A Summer Night
August 14, 2007
lately has been nothing to Blog about. Just one day after another of the hard
work I love, when I have the time to think about it, interjected with the
running around I do when I have any free time at all. Do laundry, grocery shop,
deposit money, spend time with the family, and maybe clean a little if I have
the time, try to get some sleep: all in one twenty-four hour period. Was my new
year's resolution to simplify things? Yeah, that didn't happen.
I think I've been a little cranky to get along with,
frustrated when things don't go the exact way I pictured them. Brian is
wonderful to put up with me the way he does, subtley forcing me to do what I'm
certain I won't enjoy. I always end up loving it of course, and being endlessly
glad we did it his way.
Tonight was a prime example of this. I got home and
asked him to go to dinner and a movie with me (meaning a stop at Chipotle, then
on to see Stardust), thinking we'd use the money I found in the wash this
afternoon as financing. He decided we needed to go cheaper than that, and
started looking around for concerts in the park, much to my chagrin. I used to
love concerts in the park in Claremont. Running around, carefree and young in
that amazing summer evening air, and visiting with old friends. It was the only
time we saw our friends, some summers, as we played volleyball in the sand pits
(a sport I'm notoriously bad at), or ran in the soft grass under the starry
summer sky. And then I graduated from High School.
Suddenly I realized how much I hated pretending to care
about people I actually didn't, just because they used to wave at me in the
halls. I hated running into them, the ones who weren't friends but were
something in between, finding out about their lives and using it as an invisible
measuring rod against my own life. I always felt like I somehow came up short,
and I hated that too. I realized that the bands wern't actually what I ever
cared about seeing, how much of a hastle it was packing a picnick, and that I
felt lonely and ridiculous in a crowd I didn't know. The last thing I wanted to
do tonight was pack a lunch and feel lonely under the summer stars.
Brian, of course, came through for me in a way that was
completely amazing. He found this place, about ten minutes away, where they
served dinner to big band music with no cover charge. "I don't want to have to
dance," I hemmed and hawed, "I don't feel like dressing up. What if they don't
have anything on the menu I like." But he gave me that face. The one that says
"Shut up Case, and try this for me because you love me." With the big brown
puppy-dog eyes that just plead for me to be reasonable. I let out a big sigh,
resolved to be pleasant, and put on my tuxedo pants with silver wedges.
Twenty minutes later I was in big band heaven. The food
was amazing, the band was great, and the place was so packed with tables that we
couldn't have danced if we wanted to. The emcee was filled with little factoids
and tidbits about the origins of every song they played, and we had a wonderful
time. They do this every Monday, evidently, and we will definitely be back for
more. It was everything I wanted in spirit: good food and great entertainment,
though I didn't know it. Brian is so great to put up with me.
July 3, 2007
It's my favorite holiday pretty
soon, the one that fills my soul with hope and promise and optimism. A gigantic
yay-fest in the sweltering heat of summer sun. I heard a man say on NPR the
other day that patriotism is a love of one's country that goes deeper than the
loathing of one's rulers and that is exactly the way I feel about America,
especially this summer.
as I've felt shackled and bound by responsibility, I also feel incredibly free
these days. Every choice I've made has been my own completely, and that goes a
long way towards contentment, I think. My volunteering experiences have all
ended with a bang, and that could also be why I'm feeling so free. I have a
moment to stop and contemplate again, I don't have to run all over creation
unless I want to. I will watch the fireworks blossom in the sky with a joyful
heart this year. I look forward to it!
June 9, 2007
They tell you a lot of things about
marriage, about what a serious business it is and about how much it will affect
your life. They tell you how hard it is to reverse once it's done, but they
don't tell you how easy it is to do it. All you really need is to ignore that
voice of terror that whispers in your little be-pearled ear "it's never going to
work for you in the long run," suppress that feeling of terror that you will
never be yourself again, lost in this man's identity, and say "I do" when asked.
