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A Beautiful Cup of Sun and a Moment of OK

7 Mar

Some things I wanted to tell you, M:

Well, first, D told me he loved me, and since then things have been pretty sweet with us. We haven’t said it again, but we’ve been much closer, acting more like a couple, having fun and sex, and holding each other, and saying stuff like I’m crazy about you and basically enjoying one another. We have these inside jokes going on now, that I know you’d appreciate. And he’s totally up for watching cheesy late 80’s – early 90’s romantic comedies with me and judging everyone but secretly enjoying them. We had a ball with Mystic Pizza and we watched Groundhog’s Day last week, which I’m sure you’d approve of. In the middle of the movie he actually said, “They don’t make movies like this anymore”.

Other than that, I wanted to tell you that we’re going to Santorini in the spring! J, E, G and me. We’ve already bought tickets and everything. End of April. And it’s going to be amazing. My birthday comes up before that, and this year I’ve decided to throw a party, with drinks, music and dancing.  Remember that year, when you first moved to the city, you got all your friends together at a small bar downtown and got really shitfaced? You repeated that tradition in the years to come but that first time was so much fun.

This morning it was hot, way hotter than it should be this time of year and I wore a new skirt I got at that boutique you like, the one I can never go into without spending a fortune because everything is so beautiful. It’s green with white polka dots and little brown-goldish feathers. I wore it with black tights and a black tank top and it looked awesome. I went into town to meet J for coffee at a place that opened up rather recently, when you weren’t drinking much coffee anymore. I love that place. You enter it and are immediately overwhelmed with a craving for the warmth and comfort of a morning’s first cup, and it makes no difference if it’s actually your third.

I sat there with J and we chatted. She told me about a new guy she started to chat with online. As I looked at her I saw a giddiness that I hadn’t seen in a very long time and I asked myself if it’s been that long since we’ve been happy that we might not recognize it when we felt it again. But I totally recognized it. A spark of beautiful around-the-cornerness, anticipation of good things that may be coming. Obviously, shitty things will always be coming too. But I think we know now to look for the good, we’ve learned that we need to embrace it – NOW – because who knows what will happen tomorrow.

As I sat there in the sun, with J, drinking coffee, munching on an oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookie, I felt it. The sun, the warmth, the air standing still, my shoulders and feet bare in my tank top and flip-flops, the ice cream parlor nearby, the people riding their bikes, J’s smile, it felt like it was OK somehow. My first instinct was to jump up and say that it isn’t, defending your memory means I need to grieve you, still and forever.

But no. Instead here I am, telling you about the things that are good, the stuff that works out. I promised you we’d be alright, and I wanted you to know that we sat in the sun and smiled and drank coffee today, talking about boys, planning a party and a trip to Santorini.

It’s been 49 days without you. I miss you so much. Horribly, terribly, devastatingly, enormously, outrageously. I will always miss you. It surprises me that despite that, I am able to allow a glimpse of lightheartedness in, through my exposed toes, in desperate need of a pedicure, through my bare shoulders, soaking up the sun. It wasn’t escapism this morning with J, it was simply good.

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I Don’t Even Know What to Name This Post

18 Oct

I am well aware that this is my third post in 24 hours. This is what happens when I’m left alone to contemplate on my weekend off.

All week I’ve been pestering my friends, trying to make plans for this weekend, and everyone’s been busy. Literally, there were no options, even my parents went away this weekend. So I binged on seafood and beer and watched a movie (girl’s life sucks and then she meets a dude) and spent too much time online, and finally I went to bed and took forever to fall asleep, and pulled a muscle in my shoulder which is bugging the hell out of me.

And oh, in case you were wondering, my preiod’s late and I have horrible PMS. And don’t worry, I’m not pregnant, last time I checked you needed to have sex for that to happen, and I’m just not that lucky. But, this waiting irritably for my period to come has one perk to it, which is that no matter how fucking lonely and sad I feel right now, I cannot sleep with an ex. And I think that should be my new life mission: no sleeping with exes.

Last night after finally falling asleep, reading a silly romance novel (girl’s life sucks and then she meets a dude, sound familiar?) recommended by my friend J, who guess what, went away this weekend with everyone else, I had a very weird erotic dream, which I am about to share with you lucky bastards.

