1.25.2015

I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams.

As I mentioned in this post, a conversation with my former housemate, D, has been rolling around in my brain. I'd made a throw-away comment about The Love Of My Life, The One That Got Away--a.k.a. Johnnie Walker. Sometimes, a decision is a big deal at the time but is clear-cut and relatively easily made anyway. In other cases, one can fail to give adequate consideration to something that is very obviously life-altering.

And so it was, the time that I met Johnnie. I drove out to the Big City to pick him up at the airport. We got lost, because I was ridiculously nervous and wasn't paying attention to the directions that had been clear in my mind before he arrived. I took him to his hotel to drop off his bags. We wandered the city for a while. We had dinner. We wandered the city for a while. Eventually, I got back in my car and headed back out toward the middle of godforsaken nowhere, which I called home. It was 2 or 3 in the morning, and I had to work the next day (that day, really).

What I said to my friend, last weekend, was that it was obvious even at the time that I should have stayed. That meeting him, and giving that whole thing a chance, was a Hell of a lot more important than showing up for work that next day. I had the time off earned, so I should have used it for that particular purpose. I needed to give it, give him, a chance, and I didn't. I deserved to lose what I failed to treasure.

When I said that--with more resignation and equanimity than particular sadness or wistfulness, given the time that's passed and the water flowing under that bridge after all this time--she looked at me rather closely and said, "You don't remember what you said to me after you met him, do you."

"What do you mean?"

"That next day, or maybe that weekend, when we were talking about meeting him, and what you thought. I asked you if you found him attractive.
"You said no."

I just gaped at her. That cannot be true. Surely, I never said that. Why would I say that? He's The Love Of My Life, The One That Got Away.

Isn't he?

Am I reliving it differently than it really happened? Remembering it with a softer focus...?

Um, yeah. I can't even pretend that I'm not. I can't, except to someone who wasn't there and has no idea what the crap was happening at that time, pretend that it wasn't complete mayhem, at least a third of which was his fault entirely. (Well, maybe not a full third. But at least a quarter.)

But it wasn't perfect. And it wouldn't have survived if I'd stayed that night, not gone to work the next day, "if only I'd have...", "if only I hadn't...", if Nick or Heather hadn't existed, or whatever. I loved him, and he loved me, but it wasn't the great love of either of our lives. How do I know?

Because it ended, and with more of a whimper than a bang.

So, what's with this idea of holding on despite evidence to the contrary? Why do I keep thinking of him as The Love Of My Life, The One That Got Away? Because that makes a very handy shield, and sometimes a sword, against anybody coming near me in any meaningful way. No matter how much I like you, you'll never be like him. And if you're not like him, I won't really fall. And if I don't really fall, then I'm not in any danger of being really hurt.

That's why I hold on. Because it reminds me that I was loved, profoundly (however briefly), once. And because it keeps me (however dysfunctionally) from getting hurt again.


[the title quotation is by Yann Martel, from Life of Pi, and reads in its entirety:
“Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart.”]

1.22.2015

so what I have been, I am; what I am, I shall be until that instant comes when I am not. And then I shall never have been

I got a very cool calendar for 2015, which is out of character for me. Watches and calendars seem old-school and quaint in the era of ubiquitous computer and cell phone usage. I do seem to get suckered into picking up a calendar each year, though, for some fundraiser or other. 2014 was the year of "the men of curling," benefiting Canadian charities and featuring...yeah, guys from the national curling team of Canada. This time it was street cat rescue in Saskatoon (don't ask), featuring guys from Canada holding small formerly stray cats. Far too adorable for words. However, the January photo was almost completely destroyed by the cropping. It left the nail hole just off-center in a Saskatoon Blades hockey player's forehead. Poor fella.

What is the deal with shy bladder syndrome? In all my years of public schooling and questionable work environments, I never suffered from it. Now that I'm in what is arguably the most professional situation I've encountered, it's as if I'm making up for years of wild behavior. It would be great to go back to the way things were!

Dear K@te H^ds0n: grow some self-respect, and hire a model. If anyone else who uses the internet is half as tired of seeing your ass as I am, then you've officially become a synonym for "over-exposed".

I was incredibly tired at the end of the work day. Now I'm wired. I think it's that I don't want to go to sleep, so that tomorrow's work day can't start. Not a good sign. This is probably just a natural lull before things get really awesome, right?

