Friday, December 31, 2010


it's new year's eve, which means that it's time for the obligatory wrap-up of the beautiful dark twisted cocktail that was 2010. we took the good, we took the bad. i dare say we took them both. no facts of life here, though; just another year over.

but damn, what a year. ups, downs, strikes, gutters - i have never had a year in my life that had more upheaval. i ended a marriage; i began a career. i started a relationship; i ended a degree program. i left home; i came home. it's enough to make you dizzy.

and i can say without reservation that, despite the heart-rending pain and dizzying glee, in the cold objective light of morning, i've never grown more than i did in 2010. and i largely did that growth publicly, through this little ol' internet outpost. it's been a hell of a journey here on the blog, and it's been amazing meeting all of y'all out here in the world.

so in the words of kanye west, i think it's time for us to have a toast. let's raise our glasses to:

 - ourselves, for getting through it all, somehow;
 - those we love, both who are here and who are gone;
 - the future, for being better than the past;
 - lessons learned and things achieved.

cheers to all of y'all. have a safe and amazing night; let's meet up again in 2011...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


i am a writer, writer of fictions
i am the heart that you call home...
 - "the engine driver," the decemberists

i have worked with language as long as i've known how to put my dreams on paper. i've written regularly for basically the last 25 years of my life. fiction, nonfiction, poetry, prose, and even an ill-fated screenplay - your humble blog proprietor has written it all. not to brag, but i think i've got a pretty decent command of this mother tongue of mine. i hone my craft here, there and everywhere, digital and analog, recreationally and professionally. this craft bleeds into my life. i speak as i write, much to the chagrin of my legal writing professors. ("would you actually say that word?" uh, yeah, dumb-ass; that's why i wrote it.) i use metaphor, simile, exaggeration, understatement. i am an architect of words, and it's a talent a) of which i am justifiably proud and b) that has been appreciated by many people with whom i've interacted over time.

so imagine my surprise when it came to my attention that this talent is radically underappreciated by some of the people i love most dearly. i mean, it's not an outright hostility - no one's telling me, as if anyone ever could, to stop my writing. but that sort of foolishness would almost be easier to wrap my head around. it's more of an intellectual blind spot. it's almost as if this crew is thoroughly incapable of comprehending figurative language. it's the weirdest damn thing i've ever seen in my life.

there is a cold, logical literalism at work in these conversations, one that confounds and amuses me in equal parts. words must be chosen carefully in order to get a point across. well, more specifically, to avoid a five-minute excursus as to what i meant and didn't mean, what i said and didn't say. it's important in this crew to be precise. accurate, even. to say that this is a frustrating development in my life is an - ha, ha - understatement. it's funny, too, in that, in the immortal words of jimmy buffett, if i couldn't laugh, i would just go insane.

look, i'm a lawyer. i understand the need to be incredibly precise. but guess what? my linguistic crayon box has 120 colors in it, and i will use every single goddamned one of them. i will not be stultified just because people in this world still use the 8-crayon kindergarten pack. i am a master of the language, spoken and written, and i will practice my art and craft, loud and proud. and if you can't hang? well. i'd advise that you either learn to drive or get off the track, or else you're liable to get left behind...

Monday, December 27, 2010


so i kept a running twitter log of things i did and saw while i was travelling. for your amusement, a road trip in 140 characters or less.

12/17, 11:41 pm: getting a milkshake for my drive south. miss my love already, but so jazzed to see my friends!

12/18, 2:18 am: dear henderson, north carolina: blow me. no open gas stations at all? come ON.

12/18, 5:17 am: welcome center, south carolina - that means a 20-minute pause for the cause before pressing on. naptime...

12/18, 6:19 am: greenville, SC: starbucks and hardee's at one exit. heaven.

12/18, 7:59 am: georgia welcome center: mmm. 5 more minutes of napping?

12/18, 10:47 am: AL welcome center: another state line crossed, another nap. so close. by the time i get to MS, had better be repealed...

12/18, 1:11 pm: greenville, AL: just like HS trips to youth leg, having lunch. makes me miss the man. getting closer to the pelican state...

12/18, 3:25 pm: gautier, MS: and down goes . beautiful day, beautiful moment.

12/18, 4:16 pm: et maintenant, bienvenue en louisiane. :)

12/19, 1:05 am: hammond, LA: drunk. smelling of cigarette smoke. desperately sleep-deprived. in a club. wish i was in bed with my man. i missed LA. really.

12/19, 11:34 pm: baton rouge, LA: my friends are amazing people. i love them dearly, and i miss them when i'm not here. LSU law 2010 for life.

12/20, 7:01 pm: new orleans, LA: my heart is this wondrous city, with its love and its life. so glad to be [spiritually] home.

12/21, 10:04 am: slidell, LA: morning coffee in the place where i learned to love estate planning. on the road again...

12/21, 10:07 am: aaaand there's the first rebel flag of the trip. four days in - think that's a record...

12/21, 10:40 am: gulfport, MS: too many memories. so much sin, in the buckle of the bible belt no less. makes me miss someone...

12/21, 4:38 pm: gulf shores, AL: my beach. god, i missed you.

12/22, 12:49 pm: mobile, AL: in the old life, i ignored people who mattered before i met him. that will never happen again. here's to true friends.

12/23, 12:37 pm: my family is exasperatingly sweet and amazing. prying and fussing over me across the miles. i feel claustrophobic and loved. :)

12/24, 8:38 am: mobile, AL: thus ends the "friends" portion of the trip; now begins the "family" portion. 80 hours till i'm home to him...

12/24, 1:36 pm: crestview, FL: met a middle school classmate in the gas station. small damn world...

12/24, 4:34 pm: moultrie, GA: and with that, i reach the edge of AT&T service. no phone, no internet for the weekend.

[here begins twitter-style note-taking on my phone]
12/24, 5:40 pm: tifton, GA: sharing a building here are the "southern heritage supercenter" (white guys) and "dirty south outfitters" (black guys). laughing together outside, dude in rebel-flag bandanna and dude in tupac shakur t-shirt. SO confused.

12/25, 4:12 pm: fitzgerald, GA: being a progressive southerner is a double-edged sword - so much good, so much cringeworthy...

[back to twitter]
12/25, 7:20 pm: arabi, GA: snow in DC = leaving family in a mad rush to get home. this'll be a long 24 hours...

12/25, 11:45 pm: greenville, SC: i swore i'd never eat christmas dinner at a waffle house again. [ed: there's a story here - another time.] and yet, here i sit. good times.

12/26, 12:31 pm: dinwiddie, VA: dear VDOT - it's a good thing that 18-wheeler flipped over. makes the fact that you left I-85 icy as hell obvious. grrrr.

12/27, 11:19 am: finally back home. great trip, but it's so damn good to be with him again...

quite an adventure. back to regular programming tomorrow!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


i am home. recap later. but now, sleep. hope y'all had a fabulous holiday!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

delightfully tacky, yet unrefined

dateline: tangipahoa parish, louisiana

oh, my lord, have i missed my friends. we spent last night and into this morning traversing the wilds of this parish, catching up on adventures old and new. we finished our evening in a "nite club" (no, really - that's what the sign said), indulging in vices of various stripes and enjoying a little well-earned release.

i love nights like that one - laughing all night, sending drunken (yet immaculately spelled) emails to people who aren't here, and remembering that i'm free. yeah, that's right; free. if i want to dance to "stand up and get crunk" in a tacky bar all night long, drink in hand, politely fending off the advances of the 18-year-old boy at the end of the bar (18! aagh!), i can. and i will.

this is what vacation is all about. great start to a recharge, eh?

Friday, December 17, 2010


i am waiting to go to bed until the sugar cookies cool. it's been that kind of magical day, despite the extreme annoyance that was three inches of snow falling on our little urban wonderland. with the semester finally, blessedly over, i was free today to take care of all of the loose ends that came unraveled while i concentrated on school stuff. that meant laundry, cleaning, stocking up the house and getting ready to go on my road trip.

i leave tomorrow to start a long, amazing trek that starts in the metro area, loops through louisiana and alabama before terminating at my grandparents' place in georgia. in anticipation of this, i've spent today preparing. my roots are touched up, i've got new clothes, and all i have to do is load up the rental car and hit the highway tomorrow. i'll miss the city. i'll miss my man. but i cannot WAIT to reconnect with my friends and my crazy family. this has been a long time coming, and i am so ready.

but tonight, i'll curl up in bed with my man one last time before we separate for christmas. we'll eat cookies and enjoy one another for one more night. the moonlight on the snow is pretty through the windows. peaceful. restful.

like home, wouldn't you say?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the heart of the matter

[with special thanks to an utterly awesome blogger for the inspiration. are you reading her? go read her immediately after you're done here. you will LOVE her.]

and i thought of all the bad luck, and the struggles we went through; how i lost me, and you lost you.
this road never gets easier. as the mechanical unwinding process continues, we still have to talk. and it's weird. i would love to be friendly, to be easy and natural with you. you're not interested in it. you've built a really obvious wall between us. i can't blame you for anything you've done. you're entitled to your process. but it's still rough, a small scrape with an emery board across my heart every time your voice sounds that way.

there are people in your life who've come and gone, they've let you down, y'know they've hurt your pride.
oh, wait. that's me, i guess. i did come and go, i let you down and hurt your pride. i broke you into pieces and, yeah, i hurt your pride. sorry about that. but i just get the feeling that i'm going to have to bear the cross of your pain and sorrow for a lot longer than you'll have to deal with mine. maybe that's what comes from being the decision-maker, the one who pulls the trigger. but i hardly think it's fair that i have to be continually blamed. i have tried to soften the blow as much as i can. i really, really have.

