Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Four letter word

So what. I said it.

It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of, is all you need. That it squeaked out not in a quiet moment, a soft gaze over soft jazz or atop a mountain but in the midst of a rollicking and pants off wild ride took nothing from the intent. It surprised me, sure. If it had a sound effect it would be the swwwoooopp of pulling a needle quickly away from a vinyl record. After a fitful night of non-sleep caused by a knot of odd anxiety rolling at the base of my spine like a chimed Chinese massage ball, I slipped quietly out of bed the next morning. A true ruse of running out for eggs and the Sunday paper (we needed both) and chance to escape.

Briefly.

Of course I came back and as is my mantra of truth and not assuming (you and me and ass make three) I spoke of it. Yes he heard and no wasn’t surprised. Yes I said and yes meant, in that moment and others. No wonder it creates tingly balls of nerve endings. One word with no less than 28 usage examples noted in websters.com. It’s a noun, a verb and an idiom, my favorite being:

–verb (used with object)
18. to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.

Benefit greatly from.

It means everything and nothing and something. Gosh I love words. See, I did it again, just there.

My best girl from high school closes every phone call and every voicemail with “I love you, Kitten.” And it feels fine, good and warm in fact. I close cards and letters with it, sometimes include a “much” before it to emphasis and second that emotion.

I love soy milk lattes.

I love how Tiffany blue the sky gets in Colorado the day after a snowstorm.

As does Eddie Rabbit, I love a rainy night.

And I love how my guy makes chocolate chip pancakes on lazy Sunday mornings and laughs at cartoons and let’s me choose the wine or movie (then says, “That’s what I wanted too”) and calls to say hello and leads his own life and still opens the car door for me even when he’s driving mine and makes me feel connected to something besides myself and that he didn’t feel the need to parrot it back but simply said I was his girl too, even though I beat him at 80’s music trivia.

What’s not to love?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I just forgot to get married or give birth

Even at 44 my lady business runs like clockwork, so precise and every-26-days you could set a watch or bake scones by it.

Sidenote: For those who shy from discussions of the menstrual type (men), herein the monthly activity will be referred to in easier to swallow terms. And sorry for putting that “Red Badge of Courage” image in your head.

My Grand Ole Opry still blossoms regularly in a pink sprinkle and blood work shows the hormones of a teen girl. Chances are I’m past healthy child-bearing years (and remain a staunch safety girl) but most sexually active, hetero women with intact plumbing have the moment of “Could I be…?” while awaiting her monthly Salsa Shakedown. I never really dwelled on baby-head-scented desire. Much like cats that are drawn to and rub furry on humans who don’t care for cats, kids dig me. I like kids, they’re generally funny and open and see the world through different eyes until taught (or forced into) other ways of thinking. But I’d rather lease than own, Auntie vs. Mom. Had a brief spell of the baby fever in my late 20’s but think it had to do more with mostly chaste living and wanting penetration. Not that I haven’t picked out names for my non-spawn; for a boy Elvis, a girl Priscilla, for either Lux (male as in The Cramps Interior, female as a character from the novel "The Virgin Suicides.") I could jump the celebrity bandwagon and join the ranks of Apple Martin(i), Pilot Inspektor, Moxie Crimefighter or Peaches, Pixie and Fifi Trixiebelle Geldolf.

I’m liking Sassafras Molasses. Kash.

I’d be a fun parent (spoken as a women who’s never been one), tough but fair. One who’d encourage jumping hard into puddles after a big rain. I’d fill my home with music and books and heroes like Patti Smith and John Lennon, J.D. Salinger and Jane Austen. Make homemade Valentine cards with loads of red glitter and a crinkled tin foil star for the top of the tree. I’d dress my girls in both leggings and Pat Benatar t-shirts and floaty dresses; my boys in Toughskins and button up plaid shirts with short sleeves and real buttons. And no Crocs. Ever. Crocs are the shoes lining the wall in the waiting room to hell.

I wouldn’t ask my girls to sacrifice more or dream less than my boys. I’d try not to yell much and I’d never hit. I’d hope they grow up kind, and find others kind to them.

Aunt is a good gig, me the cool one who always had gum in her purse, who talked freely about penises and running after big dreams. I got to buy cute outfits and spoil on birthdays (still do). I never had to clean up vomit, just hold hair back after too much drinking at the bachelorette party.

Over dinner Monday the manfriend and I talked family, about the roles of men and women and how daytime TV is reverse-misogynous, showing Mom as the superstar nurturer and Dad the mostly absent provider. A current commercial for Wii Fit Plus called “Working Mom” follows the flow of a beautiful (of course) woman rising before her still sleeping hubby to feed the kid, don perfect fit spandex and pony for a session of Wii Yoga, then into a tailored business power pantsuit and the office where she’s portrayed as a high powered decision-maker. She even picks up groceries on the way home, where Dad sits in front of the flat screen, socked feet up on an ottoman.