Right.

Sigh..

[the title quotation is by William Faulkner]

1.20.2015

just an hour or two / is better than none of you / I miss you

The saddest thing is realizing that you've forgotten the sound of someone's voice.
The hardest thing, then, is when you hear a voice that somehow reminds you of that lost voice, making you miss it all the more. And knowing that it's out of reach forever.


[the title quotation is from Kiss Me When I'm Down by Gary Allan]

1.19.2015

who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves

I've done this one before. The original version was posted in July, 2004. The first half was posted on the 13th.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN...
  • God/devil: more and more
  • Love: less and less, as such
  • The Closet Monster: nope
  • Heaven/hell: not really--at least in the traditional sense, as I understand them
  • Superstitions: not really "believe" but "buy into", sure
  • Half empty or half full: most things are somewhere in the middle
Just questions
  • Who named you? parents
  • Favorite quote: I'm sure I can't choose just one
  • When was the last time you showered? it's been less than a day
  • What is the last thing you said online? "If this be not love, it is madness, and then it is pardonable."
  • What is right next to you? a bottle of water
  • What is your computer desk made of? wood, locking cams, and eventually a LOT of very strong adhesive and probably some angle brackets
  • What was the last thing that you did? besides typing the answer to the previous question? I brushed my teeth, I suppose? Weird question.
  • Where do you want to go on your honeymoon? Let's cross that imaginary, mythical bridge when we come to it, eh?
  • Where do you want your wedding? Likewise.
  • Where do you live? in a house, by myself.
  • How's the weather? not bad. 34° and overcast. Expecting some rain/snow mix tomorrow.
  • What did you do last night? recovered from my veryfast trip to home:south. Drank a lot of water. Dreamed weird dreams.
  • What are you doing tonight? Typing. This. Planning to be asleep before 10:PM.
  • How do YOU eat an Oreo? I can't tolerate the chocolate ones at all. The vanilla--either just by chomping away, or by peeling them apart (a slight twist will do it) and then eating the non-icing side before the icing side.
  • All time favorite TV show: MASH
  • Dream vehicle: I'm leaning toward a Lexus SUV. A friend recently got one, and it's very nice.
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Ha! If it hasn't happened yet, it doesn't seem likely, does it?
Musing: I have an appointment tomorrow for a haircut and color, at a snooty salon. I forgot to cancel the appointment after I made the other appointment at the other place, last week. Though I feel no qualms about canceling, it doesn't seem like it's going to go all that well--it just doesn't seem like the sort of place where they'll take a less-than-24-hours'-notice cancellation with aplomb. Since it took nearly four weeks to get the appointment in the first place, though, I feel very little in the way of conscience pangs about it.
  • Favorite music: it varies widely
  • Favorite band: changes almost daily
  • Favorite food: roast beef with gravy
  • Favorite days of the week: this question has very little meaning now
  • Favorite animal: kitties
  • Brand of clothing: meh
  • If you could change your name, what would it be: I'm guessing this is supposed to be the first name, huh?
  • Do you sleep with a stuffed animal: no, but I do have a giant body pillow (a.k.a. sleeping bean)
  • The most stupidest thing you have ever done: that depends who you ask
  • First crush: the first person who really, really crushed me was Brian
  • On the phone or in person: depends on the deed
  • If you could change something about yourself, what would it be: degree of openness
  • What kind of pets do you have: no pets
  • Who sent this to you: see the explanation at the top of the post
  • What do you think about this person: since the original vagueness refers to something from eleven years ago, I'm pleased to admit that I have no recollection at all
  • Your favorite songs: the first that comes to mind is "Hell Yes" by Alkaline Trio
  • Anything you want to say to everyone: that's what this whole production is about, right?
  • Do you want your friends to do this survey: yep. If you read it, you do it. That's the implied contract. Ha!
  • Time Finished: 21:45:57

[the title quotation is by William Shakespeare, from The Merchant of Venice. Act II, scene vii]

1.18.2015

sometimes just being still is the best thing you can do for yourself

I took a weekend trip back to the southern home. It was the perfect timing for it, with warm and dry weather, nothing going on work-wise, and few other complications. Still, nine or so hours alone in the car took their toll; even with a little extra sleep, I'm zoned out and weird. Tomorrow may be an odd work day.