It's quick too. One short half-hour of your time and you are literally tied into
knots only a professional can untangle. A complicated mess of legality and
expectation, feelings and duties. You can never know what it's like to be
married if you aren't, though every human being tries to imagine it. Some try to
prepare for it.
and I knew we would get married from the very beginning, or so it seemed to me
five years into our relationship when I took that frightening walk down a white
papered isle, my hand draped across my father's arm. I had been trying for five
years to imagine what the experience would be like, not the wedding but the
marriage, and I had no idea what was in store for the two of us. Brian was
smart. He studied all the couples we knew and deduced some common problems that
everyone had. We chatted and came up with solutions, right down to the chore
chart taped to the inside of our broom closet door. I made the lines neat and
straight, with little boxes we could check off, our names written in fancy
other thing they don't tell you when you get married is how incredibly close you
will be to this person. Remember the nights you used to write in your diary,
dreaming in your peaceful room? You no longer have your own bedroom. Remember
those nights when nothing particular was wrong, but you felt like crying
yourself to sleep for the relief of it? The someone sleeping next to you will be
quite alarmed at the sobbing going on next door. You don't even have your own
bed to yourself, you share absolutely everything in the closest possible way.
It's the nights that I'm freezing and want the down comforter and he's
sweltering wanting only the sheet that I feel like Lucy and Ricky may have had
the right idea with those identical twin beds.
sure they would tell you if it were describable, because they always tell you
what they can of good, marriage is a sweeter thing than it is possible to know
from the other side. It's beyond attraction, beyond personality, the calm
self-assurance that comes with knowing that he knows all your secret flaws and
insecurities, your hopes and dreams, and he LIKES YOU ANYWAY. The slow
realization that he knows you better than you do yourself, and that you in turn
know him just as well. The day to day activity that feels like a well-oiled
machine, in a romantic and fuzzy kind of way, and the millions of small
kindnesses that fill your life with joy.
going to tell you a secret. It means a lot to me, and I know you'll think it's
mushy, but here it is anyway: I have been kissed every morning for the past four
years. Truly, what could be better than that?
May 16, 2007
Oh, I am behind behind in all this
blog writing! I have volunteered for too much, and it is eating my free time as
if it has been starving for years. Relay For Life is taking place this weekend,
so that shall be one less thing on my plate. The Youth Theater Works production
of Into the Woods doesn't come off until the last weekend of June (a thought
that gives me conniptions when I think of how behind I am), so there is light at
the end of the tunnel. I think.
kids have been doing their own costume designs, which has been a joy and a
treasure. They are so creative, and they don't even know it! I think they'll be
pleased to see their designs on stage.
try harder to write more. I can make the time for it somehow, I'm sure. In my
1/2 hour of lunch, or in the brief moments of time I have between work and work
again. Who needs sleep anyhow? I think I can survive without it...
Untouched by Human
April 19, 2007
There's a stretch of the 57 freeway
that I love, that puts my heart at ease and makes my day seem brighter. From
industrial businesses and tan-colored brick rimming the roadsides, the hallmark
of California highways, to a grass-lined road of stunted trees and tall power
lines wending it's way across the earth. Sometimes there are even cows, bobbing
their heads and swishing their tails as they huddle in clumps in the bushy
shade. You can tell the seasons by this short stint of pasture, a feat that's
difficult in a state with little weather. You have to truly pay attention to
watch the leaves change or the flowers start to bud and bloom. Not on this
sliver of highway. In winter and spring the grasses are a vivid green, waving in
the wind amongst the little trees. In summer the green grasses slowly fade away
to a bland oatmeal as the trees turn into a deep green, almost gray. Then comes
the parched look of a dry fall, desperate for the rains of winter to make them
thought I would miss my commute from Claremont to here, and yet I miss that
piece of road so much it seems ridiculous. Rushing over hill and dale to emerge
into civilization again, the suburban buildings sprawling across the valley
below me for miles in all directions, except the mile or so behind me, untouched
by human hands. It's especially gorgeous at night when the black hills press
themselves against the gray evening sky, splashed with stars like you have never
seen it before, Orion waving a hand hello as you speed past. A part of the night
around you. If you emerge around 9:30 you may even see blossoms of fireworks
erupting in the sky, a bulls eye for the happiest place on earth. The reason for
still be a visitor to that little piece of New England nestled in the hills of
L.A., Claremont, and I'll visit my hills on the road home. I have to remind
myself of that when I feel those little clods of dirt detaching themselves from
my roots. Not a pot change, just a soil change, repeat it whenever you feel out
of place. The house is looking cozy now, divested of it's boxes, and Brian and I
are slowly settling in. The happiest couple on earth, tucked snugly in our
little apartment with two matching cats running circles all around us.
