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30 Oct


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.


Out of My Head

6 Jan


I was in a kind of nostalgic mood yesterday, so I dug up some old CDs and started listening to them, allowing the songs to send me each in turn back to a different period of my life. Duran Duran, REM, Radiohead, Semisonic, Guns and Roses. After switching a few CDs I got stuck on Fastball’s All the Pain Money Can Buy, listening to it again and again, specifically to song number 10, Out of My Head. I must have been around nineteen when I first got hooked on this song and couldn’t stop humming it. Nineteen. Hmmm. That was the year I met BD.

We met online. Back then everyone was on ICQ, remember those “uh-oh”s indicating incoming messages? The beginning of instant messaging, the thrill and freedom of faceless communication.

I was going through a difficult time back then. Maybe I’ll write about that some day. But that night I had gone out dancing with some friends and came home at 3 am, tipsy and weary after all the goofing around. I was in a good mood for once. Things were looking a bit better for me. So I decided to go boy-hunting online, as I had done several times before (which had led to some terrible/awkward/depressing dates). I did a search. I was looking for a guy, ages 18-25, who liked Radiohead, which I was completely  hooked on at the time, who read, and, well I don’t remember, there may have been a couple of other criteria.

Three guys popped up, and I wrote “hi” to each of them, and waited for an “uh-oh”, and it arrived. Uh-oh indeed. He was a 20 year old boy, witty and amusing, fun to chat with, full of excitement about life. That was my first impression of him. He seemed to always be going out, especially to concerts (he’d gone to that Radiohead concert I had been dying to go to and could not get a ticket) and he could quote poetry, which completely got to me, although I later discovered he had been copying passages directly out of a book.

We chatted for a couple of hours. Then we exchanged numbers and spoke on the phone several times. Finally it was time for the date. Having dated more than a few creeps that year, I told him we’d meet at a book store by my house, that way I could walk there (I didn’t have a car or a driver’s license back then) and we could meet and chat before I decided whether I was getting into a car with him.

I arrived first, a couple of minutes early, and then he strolled in. I hadn’t seen a picture of him, and he hadn’t seen one of me. Blind date. He was cute. Very thin. I immediately figured he would think I was fat (I had some serious body image issues back then). We hugged and chatted for a bit and then drove to a cafe by the beach. I remember exactly what I was wearing. A blue flowery skirt and a tight pastel green tank top that made my boobs look awesome, and my only pair of heels which were strapless sandals. I think I had my hair down. I may have worn an anklet, actually I’m almost sure I did.

BD was fun to be around. He seemed to know everyone, anywhere we went. The waiter at the cafe was friends with him and gave us a free bottle of wine. We shared a piece of cake. Then we went for a walk along the beach. He made a crack about having gotten us a room at a fancy hotel we walked by. On the beach we sat on the sand and chatted but he was to timid to kiss me. Then he drove me home. At the door, he gave me a peck on the cheek, but I’d had enough of his shyness, so I pulled him toward me a gave him a good soft kiss on the lips. We met the following 3 nights as well. We went to a movie, where we held hands, and I was so electrified by the touch of his fingers that I couldn’t concentrate on the movie at all; then to a club, where we made out on the empty second floor until getting kicked out. That night I didn’t invite him upstairs, because I knew what would happen if I did, and I wanted to take things slow.

I was in love. I told my mom that I thought this could be it a few months into the relationship. We had a lot to talk about, we had amazing sex, we enjoyed the same things: movies, food, travelling, and shared the same ideas. We were both excited to embark on an adventure together.

Man, I miss that time terribly. When everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky. The two-hour-long phone conversations. The kissing, God I miss the kissing. Later in life closeness became about sex, which was fine, especially when the sex was good, but I miss the excitement and anticipation of a good kissing session.

And now, here I am, listening to Fastball again, flooded with memories of how I met the love of my life, the man that I married, who gave me the most amazing gift of all, my beautiful son. The man who left me because he had become unhappy, and had decided that he didn’t deserve to live that way. And although I realize that we are over, and a part of me is ready to move on, the song keeps playing again and again in my head, and I can’t help but fantasize about the man I used to love coming back to his senses, realizing that we are a family, that it’s worthwhile to try and work things out.

“Was I out of my head? Was I out of my mind? How could I have ever been so blind? I was waiting for an indication, it was hard to find. No matter what I say, only what I do. I never mean to do bad things to you. So quiet but I finally woke up, if you’re sad then it’s time you spoke up too.”