Although there was theoretically time to do it, I didn't see anyone except the housemates on this trip. It was Female Housemate's birthday today, and she's been--well, really both of them have been--going through some stuff lately. It was just a good time to be home with them for a while. I got there on Friday evening. We spent some time together before and then again after their planned event on Friday night. After a long night's sleep Friday night, we hung out all day Saturday. None of us really slept in very late this morning. I got up and made lemon-blueberry scones, a tradition that we'd enjoyed the whole time that I lived with them (for Sunday brunches). It wasn't too much later that I needed to pack up the car and get on the road again, since I wanted to return before it got too dark. I'm at the end of a cycle of contacts (my lenses last a month and toward the end they get a little foggy and uncomfortable, making driving a challenge). Once back here, I needed to unpack the car (I'd brought back some of the stuff that hadn't really worked out to bring in the big move) and get ready for the work week ahead. I'm disappointed that I didn't get to see more people, and spend some time with a couple that I haven't seen for far too long. But at least now I've reinforced just how easy the trip can be, so the next time it won't be such a production to pop in the car and head down.

While I drove, I mulled over some ideas for future blog posts. It's too bad I don't carry a voice-activated recorder, because I could probably do a decent chunk of pre-writing by just talking to myself in the car. As it was, I was singing along with the iPod and contemplating the playlists that were running, the greater overall meaning behind them, and where my head was when I made them. One of the results was to request input from friends on new music I should be hearing. Another was to hear echoes of something that Female Housemate had said earlier in the weekend. It wasn't exactly a throwaway comment, but it probably wasn't intended to have the whoa response that it's had. More about that--the idea of holding on despite evidence to the contrary--soon.

And I considered a conversation with my dining companion from last Wednesday, too. Something that he said has been rolling around in my mind and nudging me, albeit not necessarily in the manner that he intended. More about that--being focused and intentional in one's career--soon, too.

But now, it's time for bed.

[the title quotation is by Silas House, from Eli the Good]

1.13.2015

she's a walkin', talkin' reason to live

I've done this one before. The original version was posted in July, 2004.
  • Starting time: 9:50 PM
  • Full name: is probably not even my "legal" name anymore. Curious.
  • Nicknames: they are legion
  • School: I have no class
  • email: there's one at the bottom of the screen if you really, really need it
  • eyes: blue
  • Height: how many ways can I express it? Hmm. How about microns? 1.6256e+6ยต
  • Siblings: at least one, that I know
  • Ever been kissed: yes...
  • Ever cheat or been cheated on?: yes
  • Ever missed school because it was raining? no
  • Ever faked sick? yes. It never pays.
  • Kept a secret from everyone? yes. For all we know, I could be doing it right now!
  • Had an imaginary friend? no
  • Wanted to hook up with a friend? yes
  • Cried during a flick? yes. I'm much more sensitive than I might appear.
  • Who is your "star crush"? meh
  • Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? not
Touching memory: I worked with a lot of "older kids" at the bakery when I was in high school--many of whom could hardly be described as "kids", of course, but my perspective was plenty skewed by my age and inexperience. I wanted desperately to be older and fully accepted into their peer group. Prior to my nineteenth birthday, I began a campaign, attempting to wear down two of my friends to convince them to have a "real" party for me--with everyone dressed up, "wearing ties" and all that.

And so they did. The party was big, well-attended, and pretty amazing. They chipped in and got me a gift that I never would have imagined: diamond earrings, which I really wanted but could not afford to get on my own. And they all wore ties...with their t-shirts and jeans.

FAVORITES
  • Drink: Republic of Tea cranberry blood orange tea. Or limoncello.
  • Food: bacon! Crisp but not burnt, on buttered French bread toast. With Coke.
  • Restaurant: I'm not expressing a preference, because my allegiance tends to doom them.
  • Shampoo: Erk. I'm in the "whatever's in the bathtub" phase of my lodging, which is a dodgy affair. I'm looking forward to getting back into the "excessively luxurious" stage of hair products at some point soon.
  • Color: gray, blue, or black
  • Summer/Winter? Autumn!
  • Online/Offline? is there a purgatory choice?
  • Like anyone: Is there an answer to this that wouldn't be utterly depressing or ridiculous?
  • Who have you known the longest out of your friends: in actual chronological time, or just the way it seems when they're being wearisome?
  • Who's the shyest? I am
  • Who do you go to for advice? depends on the nature of the issue. Practicalities must be considered, after all.
  • Who do you get along with? Short-term, I can get along with just about anyone. Long-term, it's a battle few can wage and only the strong survive.
Question: Why are license and other "permanent" photographs so uniformly terrible? They somehow always manage to capture the tiniest glimmer of insanity in one's eye and magnify it beyond the human realm, while also intensifying the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and facial blemishes.