March 19, 2007
been strange lately, getting ready to move farther away from my family than I
ever have before. Little tidbits from my past have been rearing their little
heads with frequency, making me long for the old days before I was married and
responsible. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade Brian for the world, but it
was such a simpler time way back then. I could do what I wanted without consult
and without thoughts of money...
going to outdoor school this week. A snowy and campy adventure in Wrightwood
where they make you sing "Dirt you made my lunch" before they let you eat, make
you dance with boys (that's right, you heard me!), and teach you how to tell the
temperature from the cicada's chirping. We had an earthquake while I was there,
a two-point-something rocking us out of our beds one night from the fault we
visited on our hike that afternoon. I guess mother nature didn't appreciate all
the rocks we threw into that stream nearby as we traipsed through the hills and
valleys in the sparse and needly forests of Southern California.
makes me think of the summers I spent at camp, five in all, getting tan and
making friends. There was Camp Lakota where we rode horses and slept on cots
under the stars. The highlight of my week was getting to be the color guard at
breakfast, and the most useful thing I learned was how to set a table in the
dark and vast dining hall. My horse stepped off the path a little one day, right
into a tree, and I had a giant bleeding scratch spanning from under my cheek to
above my right eye. It must have looked worse than it felt, because everyone had
a conniption when I took my riding helmet off that afternoon and the cut broke
open again.. It was almost completely healed by the time I went home a week
Whites Landing is probably better forgotten, the small snobocracy the long time
campers formed and the complete unwillingness of the staff to find alternative
programs for those who couldn't (or wouldn't) do the task at hand. I did learn
that dry buffalo droppings are gigantic and not that gross once they've dried up
in the summer sunshine. Buff Puffs, we called them. I also gained a deep love
for canoeing and a slight fear of sailboats. I was almost beaned in the head by
the swinging boom on our one day out, after failing completely to steer it in
any direction whatsoever.
became the love of my life. The climbing wall and the pitch black maze, the
astrobright orange garibaldi, the flying fish that would soar right over the
dock, and even the fox tails that would hitch-hike to your socks. I ate seaweed
that tasted like pepper, sang the Jacques Cousteau Bevertail song with gusto,
ached for a pair of Tevos like everyone else, and listened to whale songs in the
auditorium with a stained glass window of otters in a kelp forest, making
patterns of blues and browns across the carpeted floor as the sun streamed
through. At the beginning of the week, they would challenge some unsuspecting
new counselor to identify a fish blindfolded. Someone would run quickly for the
rubber chicken and we would all try not to giggle as confusion reigned supreme.
By the end of the week we were all sun browned and loathe to leave that little
island of romance.
shall stay in my little house with my little husband as we cross our fingers
that our new life turns out to be the quiet affair it used to be. It will be
more industrial than it was, on the busiest street in Anaheim, but hopefully
quiet none the less. I hope Mata has a good time at outdoor school, I know I
East Bonita Avenue
March 6, 2007
I met one of my high school English
teachers in the grocery the other day. She remembered me first and we had a
lovely time chatting. Mrs. Raguiel would have been my favorite teacher ever had
Dr. Hoffman not been so incredibly fabulous, and I always seemed to do my best
work in her class. She always gave us assignments that were just thought
provoking enough without being restrictive. That was the year we read The House
on Mango Street and then wrote essays on the neighborhood we lived in.
leaving my little neighborhood in less than a month, so I thought I'd do another
one, just for the sake of loving this place.
are eight units staring at each other across a slim sidewalk where I live,
peaceful examples of the twin units facing off all over the complex, each almost
the same but slightly different islands in the middle of the winding paths and
creeks covered in sycamore trees and vegetation. I live on the top southwest
side of these eight twins, with my husband and two cats who crawl all over the
railings of our little balcony and keep a close watch on the neighbors like the
small hairy busybodies they are. We used to be afraid they would jump down into
Megan's garden below, or perhaps leap balconies next door to visit Carl, but
they haven't yet.
