Friday, January 7, 2011

alma mater

this is your soundtrack. this is my alma mater. i miss this place more than i could ever imagine.

"where stately oaks and broad magnolias shade inspiring halls,
there stands our dear old alma mater who to us recalls
fond memories that waken in our hearts a tender glow
and make us happy for the love that we have learned to know

all hail to thee our alma mater, molder of mankind
may greater glory, love unending, be forever thine
our worth in life will be thy worth, we pray to keep it true
and may thy spirit live in us...

forever LSU."


Thursday, January 6, 2011

in which i am angry

boy, it must be real easy for y'all, eh, new house majority?

i mean, hell. for your very first act to be to come in and try to get rid of healthcare reform. nice to know there are no other problems in this world. but really, what more should i have expected? see, these folks come from a magical fairyland where it's perpetually 1950 and life is june cleaver waiting for ward to come home from the office. nothing is ever challenging or broken, and if you're struggling, well, then, you'd better just work harder, because it's clearly your fault.

screw y'all. seriously. last night, i made a conscious decision to not seek emergency treatment for weird symptoms i was having because i cannot afford the outrageous $100 co-pay for my student insurance. oh yeah - and that was the co-pay for the hospital RUN BY THE UNIVERSITY I ATTEND. so screw y'all. screw everyone who thinks you're proportionally entitled to healthcare based on your net worth. i have a damn broken tooth that i can't get fixed because i can't afford $3,000 for a root canal (which is based on the cost of one in 2004 when this happened to me last). screw everyone who thinks healthcare is something that should be bought and sold. this isn't dry-cleaning. it's people's goddamned well-being. we're americans. we're supposed to have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, if the tea-baggers are to be believed. well, the right to life is meaningless if you die of a curable disease because you can't afford to treat yourself.

i'm low on words and high on venom. so i'll just say this: we are rotten in our core as a nation if we let this sorry form of reform get repealed by venal, mean-spirited skinflints who'd rather have the 100 richest americans avoid paying their fair share of taxes than see every american be able to afford the goddamn hospital when it's needed.

screw it. i'm going to bed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

learning curve

as i've said many times before, the learning curve in my relationship rears its ugly head in strange and unexpected ways. i mean, when you're dating someone you've known half your life, you don't necessarily expect to look up at some points and think, where the hell did THAT aspect of your personality come from? why didn't i know about this? and yet, this happens a lot more than i feel like it should. i guess there's just a fundamental difference between being someone's best friend and being his girlfriend.

sometimes, though, it's not me who's caught unaware by the learning curve. every so often, he's the one left confused and unable to finesse the situation. this generally happens when i present him with the more complex, challenging pieces of my personality, the ones i try to hide from the world. he's a fairly straightforward man, one who prizes analytical thinking and problem-solving. if there's a challenge, it should be examined, an answer should be isolated if possible, and that course of action should be taken. A + B = C. it's algebra. but philosophy? not his bag. he has no patience for pie-in-the-sky discourse, even if done solely for recreation. those all-night-long conversations we liberal arts majors love so dearly, tossing around ideas and theorizing? yeah, you can forget that with the man. to call what he has for that sort of thing "contempt" is an insult to contempt.

so when given a real-life situation that can't be analyzed, and it's not possible to just say "fuck it, there's no answer," he is often left at a loss, shut down. enter my whipsawing emotions. i defy linear logic when i'm down like this, so there is no "let's do X to make you feel better and that'll be that." there's also, clearly, no giving up on this one. so he does things that he thinks will help, and he frets. as i lay there in the dark, clearly in a state of mind beyond his comprehension, he rubs my back, soothing the only way he knows how.

but as he does, i feel through his touch a stark, unrelenting fear. i look up at him sharply, intensely startled by the sensation. he smiles back at me, but the smile doesn't touch his eyes. and it's then, looking at the tension on his face, feeling the worry in his hands as they touch my skin, that it hits me like a ton of bricks. it's not a lack of understanding that shuts him down; it's the disappointment, the fear, that he can't snap his fingers and make it go away.

you think you know all you can about someone, and even now, you come away with a staggering new understanding. love is an evolving process, to be sure, and with every new fact gleaned, every new insight, the relationship is changed. the permanent mark of that fear-filled touch of his hand is seared onto my skin, locking in the lesson behind it: he will do anything to help me, and if he feels that he can't, it eats at him. the love behind that fear brings me to my knees with its strength, its intensity.

it's enough to lift my lowest spirits. see, love? you did help. more than you know.

