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Some simple pleasures I enjoyed today: my niece hysterical over my dog noises and flipping out over her reflection in the mirror. Getting my haircut…finding time for that is always huge…having my students listen and focus and do some really cute things. Having a “Margarita Presidente” and a Caesar salad with garlic-lime shrimp while talking with my partner after class. Having time to stop at my father’s store. Not going to work at all. Grocery shopping with my last $40 and some change in wallet and the total coming to $40.08. It’s days like today that make the rest OK.
The shadows shifted driving home. Within corners of my mind, they contained evil entities determined to keep me from arriving safely home. I don’t spook easily, my mother’s refusal to allow reading scary books and watching scary movies used to madden me. Even at ten or eleven, I understood the difference between fiction and reality. It was the real things that made me afraid of the dark: men who stole the money from your piggy bank in the middle of the night or stood masturbating in the corner of your bedroom with underwear on their head. This movie spooked me.
It disturbs me to become the screaming banshee teacher who yells berating my students. In my mind, I’m the nice, fun one who everyone relates to as a friend. It’s never about ability or how they work. It’s the total lack of respect or concentration while others are working that continues to frustrate me all out of proportion. I didn’t get mean today until it wasn’t just surreptitious whispering but loud noise and fooling around while three girls were learning their song. I had to make the point, but I wish I could do it in a more serene way.
I love Sundays. Especially when there’s no rehearsal, no show, literally nothing to do all day. Sometimes I feel I shouldn’t spend as much of it sleeping, but if you add up my total sleep for the week, it hardly ever averages even six or seven hours per night. I usually feel I should accomplish more on Sundays, I still haven’t hung any pictures for instance, but it’s the day my body and mind shut down and anything I get done is an accomplishment. If I at least get a little organized and maybe some laundry done, it’s all good.
I go through stages where not only do I feel that staying at my office job is the smartest thing, but I actually want to. The most recent of these is definitely over. I like the people I work with and it’s interesting and challenging. Today, I had a lot of stuff I wanted to finish and I wanted to put in at least seven hours. But once I got that stuff done, I really couldn’t force myself to stay past six and a half. I’m feeling that annoyance again this week at what I see as inconsistency and inefficiency.
Tears of joy. Tears of sorrow. Tears of frustration. Crocodile tears. Salted crystal cascading down soft hills of cheek. Most effective accompanied by silence, with only, maybe, the occasional ragged catch of breath. For the crier: cathartic, healing, relieving. For the audience: uncomfortable, disturbing, upsetting. Eyes so pretty moist and slightly red, shining. Bloated, bulbous, veined nose definitely not pretty. Lips and limbs atremble, the soul seeming to slowly seep, escaping through these ducts, along the lines of the face and off the chin. The true transformation is inside, where the heart is slowly, silently dying. I need four words.
My shoulders are tense. I typed a lot, staring at little numbers, letters and symbols in tiny boxes on a screen. I can’t begin to express how tired I am of forcing ridiculous vendor descriptions into 27 characters. Or how much I never want to go down a column of barcodes to make sure they appear as text, even again as long as I live. I don’t want to wade through commission statements, that I’ve already looked at a hundred times, to find entry errors made by someone else, because someone is finally getting around to noticing something’s missing. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
I worked up quite a sweat dancing and singing and running back and forth along the front of the stage making sure that everyone could see me and they were all where they were supposed to be. All in all, there were relatively few glitches and problems, and they all looked really adorable. For the most part, I could hear them singing and a good enough majority of them seemed to be doing the dance steps so that I felt very satisfied. If they do the same thing tomorrow, I’ll be happy. Chances are it will be even better. Awesome.
What a pleasure watching my twenty-six little bugs dancing and singing and acting, doing almost exactly everything we worked on for the past few months. I was so happy and proud, especially when one four-year-old’s grandmother spent twenty minutes telling me what a great thing I’m doing and what a huge influence I have over these kids. I needed help getting all the flowers and presents out to my car. I was sweaty and tired but supremely satisfied and even had a fantastic dinner after at a nice place by the lake. Cream of artichoke and grilled pepper tuna salad.
My professional satisfaction continues. I shouldn’t have stayed out doing shots last night. But I won at darts by myself and got some harmless flirting in. I didn’t have to teach until this afternoon since the little ones are done, and my middle-schoolers were (relatively) well behaved and respectful. We got tons of work done on a lot of numbers. I got to give some notes to some of my favorite actors and bonded a bit with the boys while the girls worked on their dance number with the choreographer. She completely changed it, I like it much better now.