I was in Berlin, in my friend M’s uncle and aunt’s house, where we visited summer 2013. That was a hell of a trip. I’m going to sidetrack now and tell you about it for a second. M had only recently found out that she was sick, and it was as good an excuse as any to get together for a reunion trip. There was me, playing the role of the single mom, betrayed by her partner of 13 years, but awesomely strong and feeling hot post affair with SG. There was G, who now has three kids and is in a cult, but back then only had two kids and was in a cult. She had recently moved into a new house in the middle of nowhere and was weening her youngest from nursing, so had sore boobs the entire trip and basically could not believe that she was actually sleeping through the night. J was the stable one, which was weird because shortly before she had been the all-over-the-place-looking-for-herself one. She lived with a boyfriend, who we all loved, but now hate, since they broke up. She’d quit the life of unbearably low teacher’s income to work in hi tech and was overwhelmed by the hours, the emails and the stress, but at the same time enjoying immensly the sense of financial relief. E couldn’t come. She was busy going into labor. Actually, I think I should lable her as the stable one. She’d had a bunch of shitty stuff happen to her, but she was now living with her very kind and loveable husband and having a baby with him. Plus, she’d just handed in her thesis.

Then there was M. I met M when we were 18 and clueless and soldiers (gotta love mandatory military service), and I hated her at first because she’d made a comment about my weight. She’d been cynical, she later clarified, and I hadn’t discovered cynicism yet back then. A few months later we got to know each other and became best buds. Our gang got me through some rough times. I was horribly depressed in the army (and then I met a guy. Sound familiar?).

Anyway, M was going through some hard times back then, and her way of dealing with it was for us to go out dancing until the wee hours of the night. She didn’t like to drink back then, so she was always the designated driver. She lived with her parents in a gorgeous house in a beautiful town with the greenest most soothing views. And our favorite thing to do, after clubbing, was to come home at 6 am and order junk food and eat it at the best viewpoint in town, joking loudly about the guys who had hit on us, or who’d told us we danced like whores (true story). Our ears still ringing post BabyOneMoreTime and YourLoveGotMeSoCrazyRightNow, we’d fall asleep until it was early afternoon and then laze about in the garden, picking fruit from the trees.

Fuck.

I know I was talking about Berlin, and my dream, which now suddenly feels totally unimportant. I’ve been very honest and open in this blog until now, but if there’s one thing I haven’t written about at all it’s my friend M’s sickness. And I think I mostly haven’t written about it because she’s one of the only people I know who reads this blog. And it feels sort of unfair to write about how hard it is for me that she’s sick, and to have her read about it. Sort of like how my mom kept telling me how hard it was for her when BD and I broke up.

Obviously it’s hard to worry about her. Obviously seeing someone you deeply love in pain is the worst thing in the world. Obviously it pains me that I would like to be there for her more than I am able to, physically and emotionally. But in all honesty, the worst part is the most selfish part. I just miss our carefree friendship of early 20’s. I miss going out to a club and dancing “like whores”, and making fun of the boys that hit on us. And I’m not good at being patient. And you need a lot of patience to fight cancer.

Well.

Berlin.

That trip, I think, was a moment of forgetting about all the crap that was going on in some of our lives and just having some carefree fun. I think I remembered it now because I was going through some old photos and maybe that’s why it entered my weird sex dream which I was about to talk about when I began reminiscing like some sad 80 year old. So let’s get back to it, shall we?

I was with M at her uncle and aunt’s house, and I think the rest of the gang was there too. Yes, E as well, I’m remembering now, no kiddos, just us. And there was a guy there, his name was K, and actually, I know him. When I went on my three magical day vacation in Budapest this summer, he had showed me around. I knew him through M, because she was into couch surfing and he’d stayed at her apartment in the city the year before. K was really sweet, funny and had a sexy French accent, because he was originally from Bourdeau. Anyway, he was in my dream too, and we were sharing a room.

The room was enormous and our single beds were at two completely different corners of it. Before we’d gone to bed we’d had a dinner all together, with the aunt and uncle as well, and we were drinking red wine and laughing and K and I were slightly flirtatious, but only slightly. When we got to the bedroom though, I decided I was going to make a move.

I was a little worried because I hadn’t showered, and I felt self concsious. Still, I felt like I had not been touched in forever (wonder where that feeling came from) and I decided to just go for it. I came to his bed and started chatting and kind of touching him on the shoulder and flirting. And he said: “I don’t know if this is a good idea.” Which I read as rejection. But then I said to myself, don’t over think it, and I kind of continued flirting and soon we were making out. I remember vividly thinking to myself that if he had said this was not a good idea, that meant this was probably a one-time thing. And I was OK with that. It also crossed my mind that he might actually stop in the middle, because who knows, maybe there was a good reason why he’d said that. And then I remember thinking, even if we don’t actually go through with this, at least someone is holding me right now. I should just stop thinking and enjoy this warmth because who knows when anyone is going to ever hold me again.

He was warm, and I remember it in a non-sexual sort of way, like it was just comforting and nice. And then, it started to become sexual and I was totally worried about the shower thing again, so I told him I needed to go to the bathroom and went to shower quickly. I had to run around the entire house half naked and couldn’t find the shower, and finally did, and there was no door or towel, and I sort of washed myself and somehow dried up, but then the shower curtain fell and I just decided not to fix it and run back to the room.

