“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.

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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.

“My name is Might’ve Been” ~Hole

It’s the “here we go again” 70 page background check and polygraph prep: Recall my mailing address two decades ago in South Korea? Nope. My ex-husband’s social security number? Nope. His current mailing address? Definitely not. Have I ever allowed recreational marijuana use in my home? Define “allowed”. Have I ever worked at a job where alcohol consumption on duty was allowed? Yes, in fact, it was encouraged. It’s called “radio”. Ever blog about porn? Guilty! Oh wait, that’s not one of the questions. Wheew!

I’d rather be bedazzling on this Friday night. My grandmother was a costume designer in the golden age of Vaudeville in Miami and she made it look so easy, affixing rhinestones armed with nothing but a metal nail file and her own acrylic tipped fingernails.

I just returned from a few (too few) days in the woods with my dog. We were along the GA/SC border and it was cold! I’m part lizard so I’m always cold but even my wanna-be mountain dog didn’t want to get out of the car on Day 2 after traipsing (more like tripping) 8 miles through the hills the day prior in 30 degrees. Probably spent more time on the road than in the woods, I simply didn’t have much PTO to spare.

But road trips are a game of Name That Roadkill, of signs warning me that Judgement Day is coming, and old trucks on the side of the road that I salivate over the idea of buying and busting my knuckles on, , singing to my dog for 10 hours, choreographing dance and comedy routines in my head, wishing I’d thought to be a Park Ranger when I grew up, and overthinking in general.

Thinking about random shite. Like…

And so it begins again, New Year, New You. The usual suspects on my social media checking in to their gyms and taking pictures of their salads as if NOT doing this would negate any benefits of their temporary new routines and diets.

If I had a New Year’s resolution it might be to run (okay, slow jog, ie: “Slog”) every day (yes EVERY day) and replace wine with tea.

Then I think about these studies that say running is NOT the best form of exercise and I think “Those are conducted by people that sincerely hate running”. And I eat them up like gospel because I sincerely hate running. But the fact in my experience remains that I do not know a single sincere runner in bad shape. Even those like me with bad backs, knees, etc…their conditions improved with running (ie: losing weight). When I ruck 15 miles carrying an extra 50lbs, I hurt the next day. But I’m carrying an extra 50lbs all over my body EVERY day. So I hurt. Dur.

I still don’t want to run.

And I think I’ll stick to the state highways and off the interstate as much as possible in the future. On these now “back-roads”, there’s less traffic and I don’t have the peer pressure of keeping up with the speeding flow or avoiding leapfrogging semi-trucks or impatient assholes psychically nudging my bumper to force me to drive even faster than the 20 over I’m already traveling (by the way, Bitch, I can pit you. Back. Off.)

And I think about CK and his love of museums. I told him the only museums I enjoyed were the Smithsonian in DC and…I think I’ve been to the Louvre but that year was a blur for me. “Where is the Mona Lisa?” I asked. The Louvre, he answered. Then yes, I’ve been to the Louvre because I remember her. I don’t enjoy the Ringling museum but there are two pieces I like, the portrait of Salome and the three muses: spinning, measuring and cutting. I’m particularly drawn to the one that cuts.

But back to CK, the man who loves museums and spends Friday nights organizing his desk drawer and kitchen cupboards for the 5th time this year. I told him he is a prime candidate for the Dull Men’s Club and should apply. They’d send him a certificate that he can frame for his office and everything.

