Friday, May 7, 2010

all falling into place

one week. one lousy week left in the bible belt. a mere seven days from now, i will be steadily rolling up the interstate, back to the place and people i love. i made the final arrangements today, and it's all locked down.

my reflections on my time here are complex, to say the least. that essay is coming for sure. but one thing is very clear: i cannot wait to get on with my life. i am thrilled beyond measure to tick down the seconds. so tonight, i'll raise a glass (or eight) with my beloved classmates and friends one last time. then i'll go home, pack some boxes, say my goodbyes, and drive out of here with the radio blasting and the sun shining all the way down the road ahead.

it's been a long time coming.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

love means never having to say you're sorry

i've withheld saying much about this, mostly out of shock. i'm a little numb; charlottesville is a place i've loved in my life. i dig that town, and i've had amazing times there. there are connections in this debacle to the little mountain town where i started my college career. this one cuts kinda close to the bone.

i hate how everyone's always shocked when pretty white people are murdered. i wonder how many poor people, how many minorities, and how many other of the out-of-power folks in this world. but the fact that people really only care about this because a beautiful white girl was brutally murdered by a crazy thuggish fool doesn't change the fact that this girl was murdered by a crazy thuggish fool, one who once claimed to love her.

(note: i usually refrain from talking in these terms about people accused of crimes. the guy here admitted that he killed her; the only thing left to determine is what punishment he'll get and under what circumstances he killed her.)

intense, damaged people under the influence of intense, powerful emotions do intense and dangerous things. there's no doubt in my mind that no one ever saw something like this coming out of a well-heeled white boy like our hero. but his amazing athletic ability - he was one of UVA's leading scorers this year - provided pretty good cover, didn't it? no one thinks that privileged, successful people can possibly cave to base, animal instincts. but here we clearly have a guy with some problems. bad, bad problems. i've been angry, desperate and confused in my life, powerfully so, but i never crossed into that place that he went to.

let me be blunt: romantic violence is not the province of the poor, the uneducated and the addled. we tend to envision the victims of these crimes as either tragic inner-city single moms or tragic big-haired country-song caricatures. but here's the ultimate illusion-burster. this girl had everything: supportive family, brains, money, social status. these are supposed to be cultural failsafes. but one deranged, broken boy pierced every defense around this girl, and in the small hours of the morning, as he cracked, he rendered every advantage she had thoroughly, tragically and emphatically irrelevant.

i've been lucky, beyond lucky, in this life to have a long and intense education, amazing friends and caring family members. but i've seen some ugly things from people who said they loved me. i've suffered this. so many women, in similar station as me, have too. i've avoided serious consequences. but there's no special saving grace for anyone here. perhaps, just perhaps, seeing the naked brutality with which this girl's life was ended will jolt us as a nation into doing something about this.

maybe we'll watch out for our friends more now. and not just the girls, either. this isn't about protecting the supposedly weak here. this is about paying attention to those around us, and if we see some signs that the demons are getting the better of our friends, we'll say something before the darkness takes over. it's never an easy thing to do. my friends had no idea how to say something to me when things were weird in bad relationships. but this should show us once and for all that the consequences of doing nothing may be far, far greater than we could ever fear.

love doesn't mean blamelessness. but it should mean a modicum of safety. it should be positive, supportive, nourishing. no one should ever die for love. ever.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

the en-sleek-ening: summing up [TRUE STORY]

well, thus ends the 30-day yoga boot camp. here are the stats:

classes purchased: 30
classes taken: 27 (missed one for a 101-degree fever, one for the end of law school, and today for the sunburn from hell)
pounds lost: 8-10, depending on the day. it's vacillated.

that's pretty much all i can give you for hard data. but man, oh man, do i feel so much better! i am supremely happy, i'm definitely toned up (especially in my arms), i can do a ten-breath shoulder stand without wobbling, and i'm a lot more flexible than i was at the start. i can put both my heels down when i'm in down dog, i can almost touch my chest to my legs in forward fold, and i feel like my old dancer-girl self again. this is one of the best things i've done for myself in a long, long time. i won't stick to the same strict regime i've followed this month, most likely, especially not with all the craziness to come in may, but i will keep taking classes, and i will work at least some sun salutations into my day as often as possible.

yoga. it works, bitches. :)

the waiting

the best word for the next ten days would be "interregnum." all i can do right now is wait. i am waiting for my living money to come, so that i can get my place, get my stuff ready, and get myself the hell out of here. there's so much waiting for me on the other side of a thousand miles of interstate: my friends, my city, my new life.

kinda, anyway. even though this'll be such a freeing, amazing summer, it's an interregnum in its own right. i mean, it's only a temporary lull in the stressful period of... tension... that is my personal life. as soon as the summer ends, i'll be right back where i started from, and the waiting will begin again. the timing has to be perfect. if it's not perfect, the whole thing will be botched.

but you know what? now, tonight, is not the time to focus on that. not even close. i'm going to pay attention to how wonderful it will be to pull up in front of that house, to walk into the open arms of my nearest and dearest, to lose myself in that old/new reality, no matter how temporary it will be. this will be so good, and so, so, SO worth the waiting.

Monday, May 3, 2010

time to play

it's another daily dose of reality questionnaire. let's go.

1 - How much would you have to be paid to eat a human cadaver's finger?
gaaaaaaah. at least eight figures.

2 - Describe the worst physical fight you've ever been in.
haha. i was four. i had a meek and mild friend who had been the brunt of one of those playground bullies in our kindergarten class, and that kind of unchecked aggression just would not stand. i marched up to him in the recess yard, shoved him down so hard he hit the ground like a sack of wet cement, and yelled, "you made [my friend] cry. don't do it again!" i retired from fighting undefeated.

3 - Name one song that if you never heard it ever again, you'd be thrilled.
oh, i hate so many songs. god, it's hard to pick. the latest thing that offended me to my very core is the new version of "one shining moment," y'know, that song they play at the end of the NCAA basketball tournament, done by jennifer what's-her-name-from-american-idol. good lord, she made me miss luther vandross. that's unacceptable.

4 - Describe the "drunkest" situation you've ever been.
ooh, it's either new year's eve/day this year, or the night before the NFC championship game this year. take your pick. we were all just BOMBED both of those nights. it's kind of miraculous we all survived and woke up in the places we intended to wake up. (and i still owe a debt of gratitude a MILE wide to our DD for new year's.)

5 - What's your biggest regret?
parts of my twenties. that's all i'll say.