Thursday, March 31, 2011

home run

it's ostensibly spring, and with spring comes the beginning of baseball season. i LOVE baseball. i can't quite articulate how amazing i think baseball is. so when the man, his roommate and i lit out for our local major-league park, the air was filled with promise and hope. well, except for the fact that it was a) freezing cold, b) drizzling rain and c) the local major-league team, which is very, very bad at major-league baseball. oh, y'all, it's not even funny how bad the local team is. it's like charlie brown and his baseball team up in here. but hey, at least i got to lose feeling in my extremities while listening to drunken morons scream supposedly clever nicknames at the players.

and yet, somehow, even though the hometown boys got shut out in front of a half-full stadium on opening day, i left the ballpark with a strange sense of bounciness in my soul. interesting counterpart for the numbness in my toes. seriously, though. i was really happy. and for good reason. as the seasons change, for the first time in ages, i've got things set up pretty freaking well. i'm in basically good health, the dregs of flu-pocalypse 2011 notwithstanding. i have an amazing boyfriend, outstanding friends and an outrageously excellent family. school is ending (and there's a forthcoming post about how intensely ready i am to be shut of school). the job will start right on the heels of that. i get to go to south florida at the beginning of may and show off my professional acumen. and i have not one, but two occasions in the next two months to put on a sparkly dress and swan around town.

right now, it seems that all i do is win, no matter what. and i can actually recognize it, for once. i don't even need a reality check from the man like i have seemingly ten squillion times throughout the life of this blog (and honestly, throughout the life of our friendship/relationship). i am not meteorically happy; i am not down in the doldrums. things are humming along beautifully at a state of higher-than-average. it's a beautiful thing. and really, there's no reason to think that anything other than good will keep coming down the pike. sure, there'll be bumps in the road. i can think of two or three that just can't be avoided. six months ago - hell, six DAYS ago - that would've thrown me into a pout of biblical proportions. but now? without waves, it ain't the gulf of mexico (i know, that one is usually "without waves, it ain't the ocean," but i'm a gulf-coast kid, so i don't swim in oceans).

yeah, sounds like a home run, eh? and without getting too cocky, i think i've earned some smooth sailing these days. i've put in the work. and the start of baseball season is a great metaphor for the start of this new season of my life. it's been nothing but spring training for what seems like forever. i've been playing split-squad games, spending hours in that batting cage, swing after swing after swing. but now it's time for the regular season, and we're putting up runs, baby, all day long. i bring the pain, i hit clean-up in this life of mine. watch me swagger to that plate. tap those toes, level that killer look at the pitcher. bring it; i can take whatever you've got.

crack. boom. home run, son. and as i take my trot around those bases, i smile to myself. yeah, this will keep up all season long. all i do is win. and if i keep that in the front of my mind, this life will be cake.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

epistle #1: narcissus

[i'm starting a series of letters to people with whom i have unfinished business. think of this one as the first letter of magnolia to the jerkfaces, if you're inclined to use biblical analogies. and why not lead the series off with a good old-fashioned dose of all-american vitriolic rage?]

dear narcissus:
well, well, well. i have been waiting for nearly half my life to unload on you. you've always thought you were just this great upstanding person, haven't you? i mean, you lord yourself around like you do. but no matter how many times life has come to you and said, hey, big boy, don't you realize you've fucked this up?, you just laugh it off and go right along the same path. whatever, right? someone will bail you out, just like last time, and the time before that, and the time before that.

in the words of ed helms from the hangover, you're... such a bad person! like, all the way through to your core! you are a selfish, cheap, nasty person who has no regard for anyone but himself. you were so incredibly hateful to me from the time i was seventeen until i woke up and realized that, hey, i don't ever have to talk to you again as long as i live. the last time i saw you, which my god, i tried SO hard to avoid, you were, even in the few minutes i was subjected to you, nothing but awful.

and the best part? you have no idea how horrible you are. you think that because you think something is funny, no matter at whose expense the laughs come, it is just objectively funny. no one's ever allowed to be hurt, offended or anything like that. hell, it was just a joke. the way you can blithely dispense scathing cruelties would be admirable if you weren't a real person. i kinda wish i'd invented your character in my writing. you'd be one hell of a super-villain. the smallest errors - turning away from the stove with the burner on, for example - would send you into fits of i can't BELIEVE you could EVER do something like that? what's WRONG with you? at the time, i thought you were just high-strung. looking back? you're an abuser. and the worst kind: an emotional abuser.

i still don't know how you've convinced another woman to take up with you. the only reason the last one stayed around so long is that the two of you had kids. i still remember what she said to me when she finally shook you off. i saw how you refused to put up with the way he treated you. that mortified me, especially with two of her children in the room to see how i was basically being credited with the death of their parents' marriage. but if that's what it took, then i'm glad. and i never even told the full truth to either one of you about how much i hate you.

yeah, that's right, hate. you are a venal, shallow, small-hearted skinflint of a man, one who seems to take unnatural pleasure in hurting others. if someone told me you died tomorrow, i would be relieved for the few members of your family for whom i still care, because they would be shut of you and your terrible, reprehensible behavior. you are painfully immature and totally unconcerned about your lack of adult skills. you're the living embodiment of the grasshopper from that old fable, thinking that you can live off your parents' largesse forever. 'course, you've come damn close; you outlived your father, and your mother's not longed for this world. you've managed to bleed them dry for sixty-plus years now. why not keep going?

you, sir, are a bastard. plain and simple. and with that, i officially remove you from my life.