and the work i've put between us, you know, it doesn't keep me warm.
it's pretty apparent that i'm basically happy in my life. my professional dreams are lining up, school is... well, it's school, and then there's the whole "i'm in a loving relationship with my real, honest soul mate" thing. (not that we're discussing that; it's, frankly, not your business anymore. you may have some clue, but really, it's not your concern.) but the reality is, i miss what we were. and no matter what comes up in its place, there will be a hole in me where you used to be. it'll be a little cold, a little tender, and yes, a little painful forever. neither of us will ever get over this. ever.

i'm learning to live without you now, but i miss you sometimes.
it's a different life i have now, suddenly, without a lot of adjustment time. and you know, i was pretty damn comfortable. your good qualities - man, it's notable that i don't have some of that stuff in my life. your unconditional kindness is something i miss. the world doesn't baby a woman on her own the way you were willing to do. i could always find comfort with you. that is not always the case now. the new relationship has a new dynamic, and he's not as soft with me as you always were. i'm not used to that. know this: it wasn't a wholesale rejection of you. i do miss you sometimes.

but i think it's about forgiveness, forgiveness, even if, even if you don't love me anymore.
you don't love me anymore. i know this. but i want to get to a place of forgiveness. maybe that'll happen someday. i sure hope it will, especially given that you'll be forty years old before we're all the way untangled from each other. that'll be twenty years of time in one another's lives, when it's all said and done. i'd like the last eight to be... not the same as the first twelve, but not a source of pain, anger and sorrow for both of us.

i want to be forgiven. maybe someday you'll grant it to me. i can hope, right?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

sweet southern moon

[this all started when i found this picture while listening to this song. heard the song again today; hence the renewed nostalgia...]

i have one exam - one long, stupid take-home exam for a professor i, frankly, detest - standing between me and freedom for fall 2010. senior-itis (LL.M.-itis?) is hitting me hard. and with winter like this hitting the metro area as hard as it can, i was in the right frame of mind to get knocked sideways by a four-minute pop song about driving the river road in baton rouge.

yeah, i was never so sweet on baton rouge when i lived there. i love, love, LOVE the fact that i hold two degrees from LSU law center. i am proud as hell of that. GEAUX. TIGERS. but the town itself? meh. it's funny, though, how experiences twine themselves around your heart when you least see them coming. i find myself realizing just what i had when i lived there, and how, well, perfect LSU was for me.

i'll hit the road myself in a few days, heading back south for a series of amazing reunions with people all over the southeast, the family and friends who, frankly, got ignored for too long while i was living the old life, the one that wasn't me. but when i'm here, though i am blissfully happy with my surroundings, a shockingly intense twinge of longing for, say, boudin balls at the chimes whipsaws through me. i have no idea what causes this, but there it is.

this is an old habit of mine. for most of my adult life, and even when i was a snotty little college kid, i found it remarkably hard to just light somewhere. (to translate the southernism: light somewhere = be still and settle.) i spent my last two years of college constantly driving back and forth across the commonwealth of virginia. i always want to move, to go, to do. i am almost never at my house. it makes me wonder if it's the place i miss, or the action, the motion, the other-ness? interesting question, i guess. the time will come, very soon, when i put down roots for real. i've made commitments to this place, ones that i am not at all interested in breaking. the pliability that accompanied some of my old life choices is no longer available - the people involved in my decision-making process are adults, with lives and responsibilities of their own. balancing all of this inures towards staying still, being present and breathing for once in my life.

so the old strains of that silly little song, which really does sum up nights in baton rouge better than a thousand descriptions i could write, still tug at my heart. but when i'm done having some brews and marinating in that sweet, sweet southern moon, i'll get in the car and come back here, back to the arms of my love, my city, and i'll curl up in the comfort of home. the roots will grow. they're small, but they are most certainly there.

Monday, December 13, 2010


one of the side effects of being a hardcore, intense football fan is that i watch a lot of sports on TV. this time of year, that means i see one HELL of a lot of jewelry commercials. nothing makes me stabbier, except for maybe that god-awful hyundai commercial with the twee-pop indie freaks. (i won't link to them. they're too famous as it is. GAAH.)

now, don't misunderstand me. i am a HUGE fan of jewelry. i like me some sparklies. i am well-known for throwing on sweats and flip-flops (or snow boots in this weather), no makeup and hair all thrown back into pigtails, but with a perfectly-matched necklace and earrings. i am a connoisseur of swarovski crystal, turquoise and sterling silver.

but oy, do these jewelry commercials reduce relationships to so much patriarchal pablum. the women in these ads are simpering fools; the guys are smug paternalists, riding in to SAVE THE DAY with a glinting bride-price. the worst offenders, by far, are kay jewelers and their just god-awful two hearts (or as the boyfriend calls them, the two asses - go back and look at them again; you'll see) collection. either that or the "zomg, it's raining, save me, o strong man, for i am a weak and spineless girl-child!" one.

it's enough to make you want to join a radical wymynist collective or something. seriously. can't the people in these commercials just, y'know, give each other gifts like normal human beings, without the women looking like tiny children and the men looking like purchasers of more than just jewelry? come on, folks. real women with brains are so much more fun than airheaded simpletons. and smart women appreciate gifts too. we just don't gape over them like deer in headlights. it's way more fun to win a woman's heart when she's your equal.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

a grand adventure

well, this is a fun turn of events. at my exam-week midpoint, after a brutal library day yesterday, i've chosen to reward myself with a 110-mile road trip... to get hamburgers and shakes with my boyfriend. oh yes; we lead a fun life.

we used to go on crazy flights of fancy like this all the time when we were kids together. we definitely drove to florida for the hell of it a lot. one night we all ended up in gautier, mississippi in the parking lot of a jitney jungle grocery store eating snackwells devils food cookies and yelling sassy remarks at the bemused police officers watching us. but to do it at 30? oh, this is magic. one of the things i love about the man is his capacity for wide-open adventure like this. we were, and are, partners in crime, winging our way through the night together in search of a little fun, a little amusement, a deviation. it's beautiful, and all too rare. so if you'll excuse me, i've got a road trip with my man to enjoy.

forever may we rave.

Friday, December 10, 2010

mr. sanders goes to the senate floor

oh, my god, y'all. who saw the filibernie today?

needless to say, i've been a little removed from current events, between exams and the state of my personal and psychological life. but it's no secret that i am a crabby little liberal watching all this go down. so the impassioned, fact-driven, humane and downright beautiful litany of every value i hold dear that senator sanders gave us today was the shot in the arm my civic engagement needed.

people disagree. and in many cases, i truly do believe that people who care about politics, even if they're ideologically disparate from me, come from a place of care and concern for the nation. we're all americans here. but increasingly, the powers that be (and, at the end of the day, what really matters is what the 535 people who vote in congress think; the rest of it is blue-skying) are of either of two categories:

1) milquetoast democrats, far more concerned with looking like they're cooperating than getting anything accomplished.

2) fire-bombing republicans, far more concerned with looking like they're taking it to president obama than getting anything accomplished.

that leaves us... nowhere. we've reached a place where a bill that passes 57-40 isn't enough of a majority to actually change anything (and leaves a just insanely stupid policy in place). nothing is getting done.

so what if a filibuster - or a morning-session soliloquy - doesn't change substantive policy? it was so freaking refreshing to hear someone a) care, b) try to express that care and c) take people to task for their amazingly stupid behavior. to hear someone take americans to the woodshed for our collective greed? MIRACULOUS. to hear credit-card practices rightly described as usury? AMAZING. for this estate-planning attorney to hear the estate tax described properly, factually and accurately? REFRESHING. and most importantly, to listen to someone discuss economic inequality realistically?

lord, i thought i'd died and gone to the heaven i don't believe in. my civic pride is through the roof. hell, even though it took a 70-year-old socialist to kick the democrats into high gear (damn - they busted out bubba hisownself to counterprogram this!), it was so nice to see. now let's hope to all things holy someone in my party was listening, took this to heart, and (GASP!) will actually do something about the sad state we're in.


the sirocco is a wind pattern in africa and europe that dries out the sahara and makes the mediterranean cold and damp. wind has been on my mind of late: it's been a constant feature of life here in the nation's capital of late. the identical bookends of my monday was a whisper from the man as we awoke, then again as we drifted off to sleep: "windy." i haven't been able to wear my hair down outside in days.

wind is funny in its casual, reckless and random destructive power. all over town, some signs and newspaper boxes are blown over, while others stand next to them untouched. some branches break; others remain. wind is without prejudice. it just blows, and if it touches you or not, well, whatever. it totally does not care.

wind also forms the basis for just untold metaphors for chance and carelessness in life. call me the breeze. forrest gump, floatin' along all accidental-like (and that feather, which was REALLY bad CGI in retrospect). against the wind. blowin' in the wind. dust in the wind. winds of change, the wind cries mary, blah, blah, blah. if anything, i find wind to be less of a metaphor and more of a constant. i mean, hell, what's more constant than change?

the french have a saying: plus ce change, plus c'est la meme chose. the more change, the more of the same thing. so wind might be random, altering things in its path. but hell, that's just the course of everyday life. what's so careless about that?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

home game

i am an itinerant little blogger these days. i have been for... well, really, since i got back to the area this spring. i spend a lot of time in places that aren't my home. i sleep at my dad's. i go to school. and, basically every weekend night for months now, i've carried a bag with a couple of changes of clothes and decamped to the man's house.

