“I like that you’re broken, broken like me” ~LovelyTheBand

I feel every bit of my ill-fitting, worn out clothes today. Dangling threads, scuffed heels and hair as overgrown and unkempt as my yard. I’m dressed in insignificance with all the authority and value of a temp receptionist. But my new coworkers have learned to come to me for IT-related problems because it’s usually a simple fix and I’m much faster than waiting on a national-level “trouble ticket” to process. So today I once again found myself crawling on the floor under desks in a skirt, fiddling with…cables and computer equipment (you filthy bastards). And it was the only part of the day I didnt mind.  The only part I felt “useful”.

 I returned to prison after 4 days on parole, hiking in the woods with my dog and my struggling, unhappy boyfriend, CK. We think alike (I mean, CK and I. Although yes, perhaps my dog and I as well). And we are both martyrs for love. Judgmental and brooding, probably better off alone. I decided to burn what little vacation time I had accrued from this miserable job and disappear into the Quad State area (NC, TN, GA, SC borders). CK wanted to come so I sent him my proposed hiking list, based on limited time and weather conditions. He was an excited, “thumbs up!” But buying hiking shoes does not make you a hiker. Day one, we were only 6 miles into a walk in the woods when he began to fade, legs cramped, dizziness set in…I took his pack from him and force fed him protein bars, bananas, water and candy. I found him a walking stick but it was serious enough that I ran ahead to find a signal and called the nearest ranger station. I told them I just wanted to make sure I had a good number in case he couldn’t make it out on his own as we were still miles from the car. “Just keep puttin one foot in front of the other, he’ll make it out” the kindly ranger drawled. As CK leaned against a tree I told him, “Your lungs might give out, your heart might give out, but your legs will not give out. Keep moving”.

Days later, both his feet were taped and I announced I was going on a trail that he could not follow. Hell, he could barely walk. And I needed one day unencumbered. I climbed over rocks and fallen trees up a steeper incline to enjoy views unobstructed by tourists. Alone on a hilltop: me, my dog, and the wind.

I thought, “This isn’t working out”. I admitted on the drive home, I don’t want him tagging along to dances or hikes or shows out of obligation. Seeing the boredom and disappointment on his face kills my own joy. If he’d rather be at a movie then go to a movie! I don’t need company. I’ve been doing this living thing alone for years.
“I don’t need the added stress of a relationship!” I thought resentfully.

When you’re drowning, you cut loose of whatever weight you can forfeit: the job and school are not optional. Everything else – dancing, friends, family, boyfriends – those I can turn loose, at least until I finish school.

And I wish sex was off the table. I wish we’d never gone there; I wish we had just agreed to friendship. The pressure, the disappointment. I wish I could escape it.
“You’re tighter than a new buttonhole” he complains. I put on my best Gandalf impression and declare “You shall not pass!”  Or perhaps he can throw incantations at it, “speak friend and enter” my near-virginal vaginal gates.

He’s only had two rounds of GainWave and no change yet. His stem is still as broken as ever. I admitted to him, under these circumstances, sex means more work for me, and requires more time that I don’t have right now. So either I can slap on lube, get on my knees and give him a warm hole or he goes to bed hungry. And I’m starving but I’m a sexual camel and used to long stretches of abstinence. But I don’t ever want to fake it again. If only one of us is getting off, so be it.

At least for now.

But I’ve been saying that for months.

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“Oh, Saturday sun, I met someone…” Vance Joy

I think I met the love of my life when I was 41. Well, actually I was 24 but at that time, we were passing acquaintances and I couldn’t get past his prematurely silver and unfortunately long ponytail.

Now here we are, making out like teenagers on the couch and I whispered in his ear “You are going to be such a good dancer” which got a good laugh out of him.

He calls me “Hon”and “gorgeous” but I’mpet names. More or less 14 years of singledom left me out of practice in terms of endearment. I’ve called some exes “hotness” and or “pookie” (jokingly, obviously). But CK doesn’t have a fake tan (or a real one for that matter) no a douchey frat boy haircut, although he did cut off the unfortunately long ponytail years ago. So “hotness” doesn’t fit.

