World Suicide Prevention Day. PS- I REALLY hate running.

Before I wrote this, I didn’t even know it was World Suicide Prevention Day. Another blogger informed me. But it just so happens that a few weeks ago, I read a beautiful piece in the Associated Press on assisted suicide:

https://www.apnews.com/2ee08672b8c1445ca09e0e09ab262c30

I’ve been a proponent of the Hemlock Society for most of my adult life, death with dignity. Especially since Bill chose to bow out on his own terms.


Then this last week, I read an an article on Congresswoman Wild’s story on suicide prevention following the unexpected suicide of her partner. I wonder, how much less traumatic would it be if we could have a conversation and plan our death the way Robert Fuller did in the AP story? 

In the case of Rep. Wild’s partner, the article mentioned he was depressed partly because he had had a botched surgery that left him in chronic pain and the things that he enjoyed most such as jogging 5 miles a day, he could no longer do. And that struck me.


Maybe jogging was his coping mechanism. Like dancing is mine. Or maybe he just thoroughly enjoyed it so much that when it was taken from him, nothing else adequately filled that space. But I also know how chronic pain can suck the joy from us. My mother has been suffering for decades and until medical marijuana was legalized in my state and made the pain bearable, I was dreading but fully anticipating her eventually giving up.

You get so used to being in pain that you don’t even consciously think about it but unconsciously, it taints everything in your life. Low-grade, chronic pain is a current running through your nerves end-to-end, eroding your psyche and quality of life.

Combine chronic pain with being robbed of a daily activity you enjoy most like dancing or jogging… and it’s not that life is over but life as you needed it to be is over. The light has gone out. And shut the f-up about it being “selfish” or “just find something else to do that makes you happy”…
He loved running. And then he couldn’t run anymore.

And then I think about how much I hate running. I have at least a hundred excuses why I can’t or shouldn’t run. Everything ranging from bad knees to I need to have external motivation like Pennywise chasing me. The funny thing is I follow a few blogs from joggers. The reluctant joggers are my favorite because they are relatable. I try to find inspiration to run in their tales of miserable slogging and “just do it” attitude. They are inspiring but still not enough for me to run. It’s 100 degrees here. Global warming makes it 120. I could wait til the sun goes down but then I’ve lost my steam. My iPod isn’t charged or I’m not particularly feeling my current playlist. It’s wet. It’s dark. I might trip. I might get hit by a crazy driver speeding through the neighborhood. My dog doesn’t want to run either. He says we should call it an early night because he heard me reading aloud from some random health professional that sleep is just as important as exercise when you have an autoimmune disease. And life is short. Too short to do things I hate such as running.

But I can run. Not fast and not far but I am physically capable where others are not. Where the Congresswoman’s partner was not. And it eats at me a bit, clearly. Maybe I should run for him. Maybe I should run for everyone who can’t. Maybe I should run for my mother because she’s still hanging on through the pain, partly because she knows I need her to stick around. Maybe I need to run because for some, that simple act that I hate so much, might have been the difference between a life and death decision. Of course it doesn’t bring him back. And if he was alive, I’m guessing he wouldn’t give two shits to know anybody was running for him. Just like I wouldn’t be satisfied watching someone dance for me if my own legs were lost. I understand that much.

So I have a nagging sense that I might need to run for him. In my own struggle with pain, illness and depression…it’s a silent, lonely battle. I should run for us both. Because I still can.

But shortly into the slog, I began walking which ended up being a leisurely 22 minute per mile stroll while reviewing choreography in my head. Not a run. But it’s a start.

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“Fucking around and falling in love” Angel Olsen

The duvet slips away from my shoulders, exposing breasts, nipples tighten under the cool air. I long for an extra pair of arms and lips at times like these, company in my bed.

My mother remarked on how handsome M is. She asked if he was single and I said “yes but he is emotionally unavailable” and I laughed. I don’t know if that’s even remotely true but it’s easier to say out loud than “I don’t believe he’s interested in me.”

Even as I had a successful date last week with an attractive, younger man. I say “successful” because he showed up. That is half the battle, isn’t it? Affectionate and attentive, I doubt we have enough in common to pursue anything but I enjoyed his company. But I haven’t reached out to him since. He’s not “the one” so I’m not motivated to make an effort.