his place is more hospitable than mine, i'd say. two people live there; five people live in mine. he has a master suite; i share a bathroom. but i do have to admit that i sometimes miss being, well, in my bed, be it alone or accompanied. as nice as his bed is, it's just not mine. my room is great. it's dark, which means it's a little easier for this insomniac to fall asleep at night. i have about six thousand blankets at my disposal (something which the man thinks is a) superfluous and b) hilarious). it is set up in every way to be, well, perfect for me.

so imagine my surprise when i was able to sweet-talk my beloved into staying with me last night. it was a low-pressure sale, but it worked. and even though he had to leave this morning at an hour i don't even want to contemplate right now, it was so, so amazing. as much as i love waking up next to him, i love it that much more when we're wrapped up in my comforter, here in my little corner of the world. it makes me feel... like a grown-up, really. the feeling of being a guest has almost worn off when i'm with the man, but it's still not my house. i don't have to feel any other way besides comfortable here. my man, my house, my stuff.

there really is just no place like home sometimes. i'd do well to remember that.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


my head hurts. it's hurt all day long. not really enough to warrant drugs or anything; just that dull, vague pain that accompanies a series of mild-to-moderate annoyances.

i am over school. i don't want to do it anymore. i have three exams and a paper, all of which have to be done before the 16th. i can barely, barely force myself to study for them, even though i'm spending ungodly amounts of debt-money to get this stupid degree. it's physically painful to drag myself through this preparation.

and the physical pain triggers emotional dragginess. that in turn leads me to take tiny slights as full-on assaults, non-cues as giant signs of my immense worthlessness, and all sorts of other foolish things. i don't know why this happens, but it does. it makes me, to be totally honest with you, really terrible company. so i try to mitigate this by not speaking, by sitting silently wherever i happen to be. but then i feel like a giant burden on everyone i'm around, bringing the room down with my negativity.

now, none of this is real. but i still end up hurting as if it was. how goofy is this? it's just exhaustion, frustration and disappointment, to be honest with you. it really is. but knowing what it is doesn't seem to help me, y'know, DO SOMETHING about it. so here i sit, tightness in my chest, burden in my heart, feeling like i'm in the way again.

what a headache.

Monday, December 6, 2010

#reverb10: make

[as tumblr has decided to remain, in the subtle terminology of my boyfriend, fucked, my reverb post is here again. back to normal programming in both locales when tumblr, quoting the boyfriend again, unfucks itself.]

"what was the last thing you made? what materials did you use? is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?"

i am no one's conception of a handywoman. i'd be the one who ends up with pictures all over the internet of the spectacularly improbable injury i'd somehow give myself, entertaining millions with my natural grace and giftedness. but surprisingly, i do have a couple of areas of handicraft in which i specialize. we've all been entertained with the ongoing saga of magnolia v. sewing machine for halloween. and while that was shockingly successful, that's not one of my strengths.

i do two things quite well when it comes to tangible works: i make food, and i cross-stitch. i've also regaled you with tales of marathon cooking spates on football sundays, embarking on culinary adventures to the dulcet tones of the greatest football broadcaster ever, scott hanson on NFL red zone. (i totally have a non-sexual crush on this guy. he's AMAZING.) but as for my needlework, well, that's a side of me you may not have seen coming.

when i was in seventh grade at a nondescript middle school in my gulf-coast hometown, we had what could charitably be called a dearth of electives available for us. there was a dearth of a lot of education in that place, though by god, they tried. there was a real "hey, kids, let's put on a middle school!" vibe around there. i started the year in a computer class with 25 students and ONE apple IIe. i was in seventh grade in 1992-93, at which point the IIe was nearly a decade old. clearly, this was not going to work. my only other option, however, was home arts. seriously? well, at least we get to cook, was my thought process. i like cookies, and this class did not disappoint.

our midterm project was a cross-stitched christmas ornament. she gave us a really simple pattern of a tree, and all we had to do was the actual cross-stitching. she did the back-stitch and knot stitches to finish. it took us two weeks, and i was stunned to find the process of preparing the thread, stretching the aida cloth and taking needle to canvas extremely... soothing, really. of all things, a lifelong hobby was launched at that moment. (i got an A- on the project; one of my rows was a little off. i also got a B on my final for that class; we sewed tote bags on sewing machines, and my seams weren't straight.)

so to this day, i tend to save time here and there for large-scale cross-stitch projects. i'm currently waiting for the end of the semester, so that i can finally, finally finish the huge one i started around this time last year. christmas break is a good time to sit on the couch, watch movies or sports, and stab a needle into cloth. not only do you get this really cool-looking piece of art when you're done, but there's a nice amount of stress relief in taking a sharp implement and plunging it into something over and over again. many cases of malicious wounding have been avoided by me using visualization techniques to transfer the urge to stab real people into stabbing cloth.

as everyone would, i'd love more time to sit and stitch for hours on end when i am so inclined. but that's not the kind of life i've chosen for myself. but that's what makes my favorite old-school hobby so much of a treat when i get to do it: it's a rare pleasure. and when i finish a piece, look at it and see all the work that went into it, i am proud as hell. no doubt about it. hell, yes. i made that. it's so, so damned satisfying. that's why making things is still something humans like to do, i guess; any source of validation in a tough, sometimes-crushing world is welcome, but when it's self-validation, it's about a hundred times better. and who couldn't use more of that?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

#reverb10: let go

[tumblr's having technical difficulties, so i've migrated here for the day.]

"what (or whom) did you let go of this year? why?"

oh, wow. talk about striking a nerve, and on a day when i'm hung over and have somehow managed to chip a molar. (yeah, a molar. NO idea how that went down.)

you could say i've done some letting go. this whole blog's been about letting go, at least when i'm not on about something political, mooning over the man or generally being zany. i've let go of artifice, of letting other people's expectations define me, and - oh yeah - relationships that just don't work anymore. 2010 was 100% about slicing off, cutting through and moving beyond everything that was, even without my knowledge in some cases, holding me back.

and why did i do it? self-preservation. i reached a point in my life where i just could not tolerate the state of affairs in my head and in my heart. i woke up one morning in mid-january feeling like i was literally bound to my bed. (and not in the fun way, ha ha.) i felt so trapped by waffling, by fear, by indecision and by my seeming inability to move forward. so i started writing it. i opened up my heart to y'all, and through reading, interacting and unburdening the secrets in my soul, i saw the way forward. i pulled the trigger. i went and demanded what i wanted. and by god, i got it.

so yeah, i let a lot go this year. but i'll tell you something: when i let that stuff go, i freed myself up for more bountiful goodness than i could have ever imagined. so let it go. let it all go. you'll be glad you did. lord knows i am.

Friday, December 3, 2010


i'm seeing black swan tonight. not gonna lie; i'm pretty excited about this. i like to read reviews of movies that pique my interest, usually from the new york times or the washington post. when a smart publication raves about a movie, it makes me that much more excited to see it (and conversely, when a movie gets panned in that kind of review, it disappoints me that i was even interested in the first place).

but the one theme i keep noticing about this movie is the heavy emphasis all the articles place about the self-injury that runs like a river through the whole thing, apparently. look, folks, this is a movie about the upper echelon of professional ballet. it may look pretty, but that is a brutal, harsh, cutthroat and, yes, painful world. hell, when we were teenagers dancing for fun, we used to have a saying: "the more it hurts, the more you smile." (some of us know this well, don't we? one word: mazurka.) so multiply that by about a million once you get to the top of the top. competitors in physical disciplines hurt themselves. we talk about how honorable football players are when they sacrifice mobility for the final fifty years of their lives to be successful in their twenties. but it's funny how the discourse on ballerinas has such a psychodramatic twist, eh? no one calls what defensive tackles do to themselves "self-mutilation," but doesn't it end the same?

now, in the case of the movie, it's clear that this is supposed to be a descent-into-madness thing. i get it. but the whole women and self-injury thing has me thinking. men, when things go sideways in their lives, always get portrayed as lashing out at others. you know the image: dad loses his job at the plant, gets drunk and beats mom into oblivion. but when a woman is hurting, she's always shown as taking it out on herself. papa roach notwithstanding (and i apologize for even bringing that song up), men are not often cutters. women are. why?

i think it's cultural. we're trained to view aggression and anger as male emotions, and thus only men are "allowed" to express them freely. we all know the cultural vocabulary for angry women: ball-busters. bra-burners. (for the LAST time, NO ONE BURNED BRAS. can someone PLEASE teach sarah palin et al to READ?) bitches. words i won't even use that slur women both straight and gay. so what do we do? women swallow anger. we tamp down rage, frustration, disappointment. finally, though, you can't swallow any more; it's coming out one way or another. and all too often, it comes out with the swift, savage pull of a blade across our own skin. the pain, the blood, the action itself brings a form of release, the only way to manifest the darkest recesses without running up against taboos bigger than ourselves.