I’ve always believed I could have it all - adventure and education and goals and a warm home and a career and a family and a hand to hold. I just never believed I could have it all, all at the same time. Something would undoubtedly suffer. I was a college freshman already living on my own for five years at 21, had both a degree and nearly a decade of work experience at 26, slowly built the career I wanted and owned a home all my own at 34 and now embrace a successful, happy, actualized and content woman of 44. But I never gave time to a relationship, a real one. Until now. I couldn’t fully consider caring for another person, as I'd want to, perhaps until now. I have a family, one built of blood and friends and companions that hold me up and me them and love me exactly as I am. Unconditionally.

And right now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Grace

Bang-up job beating the crap out of myself the past couple days. Negative self-talk and self-doubt that stings like the snap of a wet towel to the ass.

Buddhist psychology says "What we think is what we become,” a message my Thursday morning power yoga instructor opened class with. She related how her “birthday month” (love she claims it) got her thinking of the past year, leaving her a bit stuck on loss and hurtful events, leaving energy there.

I was unhappy lying there in a supine posture, deep breathing and trying to focus on melding muscles and strings of tendons to mind and intention. I didn’t like my body; in a down dog glance I saw not strong legs and shapely, fully functioning thighs but thickness and weight. My poses for the next hour were weak and shaky and I just wanted to be done. During inversions I sat for a long time in child’s pose even when encouraged to, “Try something, play. Do a posture that makes you feel strong, or something you fear. “ I silently scolded my Buddha belly and arms too full and round to reach around to bind hand to hand.

Last night when he held me naked from behind, tucked into the stacked spoons we take before rolling out and adjusting into sleep, I felt his hand on wobbly flesh. How can he find that sexy?

KaPow, tubalard

I’ll again embrace and appreciate my physical power and strength, stop the beginners’ bad habit of looking around and judging. I’ll frog stand on my head again, hold a fully branched, strong and rooted tree. I’ll be held again and it will feel sexy and warm. Again.

A silver and white cat with beautiful, goofy blue eyes that cross has been coming around this week. He’s declawed, mostly clean and vocal, hungry for both food and attention. I fed him so now he comes every day, all day, and creates chaos for Sadie the feral cat. Today he found his way up an easy tree limb and down into my fenced private patio (Sadie’s domain) where he stayed, regardless of my half-dozen-plus attempts to physically remove him. Later he shit on the patio. I felt anger welling up as I worked to write copy and set up schedules and update my laptop and take a call from the boss, all interrupted every 15 minutes or so by growling and crying, hissing and the threat of territory fighting. Later he pissed on the patio. I threw a glass of water at him in a final bid for peace. He ran off but returned tonight, this time to be shooed with a broom, the fear in his eyes palpable, the crouched running on low legs. I won by teaching him to fear me. Later I watched a video of a friend who is a storyteller tell a Jewish folk tale about meditation and fear and the “what if’s” that feed the chatter in our monkey minds. What if that cat physically hurt Sadie? What if the damn thing keeps coming back to bother me? What if I really am the fucking cat lady?

Hard punch in the face for the hypocrite who claims to love animals but balks at the inconvenience

I put flyers up in the neighborhood, first asking his owner (should he have one) to reconsider day-and-evening-long roaming for his safety and to inquire if anyone’s pet had gone missing. Tomorrow, should he return, I'll pet him and offer kibble if he's hungry and find him a home or shelter if no one is looking for him. Because I can’t not.

The job I have, the work I do, is both easy and handsomely rewarded. I can do it with one eye elsewhere most days. I’m good at it and know I’d be better if challenged but I smell the same sock in a different shoe. How meaningful is what I produce? My own creativity flows constantly, like a spigot, but gets tied up in lazy, tired fingers at the end of the day. I envy bloggers whose words have birthed books and sometimes think mine are better. Because I think I’m a real writer. Maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m talented or seeking approval or merely lucky or comfortable or just a copy editor. Maybe all of it. Maybe none.

Swift upper cut to the jaw, taste a little blood in my mouth

What if I believe in what I am, in strength and real beauty, in lust and who cares for me, in compassion and the artist? What if I ask for and feel a healing kiss on fresh bruises.

What if instead of hitting out I find small grace?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Do I smell bacon?

My girl called yesterday to catch up. Snow and a lazy weekend and a new job and school kept us out of touch a few days.