And I stopped texting M. His disinterest depresses me.

I have an argument for leaving tags on bras. Women generally remove the tags from all our garments but considering how hard is otto find a good bra, I’d like to know what style, size and brand it is to replace it when it wears out.

A dancer friend of mine invited me to come out and see a jazz band. Assuming because he is a dancer friend that it was a jazz conducive of dancing. Instead it was the jazz I hate. That contemporary jazz that sounds like everyone is doing a solo. And I catch myself staring the entire time staring at the drummer’s fruit stripe .socks to avoid watching the musicians on stage make bedroom eyes at each other. Another thing that irks me about jazz, watching men circle jerk each other onstage with instruments. Happy to be thought of but that was 4 captive hours, $40 and 100 miles I’ll never get back.

I chuckle at the public service announcements around the building where I work. Warnings like “Spying doesn’t pay” and beware the disgruntled employee, they could be an insider threat. Hell, might as well report everyone in this line of work then.

App dating: If he writes nothing in his profile I automatically think he’s lazy and swipe left. If he writes “just ask” in his bio, he might as well have not written anything at all and I swipe left. Although I think guys are starting to get the hint about fish pictures. I haven’t seen as many shirtless shitter shots as in years past but they are still a thing. As I’m clicking through, an “Eeww!” escapes my lips every time a SSS pops up. Doesn’t emmatter if it’s a dude with 20 pack abs or Larry the Cable Guy in his third trimester of beer gut. Same reaction.

I catch up on blogger I’ve been following for 10 years. Has it really been 10 years? 10 years since I’ve been blogging too. He’s only gotten more vulgar, I think. Pushing the envelope until there’s nothing left to push it seems. But is he really getting more vulgar or a have I become my mother, growing increasingly conservative as I get older, my mind shrinking like my spine with age.

I was a little too content in my decision to drop all my cabaret girls from Facebook. Oh, we could still communicate on the private page and they might not even notice that I dropped them. I even hoped they would notice and ask so we could open the door to that conversation like a teenager wishing someone would find her diary and say “I’m sorry, I didn’t know”.

I would tell them: You judged me. You all did. And you attacked me when I was down. And I felt like an outsider in the group ever since. However, I have a lot of sequins so I have no intention of quitting. But I don’t need social media reminding me just how few real friends I have.

I was also too content to use the excuse that traffic delayed me getting home, making it so that I wouldn’t get to the last acrobatics class on time. So I poured a stale mug of wine purposely into my “Blessed.” mug and settled down to two heaping servings of leftover whole wheat pasta. Carbs and more carbs. Comforting. And inflammatory as well as constipating so dessert I figure should be a protein mug cake with an ex lax ganache.

Then I should take a selfie while surrounded by my pets with the caption “I’d love to but I’m busy”.

“My Lucifer is lonely” Billie Eilish

The song has nothing to do with this blog, it’s just what I woke up with in my head. Moving on to the unsexy subject at hand. Diet. Or as some folks prefer to call it “way of eating”. I get the negative connotations of the word diet but my mouth is too lazy to say ‘way of eating’. I save my energy for more important things, like…eating.

I didn’t lose weight on keto but I didn’t gain either. And looking back at when the most recent weight gain began again, it was clearly last December, which is when I fell off the keto wagon and didn’t bother climbing back on. Other hot diets such as paleo or “intuitive eating” somehow justified my renewed craving for carbs in which I began indulging in again in the “healthy” forms of live grain bread and gluten free pasta. I wasn’t eating crap every day but it was definitely more than the once-a-week cheat I allowed myself before. Plus I was ignoring my daily carb intake and inhaling snacks of gluten-free crackers, pretzels and of course my weakness, tortilla chips.

I’ve gained so much that I haven’t weighed myself in a year. Although my clothes, jumping from a 10 to a 14/16 tell the truth.

From the outside looking in, my diet still looks relatively healthy but I know I can’t eat like this and still feel or look good. Although reading blogs from other people with hypothyroid, hashimoto’s, multiple endocrine neoplasia and other endocrine and autoimmune disorders, the path seems to point to keto. Except they also want you to give up soy (check), gluten (check), dairy (ummm…), Coffee (I’m outta here…)

But I did keto for almost two years and although I was gravely disappointed to never experience that weight “flush” that folks with properly functioning endocrine systems enjoyed, I wasn’t carrying around a hashi’s baby in my gut that never came to term like I am now (that’s extreme bloat by the way).