we've come a long way, baby, as the old cigarette ads used to say. (and the fact that i remember when cigarette ads provided pop-culture memes shows that i'm getting old.) but we haven't come far enough to allow women to just be mad in public. the whole "mama grizzly" thing back in '08 wasn't real anger; it was a stylized temper fit designed to market an ideology. you ever see those women do anything from a place of rage? nope. that's because it's not allowed. if we really want to claim a victory for fairness for everyone, we can make it okay for every person to be healthily angry in the way he or she sees fit. that way, we can eliminate this whole sad cycle of lashing out, either at ourselves or others. maybe then it won't be an issue anymore.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


being a filthy no-account heathen, the whole reason for christmas - the birth of jesus - doesn't really register with me. but that is not going to stop me from eating up every single second of the secular-cultural fun side of the winter holiday carnival. i freaking LOVE christmas. it's the one thing that justifies the existence of winter weather (well, that and hot chocolate with marshmallows in it).

i went to dinner with the man last night. when we got back to his place, i noticed that his neighbors across the street (the nice, responsible ones with the baby, not the horrifically obnoxious drunken 20-year-olds) had strung tiny multicolored lights in the tree in their yard. nothing outlandish; in the ex's neighborhood, there's one of THOSE houses. y'know, those people who seem to thrive on being a) unspeakably tacky, b) as ecologically wasteful as humanly possible, and c) visible from freaking space with all their lights, inflatables, moving things, etc. just a simple arrangement of pretty lights in a tree. so unbelievably beautiful.

there's nothing like christmas decorations. the non-religious parts of the holiday are things that everyone can agree on: love, friendship, warmth, and light.  the good, small things that make this life worth living. that's the best part of this year. and we could all use a lot more of it, no doubt about it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

regrets, i've had a few

i love a lot of things in my life: family, boyfriend, friends old and new, etc. but one thing i do not love, sadly enough, is my dream graduate program. i mean, it's brought me some great people, and it's getting me a REALLY valuable credential that will help me get where i'm going. it's certainly not a waste of my time, and i will come to appreciate this. but my god, this is painful. not the academic demands - i've been challenged before, i'll be challenged again. child's play. it's the... worldview, i guess, from which the people who are teaching me this body of law approach their jobs as lawyers and advisors. let's just say that this little baby lawyer is turning into a world-class rebel.

i went to law school not to chase the atticus finch, law-and-order dream of the crusader. hell, i study tax law; it's a different ball game. but i did see, firsthand, the good work you can do with some knowledge of the tax code and an aptitude for helping people. you can get out there and help farmers keep their land in their families. you can set up a plan such that the teacher and the insurance salesman won't have to put mama in a cut-rate home when she's too frail to live with them. you can write a will so airtight that there's no way that the spiteful sister can step in and take granny's brooch from the dutiful sister. you can make sure sissy and bubba get the home on lake verret when daddy dies.

i did not go into tax and estate planning to help the scions of the top 1% shelter their inherited wealth in foreign trusts and family LLCs so that their scions' scions can continue to live off of never-ending streams of untold millions. those people don't need my help. noblesse oblige is dead; these folks, by and large, only give to charity to the extent they can write it off on their taxes. they perpetuate their wealth at the expense of their daddies' employees. i am not interested in that kind of service.

the longer i have to listen to my old-money professor, who winters in foreign country A, summers in foreign country B and works as a hobby, refer to laws passed to catch tax cheats trying to hide their money in secret bank accounts as "witch hunts," the more i become the second coming of huey long. i grew up the daughter of a man who worked, HARD, to give me what he could. i busted ass to help put myself through college; what my brain couldn't get me, my feet did. i've worked hard all my life. i have funded all four years of my legal education by myself. no one gave us anything. to sit here and listen to these people talk about tax problems from the perspective of the uber-rich? yeah, forgive my lack of sympathy.

it's ridiculous. i don't want to be that kind of lawyer. i want to help, y'know, REAL people. let the psychotically wealthy either figure it out on their own or - gasp! - own up and do their civic duty as recipients of untold privilege. i'll seek a career path doing what matters to the 99% of us who don't have our opportunities given to us with no effort. that's what being a steward of the law is all about. meanwhile, i'll slog through the rest of this elitist foolishness, and i'll gladly take the credential. i'll just use the knowledge i gain to do good, not to recklessly, shamelessly, and - yeah, i'll say it - whorishly chase money.

my daddy raised me better than this.

news: #reverb10

i just wanted to give y'all a heads-up that i'm joining the #reverb10 party this december! i know for a fact i won't post all 31 days, mainly because christmas will be spent in a part of the country with neither broadband internet nor AT&T service of any kind (i don't know how i'm going to survive that, by the way; i won't be reachable by PHONE, for god's sake). i'll probably do a catch-up series when i get back from the 19th century.

but here's the deal: i'm doing it as a project at my tumblr site. i'd rather save this space for freeform writing, and this is a directed-prompt thing. besides, this seems too multimedia to do here. i may have pictures or other weird ramblings to use. so check me out there for all of this.

and i'll be back later with some writing to do. it's a reflective kinda day.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a rich, full day

so here it is. thirty days, thirty posts. (i am so counting the double post the other day to get me over the hump. i wrote it; it's valid.) and what a day to finish, too.

i write you today basking in the glow of my first successful court case as a practicing attorney. who cares that it was only getting my client out of traffic tickets? i WON. and it was a beautiful, amazing feeling to call up the client and say, "congratulations! you won!" that made him so happy, and it was something i could help him get. that's what being a lawyer should be. (i write this as i sit in my private wealth planning seminar, where we're talking about how to legally shelter millions of dollars in the uber-rich's cash and property from as much tax as possible. yeah, there's a lot that's not so nice about the law.)

the peak-and-valley cycle has hit a peak. i'm so happy. i'm tired as hell, because i had to wake up at the crack of dawn to drive to the pastoral wonderland in which my client got his ticket, but i'm so freaking pleased. i know i've made the right choice in my career. things will be... okay. it'll take awhile, but it'll be okay. let's do some blessing-counting (yeah, yeah, an atheist counting blessings - it's weird).

1) i'm alive, in basically decent health.
2) i can feed myself (with some financial help - not great, but okay).
3) i have an amazing family that rallies around me and admires me.
4) my boyfriend is... well, he defies categorization, really. he's perfect for me.
5) my friends, far and wide, real-life and digital, ROCK.
6) i have a good career plan, with possibilities to get great soon.

see? it's all... if not good, then heading there soon. days like this encourage me, give me faith, and keep me going. not to mention the fact that i am going to sleep the sleep of the just when i get home tonight. it's a damn good day, full of damn good things. sometimes, it's just that simple.
woo-hoo, and this is post #200 to boot! fun. thanks again for hanging out with me in my little corner of the internet. i love my readers dearly; y'all are FABULOUS. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010


gaah. nablopomo failure yesterday. i think i'm going to take hannah's idea of a bye day, because i had a lot going on. i feel kinda bad that i fell short so close to the goal line. it was day 28! but hey, that's the way it goes, i guess, when you're out there living experiences in order to be able to write them. and it's been a pretty amazing weekend.

i'm dating outside my religion - by which i mean college football team - for the first time, and it did not work out well for my beloved bayou bengals. it did, however, work out well for my beloved razorbacks-supporting boyfriend. (sigh.) so a large portion of the remainder of the weekend was spent with a) me pouting, b) him gloating and c) me fulfilling a bet i just won't get into details about. suffice it to say that while betting on sports is wrong, this worked out well for both of us.

but it's all about fulfilling obligations. and i am glad to do that, not only for selfish reasons, but because i love making the man happy. his dedication to me makes me want to return the favor to him. it's absolutely perfect; i couldn't be more thrilled with the way our relationship has evolved over time. we're cut from the same cloth, and we want nothing more than the best for each other. always have, always will. my obligation to him is simple - love him as well as he loves me, no matter what. easy as pie.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

quick hit

stupid arkansas. stupid quarterback. stupid not winning.

that is all. too cranky.

Friday, November 26, 2010


whew. that was an adventure and a half. so many people, so much activity, so much hustle and bustle. when we closed the door behind the last guest at 1:00 AM, i was so knackered i could barely keep my eyes open.

but we laughed, we ate, we played rock band with a pack of really sharp little kids (who NAILED "smells like teen spirit," despite having been born a solid decade after "nevermind" came out). it felt like one of those scenes from a movie where you look at the house from the outside and all you can see is light and laughing family through the windows.

i don't know why i was so apprehensive in the days leading up to this. as is my custom, i built it up to be way more high-stakes than it was. i put so much pressure on myself for things to not only be perfect, but to reflect back onto me. this was actually a good exercise in letting go, being out of control, and just... breathing. and it's funny; it felt so nice to just be a helper, then a guest.

there's a lesson here. breathe. smile. as the owner of my beloved washington capitals, ted leonsis, likes to say, "be positive - be happy - show gratitude." and enjoy the party.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


on this day of thanks, i want to call some people out for being amazing.

1) my parents. they rock, and i love them.

2) the man. thank you, love, for EVERYTHING. i love you more than words can say.