[ooh, DAMN, did that feel good! this will have to happen again.]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

pizza rolls

the weekend of a thousand used kleenexes has come to an end. i am up and moving, though still somewhat fuzzy of head and runny of nose. and the best (?) part of all of the illness was that it hit me while i was at the man's house, so i proceeded to ensconce myself there to wait it out. the man, in his own inimitable way, is the sweetest guy on the planet. he really let that show this weekend, as i sniffled, coughed and dozed. he made me dinner two nights running. (that's right, people who know him in real life - he COOKED.) and through his tender ministrations to my health and well-being, which included macaroni and cheese and pizza rolls, he showed me a lot about my attitude and how things have really changed for me over the last year or so.

yesterday was a big day on two fronts. first, i recovered a fair amount, largely through spending 72 hours in bed. second, as some of y'all already know, i finally, finally landed a grown-up job for after school ends in two months. and really, it's kinda my dream gig, back with my old pre-law school firm. i am thrilled. THRILLED. and it's funny: i was unwilling to even consider the fact that i would get what i wanted in this situation. i was so afraid of jinxing myself that i didn't even tell very many people about the specifics of the interview. (i didn't even tell my parents until i got the offer.)

but the one person who was 100% convinced that i had it nailed was the man. you know you've got this. it's a given. i refused to believe him. so of course, when the call came and i had the offer in hand, he was right there to say, see? i told you that you had this. and it hit me then, when the weight came off my chest, exactly what was wrong with me all these months. it's obvious that i've changed a lot over that time, but what i didn't see is how much i had allowed the negativity that came along with the old situation to seep into every inch of me. i'd grown harder, colder, and far less hopeful. dealing with the reality of the heavy tragedy that was the end of my marriage sucked all the optimism out of me and made me a hyper-rationalist.

but enter the man. people who knew us when will be stunned over this one, but he's been the optimist, the cheerleader, through it all. his faith in good things for me has really kept me going through it all. and his faith in me was rewarded, big-time, with this news about the job. and he was right all along. trusting myself would've saved me so much angst. trusting that good things would happen would've saved me so much pain. so he gets a lot of credit from me. he's really teaching me a lot about the rebuilding process, moving forward from the old life and fully embracing the new one. i feel so much better about where i'm going. i have a plan again, something to look forward to, and it feels amazing. my work life is lined up, my school life is winding down, and my personal life?

well. a man who brings me pizza rolls and cold drugs, trusts endlessly in my capabilities, and kisses my forehead while i sleep? hmm. seems like i win. and even as sick as i've been, it's the best feeling in the world. thank you, love.

Monday, March 28, 2011

throwback: one shining moment

[the amazing jobo is running an occasional series over at her place where she revisits old posts to see how far things have come in her life since the original words were written. with her blessing, i am totally stealing her idea. so, for your amusement, one year ago this weekend. first, the post; then, below, the commentary...]

march 22, 2010: one shining moment
on my way to the airport yesterday, i heard the local traffic reporter recounting the end of the michigan state-maryland game. lucious drains the 3, and just like that, a maryland victory turns into a crushing defeat. that's the nature of sports like basketball; one quick shot and the whole thing can change.

every so often, that sort of thing happens in other arenas too. you go through a situation thinking things are a certain way, and then POW - the entire game is changed. sometimes this is bad, and it leads to disaster, like if you're greivis vasquez and the rest of the maryland terrapins. but other times, you're tom izzo and the spartans, and the sudden change is the best thing you've ever felt in your life. that's where i sit today. never saw it coming, either...

here's a lesson for you: if you're confused about something that involves another person, it's really best to just talk it out. i took the initiative to pour my heart and soul out this weekend, and the clouds were lifted. things i thought were complex and potentially painful turned out to be crystal clear and completely perfect. perhaps you're seeking details of this. eh, not this time. some things a girl keeps to herself.

but as for results? well, that's easy. the playing field has cleared considerably. "contestant #3," while still incredibly beautiful, is off the board. the ball and chain? that's resolved as of the end of this year. and the other boy? well, all i'll say about that is that i have some incredible people in my life. one shining moment? yeah, you could say that.

[the game-changer in my relationship with the man, formerly the other boy, encapsulated in an overwrought and ridiculous march madness metaphor. when i laid it on the line for him - again - and we became a couple, he referenced this weekend, this one shining moment, as the point in time when his heart started to turn. the events i reference here made him realize that, in his words, i think we have a future.

this journey was alternately exhilarating and terrifying. to get from our origin myth, to our one shining moment, to those first small steps, and finally to the truth straight from his heart... hell. it's rare to get something you want so much in such a clear and obvious way. this is the stuff of fairy tales. but it's not, really; it's the story of my life. of our life.

what a difference a year makes.]