I take a inventory of my current kitchen. bags of crackers, triscuits, leftover cheat pizza in the freezer, and then there’s the 3lb bag of sour gummy bears guiltily staring me in the face that I bought when I was crashing and craving on recent overnight shifts at work. Okay, maybe I have lost control. Maybe it’s time to rein it back in. So I’ll give the gummies to my co-workers and round up the triscuits and pretzel crisps and donate them to my family (even though they shouldn’t be eating them either, there is no way in hell they are giving up carbs). The pizza I will probably finish off in a last hurrah because I can’t throw out pizza anymore than I can’t bring myself to throughout Pizza any more than I can throw out hundred dollar bills. The tortilla chips I will keep but I will go back to counting them out in a bowl, 12, before indulging.

If I start this week, just maybe I can squeeze back into my sequins by our December show. It would be the one-year mark from the last time I could button up my jazz vest. That’ll be my goal.

“Am I only dreaming? Or is this burning an Eternal Flame?” ~The Bangles

It’s already been a week since I returned home from my belated birthday hiking trip around Mt. Ranier and while the photos remind me of the inspiration of the Cascades, my words fail me. But if I don’t write about it now, I wont write about it at all, as I failed to write about last year’s bday hiking trip through Banff in Canada.

For weeks and days leading up to the rescheduled trip, I watched the weather reports and the hikers notes on All Trails. Sixties and seventies, they all reported. So I packed for 60’s and 70’s. Day one, it was 60’s and 70’s. Days two and three, it was in the 30’s and I had nothing but a windbreaker. No gloves, no hat. No thermals. But I came to hike so frostbite be damned. I managed to keep my digits and most of my dignity intact. The last two days of trudging were a bit like my military experiences: glorious and miserable. Learn to love the suck and feel pride that you endured when others would have said “hell, no.”

I had plenty of company on these hikes too for a change. I usually hike alone to avoid the pressure of keeping pace with someone else or the obligation of any schedule other than my own. But this time, I had friends and acquaintances coming out to meet me readily. My close Army friend, S, who’s sofa I crashed on, my long-time Marine friend “M”, both of who I’ve mentioned here previously. And an old radio acquaintance and true mountaineer who drove in from Yakima to accompany me on that final, snowy third day.

The first day was by far perfect in weather and scenery even if I was distracted by self-conscious feelings of inadequacy from the moment “M”, a stoic John Wayne type, stepped out of the car looking just as much a Marine as ever despite the face scruff and shaggy hair. “You look like a goddamned hippie” I said as I embraced him for the first time in a decade. We both had changed but time had softened and broken me whereas it further chiseled and hardened him. “S” in full wingman mode paved a baited path that went untouched and while I was touched by his matchmaking efforts, it made me hyper-aware of percieved rejection. Like a full plate of hot, salty fries neglected on the table. Who wastes it?

Many reasons why the opportunity may have gone ignored but of course I got hung up on the one: he’s not interested. Ten years ago, both in uniform, the timing was not in our favor when M admitted feelings for me. Now that the path is seemingly clear, he was no longer hungry. Maybe his dick doesn’t work, I inevitably wondered. Sad how that thought always crosses my mind now if a man catches my attention.

But otherwise, it was a long overdue trip that was better than I had expected, rejection and freezing rain aside. My rehabilitated foot held up over nearly 40 miles of rugged terrain while conversations bounced from serious debates to bowel movements to dating over the hill to Belinda Carlisle (which resulted in us =singing “Eternal Flame” up and down the mountain trails). And I reconnected in person with people that give a damn about me. There are still a few left. Even if the one I built up in my head didnt want me for dinner.

“Touch me again and I’ll drown you, you bastard” Mrs. Doubtfire

Got an email today from one of my cabaret ladies that upset me to the point of ruin. I think we managed to hash it out but it’s still clings to me. When did I become the bitch that nobody likes? Most of my life I was a people pleaser, how can I help? That burden looks heavy, here let me carry that for you… And then a few years ago I realized but the people I thought where my friends at the time absolutely drained me and couldn’t even remember my birthday even when we shared it. The birthday is not important but the fact that it was a one-sided relationship. I had a lot of friends but when I took inventory of who would step up in my time of need should I need anyone, my answer was crickets. So I began doing things by myself and for myself. Now I have a small cultivated, tolerant handful of friends. I’m not mean. I just put myself first more than I used to.