I could see myself marrying him but it would probably go down something like this: I email him a link to some ring with skulls on it and ask “So are we going to do this shit or what?”

I write that even as it still feels premature to say “I love you”. Although he has said it in letters and my inner dialogue says “I love this man”. Also I’m afraid if I break that “I love you” seal then it will turn into that habitual, afterthought, obligatory “I love you” and not as meaningful.

I may be paraphrasing or outright plagiarizing another writer (Fitzgerald or his wife?) when I say I’ve met the one with whom my heart and soul is at rest. Like a shot of bourbon on an empty stomach, he blooms in my Heart.

Sometimes he still asks “Why are you with me?” Because he leaves love letters in my underwear drawer and draws hearts on the windshield of my filthy car. And I save them in a shoebox or tuck them into a Bible that I no longer read.

Satan says “Brush your teeth.”

satan says brush your teeth

I don’t know why I think that’s so funny. CK shares my humor as we brainstormed a series of children’s books starting with “My First Black Mass” starring the Satans: Lucifer, Lilith and their horde of demon spawn, Azazel, Beelzebub, et al. The Satans get a dog. The Satans get divorced. The Satans are starting to sound like The Simpsons, I warn. It’s marketable alongside Daddy Darth Vader and “Go the Fuck to Sleep”. Hipsters will love it, with or without kids.  (PS – this blog serves as a poor man’s copyright).

This is the bond we share. But (his words) “this” has an inanimate connotation though so he prefers “us”. He cherishes “us”; The fumbling discovery and watching my face when I dance. “Even health setbacks have helped us develop in ways that matter”. That resonates with me. He resonates with me. As important as sex is to me, I acknowledge the science behind the it: the release of oxytocin during orgasm that deepens the emotional bond, perhaps binding people that should not be bound together, creating a false sense of love. And so CK’s erectile dysfunction, although frustrating, gives me the sense that this may be the purest affection I’ve ever had for someone, because it’s NOT chemically induced or enhanced.

When I consider my past, those careless, loveless lovers, I shudder and mentally anchor myself in CK. He’s the Cloak of Levitation to my Dr. Strange. I may be gifted but fallible as any human. Logical but finite. Good but not nice. I may be enough without him but demonstrably better with him.

And yet I continue to question how I’ll make this work. Not so much of question of “will it” but “how to do it”. Can I face the rest of my life with a man that cannot, pardon the frankness, penetrate me? Even with pills, I realize now that his dick is like the broken stem of a daisy and a finger curled stiff with arthritis. It will not, perhaps cannot, magically stand erect. I also joked that celibacy has turned my vagina into Fort Knox and it might feel like he is slamming his dick against a brick wall. As he failed to breach me, I joked sympathetically, “Most men would think ‘Great! She’s tight!” but he’s thinking ‘Aw fuck, she’s tight.”  His quiet devastation at not being able to fuck his girlfriend was palpable and all I could think to do was hold him and try to reassure him that I was happy just having his naked body on my naked body, which wasn’t a lie. But is that enough? I still wanted him inside me and my brain was screaming “Please, G-d, Universe, Karma, don’t do this to us…” I kept kissing him, encouraging, writhing, grinding, begging…until I came. Unexpected and sudden, I shakily announced “Well that worked”. “Really?!” he asked with…was it relief? Disbelief? Was this enough? I can be satisfied but for the rest of my life with what amounts to a lesbian sexual relationship? I don’t know. So how do we make this work?

” pull me closer if you think you can hang” M.I.A

Hes a good writer. Maybe even better than me. But as I’m the inspiration for his recent poetic musings, I dont mind that. And he has written for me the loveliest sentiments. I wish I had them on paper. Maybe Ill go back and transcribe them, as a reminder when the light goes out.
Because doesnt it always? She whispers and I glance down at the tiny, private spaceship tattoo that reminds me that I have suffered a lifetime of fleeting affections so why should now be any different?