3) my friends, non-blog and blog. a few in particular:
a) the high-school crew, those who knew me when it mattered. (love you all, boys and girls.)
b) the law-school crew - i miss y'all more than i could ever imagine.
c) my blog friends. y'all have sustained me through it all. thank you, thank you, thank you.

take a minute to love your nearest and dearest today. give thanks. it's worth your time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

storm front

this is a quiet, still evening, watching TV and hanging out. tomorrow, a loud, crazy, boisterous party breaks out at this place. it's going to be sloppy, foolish and stressful, and it'll be enervating.

but it's also proof that, no matter how dark i think things are, there's love, support and friendship all around me. it takes weird forms, but it's so, so reassuring.

happy thanksgiving eve, y'all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


the circle is the ultimate symbol in our culture, isn't it? completeness. union. that's why rings mean so much. class rings. promise rings. purity rings (well, if you're into that whole creepy "my daughter's virginity is a commodity that belongs to me, and i'll decide who gets it, thanks" thing).

engagement rings. wedding rings.

after some ugly and protracted negotiations, documents are signed, agreements have been made, and the cords binding me to the old life are nearly severed. it was strangely... calming. i mean, it's been pleasant to deal with him, now that the yelling has stopped. all that's left now is the small stuff: sorting possessions and deciding who gets the little things. DVDs, cookbooks, silverware, etc. but one thing he asked for, and the one thing that i was simultaneously happy and heartbroken to hand over, was my wedding jewelry. hell, he bought it; it belongs to him. the diamond came from his family.

but the experience of handing those rings back to him, even done as cavalierly as i did (in a parking lot, on my way back to the train, on my way to make a filing deadline), was... surreal. it cut me back instantly to that day in july when he handed them to me first. how young. how giddy. how... yeah. the courts have a little more business with us before it's all said and done - name change order, etc. - but the end came today, in that moment.

that circle is closed, all right; it's closed to both of us. the two are now one and one again. what was joined together, we have violently torn asunder. so much for that. it's the right thing; we weren't good anymore in that way. but i'll tell you this much: as angry as i've been, as sure as i am about the course my life is taking, and as hurt as we've made each other, i don't want to give up on him as a part of my life. he's woven into me, and there will never be a way to undo that. in time, once the scabs have formed, faded and healed, we can see each other and smile.

there won't be a ring, but there will be a circle.

administrative matters

this post isn't today's post for real, but i have some bloggy business to attend to. so here goes!

1) the amazing kim at perfectly cursed life, one of the bright spots on the internet, has bestowed yours truly with a really nice (and totally flattering) honor: she named me one of her "thank you for blogging" award recipients! i'm very touched by this, and as per the rules, i'm naming my own set of winners here. everyone i read rocks in his or her own way; these folks have touched me in particular...

a) to be determined. jolene describes herself as a "puppies and rainbows" blogger, but seriously, this woman needs to be in the self-help book business. she's inspiring as hell, and in an actually useful and authentic way. no platitudes here. she is AMAZING.

b) the diary of a divorced guy. honesty writ large. this guy rocks. (and when he wants to be, he's funny as hell.)

c) red shoes' chronicles. sometimes amazingly touching, sometimes brutally silly, sometimes totally NSFW, but ALWAYS a hell of a read.

d) 'bama on the brain. the fact that i've known 'BOTB since high school does not color this at all - she is an awesome voice, and y'all will all love her.

e) a diary of a mad woman. laugh-out-loud funny, raunchy as hell; amazing every time.

honorees: kim's rules are that if you get a TYFBA, you have to give at least four of your own out, and you have to say why you're giving each one out in at least three words. (you can tell that i'm a heavy tipper, especially when it comes to compliments.) enjoy!

2) and funny thing about that - that leads me into the next order of business. i am a guest poster over at diary of a mad woman today. i got a little... adventurous, let's say. suffice it to say that i contributed to the "sexy time" series. explicitly. you've been warned...

enough housekeeping. stay tuned for the meat and potatoes later tonight!

Monday, November 22, 2010

tenacious d

i have been known in my life as a fairly fierce defender of those i love. it goes deep with me. when i was four years old, i got into a fight - a physical altercation, no joke - with a kid in my class who made my best friend cry. i have always felt it necessary to go to war for the people who matter to me. it's one of the ways i show my love for people.

weirdly, the troubles of the last few days have only intensified this feeling in me. as people i know suffer from everything from annoyances to serious tragedies, it sharpens the anger all the more. being in a somewhat weakened emotional state to start with has converted me from (and GOD ALMIGHTY, how i hate that sarah palin popularized this phrase, because it's a really good one, and it fits here) a mama grizzly to a WOUNDED mama grizzly. and when i'm wounded, i lash out hard.

the strongest manifestation of this instinct these days is, weirdly enough, aimed at myself. i see the strain i'm placing on my boyfriend with my... episode the other night and its attendant fallout. the boy loves me so much (you are the most important person on the planet to me), and he is so damn scared of this. i've never, in all our years together, seen him so scared. i hate to see him hurt, even as i hurt myself. so it's this really awesome negative feedback loop: i hurt; he's scared; i get upset that he's upset. lather, rinse, repeat. it's a multiplier on the stress.

i know this is crazy. there's no other word for it. and at the end of the day, my fealty to myself trumps my need to keep my loved ones safe here. looking out for #1 is my main job. in a backward sort of way, though, the need i have to defend my loved ones may just be the extra kick in the ass i need to shake the cobwebs off and get over this. not only do i owe it to myself - and it is CRYSTAL clear that i do - but i owe it to the man who loves me more than life, too. and if that's the inspiration to get through the fog, well, so be it. defending others leads me to defend myself, it seems.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

that joke isn't funny anymore

gallows humor is one of my favorite survival tactics. it's funny, if you think about it: i don't like to be teased about little things (i.e., my insane clumsiness), but the big things lead me to be viciously, bitterly comedic. it's received differently, depending on my audience. it's one of the things the ex used to do well, actually. he understood the need for me to vent more than, really, anyone else in my life has.

i don't always judge my audience well. it's a flaw i have. i have sometimes gotten myself in trouble with making a dark, angry joke that wasn't received in the spirit in which it was intended. see also last night. we went out in the world, an attempt for me to slowly ease myself back into normality after my little... episode. but when you've sworn off alcohol to maintain your sanity, there's just not a lot to do past 1:00 in the morning. i mentioned to the man that, since there was nothing left that was permissible, we should just head back to the car. and then i made the joke. something small, based on something i thought he'd said the other night. a little lighthearted treatment of my self-imposed sobriety, a little gentle tease.

suffice it to say that the mark was missed. BADLY. he got angry, offended. i was absolutely stunned. i apologized, and we walked in silence. we then drove in silence all the way back home, and the longer i sat, the more confused and angry i got. what the hell is this about? i can't joke about my life? i waited until we got inside, then i chose a mature and reasoned response: "what just happened?" i was legitimately, completely lost as to how things devolved.

well, turns out that he and i have the exact opposite approaches to crisis-time humor. it also turns out that the little joke i thought he'd made - which i'd enjoyed, which took the edge off and made me feel a little lighter in some very dark moments - was me mishearing a serious affirmation of his belief in me. he takes his responsibility to me very, very seriously, and he does not find a drop of humor in anything that's happened. i would never joke about that. it's not funny. it's not right.

it's no longer just about me and my strategy. i have considerations. this is what it's like to totally let him in, to show him the worst of me: i have to be prepared for his reactions. i've seen this happen in other people's lives, and now it's happening in mine. so since it's too close to home, and it's too near the bone, i'm going to let the jokes go. they're just not funny anymore.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

let it rain

[your soundtrack]

"you see the struggle on my face, you see it storming in my eye; you see it heavy on my shoulder, you see me swaying on the line..."

there was a time when i was better at hiding this. this girl was a master of disguise. i mean, hell, i could dance for you even when i was bleeding inside. i lived a double life for so long that i got really used to the feeling of being split in half. and then a funny thing happened: the strain broke through the mask, and i lost the capability to hide the hurt anymore. i don’t know what it was. maybe it was watching the end turn so ugly. maybe it was finally being honest and owning up to the insufficiency of the friends-with-benefits setup, coming clean about my feelings, and (to my great surprise) getting exactly what i wanted. whatever it is, i can’t keep how much it hurts, how angry i am, inside anymore. if you look at me, you’ll see it.

"bring on the troubles of the morning and the stories of my life; look up above, the clouds are forming and i’m not gonna hide..."

so why not own this? my life is hard as hell these days. everyone can see it, and i’m apparently the last person alive to acknowledge it. bring on the struggle. let me take it on with arms wide open, and if the pain shows through, i should have the decency to own up to the fact that i’m hurting. making myself a martyr only hurts me. well, me and everyone who has to deal with me while i’m carrying on like this. (see also my beloved boyfriend for the last few weeks.) the only way to keep it from swallowing me whole is to come out from behind the front and own it all.

"i’m not getting any younger, i took the longer road; and i know it’s made me stronger out here on my own..."

the man (as well as my friends and family) always says he’s proud of me for everything i’ve done and earned in my life. he tells me how strong i am, how tough i am. not only that, he tells me that i’m tougher than i think i am, and certainly stronger than i give myself credit for being. i think i’m finally starting to understand that he’s right. the things i’ve suffered through, as he told me, would have destroyed weaker people. funny how it’s taken him to finally drive that through my thick skull, but it’s true. i have struggled – oh, lord, how i have struggled – and i’m better for it. i’m far more of a complete person than someone who’s been through nothing.

"let it rain on me, let my shelter crumble down; take it all away, don’t need no one to save me now..."

i will rely on those who love me to support me. i’ve seen the results of the stubborn insistence on standing as the lone wolf in front of them and “proving” how “independent” i am. it is not pretty. but at the end of the day, no one can save me but me. i have to be accountable to myself; there’s no way around it. so let the walls fall down, and bring on whatever challenge there is. with the help and faith of those who love me, i’ll make it through everything. i will win. there’s no other choice.