He was still in bed and was waiting for me, and I was surprised he still wanted me, because I was sure I’d taken too long and he would be over it. And then we fucked and it was totally boring and missionary, but just so nice and comfortable and warm and when it was over I was prepared to go back to my bed but then I got the nerve to ask him to hold me and he did.

There will be no paragraph tying everything I’ve writted here together, with some hopeful message to the world or to myself. In two hours my Boy comes home and I go back to being a mom, which is something I can handle. So for now, goodbye alone time. I hope to not encounter you any time soon.

Real Woman

28 Jul

As usually happens when I’m confused about where my life is going, and as usually happens after hooking up with an ex (sadly that’s happened to me more than once in the past couple of years) I enter a melancholy pondering mood, which brings me to revisit former relationships and wonder about what went wrong and how somehow I was to blame for everything.

Even though I haven’t seen him in almost 14 months, my go to guy for memories of what it felt like to be in love, is still SG. So I was thinking about him, about how much I had allowed myself to open up to him and be vulnerable, about how he broke it off with me that morning, after having spent an incredible night together, how he’d said he loved me, but couldn’t be with someone who had a son.

SG was a kid, I know that now (In all honesty, I knew it then too). A 26-year-old Peter Pan type, who could not commit to anything, from high school, to military service, to college, to a real woman. His ambitions were out of this world, he was always in the middle of a huge undertaking, never actually following through with things to the end. That’s what I was to him. An undertaking. His childish omnipotence-fantasy blinded him and made him decide to choose me, despite the age difference, the marital status difference, the fact that I had a son. He was excited by the fact that I wasn’t another one of these girlie-girls he was used to dating, the thin, pretty, clingy, boring type. I was a woman. A real woman. Happy with who I was – most of the time. Confident in my intelligence and competence. Curvaceous and beautiful as a real woman often tends to be. Knowing how to show affection, how to make a man feel special. All these qualities that drew SG to me, that made him feel lucky that he was free at last from past meaningless relationships… These qualities were also the ones that made him leave me.

I am a real woman. And alongside the benefits of being such, are the problems. Real women do not have girlie-girl-problems. It’s not about getting a bad grade on a course, having a bad hangover or arguing with a girlfriend. We have all the benefits of real women, and we have seriously fucked up real women problems to go along with them. Toddler temper tantrums. Juggling personal lives and careers. Mending broken hearts and wondering if we will ever be able to trust again. SG couldn’t handle me. So he left. Just like he’d left high school, and the army, and college. Just like I don’t really believe he will ever finish that list of 200 books he’d decided to read in the next 10 years, or learn French, Italian and Russian, or start playing the piano.

You can’t hail a cab in life, to get you from one point to another. Often, you have to walk, through murky filthy shitty sewage water to get to where you want to go. If you’re willing to put in the time, the effort and the faith necessary for the journey, you might actually get there.

I’m just about neck-high in shitty sewage water in my life right now, but I have the stamina to keep putting one foot before the other and keep my mouth shut so I don’t swallow any crap. I’m not the type to give up. Real women never do. I’m taking my real womaness and the problems that come with that awesome title, and we’re trekking to a place where we’re going to be truly happy. In like a year. Or two.

Just Being

30 Apr

kale

Last night I was sitting on my turquoise sofa, in my tiny living room, the front door open and a cool breaze coming in through the screen door. I was breathing heavily and dripping sweat from my run, and on the coffee table before me a big cardbord box of organic veggies that had just been delivered awaited me. I took a deep breath, and for the first time in months I felt happy and healthy.

This move is probably one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I love my new home. It’s bright and cheerful, I take good care of the little garden, I’m actually attempting to grow some herbs and veggies. I feel at home here. It’s suddenly clear to me how detached I felt in my old apartment, and I lived there for almost four years. It’s incredible how often in my life I have overlooked opportunities for change, how many times I told myself that it would be better to just stay where I was. But the last two years have been so dramatically life changing, that sometimes I look in the mirror and I feel like I hardly recognize myself.

I stopped putting other people’s needs before mine. I began to be kind to myself.

I stopped thinking I wasn’t attractive. I learned to love my body.

I stopped saying no to things, without really understanding why. I opened myself up to new possibilities.

I stopped being afraid of many, many things. I began to be brave.

I stopped being so grave in my desicion making. I started to take things more lightly.

I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me. I learned to listen more to myself and less to others.

I stopped shutting unpleasant thougts away in a little drawer at the back of my mind. I began dealing with things that are painful.

I stopped feeling guilty for being happy. I began feeling healthy.

