Saturday, July 24, 2010

sickness and health

i am one uncomfortable blog proprietor today. let's just say that between the bar exam drama and the life drama, i ignored a little problem until it became a full-blown disaster, and i spent all. damn. morning. hanging out in the urgent care clinic. nice. so after much antibiotic and painkillers, i am now in bed, about to start the sleep i missed out on last night.

haha. last night. see, here i thought i was going to prove to myself that i could be a big girl and stay in. yeah, that didn't happen. i ended up at a friend's place, watching TV until all hours of the night. i felt a little under the weather, but nothing i couldn't handle. we watched "the hangover" again, just some mindless entertainment, and before you know it, oh-ho, it's 3:00 AM and the trains aren't running anymore. oh, damn; he's been drinking, so he can't drive me home. looks like i'm staying out here tonight.

i don't think i need to tell you what happened next. i mean, nothing earth-shattering; he's not my sexual crack cocaine boy (from whom i am abstaining at the moment - another time), so it's not the kind of experience that needs to be recounted in great detail. but it was a nice diversion from the stress of the exam. i dozed off in his bed around 5:00 AM... only to awaken at 10:45 AM in some of the most intense pain it's ever been my misfortune to experience. so i did what every red-blooded american girl would do in this context: hey, friend i just slept with? lend me your car so i can drive to the doctor. it's best to do this when the boy is sleeping, so his defenses are down.

so that was my day: hours in the doctor's office, cursing my own stupidity and trying not to curl up into a little ball and throw a temper fit out of pain. lovely. but it's funny; when i returned the car, he was still asleep. i walked up to his room and woke him, mostly to tell him about my misadventures, and he said, "you shouldn't take the train home. i'll drive you." now that's what friends are for.

in sickness and in health. hmm. maybe that's not just a throwaway line from the marriage vows the churches lay on us. maybe it's more like the governing rule of friendship: stick together, sickness or health, no matter what. that's a nice thought, and he's a nice guy. i'll have to remember that...

Friday, July 23, 2010

one is the loneliest number

i claim to be tough. in a lot of ways, i am. i've been through a lot and i'm still standing. but if you scratch me deeply enough, you'll get to my core, and you don't have to go as deeply as i wish you did to find it. long story short, i am not as strong as i think i am, or even as strong as i purport to be. this is never more obvious than on friday evenings.

as it gets dark out and the weekend begins, i start to get really edgy if i don't have somewhere to be, somewhere to go. i haven't quite let go of that mentality that weekend nights are for youthful socializing, and if you're not out doing something, you're missing out. now that it's just me, and i don't have someone at the house who's always there to talk to or go out with, this feeling's gotten 100 times worse. i know i just need to soldier through it, bite the bullet, snuggle up with some netflix streaming stuff and realize that life doesn't end because you spent a night in. but that doesn't change this feeling of, "oh, my god, i am alone. there's no one here to talk to and i am alone. ALONE." the walls close in.

i have friends. good ones. i know this. but friday night alone makes me feel like the most unloved person on the planet. it's totally irrational, but that's the way it is. maybe that's why i backslide, looking for companionship in all the wrong places. it'll get better soon, i know it will; i'll grow used to my new lifestyle. i haven't spent a weekend alone in a long, long, long, LONG time. time will make this better.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

monteleone (a flight of fancy)

oh, you spin me right round, baby, but not like a record. you spin me like the carousel bar, that bastion of pure NOLA weirdness in the "quiet" part of the french quarter. the captain and coke only puts a fine point on the dizzy good vibe of this cool november evening, generated largely from that slow, measured rotation, experienced for hours on end. you almost forget that you're turning, but you are. the kindly old eccentric on your right side insists on giving us his blessing for our evening's activities, another classic NOLA moment. in new orleans, your secrets are never just your own. but we sit and laugh, spinning in more ways than one.

you flatter my ego; i flatter you back. you lose that layer of cool, that polish you always carry, and give in to the absurdity. no one knows us here; we're just two more strangers. it feels like something out of a tom waits song. you expect the bartender to have a tattooed tear for every year he's away, except that this isn't ninth and hennepin. but the patrons do have that sort of weathered patois in their voices, that slightly less than above-board sensibility that every good adventure bar should have. this is the city that care forgot, after all.

maybe that's why you feel so free. well, that and your johnnie walker black. but you wear it so, so well. you get looser and looser with each rotation around the room. you laugh easier, you indulge that battered old codger and his tales of gridiron glory from far longer ago than anyone in the room would have the rudeness to admit. you take to ordering my drinks for me, your repressed southern gentleman instincts flowing forth as easily as the bourbon flows into my glass. and you touch me so openly, in ways you never would if this night weren't so singularly constructed. you lock eyes with me, stroke my cheek with the side of your hand and proclaim, "anything for you." we'll debate the truth of that line later; it's irrelevant right now. this night sparkles with the surreality of the surroundings. when you take me out of this reverie and back into the harsher, less well-crafted narrative of the outside world, you won't wait for the hotel room to show me what you're after. you'll trace the back of my neck with your finger as we wait for the elevator, and as we ride up, up, up, you'll start right there what you intend to finish behind the locked door down the hall. you've been filled with the spirit of the night, that bar, that sepia-toned conception of what every louisiana evening should be: a hazy, liquor-soaked dream, where the lines of the real world curve where they'd ordinarily be straight.