replaced the congenial older lady who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis
and couldn't climb the stairs any longer. She took her nice ivy topiary from the
hall and the pretty wreath from her door and moved in with her daughter until
they could find her a place without steps, and Carl moved in. Long bushy brown
hair, a silver Mercedes with a Kompressor engine, foldable metal multipurpose
room deck chairs, and a bare door. He's the loudest one on the block, his rock
music blaring at acceptable daytime hours, and as nice as can be. He had a lot
of work done on the place after he moved in, disappearing for a few weeks while
his "people" put in a dark stained wood floor and shiny high tech entertainment
system. They called him Carlos instead of Carl, the workmen.
chats with Carl across the balcony all the time, exchanging pleasantries and
stories. He told Brian once about a friend who didn't want his car anymore and
decided to dump it in Mexico, report it stolen, and collect the insurance money.
The friend and his girlfriend set up a great alibi, jumped in the car, and
proceeded to buy gas the whole way down with a credit card. They ended up in
court for insurance fraud. Carl is also a little apprehensive that the cats will
come over and visit him some day. He says they look at him sometimes like they
want to be petted, and are maybe considering the jump to bridge the gap.
pet you if you come over here," he tells them, "But I don't know how you're
going to get home again." so they stay where they are. The devil you know and
has lived in our little octet for as long as I can remember, a self-reliant and
cute blonde living directly below us. We share a garage with her buff colored
Volvo and red-striped armchair as quiet and unobtrusive as she is herself,
unlike our side stacking up taller every year and lopping over a tad to the side
that isn't ours. She goes running around town sometimes in her vinyl shorts and
t-shirt, and you can catch a glimpse of her in places you'd never expect her to
be and yet make perfect sense. A brown-haired boyfriend arrives and leaves
occasionally, unobtrusively of course, and sometimes her car never makes it into
the garage for the night. Her front window has had a "For Sale" sign posted in
it for the last week. Brian thinks she might be moving in with the boyfriend,
though we haven't asked.
moved in we dutifully traded phone numbers and try to take care of problems
equally. We fixed the garage the first time it wasn't working right, so the next
time it was having problems Megan brought her dad over and they spent the
afternoon at it. It opened smooth as butter for a while but now it's starting to
be cranky again, opening only the second or the third time you press the button.
used to be really good friends with the people underneath Carl, a happy couple
and their toddler crammed into a small one bedroom condo. One summer evening the
water pipe underneath the middle sidewalk burst and water came gushing from the
seam, running down like a new sort of creek into the maccadam parking lot. The
three of them sat there, the adults sprawled on the sidewalk as their little
girl laughed and splashed in the cool water, drenching her tiny jean shorts and
frilly shirt. They moved into a two bedroom in the same complex a few weeks
later, quickly transferring their things without much help.
couple moved in, keeping mostly to themselves. They like to prop their front
door open and close the screen door. You can see the flat-screen TV flickering
as you walk by, and the wall they painted a medium blue in the dining room. A
lot of the people here like to keep to themselves.
Directly across from us in the upstairs apartment, I have never seen anyone
enter or leave ever. I assume it's a woman living there, because she has white
curtains with lacy edges in the kitchen windows that look out on the parking
garages, and plethora of red Geraniums on her patio. In the winter time she has
a bamboo screen to shade her living room from the sun, but in the summer she
replaces it with a giant American flag that waves in the hot breezy afternoons
and probably turns her living room to a cozy red. Sometimes easy songs from her
radio drift from her window and across the parking lot.
Directly underneath her is a man Brian and I recognized the moment we moved in.