My nephew left me a message today wishing me a happy Mother’s Day. When I called back, he said he called because I’m his godmother, and when his Mom isn’t home, I’m a mother to his sister. This made me ridiculously happy. I’ve been feeling very appreciative the past few days of the relationships I have. I also had an epiphany today, while saying Happy Mother’s Day to my grandmother; that the relationship that recently died started going downhill immediately after her death. Did she influence the demise of this unwise encounter that was going nowhere anyway? Something to ponder.
I’ve felt like crap since last night. I’m stuffy, my throat hurts, my head has that overstuffed feeling. I had a brief recovery with the baby this morning, but in the car on the way to work I started to feel pretty awful. So I wasn’t that depressed that our mystery this Saturday is postponed. Having no pick-ups this week meant I felt I could leave earlier. So I’ve seen this whole game between the Nets and the Celtics which is now in double-overtime. The Celtics are fighting elimination and the Nets want a few days off. Don’t we all?
It’s amazing. Clearly one would expect that having a completely stuffed up head would mean that the flow of oxygen is slowed to the point of being almost non-existent. What one might not expect is that it can also slow the flow of thoughts so that the brain cells seem to be nearly non-functional. It seems it’s even possible to slow the flow of emotions, so that a sneeze or the use of a tissue can elicit a sudden emotional response. In a cream puff like me, that’s dangerous. I also feel the cold much more, but that’s less amazing.
I’m so impressed with myself at this moment. I’m in awe of the gargantuan show of inner strength I exhibited. I sat on my bed holding my phone, telling myself all the reasons it’s OK, even preferable, for me to make this call I’ve been promising myself not to make. I’m not sure how long I held the receiver in my hand, holding down the button so it’s not off the hook, cursing him and trying to force myself, through sheer will, to hang up the phone. I actually had the balls to hang up and not make the call.
I worked an hour later than intended to finish a piece of my own project. I didn’t get to it until late because of time spent on another project that’s not mine. It’s boring and annoying. Now both are finished and I look really good, but I forgot until leaving the office at 10:30pm that I have absolutely no vegetables left and I have to stop at the store. So it’s 11:15, I’m halfway up the hill, and with no warning, my street is closed. I have to go all the way back and around the long way. I’m tired.
Funny. One game ends and another begins. A pretty bad yet entertaining and overwhelming movie leads to a drink I promised I wouldn’t have. The gorgeous married bartender with the spectacular ass is friendly tonight and although I beat my cousin by a good ten to fifteen minutes, I’m fine by myself. The logical, most open spot at the bar is right there. I lose my train of thought in a story when he makes eye contact. And a little while later, magically we’re speaking again. He asks me if Dave Matthews is a good singer. And here we are.
I told them today how much time is left, how many rehearsals until the show. I said flat out, “If anyone is not here to work today, call your parents and have them bring you home. Find a friend to play with, if you’re here, you’re quiet, you’re serious and you’re working.” At that age, they’ll never be silent nor completely focused, but it was probably the best they ever did. We got several numbers staged and I heard the ones I hadn’t heard. We gave out the last few lines, I think we’re in good shape. It feels good.
Three cousins, each the oldest daughter of two brothers and a sister, having dinner and drinks and spending several hours talking, laughing and catching up. The two younger ones continuing on to drink in spite of it being a school night. They visit a friend, then their regular place where a young man celebrating his twenty-first birthday makes their night by drunkenly telling them how gorgeous they are and he’s lucky to have met them. Another man tries buying them more drinks so they won’t go home, but even in their current state, they know this could possibly kill them.
Dressed to the nines, I somehow muster up the courage to talk to him. He tells me I have a beautiful voice. He notices I’m nervous and I take the additional leap, admitting I might be a little. He says he’s a regular guy. My Dad asks him to drive me home, I tell him I can leave now, but he says I should hang out. Five minutes later he disappears until I’m panicking when everyone gets ready to leave. He re-appears and tells me his (much younger) brother will take me home since he hasn’t been drinking. Typical. Grrrrrrrrrrr!
We had so much fun, despite my second night in a row of little sleep. You had to yell at me once when I dozed sitting up. Other than that, we smiled and laughed lots. It’s amazing how you get so into taking things out of things. How many times did I put the balls back in the bowl so you could take them out again…back and forth between that and the shapes? You clap so much now. It was so funny when I was “eating your feet” and doing the maniacal “Mmmmmmm” we usually reserve for bananas and cantaloupes.