tonight, you surrender to the fantasy. and it's as close as you'll ever come to surrendering to yourself.
this piece is based on a real bar in the hotel monteleone on royal street in new orleans. i've explained my love for NOLA a few times before. this is my stab at trying to bottle the magic, the je ne sais quoi that resonates in the air down there. ain't no doubt, cher bebe.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

behind blue eyes

"but my dreams, they aren't as empty as my conscience seems to be... my love is vengeance; it's never free."

i am, outwardly, a friendly, warm and genial person. if you win my loyalty, i will fight and die for you. i will often subsume my needs if i think your needs are greater. i love those whom i love fiercely, protectively, passionately. i give, give, give, give, give. all. the. time. if you've earned my trust and look into my blue eyes, you'll see true-blue dedication and a willingness to do whatever it takes to make you happy.

but lately, that fierceness, that loyalty, comes with a certain edge. there are some places in my life where, suddenly, i don't feel like giving as much as i used to. that's the main reason i'm on my own right now. but it's also starting to seep into my other recreations. we've talked a bit more this summer than i know he would care to about things between us. i mean, it's not like they've been really substantive conversations; that's not how he rolls. but i've managed to squeeze some things out.

we make strange pillow talk when we're together. sometimes, when we're regaining our composure, we talk about nothing in particular. other times, we manage to get into these weird emotional places where it's probably not a good idea to go when you're lying naked in someone's arms. but that's where we went the other night, regardless of the intelligence of it. he was flush with the ego boost of producing multiple orgasms out of me, and he was crowing about what he knows about me physically, what he can do with me. so i pushed him, asking, "all right, big man; what do you know about me emotionally?" stupid question; i pushed too far. i finally heard precisely how i come off when i think i'm being passionate: "when you care about someone, you'll do almost anything to ingratiate yourself to that person."

ingratiate. what a word. conjures up servitude, subjugation, and generally lowering yourself to elevate someone else. how hard. how blunt. here i thought i was being a good friend. apparently, i just look pathetic. i felt something clench when that word came out of his mouth. i let it go at the time (in fact, i responded to this by going down on him), but the more i think about it, the angrier it makes me. to be told once that my loyalty is one of the things that's most valued about me, and then to be told that the very same loyalty makes me look like a charity case? i'm undone.

i think i need a new strategy. i think, as part of the reinvention process, i need to take a good, hard look at the way i love. i can't see myself giving up loyalty; it's something i value in others, so i see no need to totally dispatch that quality in myself. but what i am going to do, at least with him, is change the way that loyalty is expressed. there's going to be a sharpness to the way i love him. there's not going to be any more ingratiation. that girl is dead, as far as i'm concerned. what there will be is a new reality.

my sex is submission. but my love is vengeance. and it will never be free again.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a note from management

i love my readers. y'all are awesome. i started blogging because i like to write, but i don't have the time anymore to sit down and devote hours to hitting the keyboard and developing larger pieces. i also like the feedback i get with these exercises.

so it's with y'all in mind that i wanted to tell everyone about a change in... tone, i guess it'd be. with all the changes in my life of late, i'm finding my writing interests skewing towards territory that's decidedly more adult than it was when i started. i'm not going to become a sex blogger; there are people in this world [case in point] who do that way better than i ever could. but i am going to explore some things that are part of my new reality. just a heads-up to those of you who might be more sensitive to that sort of thing. i don't want to startle anyone.

your not-so-good girl may very well be going bad. heads up.

Monday, July 19, 2010


liminal. adjective. 1) pertaining to a threshold or entrance; 2) relating to a beginning or the first stage of a process.

being the chronic examiner of my past that i am, i've spent a huge amount of time thinking about the moments in my life that have tripped switches, triggered changes and started me on various paths. more often than not, these examinations have started in the midst of crises or problems, usually focused on, "my god, how did i get here?" kinds of inquiries. really fun, let me tell you.

but not this time. not even close. this time, my liminal moment is... well, intriguing. interesting. my curiosity is piqued beyond belief. such a small thing - words exchanged on a sticky summer night - but oh, so fraught with options. the best kind of options at that: the kind without expectations, rules, etc. all i need to do, all i feel compelled to do, is to ride the wave and watch this unfold.

so. many. possibilities. i can't wait to see what happens next. the threshold's crossed. what's on the other side?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

the river

"is a dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse?"

i'm winding down a fabulous weekend escaping stress by studying constitutional law and watching a bruce springsteen concert film. i have a long and complicated history with the music of bruce springsteen, and during this particular tour, they did an alternate arrangement of the river, one of my favorite songs in the entire catalogue. this line in particular has sneaked up to blindside me from time to time over the last couple of years, as i face a path littered with the shards of broken dreams and a planned future dismantled.

but when i think about it, i'm not sure it's either, really. i mean, i guess i was telling lies when i said i'd never leave, that i'd be there forever. but how was i to know that? somewhere in the tragedy, buried under the piles of regret and the things you swore would never be your reality, is the tiny silver glint of something, well, better. it's hope. it's possibility. it's rebirth. and it's the knowledge that there are just no guarantees. just do the best you can. walk forward. make amends.

you can't be responsible for another person's happiness. all you can do is tend to your own needs and be as kind as you can. it's not a lie if you dream something that can't come to pass. it's just another day.