He used to come in daily for a coffee at Borders when we worked together years
ago, though I don't think he remembers us. He has three adorable and ill behaved
dogs that he walks one or two at a time, wandering overweight and shirtless with
his nose in a book across the parking lot at all hours of the day and night, to
wherever they feel like taking him. Brian asked him what he did for a living and
he said he was in tech theater, which made me feel like we were kindred spirits
at once. We never say hi, just smile at each other in recognition as we saunter
by. He once asked us if we'd like a dog sometime, but we explained that the cats
were quite enough for now, and moved on in our merry way.
the two Mannie's on the north east side, completely unrelated except for the
building and the name they share. Mannie on the bottom replaced the young guy
with the revolving door of women carrying grocery bags. We asked him why he was
moving out so soon after moving in as he dumped the furnishings he carried onto
the back of a white pickup truck, and he explained that the owner needed the
place for his elderly relative and he was being kicked out. The way he said it
you know he thought it was unfair, but he was going to suck it up, deal with it,
and not complain. A few weeks later, little old man Mannie and his small gray
girlfriend moved in, replacing all the curtains with lacy valances.
the younger lives upstairs. He has a wife and a huge family that visits him all
the time, gunking up the guest parking with their sociable cars. It's his first
home ever, and his voice just rings with pride when he tells you. He's the sort
that works hard at the expense of everything, hustling around all night in a
warehouse, moving women's cosmetics this way and that. He once told me what his
wife did, but I've forgotten. She works just as hard as he does, that much is
certain, and in the same strange hours. They get a lot of grief from the other
tenants, the yuppie middle-class bred occupants who decided that if you have to
work hard, for heaven's sake don't tell anyone about it. Anything they do that
is slightly suspect is immediately reported, and I know it's poisoning the
joyfulness of homeownership a little for them, but they deal with it all.
our little neighborhood. Eight little units among hundreds, staring at each
other through the decades and listening to that fake and laughing creek wend
it's way back to the beginning again.
I have been in limbo these past three weeks,
waiting silently in the dark peacefulness of my bedroom for my new life to
start. It's been upsetting and boring, feeling like a useless member of the
family who doesn't contribute anything. I have been so incredibly stir-crazy,
not being able to speak with people who are all at work without me. The cats,
while they give a half hearted try, are not good company. They either must be on
your lap forcing you to pet them, rubbing their little faces on your hands as
you try to do things, or completely ignoring you for the activity of outside.
I've barely survived these weeks, and I'm so glad they're over tomorrow.
It felt like it wasn't real. That I didn't really leave
my job to chase a dream, that I wasn't going to be allowed to work for something
that mattered to me. I was hopelessly lonely without the hope that I might
sometime feel otherwise, and I was incredibly cranky. Brian is so good to put up
learned a lot in my time alone. It's so easy to sleep until noon, even if you
don't mean to. TV is not good company, though both music and Garrison Keilor are
adequate substitutes for human beings. The less you have on the schedule, the
less you want to do anything at all, and I don't like myself nearly as much as I
thought I did. It's not that I dislike myself, I just go nuts spending every
waking moment with myself without someone else to intercede on my behalf.
Tomorrow I step into the light of the afternoon and begin work in the happiest
place on earth. I have a hope that this job will result in fast friendships and
a renewed sense of belonging to the night, as I did before I was married. I'm
more grateful for the chance to do something (anything) because of my time with
myself, so I guess it's been a blessing in disguise in a way. The excitement is
spreading slowly throughout my little body as I realize that it's really
happening. Opportunity is an amazing thing, the way it infects every aspect of a
person's outlook. I can hardly wait for tomorrow!
How To Listen
February 20, 2007
Garrison Keilor sends me an e-mail every day. It's nice to hear from him, his
breath-of-fresh-air perspective and funny factoids. I like to ignore the fact
that he sends the same e-mail out to anyone who wants it, and also reads it on
the radio every evening. I like people to think it's just for me, that somehow
he knows me as well as I feel I know him from listening to that mellow voice of
his these last few years. A voice that could calm a monsoon and make the sun
shine brightly again. And has.
On the top of my personal e-mail every day it has a set
of instructions: "how to listen". I've never clicked the link, but it seems to
me it must be a portal to something secret and rare. Advice on how to take
advice, or possibly how to know what the people around you are really longing
for. Take the guessing out of human interaction and learn how to read the secret
signs of dreams within another person.
I've been a little introspective of late, an alone
woman of leisure. Trapped in the space between old life and new, apprehensive
and bored, anticipating the day things return to familiarity. The search for an
apartment is always interesting to me, how two people that seem so similar can
have such different ideas of home. Trying to make that reality mesh has never
been easy for Brian and I, raised so incredibly differently, but we always do
somehow. Politely disagreeing until we find the perfect place for us both.
times like these I wish that there was an otherworldly link, that "how to
listen" would turn out to be something other than a set of
instructions about media players. Advice on how to take advice or something
deeper, a key to a soul or two. It would be so much easier if only it was.
