Saturday, October 2, 2010

still of the night

heavens preserve us, folks: the man has a cold.

this is not going to be one of those "OMG, men are SOOOO pathetic when they're sick, hee hee!" rants. the man is a stoic, pretty much all the time (except when we're alone). he bears his various crosses with a quiet resolve that i envy on basically an hourly basis. but even that stoicism can be a pain, especially when I show up all dressed to kill to go out, take one look at him, and realize, well, this was totally not necessary. sigh.

the upshot of this situation is that i got to fall into bed with him early and rest up. so that's what we did. we both needed the rest, so i drifted off early (for us, anyway) all wrapped up with my nyquil-dosed man. but a funny thing happened at one point. i woke up for a moment after a particularly odd dream (i mean, what girl doesn't dream of spending extended periods of time with rex ryan?), stirring in the darkness. he tightened his arms around me and kissed me on the shoulder. mmm. soothing. i settled back down, and just before i fully fell back to sleep, i felt his breath against me, whispering one small sentence in my ear.

"glad you're here."

the stoic reveals his heart in the subtlest of ways, when the risk is low and the reward is high. not that the man is cold; quite the contrary. he's physically demonstrative, supportive and loyal. but he's just not a talker. well, until now. at a vulnerable moment, when all he wanted was a little comfort, he got it. and he thanked me for it the best way he could: with a three-word summation of the love between us, whispered gently in the still of the night. i couldn't ask for anything more.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the difficult kind

the weather has finally broken. the air's been pregnant with moisture for days, just waiting to burst forth and drench us all. thankfully, this all occurred after i got home with my groceries and my 50-pound school bag. but more importantly, my mood has broken along with the storm outside. the leaden feeling in my chest, the numbness that enveloped me, has been replaced with something lighter, more encouraging. about damn time, too.

there's a tinge of reborn confidence in this new emotional state. i'm starting to internalize the good parts of the changes in my life, and not in a fleeting "thank god it's over!" kind of way. yeah, this process, now that it's real, is harrowing and painful. things will be said that hurt me more than i could imagine, but that's the only bullet he has left. but i know i'm already better for standing up and cutting the cord. i've owned up to my mistake. i've offered my mea culpa, too. that's all i can do. now the growth, the working on me, begins in earnest.

no one ever said this would be easy. i'm finding out just how hard it is, actually. loving and losing in such a spectacularly devastating fashion has made me someone different than i was before. but it's bringing out the good in me, in a way that's far more authentic than clinging to a glittering charade. it's just a shame that i can't share the change with him. if he could only see what love has made of me, but i'll no longer be in his life. what he'll remember of me, well, it almost makes me cry. but that's how it happens, i guess. that's the fallout, and that's his loss. the lessons of this will be well appreciated in those who stick around.

and you won't see the good in me. but, babe, i've changed.

heavy cloud, no rain

i haven't seen the sun since this weekend. whenever i've been out among the living, it's been heavily gray and dismal outside. that's been nice for the temperature; for those of us who walk everywhere we go, it's a welcome change from hot and humid. however, it's also an accurate reflection of my mood, and the cloud gets heavier as the days go by.

part of my come-to-jesus moment with the man sunday night involved the fact that i don't like to entangle the past with the present. i would much rather concentrate on moving forward. it's irritating to me that i'm as upset as i am over all of this, and it's infuriating that i can't keep a lid on it in his company. he doesn't deserve to have to pick up the pieces from someone else's destruction. but he insisted that i allow myself to feel whatever it is i'm feeling, whether or not he's there.

so i'm feeling it. and it's pretty damned rotten. as happy as i can be in the moment, and there's a lot to be happy about, my general head state is full of anger, sadness and fear. compound that with a double-barreled dose of just horrific circumstances in the lives of people i know, and that's a recipe for not wanting to leave my bed. but i do. i go out into the world and pretend like i'm 100% okay, laughing and joking with my friends. then the night ends, i come in and i close the door. that's when i drop the pretense, open the floodgates and just let it all come out.