Friday, November 19, 2010


foreigner once sang, "i wanna know what love is; i want you to show me." lord, is that song sappy. it's a FABULOUS long road-trip jam, when you're totally alone in the wilds of tennessee with nothing around you but trees and gratuitous power ballads and can totally let your vocals rip.

i mean, not that i'd know this from experience or anything.

but it's creepy how sappy little things here and there can morph into these GRAND, OVERARCHING TRUISMS. i really thought i knew what love was from a very young age. as you've probably noticed, i was a very confident kid, and when i was seventeen, i just knew that this. was. it. there was no going back; i'd met the man i was destined to marry, and we were gonna live happy ever after in our little fairy-tale world, with no worries or cares.

enter adulthood. enter growth (or lack thereof), refinement of goals. a very wise fellow blogger said that "i was a very different woman at 29 than at 23, a woman i liked a whole lot more." heh. turns out. so i'm taking steps to undo the damage that blindness and overconfidence caused, damage that reveals itself to be more serious and scathing than i even realized possible. this process is long, and the rage that takes over every single time he drags his feet and makes this take longer threatens to swamp me completely. it's not going to be easy to overcome this.

but lo and behold, through the forest, there's a small beacon, a single ray of light. as it happens, i'm really, finally starting to see what love is. it's been here all along, beside me through up and down, and the late unpleasantness, to say the least, has brought it forth in the most sweepingly obvious manner possible. when i've been at my lowest, my saddest, my most desperate, all i've gotten is absolute and unconditional love, poured over me when i've needed it most. i don't know what to do but worry, he says. i say back, this breaks my heart - i don't want you to worry. i'm sorry. and then, the three sentences that move me to tears, stir my very soul: don't be. it's not your fault. and you know i only worry because you mean the world to me.

this is what love is. this is the gift i've been given in the undoing of my life. this is the privilege with which i've been bestowed: the true, pure love of an unyielding partner. this is real. this is the cord that binds us. and i am beyond honored to finally, truly know what love is. there just aren't words.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


you looked at me with an expression i can't characterize. i don't even know what the name for that emotion would be, or even if it has a name at all. the whole thing only lasted eight hours, four of which were spent sleeping, but the destruction was nearly complete. your eyes still haunt me, shake me to my core. i didn't realize i could have that kind of power over you, demonstrate the risks of opening your heart in such a stark manner as i have tonight. but you let me in, and now you see exactly what that means. you see the fractures i've tried so hard to conceal from you. you see the bottom, clear as day, even in the dark of night. and you're scared.

what do you fear? you tell me, i don't want you to feel this way ever again. i don't want you to ever want to do this again. you ask me what i need, what i want; what can i do? any idea? anything i can do, i will. and most poignantly: you're scaring me. you never confess fear. you're strong, untouchable. you never show me your vulnerabilities... until i push you to the breaking point.

the break nearly came in front of me, your inability to change it, to fix it, to make it better. i can't stand the thought of what this does to you. so i'm going to handle it. i'm going to fix this. i'm going to make this go away. you always tell me to lean on you, to use you to soothe myself when i need to. but when i'm this broken, this bruised and bloodied, the reality of what you invite me to do becomes sharply, harrowingly clear, doesn't it?

you're my strength. you always have been, you always will be. but have i finally seen the limit of how strong you can be?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

well. that happened.

so a follow-up from yesterday. not to scare anybody, but as it happens, i was due for a freak-out, and it came with a vengeance after i left y'all. i'm OK, first off. nothing life- or limb-threatening happened. but it was a long, dark night.

some things i'd like to say:
1) there is a long string of counseling appointments in my future, starting tomorrow. (i've already been to speak to the nice folks at the counseling office here at school, before you ask.)

2) i am officially off alcohol for the rest of the semester. that's something i just do NOT need. it does not help anything. and for a red-wine lover like myself, this is a big damn deal.

3) to the man, if he reads this (and i don't think he does, but it's worth saying): thank you, love. things will be under control. i will handle this.

strangely, though there's a lot of work yet to do, i feel a lot less... pent-up, i guess, after last night. the dam burst, and though it's messy and there's a lot of cleaning up that'll follow this, the pressure i was feeling, building up inside me, has eased. i may be a little more all over the place than usual, a lot less linear, but at least it's all coming out. and that's a good thing. that's a very good thing.

one step at a time. and this too shall pass. i feel it now more than ever.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


it's dark. it's really, really dark. i try so hard to be positive, to muddle through the pain, the anger, the annoyance and the stress with all the resolve i can muster. but by god, this hurts. i am starting to feel the old rebellious streak rise up in me, the one who says, y'know, why the hell SHOULD life be this hard? what the hell is the point of trying to maintain, be on an even keel? this world does nothing but throw curveballs at you. and that, my friends, is a place i'd just as soon never see again.

see, i have a double-barreled challenge to overcome here: 1) my mother's serious mental health issues, many of which are supposedly genetic; 2) a history of... allowing the darkness to control me, so to speak. i have done so well over the past decade or so at keeping my head above water, managing my emotions. but with stressor upon stressor upon heartbreak upon fear piling up, my carefully-arranged psyche is starting to crack, starting to show signs of wear.

i know what i need to do. i know what i should do. but by god, i can't be the only person on the face of the earth who is seriously, intensely incensed by the fact that life has to be so much work. really. why the hell does this have to be such a struggle all the time? why is it that i have to fight so incredibly hard just to get through the day without succumbing to the forces that are trying to destroy me? i look around at most of the people in my life, who i know don't have perfect lives, but at least seem to have okay enough lives, and i am seethingly jealous. it makes me so angry. i have to try so goddamned hard just to get out of bed in the morning these days. it's so much fucking work. my emotional life is so much in tatters that it's cutting me to shreds. compounding this is the fact that i know people with real, life-threatening challenges who are so much more successful at staying... sane, i guess. the guilt of that compounds all of this even more.

so that's where i stand. it's a damn cold night, and i'm here, alone in my room, doing everything i can to keep my demons at bay and my angels close by. i will make it through this. i know. but sometimes, i get so goddamned tired. the test is whether i drop my hand from the wheel and let things go, or whether i somehow scare up enough resolve to keep it going.

Monday, November 15, 2010


in the devil's dance that is my psychic state, the darkness has been winning. that has made me nothing short of unbearable to be around, as i've chronicled earlier. but, as usual, the man comes through for me. there's been a little tough love wielded on me lately - he's called me on things that, frankly, i've needed to be called on.

yesterday i talked to my grandmother. i will never understand for the life of me how that woman can push so many emotional buttons in the course of one conversation, but she has always had that talent. good for her. heh. i waited until the night fell and the man and i were alone to tell him what she said, and from there, the whole sordid story of my emotional state came tumbling out. he listened, offered some encouragement, and held me close against him. the soothing took longer than usual. a lot longer, actually, and it was nowhere near complete. the issues that bother me are just too big to be settled in one night.

the edginess eased, but not entirely. something was missing. so i decided to soothe myself. i pressed in close, wrapping myself around him, and sought comfort in his body, not just his words. his hands found my curves, my lips found his neck. we've always been more than compatible in this regard, but there's always been a level of recreation to it. fun. nothing too heavy. yeah, that wasn't really the case this time. we didn't speak a word, just lost ourselves in each other. and when he held me in his arms and loved me, he made it totally obvious that love was precisely what he was giving me. his eyes met mine. his lips met mine. he gave of himself completely, unconditionally and passionately.

i've written extensively about the learning process that this relationship has triggered. i've said a lot about observing, accepting, and understanding the way he loves. i thought i got it before, but this weekend showed me how wrong i was. i learned it through missteps and bad actions, which resulted in conversations that i'd rather not have had. but finally, when it was most critical, i learned it through the silent openness of his embrace. his love is deep, bigger than words. to feel it so broadly, so completely, is all the lesson i'll need.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


well. that happened. turns out i'm not the only person who was aggrieved in my life last night. i mean, that does stand to reason; it's no secret that i'm a challenge to love from time to time. but it seems that there was a lot i was doing that was bothering him. it's the first time in my life when i've ever been told by someone that "anything i say will make things worse, so i'm not saying anything."

whoa. that's not what i was expecting to hear at all. but talk about a wake-up call. so we had it out. i mean, i know i'm on edge. i know i've been tough to be around. but the implication that i can't be spoken to because of my potential reaction to it? oh, no. that's not going to work. so we talked it out. it was good, in its way, to argue for once. at least i was finally, after pulling it out of him, clued into the fact that he wasn't happy with me. things were resolved.

i've had better weeks than this one. i've had better months than this one, so far. but i apparently needed to be called out for the way i was acting. (so did he.) better to know than not, i suppose. facing the bad and the good is part of having an adult relationship. and i'd much rather have a real, true relationship than a shallow, fake "happy" situation. so i'll take my medicine. just as long as he takes his too, that is.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

pardon the interruption

i knew this time was coming. i knew, eventually, that this little... tic, i guess, of yours would eventually become an issue. i'm actually surprised it took this long. but here it is, so i'm dealing with it.

i know you don't like everything i like. we don't have to have the same tastes in everything. never have, never will. but do me a favor? when i happen to mention something related to something i like that you don't, could you maybe not just wait for me to stop talking, then immediately go back to the last thing you said before i spoke, as if i hadn't said anything at all? see, when you do that, here's what you convey: "if i wait her out, she'll get the hint and shut up."

yeah, that's really not what will happen. what'll happen is this: i'll begin to get the idea that you don't respect me. we can have differences of opinion until the cows come home; that's actually a whole lot of fun. you are a worthy opponent, and i love sparring with you. but i will not be made to feel like my interests are SUBSIDIARY to yours. that's when things start leaving the realm of OK and careen headlong into... unpleasant territory.

part of the deal i made with you is that i'd open myself to the things you like and at least make an effort to indulge you. i don't expect you to be able to rattle off hockey stats and learn the difference between colton orr's role with the leafs and brooks laich's role with my beloved caps. but i do expect you to treat my loves with the barest, gentlest modicum of respect. it's not an unwarranted interruption to your life to listen. you can handle it. i have faith in you.

