for me to do really. Why then do I bother getting to bed on time? Why bother getting up at the self-appointed time, just to be at a job thatís boring? Either I need to tell my boss that I need more work orÖwait a minuteÖwhat am I a moron? No, but Iím just trying to run from the monotony.
Wrong him, doubt him, use him. Take him for granted. Tell him with a straight face that everything will be all right, that you're going to take care of him. Lie to him nonetheless, in that calm, reassuring, timid as a church mouse voice. It's fake anyway. And he knows it. He knows you don't care, he knows that you are simply placating him. Trying to make him feel warm and secure, safe. And he screams, "How can they do this? Where is the justice?". He learns not to trust. He learns to turn his heart cold, withered and hard.
I grew up watching movies. I've seen too many of them. Some say that they've clouded my mind, made me see things not as they are, but as they seem on a cutting room floor. They've made me think that the little man can win. They've made me think that I deserve to be happy, that if I hold out, things will be okay. And still I watch. I press the button, and it all comes to life. Why live with the pain and hurt when someone else (who has a better ass than I do) can go through it?
Back to the drawing board. Have to learn everything all over again. I didnít think Iíd want toÖbut I like him. Heís nice, and I find him interesting. No one has even piqued my interest till now. I donít have to worry about the long term. Itís not like that. But I have ďunlearnedĒ how to behave around someone whoís attracted to me. I donít want him to think Iím not interested. I donít want him to think that Iím not attracted to him. Iím scared. Itís like I have to wait for confirmation. Confirmation that he wants me too.
How easy would it be to just vanish into thin air? Poof, and youíre gone. How well would people be able to trace you? Are you even traceable? A new driverís license, a new social security number, and youíre a whole new person. The old you would cease to exist. Think of the ones who have already done it. Theyíre out there, walking around, holding down jobs, paying bills, living lives that they created for themselves. You might even know someone like this. The guy next door with freckles, your kidsí grade school teacher. But would you even know it?
I think Iím homesick. Actually, I know I am. I love being here, but if they sent me home tomorrow, it wouldnít hurt my feelings. I have no friends here. And the people I do get to know, leave after a month or so. I get to like them, and then they leave. I miss my friends back home. I miss my apartment. I miss what tiny fragments of a life that I have. I miss my bed too. Thereís nothing like the feeling of being far away from home. It almost feels like the world is passing you by.
She was tired of being ďthe good girlĒ. She wanted to find some enjoyment and pleasure in life. She wanted to go out and get drunk, because she liked the buzz. She wanted to find herself in the arms of someone she probably shouldnít have been with, simply because he was warm, inviting, and attractive. As long as she wasnít hurting someone else or herself, where was the harm? She didnít want it to be a way of life, just a deliciously brief intermission. In time she would slip back into her given role, and the ďgood girlĒ would return.
I hate being cold. Your flesh turns ďgooseyĒ and withered. I donít like the way I feel, and I donít like the way I feel to others. I want to be warm, I want to feel warm, I want others to feel that they can get next to me. I love the feel of sunlight on my skin. Iíll cuddle up next to a window, if thereís sunlight streaming through it, just to get warm. As a child I would curl up in the sunlight that spilled onto the floor. The sun comforts me, makes me feel alive and glowing.
Soon I will be winging home. I will pack my bags, take one last glance around the room to make sure I didnít leave anything behind. I will carry everything to the appointed ďloading zoneĒ. I will sit in my uncomfortable seat, feel the lift of the airplane, and once again be airborne. Iím leaving behind a beautiful place, but Iím taking beautiful memories of it with me. Memories of a place, memories of people, buildings, restaurants, and scenery. I will return someday, but for now, my country, my state, my friends and my apartment will welcome me once again.
A person from my past, an old friendÖan old lover. Someone who hurt me, but didnít break my heart. Someone I forgave, which is rare. Here we are, reconnected, a couple years later, and half way around the world. He came along just when I needed him to. He said the things I needed him to say. He taught me things I needed to be taught. How wonderful of him to do that. Time may not heal everything, but it heals some things. In a few days heíll go his way, and Iíll go mine. But weíll always have Sicily.
Who does that? Who causes pain to someone on purpose? Especially someone that they ďsayĒ they care about? My friends called it mind games. Theyíre probably right. I would never have done that to someone. I donít think I could ever do that, not to someone I cared about. Does it make you feel like a man? Does it make you feel more secure in who you are? Do you feel like you have ďone upĒ on me? If so, boy did I have you painted wrong. I wish I could have seen you as the jackass that you are.
You canít help yourself. You know beyond anything else, that you should not be doing this. You even tell yourself that this is wrong. But youíre there anyway. Hoping against hope that something will interrupt, maybe the phone will ring, maybe someone will knock on the door. Maybe there will be an earthquake. Yeah, right. With all this running through your head, do you leave? Of course not. You stand where you are, itís as if your feet are cemented to the ground. A Wyle E. Coyote-sized stack of dynamite couldnít make you move. You stand there, savoring the moment.
She made the decision. Is was going to alter her life completely. She felt she had to do it, it was the right thing to do. She should do it. If it meant that someone else could go home, then it would be worth it. Was it dangerous? Absolutely. Would it give her a new perspective on life? Maybe so. She knew all this, she knew it would change the way she looked at things. She was scared and she was nervous. It would change her, but how? Would she be a different person? Would she make it through alive?
Iím tired. My brain is tired. My spirit is tired. Globe trotting is tiring. You donít know if youíre coming or going. Your body doesnít know what time zone itís in. You donít know what day of the week it is. The calendar seems to have passed you by. Before you know it, itís April. Whereíd spring go? Wasnít it just the holidays? We had Christmas dinner, I was there. And New Years. I remember it. Now Iím staring down the barrel of summer, and the year is half gone. Whatís next? Winter, but in what part of the world?