“See you on a dark night” ~ Grimes

My head is screaming today in this corporate hell. I hate the sound of the spoon scrape, scrape, scraping against her yogurt container breakfast because she’s too polite to lick the bowl when no one is looking. Followed hours later by her shake, shake, shaking a plastic bowl of salad at lunch. I hate how they close the doors conspiratorially as if they assume I give two shits about their gossip. They don’t realize I am a Priest, full of secrets, classified and lifetimes of thrilling experience. I was influential. Now I’m “nobody”. So retired, I could be dead.  I am disgusted daily. Some days, my face bears the truth of my disdain and I barely bother to conceal it. Headphones on, I tune out their prattle about their genius, overindulged spawn and focus on the menial tasks I’m relegated to. I never thought I’d be here a year later. I thought I’d be gone in a week. And months passed. And the chip got too big for my shoulder and now it’s a monster of a mountain handcuffed to my fat, slow feet…

Praying, begging for inspiration, patience, a break-through, a light, a rope…pull me out, even if it’s by my neck. I promise I’m not unreachable. If you rescue me, I would be so grateful, work so hard, give you my life. What I have left that I haven’t already donated…

Tis the season when the sun squats low in the sky and that may be part of the problem. Not enough “D”. Not enough “O” either. Weather permitting, I will disappear into the woods along the Appalachian trail for a few days with my dog next weekend. I burn my leave time from work just as fast as I earn it. But it’s a known fact: unhappy workers are absent more.

“So take me or leave me but please don’t need me” Momus

So this is what it’s like to be on the other side. I remember sleepless nights and miserable mornings filled with obsessive thoughts about whoever I was emotionally invested in at the time who was not, in turn, emotionally invested in me. I imagine CK didn’t sleep last night nor the night before. I was right when I figured I’d have a sad email sitting in my box when I woke up. He called me selfish and said I put too much pressure on an orgasm. I said I needed intercourse. Inter. I’m not arguing with the legitimacy of his feelings; they are valid as are mine. Every one of his love letters over the last couple of months is a thinly-veiled guilt trip. I don’t think it’s intentional and he says that’s just my interpretation. That may or may not be true. It doesn’t matter either way. I’m good at relationships but not this one because I’m dissatisfied and have given up. He says he doesn’t feel like a priority. I think we don’t have enough in common and that we are both resentful and bored each time we get dragged along to something we have no interest in but feel obligated to attend. He’s a museum and movie kind of guy. I’m a mountain climbing, dance dance dancing machine. And I may die alone on a mountain but I’d like to get laid before that happens. I told him I hope someday we will be friends. And he meets someone who appreciates his tongue, movies and nights at home doing nothing. We share similar personality, values and humor but lack those common Interests that wouldn’t be so important after a screaming creaming orgasm. I did admit that I found his insecurity unattractive as I do in most men. But that’s my prejudice. I want a sensitive romantic supportive man just like CK but wrapped up in a a confident, dominant personality with a hard cock. And so I’ll die alone on a mountain, trying to prove to myself that my body and faith haven’t failed…

“I’ve got my love to keep me warm”

I felt a bad mood coming on like the first tickle of a cold on my way out of work this evening. I stopped by Starbux thinking a caffiene boost would be a quick cure (and give me energy to dance tonight) but they got my order wrong and as I drove off, I fought back the urge to hurl the cup screaming into road.