But This time feels different. He’s different. I keep thinking of that silly eHarmony commercial about compatibility on a deeper level. I think they were probably just talking about shared beliefs on politics and parenting and I’m referring to how he measures up on paper (literally. Recall my List?) And our mutual goofiness as he calls it. Or maybe I’ve simply finally met my equal. I introduced him to my family and we haven’t even slept together yet.

Yeah, about that…

It doesn’t matter what I say about myself in an anonymous blog but I always hesitate to air something painful and private about someone else. But there’s no getting around it and there’s no sugarcoating it so I hope if he ever stumbles across this and takes the time to read it that he doesn’t judge me too harshly for it. So here it is: We haven’t been intimate because we can’t. At least not the way we would both like to. I don’t want to say that diabetes robbed him of his manhood but he might believe it. It has robbed him of the ability to get an erection and medication did not help in the past, he confessed. It affected him so profoundly that he hasn’t attempted intercourse in years. We had a grown up conversation about my needs and his health (as an aside, how refreshing to have candid conversations without judgement, tempers and hurt feelings!) And he has an appointment with his doctor this week to discuss treatment options. In the meantime, we just enjoy each other’s company and I no longer fret how slowly things are moving or question why he hasn’t throw me against a wall yet. I’m guessing he doesn’t want to start the engine until he knows he can drive. And I like him enough to wait. Although I can admit that when we do finally make it out of the garage, there’s the chance we may be compatible in every way except that one. And that would be a deal-breaker for me.

“Stay alive” Bob Marley

With less than a week away, I cancelled my New Year’s trip to Jamaica. It sounded adventurous, to climb the blue mountain peak alone at night on New Year’s Eve and watch the sunrise on New Year’s Day but the fact was I wasn’t going to be able to do it within budget. No Backpacking/hiking trip should cost over $1k but after 6 weeks planning, it became clear to me that no foreigner, particular a lone American woman, would truly be welcome to live like a local. The cost of living may be inexpensive there but I would always get the American Price. A 50 Cent bus ride would cost me $20. Free beaches would charge me a fee. I hate the idea of haggling for everything I eat and Everywhere I Go. So much so that I was no longer looking forward to this trip. So I took a friend’s advice, took a hit on the plane ticket, and will spend another New Year’s Day with toes in the sand with good people rather than alone on a Mountaintop. I still look forward to hiking the Canadian Rockies for my birthday amd I may be squeezing in a few dance trips in between. So Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, to all of you. And Bill, my dance partner and precious friend, no New Year’s Eve swing dancing for me this year. Not without you here.

“Look kids! It’s a rocket!”

“It’s a cock!” Robin Williams aka “Rainbow Randolph” screams.

What took me so long to watch this movie? Maybe our tongues are not the only  “tastebuds” that change over the years. In 2002, it didn’t look like something I would enjoy but here I was alone on Thanksgiving night, cackling at the slapstick. At the end, I studied Ed Norton as he kissed his character’s girlfriend and thought, “Ed looks like a good kisser” so later, I found myself fantasizing and…you guessed it! Started bawling. Sobbing over how pathetic it is to be masterbating to something so ridiculous as Ed Norton in a rhino costume.

The next morning was no better as I opened my eyes to a message from an acquaintance lambasting me for my failure at friendship. It started the day before when she coldly turned down my offer to bring her a plate of thanksgiving food from my family’s house and ended with her telling me how I let her down LAST YEAR by offering to bring her food but showing up with it “too late”. I felt so shitty! I apologized profusely, asked how could I make it up to her, asked why she didn’t call or text to ask me to speed things up or even give me a specific time that she wanted to eat by… but she continued to attack and guilt me until I was in tears again. She is a widower with PTSD and I worry about her. I keep her name in a prayer box on my altar. But my emotional bandwidth was maxed and by days end, I posted “I am a failure at love. A failure professionally. And come to learn, a failure at humanity. To everyone I’ve failed, trust me when I say I’d lay down my life if it would improve yours. But why would you trust someone who failed you…?”