IN THE LAST 2 WEEKS HAVE YOU:
  • Cried: stray tears, nothing concentrated
  • Been mean: I don't think so?
  • Been sarcastic: never
  • Been yelled at: not exactly
  • Talked to someone you have a crush on? 'crush' is such a strong word
  • Kissed someone? no
  • Hugged someone: yes
  • Wished upon a star: no
  • Laughed until you've cried: yes
  • Played Truth or Dare: no
  • Watched a sunrise/sunset: no
  • Went [i.e. "gone"] to the beach at night: are there beaches when it's this cold? I don't even know.
  • Were you [i.e. "been"] lonely? definitely
  • Were you [i.e. "been"] happy? yep, that too
  • Have you talked to someone online? yes, sporadically
Analysis: Just a couple of days until I'm heading back south for the weekend. I haven't even thought about packing, but I'm already wishing I could stay a little longer. Or a lot longer.

This quiz is about half through. The rest will stay in hiding until another day!

time ended--10:41

[the title quotation is from Bruce Springsteen, from "Crush on You"]

1.12.2015

sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough

I should never say anything out loud about headaches, because it's enough to cause them to multiply. The one I've got right now is making my teeth throb.

My cube-mate hates me with an awe-inspiring passion. It's really something to see, mostly because she passively-aggressively pretends to adore and worship me. She seems to want nothing more than to achieve best-friendship with everyone she works with, and I couldn't care less. It's a match made in ironical heaven.

In addition to all of the other things going on this week, I've added a two-hour block of fun and excitement tomorrow: an attempt to secure a new driver's license and license plates for my car. It has to be done during work hours because the written driver's test (required for those moving into this state) is only administered for a few hours, a couple of days a week--all of which are during my work hours. I'm taking a couple of hours' personal time to get it done. If by some miracle I happen to get my license and my plates taken care of within the time allotted and still have time remaining, I will dash over to the library and get registered there, too. That might be too much to expect for one (cold) afternoon's efforts, though. And because this all is scheduled within the test administration's hours, I will be coming back to work when it's done, for all of an hour, before I bop to the coffee shop for a scone or something quick, to take with me to the salon to nibble while I have my hair done up.

I changed my profile picture on FB yesterday to a random snapshot from my college days. I think it was taken by my female roommate, as I was sitting in her chair and leaning on her poster of The Cure, in our junior-year apartment. It was the worst apartment in the world, and I'm surprised that either of us ever looked as relaxed as I do in that photo. The funny part of all this is that I cannot recall ever sitting in that particular spot, can't imagine what in the heck would have compelled me to be just there, looking like that, and having my photo taken, of all things. I scanned the picture while on a quest for photos of other people, and posted it without really thinking about it.

It's turned out to be revelatory.

I've gotten a startling number of "likes", and eight back-channel messages about it. Seriously, eight different people have felt compelled to contact me to say various things about the picture. I'm flummoxed. Is it that good? Or is it that different, as compared to the usual...whatever...that I typically post? I know I change my profile pictures more than most people, but really--eight??

Weird.

I've found a house for sale that I really, really like. I am trying not to like it, because it's way out of my price range anyway, and also vastly overpriced for the neighborhood (and for its own history). But it's hard, because it's in a quiet neighborhood, it's light enough for plants without seeming too open. It's got wall space for bookcases, a spot for the ping-pong table!, and room for my dining room set, which is definitely not a given. The surrounding area is gorgeous. My parents didn't even have a strong objection to it, which was totally amazing. I've even dreamed about it, which is both awesome and dreadful. Uuuuuugggghhhhhh

Every day at 4:30, I'm exhausted enough to fall asleep until it's time to get up for work the following day. Right now, I'm alert enough to be awake for several hours, but it's time to turn off the computer (which has been on for maybe 25 minutes, not hours and hours) and get to bed. My current schedule is not optimal, but it's what I've got. I must obey.

[the title quotation is by T.S. Eliot]