Friday, November 12, 2010


in the face of trying times and more stress than i care to contemplate, i have decided, pretty much in the last two hours or so, that i am going to try something new. i am going to face the rest of 2010 with a relentlessly, aggressively positive attitude. i mean it this time. i will find the positive side of things if it freaking kills me. it's a survival mechanism at this point. so here goes; i'm going to test this out here. tell me if it's working.

event: unwinding my old life is making. me. crazy.
positive spin: i get to practice domestic relations law in a risk-free environment.

event: school is insanely busy this week.
positive spin: it's a good distraction from my old life.

event: i don't have regular access to a car, and it's cold outside.
positive spin: walking everywhere = exercise = being able to eat big macs every so often.

hmm. i'm not so sure i'm getting this right. well, whatever; i'll have plenty of time to practice in the face of all the stresses and annoyances swirling around me right now...

Thursday, November 11, 2010


today is veterans day. in america, this is a day off for some, but not all. there are giveaways at chain restaurants and sales at furniture stores. lots of people make lots of noise, and i'm sure it's very sincerely meant. (not being sarcastic, for once, either.) politicians do photo ops, grandstanding in front of people wearing camo and old men in ball caps embroidered with the names of their ships.

but honestly, how many people really take the time to think about what it means to be a veteran, especially in the modern sense of the word? military service used to be essentially compulsory for young men, and most people called just went and did what was asked. but the nature of service changed when the draft ended. our armed forces are 100% volunteer these days. that changes things somewhat, to say the least. now the people who defend us at home and abroad do so out of conscious choice. that's really a special thing to do, even if it's only done because someone feels he or she has run out of options for the future.

and in spite of this regime of service by choice, which should force the decision-makers to be all the more careful with people who have opted in, our leaders have made increasingly cavalier choices as to where and how to use our soldiers, sailors and marines. life is not a game of risk. these people are real flesh and blood. and increasingly, troops come back from war... changed. not like war hasn't always been hell. far from it; war has always been horrific. but in the past, it seems to me anyway, war was only entered as a last resort or to fight a clear, definite evil. we entered combat soberly, reluctantly, and with a sense of what we were doing. i don't get that sense anymore.

as i've said before, it is my humble opinion that if we are going to send people who have chosen this life into harm's way, it had damn well better be done with the utmost sense of necessity and purpose. if we can't look at ourselves and say, UNEQUIVOCALLY, "this is worth spilling our soldiers' blood over," we have done our forces a disservice. and that is inexcusable. combat changes people. that's unavoidable. if we're going to subject people to that kind of change, we'd better have a good reason. i am against a lot of these wars we've entered in the last decade, and it's because i really, honestly feel that the people who wanted these wars have treated - and continue to treat - our troops like life-size GI joe dolls. that's completely reprehensible. our troops deserve better.

so on this veterans day, i remember the sacrifice of those who are gone. i honor the service of those who chose to fight for us, past, present and future. i love my friends and family who wear the uniform, and i value their brothers and sisters in arms. i choose to commemorate this day by giving to iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, an amazing group designed to serve my generation's veterans and current members. do the same. and by god, make sure you recognize what those who serve have done for us, and continue to do for us.

thank you. all of you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

type A

i will totally cop to being a borderline obsessive planner. i like things to be set up, a certain way, well in advance of actually getting there. let's just say that i'm not the kind of girl who digs a surprise party. i like to know what's going to happen.

so it really, really, REALLY grinds my gears when people who are supposed to be in charge of setting an agenda just... don't. look. it's november. the semester will be over in one month and seven days. now is just not the time to tweak your freaking syllabus! i cannot deal with... to call what this is "disorganization" drastically insults the disorganized.

i was not always this way. those who knew me as a teenager are consistently amused by my need to have everything set up. (they are comforted by the knowledge that my pickiness has not translated into keeping my room clean. i'm still messy.) but my new life, my newly-molded orderly and logical mind, demands a certain amount of order. i can't really function without it. and by god, it cannot POSSIBLY be that challenging to set up a semester before it starts. really.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

famous last words

trying times abound in the little segment of the blogosphere my friends and i call home. my problems are nowhere near as serious as other people's, but there are problems here nonetheless. this semester's really starting to get intense. the last dregs of the old life just won't go away. i have the worst backache i have ever had in my entire life, one that takes one look at painkillers and says, really? that's all you've got for me? yeah, right. and i just had to back out of helping with a project at school on a subject about which i am thoroughly passionate. sigh.

but then, as i was walking (slowly) home from the train tonight, a song i hadn't really thought of in a long time popped up on the ol' ipod.

i see you lying next to me
with words i thought i'd never speak
awake and unafraid...
i am not afraid to keep on living
i am not afraid to walk this world alone...
 - "famous last words," my chemical romance

generally speaking, when i'm down and depressed, so is my ipod. but boy, did it come through for me tonight. a lot of my problem lately has been this gnawing sense of fear. i'm scared that i'll let people down professionally. i'm scared that i won't live up to the expectations of my grad program. i'm desperately afraid of my financial future. i'm afraid of somehow wrecking the best relationship of my life. anxiety and i have become really good friends lately.

but you know, i can't let this sort of thinking take me over. i got where i am by putting my head down and moving forward. i earned every bit of academic and professional success i've earned so far. the money thing will work itself out. i have no reason to doubt my man or his unflagging faith in me. i will not let the bastards get me down. i am not afraid to keep on living. i am not afraid to walk this world alone. i'm not alone, either. i may be solitary, but i also have amazing parents, a boyfriend who loves me, friends who form the best cheering section a girl could ask for, and all manner of support from all kinds of sources. i'm lucky as hell. i can't forget it.

i am NOT afraid. famous last words, indeed.

Monday, November 8, 2010

dark of night, light of day

good lord. this has been the kind of day that just tries your SOUL. i mean, to start with, it's dark all the time now. that's draining enough; some of us little plants need the sun to grow and bloom, and all this night isn't the best thing for us. it's not that i don't like the darkness. i mean, most of my favorite things happen at night. but i need to see the sun from time to time or i get... chippy, let's say. it's almost like excessive darkness wraps my heart in a compression bandage. the bandage tightens really easily, which makes things feel raw, rough. it really kills my natural cheer, is what i'm saying.

hey. stop laughing. i can hear you from here. :)

all levity aside, though, the dark is one thing. but man, has it been a rough, awful day for tons of people i care about. work setbacks. personal challenges. health scares. dreams deferred. loved ones lost. it's enough to make you lose your faith, if you have any faith to lose.

i've really been off a step all weekend. i can't explain it; i've just not been on top of my game. i nearly threw a temper fit because the girl at mcdonald's messed up my order. i nearly lost my composure in the middle of a really nice dinner over... christ, i can't even remember why. and this afternoon, dealing with all the horror of the day, i lost it. driving back from lunch, the man and i kinda had it out over a misunderstanding over my worldview. and that's what it took to pull me back from the brink. why the HELL are you yelling at him? he didn't DO anything. he just didn't get your point. 

thankfully, i was able to get a hold of myself. i just stopped talking, which is what i usually do when i've screwed up, i know i need to apologize or change course, but i'm either not ready or not sure how to. he picked up on it and asked me if i was OK; i did my best to explain my insanity and try to make him understand. and what's amazing is, he seemed to. he kissed me, he wrapped his arms around me, and he held me close to him.

and just like that, the darkness broke a little. to be able to redeem myself from, really, inexcusable behavior just by virtue of his understanding how my brain works (or doesn't) touches me so deeply that it's hard to even contemplate for too long without getting overwhelmed. i always tell him when we're alone, "you're so good to me." his response is a simple, "i try." and the fact that he does try, even when i don't live up to my end of the bargain, gives me so much faith in him. he's always been a constant in my life. now more than ever, that's the truth, and my god, am i grateful for that.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

shattered dreams

i've had a whole lot of fortune slung my way over the past few months. i really appreciate the hell out of what i've been given. not to be too cheesy or sappy, but a lot of my dreams really have come true. it's a damn nice feeling.

which makes it all the harder to know what to say when someone i care about has a dream deferred. it's rough to watch someone struggle to stay even-keeled when something he's worked so hard to get didn't come through for him. we suffered through the preparation together, commiserating, trusting in one another's ability to make this happen for ourselves. i got it. he didn't.

it's a gut punch, especially when i think about his level of qualification compared to mine. he's so much more ready to do what he wants than i am. but here i sit with the credential, and he doesn't have it. there's a lot of time for him to get what he needs; this is a temporary setback. but in the moment, it's just brutal to watch, to contemplate. and the worst part is that i don't think there's anything i can say or do to make him feel any better. so i get to sit by and watch while he goes through this process. my heart hurts for him, but there's nothing i can offer.

all i can do is silently support him, standing by while he picks up the shards of the dreams that have broken and starts the process of rebuilding them. whenever he wants a friend, i'm there. that's all i can do, and by god, i'll offer it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

nothing at all

my romantic history being what it is, i've never had the privilege of transitioning between long-term serious relationships before. prior to the ex, i only had small, short flings. my longest-lived dating experience before him was three months long. before that, it was seven weeks. i wasn't a "dater" in high school, and then i launched headlong into the whole ex thing.