But this email made me realize that the alienation I’ve been feeling was not entirely in my head. People were put off by my sullen attitude but rather than asking what was wrong, and I may or may not have admitted to anything, they just kept letting it rub them the wrong way until I was alone in a corner at rehearsals and the last show. Again, I think with a bit of communication on all of our parts, we can get past this but it still ruined my day.

No, more than ruined my day. Left me sick to my stomach wondering if I should quit. Maybe they wanted me to. Maybe everyone would breathe a little easier if I tapped out. I was going down that rabbit hole. And of all people, Robin Williams popped into my head. Now aside from the clinical depression, I don’t for a minute draw a personal comparison to the humor and talent that man had but my point is, here is a man who is successful, and beloved by most of the world. And he killed himself. We assume often I think that someone kills themself because they are lonely. True, it’s difficult to connect. But I think there is an irrational voice that tries to convince us not only that we are not loved but worse, we are not LIKED.

It’s difficult when you feel like you have no one close enough to talk to, and if you did they wouldn’t understand, or there are certain aspects of your job and the day to day war that you can’t discuss. I met with my VA psychiatrist for a biannual follow up a couple of months ago right after C was killed and she asked if I needed to speak to someone and I combusted and nodded. She said she would put in a referral to the social worker. That was two months ago and I’ve heard nothing. But I even suspect the VA social worker is too burned out to give a damn about my problems. And I’m probably not high-risk enough to warrant a speedy appointment. But really, I don’t want to talk to someone that I feel can’t relate. Or worse, doesn’t LIKE me.

Back to war tomorrow. Next weekend I will be punishing my body in an attempt to heal my spirit hiking a few days around the Cascades. I’ll be with retired Army and retired Marines. And there probably won’t be a single war story between us. I’m looking forward to it.

“The older the fiddle, the finer the tune” ~ M

Awful nightmare during an attempted mid-afternoon nap yesterday. I don’t think I was truly asleep but I was trapped. My nightmare revolved around a thought that nags me when I’m awake: I’m single with no children. My mother is all I have left and when she’s gone, I’ll truly be alone. In my nightmare, my mother had passed and I felt so alone, I killed myself.


Burned sage around the bedroom and the house to try and shake off the funk. I remember something “L” told me: talk to your past, tell it you are breaking those contracts of regret and resentment and you want to clear your name with your enemies. Bring on the peace. Slept better last night but anxiety set in again as the next day wore on and my weekend ran out.

First weekend out of the boot and I put an insane amount of pressure on myself to get out and dance. Showed up to train for Diavolo on Saturday but they were working on another piece I wasn’t in so training canceled. And next weekend because of Labor day, they decided. Too many people out of town. I should have been one of them.

Sunday, I went to an Afro Cuban dance class but it was more Bomba than Afro. I couldn’t see the footwork under the skirts, understood only every fifth word, and felt like my soul never left the bed today. I used the foot to excuse myself 40 minutes into the class.

I called a friend and said last chance to dance this weekend, let’s hit Sunday Sabrosura! But that event is crazy crowded and if you don’t get there early to make friends and find a place to throw your purse, you’ll spend the entire time painting the wall with your backside. She wasn’t up for that.

So two middle-aged, divorced dancers headed to the waterfront to drink and poke fun of the men our aged, trying to pick up on the women half our age. But truth is, around here, a drink and a box of “touch of grey” beardcolor and they get those onesie-wearing 20 somethings. Can’t really blame them. I might have had a daddy complex at that age too. But now I’m 43 and my friend is turning 60. Good dancers, decent shape for our age, career women, low-maintenance…but men around here don’t go for “age appropriate”.