Monday, January 3, 2011

urge for going

the rest of the world returned to work today after the glorious overconsumptive fog that the holidays have been. but me? i'm still a student. i may be damn near 30, but as far as my schedule is concerned, i am a slothful 18-year-old kid. i have two more weeks before my classes start again. i'm sure there was a time when all this freedom was a total boon, and that i was thrilled beyond belief to sit/lie around and do nothing. it was probably, like, the totally greatest thing EVER, no doubt.

but now? good god, i am bored. i feel worthless when i have nothing to do. i don't know if it was law school that did this to me, or if it's simply a function of age, but i just cannot manage downtime anymore. i can't conceive of how to handle long stretches of time in which nothing is scheduled. it's just torturous. they say idle hands are the devil's playground. to me, however, an idle mind is what causes me all the trouble. when i don't have things to do, my mind... wanders. and rarely, if ever, does that wandering result in anything good.

the last time this happened, when i left myself unprogrammed, it was around this time two years ago. i really thought i needed the rest. but then, quite unexpectedly, my life got turned 100% upside down by the events of new year's weekend 2009. lines were crossed, decisions were made, and the beginning of the end of my old life was kicked off in explosive fashion. but then i had to go back to my old life and spend seven days pretending like nothing had changed, with no distractions whatsoever. and friends, it was nothing short of mind-bending. i was scared, depressed, lonely and sad. and the longer i sat still, with no way to escape the whirlwind of thoughts whipsawing through my brain, the closer i came to total desperation. finally, i made up my mind that there was only one possible solution: i hopped a plane, lying to everyone i knew, and made a stand.

that time, the stand i made did not end the way i'd hoped. i didn't get what i set out to get, which led to a whole string of reckless and potentially questionable decisions. in the end, those decisions set me on the road i'm on today, with all the good that's brought me. but the point is, when i am left alone with my mind, i tend to get... impulsive. dangerously, treacherously, foolishly impulsive. and at my station in life, that is no joking matter. my schedule might give me the freedom of a kid, but my reality locks me into the responsibility of an adult. every decision i make has consequences, and the kind of flightiness in which i feel like indulging will only lead to serious problems if i give in.

so the next two weeks will be a series of tests. every single day will be a trial: a test of my fealty to my relationship, my career, and my sanity. i have every reason to believe that i'll make it through, as long as my supports hold steady and don't fail me. but the dark river of recklessness flows very close to my surface. it slowly sings to me of the urge for going, for moving, for taking risks far more treacherous than i can stand. will i be able to resist the siren song? only time will tell.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


so as part of the auspicious start to 2011 i experienced, i spent the early morning hours of yesterday on "make sure the man doesn't die" duty. this is a new one on me; usually, i'm the one praying for death after a night of overindulgence. but as he worked through it, i dealt with the... aftermath, we'll say. it was right dark in that bathroom, too, and i had my contacts out already. i guess that's why i didn't notice that towel bar there, screwed into the door where it always has been. magnolia's head, meet exposed steel.

no damage, no blood; everything was okay, or so i thought. just a little sore. i sat up with the man anyway, so the whole concussion thing wasn't a concern. but all day yesterday, i felt a little off. my head hurt, which was in no way related to dehydration and lack of sleep (ha ha), and every so often, i'd get these weird little flashes of paranoia. i don't know what the deal was, but i was all off-kilter all day.

once the man regained consciousness, he and i spent, as i mentioned, the whole day in bed. rest does a body good, they say, but my mind was just not where it should've been. i found myself talking, not even really in a coherent way, about anything that shot through my tired, addled brain. it was a monologue of wide-ranging and epic proportions, on everything from the ridiculousness of gary oldman's accent in air force one to the state of the world.

and that's when my mild craziness turned into wildly out-there mouthiness. i decided that this was the perfect time to throw caution to the wind and ask the man a ton of questions that undoubtedly made him uncomfortable. so i did. i opened myself up wide and spoke honestly, without filters or kid gloves. i've trained to be cognizant of all angles, to make the strongest argument possible while acknowledging my cohort's position. but last night, i didn't care. it was no-holds-barred, 100% bleeding-edge "this is what i want."

funny thing, too - i think i got what i wanted out of it. i fell asleep, at LONG last, reassured and happy, comforted by the touch of a hand to my shoulder, a kiss to the sore place on the top of my head, and a whispered, of course. so here's to accidental head injuries, for giving me the courage to spill my guts. and here's to being mouthy, too. every so often, there's no better way to be.