I stopped trying to plan everything. I began living a little more for now. This new home that my son and I live in, it’s ours. Sure we rent it. Sure we might have to move at some point. But it’s ours for now, and it’s wonderful to feel that we belong here. I love walking around the house naked when I come out of the shower. I love discovering a new veggie supplier and cooking Kale for the first time in my life (yum btw). I love watching Castle on my laptop in bed, or sipping tea on my porchswing. And I love inviting that guy I recently met into my bed on my night off and not worrying about where it’s going or what it means.

Just being is so damn good for us, isn’t it? I wonder why I don’t do it more often.

 

 

Butterflies again, and it’s not about a boy

27 Feb

porch swingTomorrow may well be life changing. You see, there’s this house. Small and rickety and just waiting to be given some love and attention by two new tenants, seeking a new life. It means moving to another town, farther from BD than where we are now. It means renting again, and dealing with landlords, and also letting out our apartment and dealing with tenants. It means living in a house for the first time in my life, which excites me but also scares me to death – what if I get mice, or worse, a snake? What if someone creepy comes into my yard? What if things keep breaking and it’s too much work to take care of?

Tomorrow I meet the landlords. I’m going to impress their socks off. I’m going to be brave and sign a lease all on my own, and move in, and get a really good exterminator to make sure I get as few unwanted guests as possible in the yard.

I’ve already found really good daycare for my Boy. I have parents and sisters and friends living nearby. And there’s a fantastic coffee place just a short walk away. The house itself isn’t big, but it’s more than enough for the two of us. There’s a tiny living room, a decent sized kitchen and two big sunny bedrooms that will be just wonderful to wake up in every morning. There’s no bathtub, just a shower – that will definitely be an adjustment. But the gorgeous little front yard, and the enormous backyard, where tea will be sipped on a porch swing, barbeques will be hosted on sunny Saturday mornings, and playhouses will be built, where my Boy will play with his new neighborhood friends – these will all make up for the practical showers that are about to replace our bath time ordeals.

It’s going to be great, I think. As long as the contract is fair and the landlords seem reasonable. And as long as I don’t chicken out…

Movie Moments

1 Jan

spatula

New Year’s day, and here I am. Still uncertain, still shaky, still on hold. What the hell am I doing? I know what I have to do, it’s just that I haven’t been feeling very courageous lately.

A year ago I was beginning to get a grip on things. Everything fell apart in October 2012. But in January 2013 I was beginning to put the pieces of my life back together. Slowly, one piece at a time, I learned that my life was a puzzle that could be put together in more ways than one. I waited for three months for BD to turn around. And then came the SCREW IT stage, no pun intended, well, maybe semi-intended. I discovered that life was magic. I was astounded by the revelation that I could live my life any way I wanted to, that I was free to do whatever I wanted.

Life is magic. People watch movies and read books and hear stories, and they say: things like this never happen in real life. Bullshit. Everything happens in real life, if you let it. Movie moments are all around us, waiting to be discovered by the power of one bold move, a small act of bravery.

Dinner today. Scrambled eggs. Tomato. Cucumber. Olives (Baby loves olives!) A spoon. And then BAM, Baby leans over and grabs a giant yellow spatula with a smiley face on it from the kitchen counter. Now he’s using it as a giant spoon, picking bits of tomato with it and stuffing them into his mouth, laughing his head off. Too young to have reservations. So open minded, that he would never ask if it was appropriate. Who the hell cares? It makes him happy.

It’s harder for us. We’re so aware, so worrisome. It’s harder for me. So uncertain, so afraid of making a mistake. So afraid to be brave that I prefer this impossible status quo. I prefer to let life guide me and spoon-feed tasteless mashed carrots. Instead, I should just grab me a giant yellow smiley-faced spatula, pull life by its reigns and fill it with movie moments and passion and happiness and me.

Horizon

30 Oct

peer

I had the morning off today and I took a long walk along the peer and looked at the water. It was a beautiful beginning-of-fall day, with a bit a wind, grayish skies, and a gloominess that makes you reminiscent and somehow pleasantly melancholy. I love this type of weather. I can sit for hours watching the waves and contemplating life, arriving at endless conclusions that have no practical implications on my life.

I stood there, leaning on the railing, looking at the horizon, and as always felt overwhelmed by the vastness of it all, so many possibilities, so many opportunities, an openness that the future seems to hold when you take time off work and stare into the ocean. It filled me with such hope and happiness that I had to take a picture, so I pulled out my phone.

Then I took a step back, and I noticed the railing, which was actually a fence, a barrier installed to keep people from falling or jumping into the water. A barrier keeping people from that vastness, from that openness, narrowing down possibilities and opportunities. I suddenly felt held back, constrained, angry even.

And there you have it. Like everything else, the peer on a fall morning is a completely different experience, depending on your perspective, and the narrative you choose to to organize your story in. You can look at the horizon, or you can choose to see the railing. You can allow the foamy waves to fill your heart with prospects and opportunities, or you can take in the impossibilities, the constraints.