What helped was calling another friend, “S”.  Divorced and in dating-hell as well but on the opposite coast. I told him he’d have much more luck fishing here. We should trade. We chatted about my birthday hiking trip which got postponed when I broke my foot. He’ll be joining me in a few weeks on a fast, exhausting trip around Mt. Ranier. Somehow we got to chatting about another friend of mine who lives a few hours away near Portland. Well, that is, I consider him a friend. We all served in the same Battalion but different Companies. Plus, “M” and I went through AIT together so I knew “M” a bit better than “S” did. Still, “S” being a good wingman mentioned: “If you told him you were coming here, he would make the drive, I’m sure of it”.

“M” was one of those people you (Okay, I) meet and think, he’s a good person, we get on well, he’s into me and he’s not hard to look at… So what’s the problem? Chemistry.

Ten years ago, I cited lack of chemistry. He poured his heart out to me and I was flattered but also crushing on a former sniper turned philanthropist and a year later, a former Jesuit priest turned sniper. You might say I have a type. M particularly hated the Priest. M also never made a move on me so who’s to say a firm hand in my hair and mouth crushing kiss wouldn’t have gotten my attention?


I vaguely recall an article based on some supposed scientific study years ago about how we are instinctually attracted to people with symmetric features.  M is asymmetric in a John Wayne meets Daniel Craig sort of mash up. It’s been more than 10 years now since I’ve seen him in person but in a recent photo, on the day of his military retirement, he is reclining, foot propped on an ammo can, thumbs hooked in his belt loops and squinting into the sun. I think “Lookin good, old man” and I know he would reply “The older the fiddle, the finer the tune”. 

I usually hike solo but I’m staying with “S” and he’s taking time off to hike with me. Would S want to share our time together? I think not but again, I assume he’s just being a dutiful wingman suggesting I mention it to “M”. But it got me thinking.

So I text M. Said it was only three days, I was staying with S, understood it was a far drive…he text back immediately “Shoot, it’s only a three hour drive. I’m down for a hike and a drink.”

I panicked a little then and laid the groundwork of expectations: “I’m fat and slow now so don’t judge.”

He replied “I’ll leave it to the Christians to do the judging.”

I said “Great! Can’t wait to pee in the woods with you next month”.

“That’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever said to me” he text back.


Maybe he wont be able to make it, I think. Maybe I don’t want him to. I don’t have any mojo currently. Especially after Friday night’s costuming attempt at home that became a private humiliation, discovering I couldn’t squeeze into pre-laced corsets that I fit just two months ago. I was big then and I’m even bigger now.

So there I was: Prancing around feeling like I was caught in a giant Chinese finger trap, singing “Look ma! I’m a sausage!” and wondering if I was going to have to call for backup before I finally Hulked and ripped the zipper clean off. Fuck, that was my leather Gamora / BDSM corset too.

Meanwhile, M looks the same. And I’m obsessing “Maybe he wont come. Maybe he wont want me anymore. Maybe I wont want him. Maybe he will want me but still won’t make a move. Maybe his dick doesn’t work either, I mean, he is ten years older than me…maybe I should just stick to hiking alone. And don’t nap in the afternoon. And for g-d’s sake, don’t wear that tunic with those pants anymore…”

Another blogger I follow just posted this:

“Until the new moon in Virgo on Friday, we stand in the liminal darkness of the waning Moon, the dark of the Moon. Slowdown your pace, reflect, contemplate, clean, cleanse, purge, stretch, create space for the wisdom to enter, collect the strength from the Earth, lay low.”

But I’ve been “laying low” for 7 weeks while my foot healed. But if this weekend proves anything, it’s that Something or Someone is still holding my arms and trying to tell me “pace, reflect, cleanse”. Heal. Create space for wisdom to enter. These thoughts racing through my head this weekend do not come from a place of wisdom. Okay, okay…I’ll try to do better.

“My heart belongs to da da da da da da da…” Peggy Lee

I can go decades without watching television but while recovering from parathyroid surgery a few years ago, I steamrolled through all seasons of Downton Abbey. Now with a broken foot, I’m hooked on Derry Girls on Netflix. Not only do I love the nostalgic soundtrack of being a teenager in the 90s, it delivers one-liner after one liner without feeling forced. And Im sure I’ve already mentioned that I don’t think much is funny since John Candy passed. “Erin” has an elastic face that reminds me of Jim Carrey (who I also don’t think is funny but his face is impressive the way it pulls and peels from one ridiculous expression to another). Resting, “Erin” is an ordinary looking girl until her lips peel back, eyes bug, and nose turns up. And I’m cracking up while also thinking “Good God girl, put that thing away!”