A friend tried to put it in perspective and said “It’s never okay for someone to deliberately make you feel bad for trying to do something good”. He’s right but it doesn’t mean I am blameless in the failure department. Reflecting over a few days, I made a difficult decision to drop her from my contacts. I cannot be a lifeline for any more people than I already am currently and I certainly can’t be one for someone who inspires me to stick a barrel in my mouth. Although I did remember to unblock my Asshole Best friend a month ago so I’m not running from everyone.

“I hope you choke in your sleep while you’re dreaming of me” ~ nothing, nowhere

bitch

I’ve read somewhere that relationships can recover from anything but disgust. Hurt, anger, betrayal, even disinterest are not nails in the coffin but once you have lost respect for your partner, it’s dead. So this wasnt a “real” relationship, according to the Flake. Sex, love, friendship, manipulation…walks like a duck talks like a duck but it still wasnt a duck if you ask him.
I trembled as I typed. I always spared his feelings before but now I told him the dark side of my opinion of him: that he is a narcissist. Also frivolous, unreliable, spiteful, mean-spirited and as manipulative as any bitch I’ve ever encountered. “Now I am really done with you.”
I blocked and deleted his phone number. Blocked his profile and ability to message me on social media. I also did something I hadnt done yet:  blocked his email.Closing not only all the doors but all the windows as well.

But damn if he didnt find a manhole and come at me through the sewer: As I tried to steady my pulse and stomach, I got a hateful response  “I’m done with you too…” I didnt read the rest. I immediately blocked that number and deleted the message. Guessing it was from his google voice number that he uses for work but I didnt know that one so I couldnt preemptively block it. Maybe I should have never attacked, just blocked the doors and windows without a word.  Maybe I shouldnt have hit below the belt, calling him a manipulative bitch. Being deliberately hurtful does not come naturally to me and I don’t feel good about it; Even if there is truth in the things I said about him. Even though he’s been deliberately hurtful to me over the years. I could have cut him off without calling him out. I could have taken the high road.
But it’s done.
And we never had “that kind” of relationship he said, I don’t need to be nice.
Now I can move on.

I consider those nights over the past few years, crying myself to sleep because I was ill and lonely. Because who doesnt feel pathetic and want to be cared for when they are sick? Suffering is easier when you have someone to lean on. Or crying at the knowledge that I’d never bear children. That is a reality I still struggle with. But of all the times I’ve been the most depressed, it was usually over a relationship (well, once I was suicidal thanks to too high a dose of Wellbutrin).  Which makes me think maybe romantic relationships are detrimental to my health. I already suspect that I’ve been chronically single (no serious relationship lasting more than 6-8 months) over the last 13 years means that I am less tolerant of others. Hey you damned men, get off my lawn! Maybe it’s better to share a bed with only dogs and cats. I can’t say there aren’t days that I don’t wake up, stretching and rolling in the sheets (as much as I can. The Zoo are bed hogs), thankful that I don’t have to answer to anyone but G-d…

“It’s the beast. It’s my heart. It’s open…” Brand New

You Call Me Darlin.

Though it means nothing to you
And everything to me
You are a computer that learns
You outmaneuver me
Even though I realize
I’m the one that taught you those moves
You asked about my health, my mother
Not because you care about either
Its just the conversation starter
The lead into what you really want to talk about:
You.

And I remind you frankly
That nothing has changed
I still love you
You pretend you didnt hear me.
Reminding me
Rewarding me
With silence on the matter
That nothing has changed for you either.

” I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man” Little Big Town

I’m so lonely, I’m combustible. My emotions aren’t raw, I am a live wire. Always have been. Passionate, honest. Eight days flew by.

Miles of abandoned beach means “clothing optional”. Tons of sand dollars and washed up jellyfish that look like breast implants but still no sea glass. Pushed myself pretty hard the first few days in Yosemite. Climbed a no-shit mountain and developed a stress fracture in my foot. Followed by a sinus infection because It snowed the 3rd day and all I had was open toed Tevas and a light windbreaker. When I was packing, the forecast called for 85 degrees in the day, not 34.
Sadly, there is no way to escape the crowds in Yosemite. There is always someone in front of you or riding your ass, chattering away loudly in a foreign language. But it was beautiful and wonderous at moments in a way that the Scottish Highlands were not. Except for the Sequoias. The grove was a graveyard of burned up and dead. The living were centuries away from being awe-inspiring.