February 8, 2007
last day at CUC, which means no more Frontpage until Brian and I get our new
computer. This also means no updates until Brian and I get our new
computer. I'll still be writing like crazy, and hopefully in a week or so
I can backdate some blog entries. Not the end, just a hiatus. Thanks
February 6, 2007
and silent as I switch off my spot in the quiet pause, though the hum of the fan
still fills the spot booth. She steps off the stage, into the pool of blue light
on the dance floor and softly begins to sing. The audience is captivated and we
watch together, me a little bit separate and a little invisible. I melt into the
black shadows as I watch, as I'll melt out of this small family a few minutes
from now. I was never good at keeping in touch.
Among the silence, her words ring out. It was Lisa who
shepherded me into my first show here at the Candlelight, and important that she
Shepherd me out again. A full circle of bittersweet joy completing itself. This
place has been my heart and soul for the six best years of my life, and I know
I'll be leaving some of that soul behind me. Stashed in the booth perhaps, or
lingering by the stage manager's console in the darkness that has become a part
of me. A secret calmness at my center, a flair for being alone as everyone is
alone in the dark, connected as we are by headset and mutual experience. It will
be strange not participating anymore.
"Let the world stop turning, let the sun stop burning: In
this life I was loved by you." She tells the hushed crowd sitting at their
tables in the same darkness I inhabit, perched on my stool and peering over the
edge. That's exactly how I feel about my last night here. We loved each other,
the Candlelight and I, deeply and blindly cycling through each performance and
striving for the best time anyone could have. No matter what happens to me as I
step into the world theaterless, I will always have that.
The end of an era has come to pass.
February 1, 2007
Every time I've turned on
the radio lately, I've been hearing discussions about race. Is the US ready for
a black president? Should all white racial-awareness groups be allowed to exist?
What are we going to do about illegal immigrants in our country? It made me
think a lot about myself and my personal ethnicity, and I realized that I don't
I am just about the whitest person on the face of this earth. My mother's family
has been in America since they sailed over on the mayflower, and my father's
family has been here even longer than that, if you can believe it. I'm even
blond haired and blue eyed, so I look like the perfect Aryan girl. It's a little
disconcerting to be so incredibly generic.
We went to the Ramona pageant a few springs ago. A community production gone
wild, with everyone in town participating in a show practically unchanged since
the 1920's. They have a little museum, about the book the play was based
on and about the various Indian tribes in the area. I found out that day
that Brian is 1/8 Native American, and proud of it. It was a shock to me,
although I don't know why it should be. I guess I just thought he was as
generic as I was, a kindred spirit of the blankness that comes of being white.
It made me just a tiny bit jealous.
My favorite place in the entire world is Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth
Massachusetts where they've re-created the original pilgrim village as near as
they can from the documents that still exist. It's a beautiful town on a river,
weathered gray buildings standing sturdily amongst the waving grasses and
vegetable gardens. A dusty path threads it's way down the center of the row, and
a giant palisade encircles the whole thing. Men and women in old clothes work
the whole day through, telling jokes and chatting with each other and anyone
else that wanders through. The last time I was there I spoke with Miles Standish
for quite some time about his disdain for church on Sundays, and I could have
stayed all day. It's funny, that a silly little thing like this is so important
I was talking to my father-in-law last night about the Pilgrims, they're journey
and the circumstances under which they left England, and it dawned on me that my
heritage is this. I love Plimoth Plantation because it's where I came from, or
as near as they can make it. It's why I love stories about the Revolutionary
War, and why I love the fourth of July. It may not be much, but I have a small
culture to point to and say "those traits are mine." A brief history I can cling
to in times of uncertainty. I feel less generic already.
January 26, 2007
leaving my job to join the masses in costuming, at the biggest people trap ever
built by a mouse (that would be Disneyland, thank you Puppa). It's a little bit
of a leap off a ledge, but I can see the ground below and I know I'll be fine.