What makes someone smart? Is it the paper diploma that they give you at the end of four years? Are you smart because you can answer questions on a test? Everybody makes such a big deal about it. Itís a piece of paper, that makes you smart? They even look at you differently if you have one, and especially if you donít. I know plenty of those who do, and let me tell you, theyíre no different than I am. I go to work like they do, I pay my bills like they do. So what does it really matter?
I hate this. Itís my office, not his. I was there before him, and Iíll be there after he leaves. Normally, itís a place that I love to go. Iíve faced great joy there, Iíve faced heartache there. Itís where Iíve made friends, made mistakes, and made discoveries. Itís my office. But because heís there, now itís a place that Iím trying to avoid. When I walk the hallway, I donít want to worry about turning a corner and running into him. I donít want to worry about hearing his voice when I make a phone call. I hate this.
High heels make me feel pretty. Itís a stupid, girly thing, but itís true. They hurt your feet. They make you wobbly. They are difficult to drive in, especially if you drive a 5 speed. But when you put them on, they make you stand taller. You walk straighter; youíre more conscience about your posture. When you see them in a store, you start thinking about planning an outfit around them. You buy them even if they seem impractical. You have a hard time walking away from them. The need to feel pretty is a hard thing to stare down.
Who knew that sheets would make such a difference? They suck you in. They make you crave them. 300 count, 100% cotton sateen, plum colored. You donít even have to add fabric softener, theyíre already there. They make it hard to get out of bed and get motivated for the day. The sheets themselves make you dream about the end of the day, when you are getting ready for bed. Even the times when you HAVE to get out of bed and you think if you role over you wonít be as comfortable, you still are. You gotta love it.
Are there things that we are better off not knowing? It could be anything from the government lying to us, to our spouse or significant other. It could be our parents, best friends, high school guidance counselors, next door neighbors, etc. If it doesnít affect us, will it matter if we know? Would we be able to do anything about it? Would we be able to make a difference? I think I would prefer to sleep better at night. When I do know, I just lie awake and stare at the ceiling, replaying everything over and over in my head.
Press the button, click the shutter. And with the marvels of modern technology you have, a few seconds later, a photograph. A memory frozen in time. A way to look back at something in the past. A way to remember that which has been forgotten. Faces fade, the way that someoneís hair falls across their forehead seeps from your recollection. But not if you have a photo. It can even jog your other senses. The way that someone smelled, the way a certain fabric felt, the sound of a voice. The photo wonít lie, and it wonít let you forget.
I stood on the ramp and watched the plane taxi, then take off, and then slowly disappear. Finally it became a tiny dot in the sky. I still feel proud doing that. I know, it sounds naÔve. And sometimes it feels like Iím on a soapbox. But as I watch the plane, I say to myself, ďThatís one of mine.Ē I still feel a sense of ownership. Those are my folks, part of my Navy family. And as I always do, as I watch the plane take off, I say a prayer for the crew. ďGod speedÖand a safe return.Ē
My head hurts. I hate this when it happens. These days it seems to start at the base of my neck. It will start as a dull, quiet ache. The ache then travels up my behind my ears. It curves around to the side of my head, right to the side of my temple. And thatís where it parks itself. There it stays; there it starts to throb. Light makes it even worse. Light will make it pulsate. The only thing that can save me is drugs and a very dark room. It can stop me dead in my tracks.
I still dream about you. I wonder where you are. I still look for you in crowds where I think you might be. You are still the one my mind runs to when things get out of control. I know you donít think about me, you donít even know I exist. But wouldnít it be delicious if you did? Wouldnít it be wonderful if you thought about me too? The stars could align, and our lives would fall in step with one another. This all sounds like a lot of hokey crap. But, I still think of you every day.
I have no reason to get out of bed. Each morning, I have to scrounge for a reason to get up and shower. Whatís the point of getting up and showering, just to sit around the apartment all day? It feels good not to have to go to work, but to not have to get out of bed? I roll overÖI look at the clock. Still nothing. WaitÖwhat was that? No, never mind, it was nothing. The light coming through the window has shifted. I look at the clock again. Only a 7-minute change from the last time. Damn.
I donít have a lot of faith in people. Not right now anyway. The problem is that I want to have faith. I want to trust, I want to believe in someone. I just canít bring myself to do it. So, where do I start? How do I make this happen? Every time I turn around people keep falling short. I used to try not to expect too much out of people, I didnít want the disappointment. But that didnít always work either. What do I do now? There needs to be someone I can start with. SOMEONE HELP ME!!
Have you ever wanted someone dead? I donít think that I wish him to suddenly die, but if he were in a horrible accident or something, I donít think that I would be all that upset. He has jarred me to the core. He has hurt me more than anyone ever has before. Heís constantly in my way. Why canít he just leave? Why do I have to see him still? Of course I know the answers to all these questions. But that doesnít mean that I canít scream at the top of my lungs about how unfair this is!
Am I ever going to feel like staying in one place? The thought of staying put, makes me squirmy. It makes me uncomfortable. Iím getting older, I know this. I should be thinking of more responsible things. Buying a house, setting up a retirement fund, beefing up my savings. Why do I still feel like such a kid? I feel I have to keep moving. I feel like I have to keep coming and going. I guess it would be nice to have a place of my own to come home to. Thatís not being very grown up, is it?
I hope she is okay. I hope she is everything that she can be. She is the closest thing I have to a daughter of my own. I think about her every day. I wish I could have the chance to be closer to her. But how would I explain who I am? ďHi, Iím the older sister of your dead-beat father. How are you?Ē She didnít enter this world with a fair shake. But I would give anything to change that. I hope that I get the chance to be to her, what my motherís sister was to me.
The Tip Jar