relatively speaking, anyway. for the last two years, i've spent so much time acting like nothing was wrong that i think i've forgotten how to express emotion in any real way. i said in the moment that all i wanted to do was develop the ability not to give a damn. i did, but i think i've overachieved. when i admit to myself how upset i am, all i can do is conjure up this generically dull ache. it kills my focus, magnifies any physical pain and knocks me flat on my back. i am unable to do anything more than stare at the computer screen or the TV, taking in whatever is in front of me with no analysis or thought of any kind. i feel, but i can't process.

this kills me. it makes me want to do something - ANYTHING - to work out the pain. i thought i was past this sort of reaction. like every thinking person, i've had my bouts with depression, with serious mental issues. i feel myself creeping towards that place again. over my dead body will i let that happen again. so i'll put on my helmet in the morning, go back out there and show the world how strong i am. and i'll do my damnedest to find a good way to process this. it won't beat me. i won't let it.

clouds eventually blow away.

Monday, September 27, 2010

false dichotomy

i'm home, in bed, showered and ready to get some rest after a long and protracted weekend. and what a weekend it was, too. so many events, so many ups and downs. i thought i was done being two-faced; i had one more shot at the double life, though, and boy, was it one for the ages.

don't mistake me; it's trying as anything to put that old, tired costume on one last time. it was a long and arduous weekend, filled to the brim with emotional land mines. my heart was scarred, my perceptions were changed. the wounds i sustained hurt so deeply that they took my breath away. but the business of friday and saturday made it, strangely, easier to hide the cuts and bruises on my heart and soul. i was able to float through the role, following the playbook when no one else did (damn it, i said trips gun RIGHT; you're all going LEFT). i drank my wine and let the stress float to the back of my mind. i said my goodbyes, gathered my things and got in the cab.

as i slammed the door behind me and we sped back to the suburbs, i flipped the switch, threw off the mask, and stepped into the warm embrace of the life i choose, the life i love. and just like that, it was all made okay again. i took off the costume and became myself again. as saturday became sunday, the man took over, soothing me, loving me, making me remember why i've done what i've done.

with his arms around me, feeling the stillness of his breath against my neck as he slept, i finally succumbed to the pain of the weekend. the cuts bled, the bruises throbbed, and the tears flowed. i may seem made of stone, but even stone can break. sunday dawned cold and gray, the perfect mirror of my mood. i had to do a little more acting, but for once, i couldn't draw my audience into the illusion. he brought me to his room sunday night, looked me in the eye, and demanded my honesty. he got it, too. and again, he delivered nothing more than absolutely the proper reaction. he stilled the swirling confusion and hurt, replacing it with measured sanity and calm affirmation.

i no longer lead a double life. the break isn't clean; far from it. but the stark, unrelenting split of circumstance in this weekend proved what a false dichotomy my supposedly bisected life was, even in the days before i pulled the trigger. sure, there were two sets of events. but what i've seen in the last 96 hours is that the choice was never really a choice. there was only one path. and from this day forward, i will only have to walk that road.

it feels inviting. i can't wait to see where it goes.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

god of love, hear our prayer

standing still for this is such an exquisite form of torture. how is it possible to feel pride, happiness, contempt and shame for a situation all at once? i will never understand how a few platitudes, heavily scripted in the name of spectacle and braggadocio, can stir such deep emotional currents. but here we are. the atheist, the whore, the charlatan, standing here in perfect character as a good upstanding woman of faith and charity. "god of love, hear our prayer." warm words of christian fellowship. touching.

i know how to wear the costume, the mask. i hit my marks perfectly, learn every line and recite them with a smile. i make this look good, too. but that's the fun of it, even though it kills me. i love knowing what no one else knows - while you stand here offering your blessing, showering godly praise on the happy family fabric woven before you, i am the agent of chaos. i stand in the midst of the fabric, slowly pulling threads at my whim and caprice. i am so far above all of this, and you'll never know.

that is, until the charade finally collapses, once and for all. my life is so beyond your traditional conceptions of reality. i want nothing more than to stand in the rubble and laugh at your woeful underestimation of my ruthless efficiency.

god of chaos, hear my prayer.