I'm looking forward (enthusiastically!!!) to being busy at
work and striving for something I love. It's been a long time since I've felt
fulfilled, so bring on the strange hours and the overtime. I'll take it all in
stride like the professional I pretend to be. February 9th is the first day of
my new life: a lucky number for me, if we're believing in lucky numbers. I can
On another note, the search is on for an apartment closer to
Brian and my respective jobs. We love our little upstairs condo, so cute and
concise. It's great that we can take our time and find something equally as
homey near where we need it to be. No hurrying allowed.
And now the official announcements are officially over.
January 23, 2007
for it. I wanted things to change just a little bit, and suddenly I'm in a whirl
of endings. It's unsettling and adrenaline inducing. I feel as though someone
has stepped into my life and I'm not really me anymore, though I know I'm
waiting for myself somewhere deep down inside. I'll be looking forward to the
settling of the dust, if only because I'll (maybe) get some sleep.
I'm sure there will be official announcements in the not too
January 17, 2007
been dating about a year when I went to Maine. I was looking forward to another
sunny month on the beach, running around with cousins and generally living an
ideal existence, so different from my actual existence in California where I had
responsibilities. I didn't want to leave Brian behind, but I was craving that
salty sea air sweeping over the grey sands, rustling the blades of sea grass
back and fourth. Carefree and tanned, is how I wanted my summer to proceed,
slipping into the slang and inside jokes of an east-coast life.
He came to the airport with the three of us, my mother and
sister and me. It was before all the 9/11 extra security measures, and he waited
at the gate with us. I had carefully put on my white pedal pushers and blue
tank-top that morning. I don't know why, but it was important to me to look good
that day. Maybe it was because I knew I'd cry, and if I couldn't look
attractive, at leased I'd be dressed attractively. I cried for almost an hour,
embarrassed to the nines and striving desperately for self-control. I knew I'd
miss him a lot, my silly boyfriend, things were always so idyllic between us.
Walking through the square tube to the plane, my new blue carry on thumping as
it rolled over the floor joints and dragging behind me. I tried not to look back
at his tall waving form, framed by the open doorway.
We sat in the sun, us four Blond girls, running to the corner
store for home-made sub sandwiches or pizza and perusing the gift shop of
trinkets that proclaimed "Goose Rocks Beach". Reading smutty magazines as
we became brown as beans or running in and out of the house with drinks and
snacks, the green grasses whipping at our legs as we ran down the path. There is
something about the ocean that makes me long for things. Staring out at
the blue cove, timber island slowly joining with the land, I longed for Brian.
Especially on the evenings we had a bonfire, stopping at the fire department for
the permit, then arguing about the best way to lay the wood in a hollow of the
wore on, we drove a half-hour to the movie theater to watch a film arriving
weeks after it's premier in California, the smell of skunk on the road pervading
the warm night. Eating chowder at the local dive, or fried haddock with lots of
lemon, and running around the Port spending money on frivolities. On weekends
we'd go up to my Aunt's camp, tubing and wake-boarding or just anchoring and
swimming on their lake all day long. A plane with giant feet circled overhead
that summer, getting ever closer before skidding over the surface of the water
and coming to a rest, bobbing like a boat on stilts in the lake. I didn't know
why I had a hollow feeling in my soul. I tried to cover it with gaiety and nice
clothes, which helped some but not enough.
I called him from the camp and also from the beach house with
a calling card, purchased for way too much money at the Rite-Aid near camp. I
stood there, leaning against the gray wooden hood built over the pay phones
eying the spider with his web stretched across the corner, and heard all the
news from back home. Listening to Brian's voice through the plastic receiver,
the hole in my soul shrank.
It was later that night, bundled in the boat and watching the
sun set from the middle of the lake, that I realized what my problem was.
Homesickness. In the course of a year, my sense of home had shifted from a place
to a person without my knowledge or consent, and it was making me uncomfortable
in my own skin. That realization made it easier to bear, and I went from
homesick to only a little lonely for the rest of that vacation. I don't know if
I ever told Brian the epiphany I had, floating freely above the waveless depths
as the world turned to pinks and golds above me. It's a good thing I married him
four years later, or who knows where I'd be?