An old friend – a close friend – popped into my head and I realized I hadnt talked to him a while or seen him on social media so I decided to send a text to check in (because I’m not a good friend these days)… but I couldnt recall his name. It’s like forgetting your sisters’ name. And it didnt escape me for a moment and pop right back in place like a disclocated shoulder. An hour later, I was crying because I still couldnt remember his name and was sifting through the countless bullshit saved numbers on my phone’s contact list to find him. I finally found him, sent a text but havent heard back. I’m a little concerned because he’s prone to depression. Social media makes it easy to keep tabs on the people we care about but at teh same time, it makes us lurkers in their lives and not active participants. We are watching over them and we care but they dont know that.
Our lives have become nothing more than a collection of hashtags.
If my friend who’s name escaped me is in my Top 10 of friends, the guy who is in my Top 5 was so upset with me for neglecting him that he deleted my number from his phone. I know this because (1. I know that’s something he does with people he truly angry with and 2.) he didnt immediately know who I was by the time I got around to returning his multiple calls. Instead of greeting me with “Hola, Amiga!” as soon as the call connected, he asked politely “Who is this?” (no, he wasnt joking or trying to make a point. I do know him well).
As Im failing at friendship as a whole, my Asshole Best Friend is suicidal again. His other best friend and I have discussed it behind his back, trying to figure out how to best handle it: Tell his father who will put him back in Rehab? Tell his sister who will kick his proverbial ass? We both lean towards the latter. If he does take his life, I won’t be surprised but I”ll aslo feel responsible because how can I not? If I was a better friend…
But we are not responsible for the behavior or happiness of others, are we? Or is that just another popular “self help” quasi-Buddhist nugget of modern-day wisdom that we are supposed to swallow to make us feel less guilty for shirking our responsibility to be kind humans?
As I was crying this afternoon, I ask myself out loud “Why are you upset?”
Is it because you’re a bad friend?
Is it because you’re a bad girlfriend who is unhappy with her current romantic albeit asexual relationship; who may be sticking it out because she already bought him an expensive, non-returnable Christmakkuh present?
Is it because photos and mirrors reflect reflect an old, tired, washed up ghost?
Is it becaue you havent achieved what you expected to by this point?
is it because you had worse than a mild wardrobe malfunction at last weekend’s cabaret show and your entire tit flopped out like an unwelcome fish onstage for everyone to behold?
And then, to snap myself out of that, I went in search of words of wisdom, my copy of The Happiness Advantage that Ive only dented by about 20 pages in several months…and of course I can’t find it. It’s not where I distinctly recall leaving it. And the anxiety is rising again because I’m back in the near empty parking lot, walking right past my car, searching for the car I traded in two years ago…embarassed, confused, and a little frightened.

Miss Congeniality

Bored of the sex blogs; the crudest, most poetic descriptions of fucking. I’m critical of the Selfish Suicidal even as I daydream, “hypothetically” blowing my brains out while doing dishes. I wonder if my military career is really over, like falling just short of reaching the summit of Mt. NORQUAY so I don’t buy the t-shirt. No retirement, no celebratory t-shirt. But if you’re “out-out” you can apply for medical marijuana and live pain free, I tell myself. And sleep without pills and booze. I hate every picture of me. I’ve hated every picture of me for years but now I REALLY hate them. And video is worse. I entered an impromptu swing dance competition at a rockabilly party last weekend and lost. I didnt expect to win (maybe I expected to place) but the assurances of “Oh it was close! We loved your attitude”. Yeah, I got the ‘tude going for me. Miss Congeniality. I dcowled watching the videos afterwards – my terrible posture, hunched shoulders, jutting chin…FAT. off balance too. Couldn’t even get a basic tandem Charleston right, so out of practice. If I ever said I could dance, watching the videos, I take that back. And I untagged myself.
But I got the tattoo for my deceased dance partner, “DOMB” last Friday night. He wasnt selfish. He was in pain, losing a battle and decided to end it on his terms. I blamed my temporary departure from dance on grad school, then the after-work-job-hunting then the yo-yo’ing health but fact is, I lost my enthusiasm for it when DOMB died. Corny as it is, that Wham song plays in my head when I think of him. CK has zero interest in dancing and I won’t force him. “You’re not Alice anymore. You’ve lost your muchness”. I know that movie got terrible reviews but I rather liked it. First one anyway. Well, this is a fizzle drizzle end but I’ve got nuthin…

“Wait by the phone, Late alone, He can’t help you” ~ QotSA

Men always check out the results after they take a shit. I look in the toilet at that suspicious jelly-red spot and think “Well, there goes another egg”.