She’s got the swine flu. They say.

Even after a home alone call to 9-1-1 and ambulance ride to the E.R. (because a normally healthy 23-year-old shouldn’t suddenly feel breath shorten to shallow gulps and extremities go numb) docs chose not to test her for the actual piggy bug, or anything else. They called swine flu, strapped on some oxygen, pumped up the fluids and sent her home in four hours. The cost of the H1N1 test runs $300+ and results take several days (here I thought home pregnancy sticks akin to peeing on a $10 bill). Simple math tells me the number of swine flu cases may be inflated at best, lazy at worst. Call the disease of the moment, the media fueled epidemic, the Lifetime TV movie starring Valerie Bertinellii. How many men and woman simply in need of 1000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 or lacking imagination have been diagnosed with sleepy folks syndrome, a.k.a. chronic fatigue?

H1N1 was spun on the post-9/11 terror alert “Wheel O’ Fear” alongside the recession.

I think I may have the swine flu or a variation thereof, the “Pig Out” malady. I’m not unhappy or unfulfilled or sexually frustrated (far from it), just filling my pie hole on a constant basis, like the mighty grizzly storing up for winter or woman in her first trimester (and no). Last nights remedy included dinner of shrimp with roasted eggplant, tomatoes and feta, Australian red licorice and large bowl of corn popped in coconut oil washed down with a magical elixir - very good tequila mixed with very good ginger ale and the juice of half a lime. I call it the “Two Titties Out” because much like the “Creamsicale” - Vanilla Absolut stirred into ginger ale - they go down easy, as do I after a few.

Other symptoms include a bitch cough lingering since late September, the surprise, annoying kind that rattles up dry from nowhere and scares small animals and the occasional sneeze (I love to sneeze, it’s like cleaning out my brain, leaving it damp and crisp and smelling of lemons).

Sickness happens. Sometimes cells display uncontrolled growth, invasion or metastasis, for no reason other than they do. Sometimes the chemicals in gray matter don’t fire as they should. Others determine, “You have this, you are that.” They name it, you own it.

Growing up, in grade school, I didn’t know any kid with ADD or ADHA. They had “ants in the pants.” Now society insists on behavior veering left or right as something out of order.

dis⋅or⋅der [dis-awr-der]
– noun
1. lack of order or regular arrangement
2. an irregularity
3. breach of order; disorderly conduct; public disturbance

A soul killing word for a fresh generation of artists and dreamers and dirt diggers and scientists. I still have ants in my pants, good ants. I’m happily irregular.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

If it makes you happy it can't be that bad

Playcation To Be Resumed (TBR) mid-December.

Time away from work is time off schedule and daily trips to the gym the past 10 days trickled to twice weekly…or so. Happily regular exercise is part of my every day routine; sadly I feel the lack of it in both my core and my head. Happily I spent much of my recent time off naked and he likes all the bits, jiggly and not.

I found the Macys at Park Meadows Mall in the vanilla-ice-milk suburb of Highlands Ranch (a 45 minute or so drive in mid-day traffic) offers by far the best selection of bosomy dresses, slimming tunics and dark washed trouser jeans. And sadly the surliest employees, many who speak little or interesting English and offer help only when asking to corral purchases to the nearest register. Oddly enough, in a land of overly processed women who shop instead of work, wave ring finger diamonds the size of rock candy and push children in strollers costing roughly the equivalent of a used car, the ladies restroom is outdated, filthy and mostly broken and smelling of prunes and poo gas.

It was there I found a special birthday dress, fabric soft to the touch and with a low scoop neck, shirred at the shoulders and above and below the rack. I felt cute and happily exposed in it when worn to the hip sushi-martini-steakhouse where I spent my special Monday night with special company. Sadly one layer of stretchy ruching snapped at the right shoulder on only its second outing and it’s going back (a return, not an exchange) because what kind of sap pays $90 for a dress that self-destructs?

Happily I kept the pale-blue-colored glass sake bottle we drank and candle placed in my red bean mochi ball I made a wish on before blowing out as a sweet souvenir. It's sitting on my mantle.

Time to clean the ‘fridge of salad fixings and Greek yogurt, real whipped cream in a can and other perishables gone bad the last two weeks. Happily nearly every day was spent lunching and visiting with dear old/new friends, dinners sitting close at cute boutique restaurants that don’t advertise on TV, snuggled in for movie night, relaxing with home-cooking and company, soft pretzels and peanuts and beer at the old ball game. And the sweets. Hazelnut mocha and chocolate mousse cakes, all for me.

Sadly didn’t get nearly the writing done I’d hoped to. Too happily busy living it.

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