Alone, But Not Lonely
January 9, 2007
It's funny how something as
simple as a commute can eat so much time from a day. I'm not commuting, but
Brian is, and I feel like I never see him any more.
I've been waking up a lot earlier lately, snuggled up
in my new red sheets. Almost comfortable, but not quite, and painfully
conscience that I didn't sleep very well (I know, so what else is new?. Bustling
around the house all by my little lonesome, going to my quiet little job and
thinking quiet thoughts, coming home to my empty house to wait for Brian to walk
through the door. It's really brought out my inner housewife, I've been cooking
and cleaning and all that other stuff.
I've always been a quiet person, liking time to myself
to reflect and just be. The unexamined life is not worth living, etcetera
etcetera. Still, it's odd to me how much I miss Brian. He's still there, but our
silly good times are farther between than they used to be, and we are no longer
joined at the hip. I guess you could say I have separation anxiety.
I'm sure I'll get used to being with myself so much. I
used to thrive on it, and I'm looking forward to thriving again.
January 2, 2007
usually fly in the summer time. It's nice and clear, and we don't have to worry
about storms at all. This year I have flown more than I ever have in my life, at
strange times and to unusual places, and I have concluded that by flying in the
summertime I'm missing some of the amazing joys of flight. In fact, I would be
willing to contend with the extra motion-sickness of extra turbulents if every
flight could be as beautiful as the two I experienced this Christmas.
It was a winter day in Southern California when we flew
out, 3 days before the holiday, and the sun washed the world in cool gold.
Sweater Weather (can you say that ten times fast?), and beautiful. We flew
through Dallas and figured we had nothing to worry about, and we didn't really.
We hit a rainstorm in the darkness, and it was the best thing I've ever seen. We
were right in back of the wing watching the tip light flash and dim, lighting
the raindrops around it in random sparks of white fire. Mist furled over the
wings and receded back into the thick grey haze around us. When we broke through
the clouds, our wings still sparking, a runway surrounded by bay and boats and a
motherboard of lights met us. Rivulets of rain ran streaming across my window,
and we landed smoothly on the wet runway.
The flight back was just as amazing. We floated on top
of spilled batting, covering the land completely. Above us another layer of
wispy clouds floated freely as we chased after the sunset, always falling a bit
more behind until an orange orb peered through the white fluff. Arms of orange
and yellow reached out to us over the sky, briefly, then turned into a colored
line on the horizon. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and an ever deepening
indigo into the violet darkness of the night sky. A single star sat where the
indigo turned into night, and I have to admit that I wished on it, as old as I
am to be doing such things. The Santa Ana's were crazy in Ontario that night and
our descent was rough, to say the least, but I would do it all again for the
sake of that star growing ever brighter in the frame of my little round window.
I'm not a happy camper when I fly. Though I've
understood the romance of flight in theory, I've never had a practical
experience until this Christmas jaunt to Virginia. It almost made me want to
become a flight attendant. And then I came to my senses when I realized I'd be
keeping the barf-bag and Dramamine manufacturers in business.
A New Year
January 1, 2007
was about this time last year that I started blogging, so happy anniversary to
me! I started this blog to say some things about society in general and it ended
up getting personal. Which is OK, but unintended. I discovered that I have at
least a years worth of experience to relate and that I have a better way with
words than I ever thought I did (or so I'm told). All in all it's been a good
I like to make resolutions at New Year's, and I try
hard to resolve to do things that I can and will. No loosing 50 pounds or
learning underwater basket weaving for me. This year my resolutions are as
1) School, school, school. I really need to get this
figured out. Just pick a place and get done with it, I'm not getting any younger
and in fact I'm getting older pretty rapidly.
Slim down the schedule. I do way too much, and it makes my life nuts. Running
around is not something I enjoy.
3) Stop with the nail biting. Yes, I'm giving this one
a go again, hopefully this time around it'll stick.
I hope I can keep them, I'll be trying my hardest. In
the mean time, have a great yuletide type celebration and a happy 2007.
On another note, here's
wonderful and stirring piece of poetry written by my dear old dad. He's
got one for every occasion, and if he doesn't he'll make one up.
There was a man, his name was Lang And he had a
neon sign. Now, Mr. Lang was very old,
So they called it Old Lang's Sign.