Work, work, work. I seem on the edge of figuring out how to escape it forever, but I can’t quite take that last leap off the precipice. Singing at the party impressed everyone, I know I’m talented, I should be able to parlay it into a life. I should be able to have a conversation with a guy without it becoming an obsession for a week. I long to let go of the mundane and give myself a chance to explore my creativity with more of my complete being, giving everything I am to that and the people I love.
It’s almost twenty years since we met. In three days, it will be seventeen years exactly since “it” began. It’s almost thirteen years since the last time I saw you, and right about seven since the last time I heard news of you, just after the birth of your son. So how is it that some contrived speech by a patient about soul mates, in the ER episode where Carol moves to be with Doug, sends me into a complete depression, spending the rest of the day thinking of you and wondering if I blew my one and only chance.
My body is working extra hard to betray me. My head makes quite smart decisions about how to proceed with my life, but my body disagrees. At certain times of the month, my resistance lowers to a very dangerous point, the desires of the body become so intense that the head has a hard time staying in charge. With alcohol involved, the ability to use logic and reason is further diminished. So it’s just short of a miracle that I followed my cousin home while that cute Irish boy was trying to convince me to sleep at his house instead.
Driving south for six hours was somewhat torturous as my body tried showing my head just how uncomfortable I can become if it’s ignored. I can’t remember ever feeling this way with this much intensity. I had that four and a half-year celibate period, but during times like that, you start to forget what it’s like. I literally couldn’t stop wiggling in my seat for half the trip. Luckily, it subsided eventually, but it’s increasingly clear how desperately my body wants to create life. Thank God the trip was for something pleasant to see my friends that are like family.
Seventeen years ago, this particular day was also the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. It could have been yesterday that we danced at Penny Lane and you put that “I heart” sticker on me. I can remember the conversation almost word for word where we found out we had all been tricked, and more importantly how you really felt about me. I have no idea if we could have found a way to stay together and be happy, but you’re the only one it even seems possible with, that I’m not relieved it’s over, it hurts to think about it.
I remember my Freshman year of college first discovering the concept that if I was rich, I would probably spend far less time being depressed. Shopping for myself does a lot to make me feel happy. I’ve finally caught up with myself financially, so I felt justified in buying myself some perfume and make-up I wanted and a shirt I liked. Actual brand-new stuff that I want and not someone’s hand-me downs, or even a present. Between that, the nice Outback dinner and getting to spend time with some of my very favorite people, it was an incredibly successful weekend.
I took a three-day-weekend completely off. I had a great time, but it’s not as if there was rest or relaxation involved, and I drove twelve hours. I wanted to finish cleaning the files. I didn’t start until late, having been caught up in other things. I had the Yankees on the radio and completely lost track of time. Leaving the office at 11:05, I remember I must get the futon out of my car. I get home, some inspector is coming, I have to clean. So it’s 1:00am and I haven’t washed my hair or relaxed for one second.
How hard, to move forward, unsure of the final destination. When I was young, I was sure there was a “right” way to do everything, a set path that if followed, would always lead to the same place. It’s still hard to accept that this simply is untrue. We never know how our actions send ripples through our lives, affecting every following aspect until cause and effect is impossible to determine. We look at our big decisions and how they might have changed things, when chances are it was some small thing, instantly forgotten, that had the far greater impact.
Always just below the surface, they keep bubbling up, spilling over with greater frequency. My control in some ways seems gargantuan, yet in others, it seems tenuous at best, like what I’m struggling to control is in danger of exploding at any second. Tears and other things seem ready to flow at the slightest provocation. I’m almost uncomfortable in my own skin, while I also seem to be coming into my own in so many ways. I want to call it confusion, but that’s not exactly right. Unbalanced comes to mind. Maybe unsettled is the best way to describe it.
My emotions were more out of control early today. I managed to distract myself at work by being busy. I actually worked with people for most of the day and then worked hard to get certain things done before I wanted to leave. I did at least run some errands although I felt rushed to get on to plans that weren’t even made. Now it seems I’m going nowhere, which I started to be upset about and then realized that I didn’t care. In fact, I feel quite tired and am pretty sure at this point I’d rather just relax.
I have to be careful, so many things are in danger of spinning out of control. There was a moment today when I thought the most important thing I have, the one thing, some days, keeping me sane was being taken away. It seems now it’s not, but I have to be very conscious of myself, for the next few months probably, and find a place to be in relation to these students who are not small children but neither are they adults. This after an accident on the highway brought home to me how suddenly grief can be revisited.
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