Less than two weeks until our next cabaret show, the one Ive secretly dubbed the “Boring show”. So boring that I couldn’t even come up with a better nickname than “the boring show”. I’m already missing the Halloween show part of me I wondered if I should just miss this one too. Because of my foot, they’ve left me out of almost every number. I suppose I can’t fault them for that even though it would be relatively simple for them to put me back in if MRI results come back positive. But the set list is very tame. Almost strictly Broadway. The fantastic, complicated and inappropriate crowd pleasers are not in the set list.

So I’m agonizing even more so than usual over carefully selecting my solo singing numbers. I’ve decided to try my hand at channeling Grace Slick while our contortionist gets weird. But the other number, I have no one to assist. Considering the placement of it being the last number before intermission, “Why don’t you do right” aka the Jessica rabbit “Get me some money too” song seems perfect to one of the girls come out and dance around while passing the tip hat. I was told firmly that no one was available. So then I considered Peggy Lee “Fever”. I don’t particularly like it plus it’s more played out than Greenday on commercial radio but I also know for a fact that the girls love the song and would like to sooner rather than later work a routine around it. So maybe I just sing it and give them a taste of what it would sound like with me versus a canned track. But then Peggy Lee’s version of “My heart belongs to Daddy” played. The syncopation reminded me of Copacabana and I was instinctively choreographing it in my head. Yeah, I could nail this one without any backup.

So I asked a few friends who are coming to the show for their opinion. Out of the three songs, which did they prefer to hear? Unanimously, they all chose Greenday (I mean “Fever”). I wonder if this is what bands feel like every time someone in the audience yells out “Play Freebird!”

“In the Summertime, when it’s hot outside, and the streets are bare, there’s no one there” ~Black Keys

 I skipped sitting on the sidelines of Cabaret rehearsal to follow the
excited advice of a nurse: Go to the ER now! I napped on a hospital bed
while a retired Colonel ran tests on my heart. My ticker is great to my
relief. It’s something else. What that is, no one knows yet but it’s not my
heart so that’s all I needed to hear. 
. How many times did they ask me “Do you have anyone here with you? Do you want us to call someone?” Nope. And Nope. I know in a worst case scenario, CK would come swiflty. But I don’t want him. I note the absence of a ring on my doctor’s hand as we trade a couple of war stories. He’s too old for me, complete with wooden cane, but he’s funny and his cane adds to his austere image the way a pair of glasses makes people look “smart”. HOw did you break your foot, he asked? Living like I’m still 23 instead of 43. He laughed and said “right on”.
Cabaret presses on like I’m not there and not coming back. New choreography without me. New dancers. Even a new singer to create competition in the one market I had cornered. 
Three weeks until my podiatrist follow up and I still feel the break in my
foot. But three weeks more is all you get, I silently tell No One. Then I
need to dance. I need to train. I logged back into Crackbook briefly to view
dance events coming up at the end of the month, when I hopefully get the
green light from the doctor. Nothing looks particularly inspiring. Or maybe
that’s my state of mind grumbling. 
I’ve gone from panicked “WTF do I DO with myself?!?!?!” to “I don’t want to
do anything”. 

Feverish planets, climate crisis, and the now-public sweeping under the rug
of military sex-crimes have fired up the nightmare machine again. Plus I
still think of “C” unbidden. His name popped up in a spam email this week
and I wondered if he was reaching out to me from the grave or if it was
something more malevolent and real. Times like this, I do wish I wasn’t so
isolated. 

My breath catches and chest tightens but not like “false alarm” heart attack
of yesterday. No, this is just despair. My headphones are on at work but I’m
not listening to anything. I don’t know what is more distracting: the
converastions around me or the music that I’m not feeling.

And I could lie, say I like it like that, like it like that ~ Billie Eilish

One of my sisters recommended the Patti Smith autobiography “Just kids”. I put it off because we don’t have the same taste in a lot of things. But foot being in a cast and on crutches, my calendar is suddenly clear for the next 6 weeks or so. That means I have more time to catch up on reading. Time but not necessarily the attention span.