Although with every trip off the grid, I think I should have done something else with my life, career-wise. Been a botanist or environmental scientist. I wouldn’t have gotten rich but probably would have had a stable job for the rest of my life that may have been more rewarding than my attempts to save humanity

Napa/Sonoma was a like Disney: overpriced bougie boredom. The Flake’s new home is a paradise. Although I still think SoCal suits me better, being part lizard n’ all.

After Yosemite, I decided to “take it easy” hiking around Point Reyes National Seashore. The oasis amidst soul-sucking San Francisco, one trVwler called it. Limping along mile after mile of California coastline, leaning heavily on a piece of sequoia from Yosemite. The foot slows me down but doesnt stop me. What stopped me was a herd of Tule elk in the path, less than a mile away from the tip of Tomales Point. I considered walking around them but the stags began yelling at me “Dont even think about it, lady”.

Im a big fan of the hostel though and their slogans “for travelers, not tourists”. I met a dutch woman who confided that she worked the same job for 17 years, then after a misssion to South Africa, decided “I cant do this anymore”, put everything she didn’t want to part with in storage and began traveling the world. But

But i still didnt engage with anyone, not for long. The only romantic encounter i had was with myself, nude on a deserted beach, fantasizing about an attractive single man coming along and asking if he could help.

I walked for miles on a deserted beach until after dark and didnt bother to mark the narrow entrance to the foot path. I know better! Mild panic set in when after a few false starts, i realized i couldn’t simply plow my way through the growing wall of seagrass and 9 foot high brush. Iraise my eyes to the mountains shuffled my feet and sang to warn off the nightlife that chittered and howled around me. Then turning back toward twin lights on the beach, it was a couple of Japanese guys night fishing, wearing headlamps. Thank g-d, they led me back to the path.

I sent him a picture on a nude beach. Tit for his repeated tat. He said it was sexy and turned him on. He asked where i was. He knew exactly how close i was and for how long but never said “I want to see you”. I admitted to him that i teared up driving past his house on the way to the airport. He said “That makes me sad too”. I doubt that. After all, he could have had me with a word.

I feel like a raindrop over a waterfall – Kenny Chesney

Sorry Mr. Chesney but that lyric is lame. The Flake quoted it to me, not because he was feeling introspective but because that’s the song playing through his speaker at the moment. I can relate to that feeling of insignificance but a raindrop over a waterfall becomes part of the waterfall, something bigger than itself. Offering an alternative perspective to someone who may or may not be listening and may or may not ever suffer from feelings of insignificance.

I told him “goodnight and I miss you. Or maybe I just miss the idea of you” Because how can I miss what I never had?

Is this week of sleepless nights, heightened aches and bouts of hopelessness a result of my body struggling with hormones or a keto diet? Maybe both. My mind feels like a butterknife. My body an uncooperative, aged machine.

Sharing conflicting knowledge and personal experiences with Hashimotos and hypothyroid sufferers in a keto group in social media, I lament, in addition to the challenging dietary restrictions of keto, we must also limit our dairy and cruciferous vegetable intake? My staples are broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, cheese… what CAN we eat? A woman replied “I heard we can have ice cubes”. I laughed heartily at that one. Frustrating but funny!

I also officially took a Hiatus from the samba troupe. They scheduled a publicity photo shoot for the group which I knew was coming. I told them I had hoped to be in better physical shape by the time it came up but that hasn’t happened. I admitted to them that
being excluded because of my size still bothers me and I’ve decided to temporarily pack up my feathers along with the rest of my wardrobe that I haven’t been able to part with since my relapse. I told them thanks for letting me hang but I’m just going to dance with my clothes on in the meantime. What I didn’t admit was that I was not going to subject myself to a photographer who would try to hide the big girl in the back or under a feather fan.