My killer kitten Magic dragged another squealing rat through the doggie door in the middle of the night. I was running down the hallway, naked, bumping into walls, doped up on Ambien, screaming at her to drop it. It dragged itself into a room. I fumbled to set a no-kill trap and thinking “A real man would come over and take care of this for me”. Almost as if reading my mind, CK messages me and asks “Would you like me to come over?” Actually, I want you to take the initiative and just come over without asking. “Look, I’m too drugged to deal with this right now”. That was a hint and a test. He’s got a key to my house, he doesn’t have to be at work until almost noon the following day…YES! Come over and try to help me out! Every offer he makes to help feels like lip service. And sure enough, I woke up to the message “Oh I probably wouldn’t be able to catch it anyway”. Then he sends me another text this morning asking “Did you catch the rat?” No? Do you want me to come over and try to help you catch it after work? No. I want you to fuck off at this point. I’ll handle it myself like I handle everything myself most of my life. Times like this, I envy married couples with a MAN who does “manly” duties like rodent catching. I’d say this does nothing to stimulate my desire for this man except that I’m already not getting laid from him.

People forget where they Park all the time. Difference with me as I will walk around the parking lot for 10 minutes looking for the car that I got rid of two years ago while walking past my current car three times. I am embarrassingly forgetful. My brain farts have become so pronounced over the last few years that I will stop mid-conversation and struggle like English is my second language.

The doctor called and said my labs are off. Are you sure you’re taking your medication as prescribed? Yes. Okay well then we need to rerun labs and if you would ditional tests and an MRI in 3 weeks. Okay. It’s easy enough for me to say oh that explains it, the uptick in depression, sleeplessness, fatigue and weight gain once again…or does it? I can’t use that as an excuse, or at least I shouldn’t. But I just want to go to bed right after work every night.

I still haven’t told you about my birthday hiking trip to Canada. Plenty of notes in my phone but lack of time is turning into lack of inspiration. Maybe I’ll get around to it. Maybe I’ll die first.

“I don’t pop my cork for every guy I see” ~Sweet Charity

That title is a lie. These days, I do. Everyone except the one I’m with.

Surrounded by people in the office and feel like typing helps…sane as long as I’m typing, like a shark that can’t stop swimming lest they die.

Havent slept in two nights, I was late to work both days, took sick leave to cover my butt but I still burn all my leave as fast as I earn it for bullshit like that. I’ll never get more than an extended weekend at this rate. In 10 months of employment here, I still can’t bring myself to the commitment that a signature block signifies but perhaps something along the lines of “Over-educated, executive-level-manager-turned-desk-monkey”. Today, one of the letters from another department gets kicked back for bad grammar and punctuation. I fixed it -simple-and sent it back but the response was “The Director’s office will wait for review by the Coaches”. Right. Because correcting grammatical errors in reports is above my pay grade these days.

I was happily hacking down trees on my mom’s property in the woods two weekends ago. Too bad park rangers make $26-28k annually. Loves the woods! Handy with a chainsaw! PR experience a plus! Cant live off that check though.

Had a meeting with my Army career manager yesterday. First face to face in a year and admit that I was sucking in HARD (#gradschoolgut). I agreed to consider deploying again with SOCOM and fought back a cold sweat. I swear, if the Air Force would take me back, I’d celebrate. Did I ever tell you about that rainbow I saw on the flight line at Patrick AFB when I went out there three years ago to interview with the C-130 CSAR unit? Oh man, I was CONVINCED that was a sign! I KNEW in my heart that I would retire there, back in a blue uniform (or green flight suit). What the fck happened to that? Nothing good has come from my Army experience.

Cant talk to CK right now either. Eleven months now without orgasm. Frustration elevated back to DEFCON 10. He was crying about how while doing his Jane Fonda stretches this morning, he lost his balance and bumped his shoulder. I found his weakness unattractive. And hate myself for feeling that way. And for fantasizing about the guy at work that “offered” me his fully functioning c*ck (and no, I didnt take him up on it).

How ‘bout this for a signature block?

“Bitch, BA, MBA, Executive-level-manager-turned-minimum-wage-desk-monkey”