so it's a learning curve of, frankly, biblical proportions these days. this is something that most people figure out in their early 20s, i think, the renegotiation of expectations, of behavior, etc. enter the man, who is a very different kind of guy from the ex. that is a wonderful thing on a lot of levels, but it poses a new challenge for me. i have to learn to read, to understand, to know what's being shown to me by my new love. it's not always easy.

i am accustomed to hearing a lot from the man in my life. i got really damn used to hearing "i love you" as often as i wanted. more so, really. and no matter what happened at the end, it was always nice, ALWAYS, to hear that. i got to a point where i craved it. now i've moved forward, into a new place, but the old habits have died hard. i want to hear it now, even still. but as demonstrative as the man is, and he is distinctly that, he just doesn't speak those words. i find myself applying the rules of the old game to the rubric of the new one. that just doesn't work. it's not even close to the same situation, and it's not fair to hold him to the old expectations.

getting frustrated by that old expectation also gives short shrift to the amazing things the man does for me, too. leaving all fairness aside, it's stupid as hell to get so hung up on one little thing that's "lacking," when really, there's nothing missing at all. it's a difference in expression. the ex talked. the man does. that's all. he really does say it best when he says nothing at all; the words are unnecessary. the quicker i learn that, the better state of mind i'll be in, and the closer to really appreciating the amazing thing i have in him.

Friday, November 5, 2010

under the wire

oops. almost forgot to check in today. let's just say that wine is a deterrent to memory. sigh. :)

anyway, it's been a decent day, without much to report. but nablopomo is a demanding mistress, so here i am. two things to contribute:

1) the man is amazing.

2) my friends are too.

more elaboration to follow. enjoy your friday nights. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


the man was so happy last night, y'all. we crawled into bed and watched the original back to the future, as remastered for blu-ray. it's one of his all-time favorite movies, and to see him just genuinely enjoy something was nothing short of transformative for me.

i'm all the hell over the place all the time nowadays. i'm up, i'm down, i'm all around. the concept of simple happiness is one that eludes me. between stress, anguish and generally being busy, i am rarely if ever still enough to just rest and take in the moment. i've also developed this really nasty habit of flying into deep negativity at the slightest provocation. the man is always trying to encourage me to slow down, relax, stop thinking and just be for once. last night, through him, though, i was finally able to do it. i let his satisfaction, reveling in one of his favorite things, wash over me, and lo and behold, it finally hit me.

bruce springsteen sang, "i don't need that sky of blue, babe; all i know is since i found you, i'm happy." the man, i'm discovering a little more each day, is the master of this feeling. he doesn't need anything other than his confidence in how things are. he tells me i should have more faith, trust a little more, be still, believe. funny how it took curling up and watching a movie to finally have that message driven home.

i'm listening, love. i promise.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


i did it - i'm sworn in. i'm allowed to go to court and represent people now. that's a pretty damn exciting achievement, not gonna lie. the ceremony was 99.999% made up of people reading off names - there were upwards of a thousand little baby lawyers birthed here today - but the rest of it focused on responsibility, duty, etc. we all took an oath of fidelity to the constitution and to the commonwealth.

fidelity. now there's a concept with which i've danced pretty much constantly for the last two years or so. it seems that the only way i could maintain fidelity to myself was to shatter it as far as certain others are concerned. and there's a tragedy in that, to be sure. but there's also a sense of hope, of possibility. today was the first day of the rest of my career. it was also a nice reminder about what loyalty is, and what it should be.

the man was with me today. (thank the gods he was, too - i was so nervous this morning that i nearly committed a serious wardrobe faux pas that he caught.) the loyalty we have to each other is the calm stream through my core that sustains me. there was also the support of my parents, the love of my friends far and wide, blog and non-blog (thanks, y'all - love ya back!), and the confidence of the HUGE legal community i've joined to sustain me.

but conspicuous in its absence was the stalwart of my old life. i mean, it's not like i didn't think about him a little today. how the hell could i not? this day was going to be totally different. but the thought that crossed my mind when he surfaced was, hmm. he's not here. this feels... right, actually. i had the correct dramatis personae locked in for this play. and as we raised our glasses to each other over lunch today, the oath of fidelity took on its real, true meaning for probably the first time in a long, long time. i took a sip and thought to myself, i promise to be true to you. "you" meaning him, but also meaning me.

so help me god.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

change of the guard

tonight i'm in a hotel room, waiting to get sworn into the bar. i can no longer say i'm gonna be a lawyer when i grow up; i'm gonna be one tomorrow. that's deep enough. compounding matters significantly is the fact that this ceremony happens in a place that is thoroughly chocked to the gills with memories of the old life.

so how do i handle this? simple: by replacing bad thoughts with good ones. i drive the streets with a new companion, writing a new future over the old, dead past. it's largely successful so far, except for the weird gnawing sensation that i am nothing more than jimmy stewart in "vertigo," dressing the new love up to look like the old one.

my rational mind knows that this too shall pass, that the old life holds no dominion over any geographic location, that tomorrow will be one of the proudest moments of my life. but the man by my side will be different. there's a new sheriff in town. it'll take just a little more time, it seems, to fully grasp what that means.

Monday, November 1, 2010

walking with a ghost

the strain of the windup of my old life is really starting to show in me. it's becoming increasingly difficult to maintain an even keel through all of this. the cracks are a little more obvious, and it's really getting challenging to keep the rage and disappointment from seeping through and spattering themselves all over innocent bystanders. i truly believe that even those people who offer themselves as support, as comfort, during difficult times should be spared unnecessary emotional fallout (exhibit A: the man). but it's really getting hard to hold back the worst of it.

making things strangely, cruelly WORSE, though, is when things get a little better on that front. it's not that i want things to stay bad between us. far from it. i would love nothing more on this earth than to stay friendly with someone who used to matter so much to me. i can't express that strongly enough. but the savage nature of the way things are ending have cast so much doubt on the possibility of that ever happening. i am almost 100% resigned to chilly silence on that front.

but then, every so often, things like today happen. we had a real, honest and friendly conversation about mutual friends and recent events. good god, it was almost like the old days again. y'know, except for that whole severed ties, bitter arguments thing. to have things be so pleasant, so nice, so fun, knowing how angry and hurt he's made me time and time again, was alternately so amazing and thoroughly painful. i really can't react to this. i want it; i don't. it's violently bipolar.

the silent, angry path would be easier to walk now. it would hurt, but it would be simple. but there are dashes of good, pleasant and nice here and there that make this so much more complicated. his parents did the same thing: they fought bitterly, but then they danced like nothing changed at their son's wedding. is that my future with him? i don't know. i don't know if i want it to be. i have so much going for me down the road i walk alone. i have my dream career to reach for, i have the man i was meant to have. but there's this last vestige of... something. he's haunting the peripherals of my life, sometimes benevolently, sometimes malevolently. i don't know if i can manage what this means. all i know is that this makes the situation infinitely more complicated. is that what i want?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

chain stitch

i have spent the entire day sitting at a sewing machine. no, it isn't 1950; i haven't discovered a brand-new suzy homemaker personality under the go-getter attorney. i, because i am far too nice for my own good, apparently, willingly volunteered to help the man's roommate with his halloween group costume magnum opus. you would not BELIEVE how difficult it is to find a red tunic big enough for a former high-school football player. so i said, "no big deal. i'll sew it for you."

ha. great idea, mags. really great. three hours of shopping for notions, during which we all nearly killed each other. two more hours of cutting and measuring. and the piece de resistance: four and a half hours of sewing the damn thing together. actual operation of sewing machine? maybe an hour. MAYBE. the rest of it was spent staring at pieces of cloth, thinking, there is no way in hell that i am this stupid, but how the hell does this piece attach to that one?!?!?!? but at long last, it's done, and not a moment too soon.

i am running on fumes these days. it's shown in my writing, but there are major stresses in my life. i won't even detail the latest blow to my life, because a) it wouldn't be prudent, given the tone things have taken, and b) i don't think there are words to describe how it makes me feel. suffice it to say that, in a few major respects, life could not get a whole lot worse.

now, i say that. but really, that doom and gloom only really covers a couple of parts of my life. it feels huge, overwhelming, but there's a lot of good to be had in my world these days. i mean, i reached my biggest goal: i'm a lawyer. i passed a bar exam. school seems to be going pretty well, though it's stressing me out. (that's the stress i'm used to, though, so i hardly count it as stress.) in a few days, i'll hold up my right hand and affirm to uphold the constitution in my new vocation.

and the biggest reason my life is not taken over completely by darkness? i'm sitting in his room writing this right now. last night was the lowest point in my troubles. i couldn't even pretend. he asked me, "are you okay?" all i could do was shake my head. but he insisted on sitting next to me, kissing my shoulder, talking me down. he would not rest until he was sure i was going to be okay, at least in the short term. i said, "thank you for listening." he said, "it's my job, and it has been for a long time." he's right about that, too.

we're stitched together, he and i, in a lot of ways. i suppose we always have been. but now more than ever, those threads are so vital to my sanity. his loyalty and his dedication to me have been among the few constants of my life. now that he's more to me than he ever has been, they've taken on a new meaning. i need him as much as i love him, i want him, i enjoy him. and he's more than willing to stay with me. the ties that bind us hold more than a relationship together. they hold the pieces of my heart together. i couldn't trust him with that job more.