It was an insanely busy day at work for reasons I can’t say here but I was grateful for the distraction. Otherwise I would be mooning about not being on Mount Rainier right now.

I was impressed by the family and friends that remembered it was my birthday even without a Facebook prompt. CK rememberd and wished me a ‘happy birthday’ which I expected. Even as I mourn the death of C, I wish I could find words to tell CK how much I did and still do appreciate him for being better to me than anyone, but I don’t know how to say it without leading him on.

My mother called to wish me a ‘happy birthday’ as well but the phone kept disconnecting probably due to the weather. Neither my mother nor I enjoy talking on the phone much so she was probably relieved that it disconnected so soon into the conversation and I did her a favor and didn’t try to call back. We live 40 miles away and communicate mostly by email just as we did when we were continents away. Still, she’s my best friend and my last surviving life line. She’s not in good health either so I’ve spent the better part of the last 10 years in a mild panic over what I will do without her. I’ll have no one. It sucks when family that you love deeply passes away as everyone does, but the pain is usually more bearable when you have a partner to lean on.

Ihave no one. No one but my mother. She talked me down from the ledge when C died. She took me to the hospital years ago when I decided death was starting to look attractive.

A broken foot doesn’t make me suicidal. Just bummed out as fuck.

So I make the effort to do something for myself, whip up a homemade spicy pasta on which I overindulge and two glasses of red. I’ll need to head out in a few minutes to a cabaret rehearsal, just to show face. I will tap out when the girls start dancing without me. Or when I feel like I can no longer keep my attitude in check, whichever comes first.

“If you can’t hold on, hold on” ~The Killers

I told my family I loved and appreciated them. I don’t say it enough even
though they occupy the first row of my mind. I’m nearly 43 and my mother
still covers me with a blanket. I fear the day she’s no longer here. I’ll be
alone and that’s a fact.
Last night, I was dry-eyed as I moved a few pictures of “C” to a folder
where they would be out of sight but not deleted. Even the picture of the
apple and honey as he observed Yom Kippur with me long distance.
I’m compartmentalizing, I think.
Although as I nurse my forsaken body from a the most punishing training in
years, the grief creeps into the stillness. Of all feelings, there is an
intense loneliness that I havent felt in years. Back when I used to think I
would die alone and cry myself to sleep barricaded by pillows at night.
Well, I still believe I will die alone but I had reached a space where I was
okay with that. Now, I’m back to wishing I had someone that I could call
just to come over and “distract” me for an hour or two. Take the edge off.
Touch me. But it can’t be just anyone. Who do I even want? Who even wants
me? Both faces are necessary to make a coin so I’m flat broke as ever.
Thirteen days, I’ll be another year older and had plans to again, again, to summit
mountains. One of my few friends will be with me this time and as honest as
we have always been with each other, I’m afraid he will mistake my
loneliness as an invitation. I don’t know if I’m physically capable of doing
10+ miles a day on a mountain right now with my knees and feet swollen and
taped. I don’t know if I’m up for conversation either.
During a round of acupuncture at a community clinic, I watched him through
my eyelashes: former Cavalry, Afghanistan vet, a humanitarian, a healer,
married with two kids. Two fat tears leaked out and I was grateful for the
darkness. All the good ones are gone. Or their dick doesn’t work.
Or they didn’t pick me.
That’s something my mother gently reminded me of. Maybe that’s not THE point
she was trying to make as the only person I’ve discussed the death of “C”
with. But that was my take-away and maybe what helps me cope when the image
of him unstaring, with a bullet hole in his head comes unbidden to mind.
“You offered him a better life, and he didn’t take it,” she said. Reminding
me, he didn’t choose me. If I hadnt completely moved on, I must now. That
business will have to remain unfinished. It was finished to him. I thought I
could “save” him but he didn’t want to be saved. How often do we do that to
ourselves? Cling, thinking we will be the unshakeable force of change in
someone’s life?
And I’m back to wondering if G-d exists, if there is a “plan”, if I have a
“purpose”, if I will die alone…

Later. X-rays confirm one of my feet is broken. Mountaineering is off. Well, postponed until September. I ate the plane tickets. I’ll be at work on my birthday but the worst part is my coping mechanism, dancing, is off the table for six to eight weeks.