Friday, December 26, 2008
"Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing."
"I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy."
- Anais Nin
I cut and pasted these quotes last week after a friend posted them to her Facebook profile. They were without quotation marks, or the author's name, so when I sat down to write an entry this evening, I had convinced myself for about one second that I wrote those words. Then I remembered that I am not such an accomplished writer.
I'm currently wondering what the hell I am doing. This only applies to my dating world, which I can say is currently very half-assed on my part. Internet dating is a hopeless amount of work. Staying on top of all of those emails is exhausting. There are only a couple of people who I am actually interested in meeting face to face, but our schedules seem to be making that impossible. I would rather be here in the safety of the Fortress. And I'm actually enjoying feeling like this.
There are a couple of the usual inappropriate places to lay my heart, but I am managing those situations carefully. Sort of. I wouldn't be me if I didn't at least trail a toe in the water. There is an interesting tug of war happening, but I distinctly feel that the thrill is in the game, and I am just not playing. I am sick to death of weeding through mixed messages, and I've laid my inner masochist to rest. The memo must not have been circulated though, because something still gives people the idea that it's ok to just be confusing and ridiculous.
Maybe I'm still not ready. Maybe that gal was right. Everything I attract is impossible, or seriously flawed, or seriously impossibly flawed. There must be a reason for that, and I think this reason is what I need to concern myself with, if I'm going to be concerned about matters of the heart.
The wind is insanely fierce tonight. Since I was a child, the sound of the wind from indoors always terrified me. I never completely knew why, but then my mom told me that once, when I was a baby during a windstorm a piece of the building across the street blew off, and crashed into the bedroom of the neighbouring townhouse. We had to run across the street and take shelter in the apartment building until the wind died down.
I sit here typing and as the wind howls and billows the curtains of my badly insulated patio doors I feel small again, but less afraid. Secretly thrilled by the power of the wind, waiting to see if one of the giant trees around the house will come crashing into my living room. I stood in the wind yesterday, waiting for my father for what seemed like an endless amount of time. The only logical thing to do was to channel Lear. I dared the wind to bear down on me, to "blow winds and crack your cheeks". I have never felt more capable of handling the wind. Sometimes I think it was the fury in me that I was afraid of. The sound of it sometimes rattling more violently than the gusting outside. I'm ready now to knock over tractor trailers like they were hot wheels, and to snap the boughs of the mighty old oak.
It's the fury and the force in my belly that is making all these things that were so important feel silly and trivial right now.
I'll huff, and I'll puff...
Saturday, December 20, 2008
My current weekend undertaking was inspired by my beautiful friend Lenni. She just moved into a new apartment which is completely astounding in its meticulous organization. She turned the place upside down, and transformed it into a haven. She has lived in her place a fraction of the time that I have lived in mine, yet hers feels so much more like a home.
And so, I'm inspired now to whip this place into shape. It's a HUGE task.
After our last show, and a spell of cocooning and genuine ennui, the Fortress was definitely not ready for visitors. Today I tackled the bedroom. I got rid of two giant boxes of clothes, color-coordinated my closet, and then pulled a shoebox full of cards, photos, and letters down for sorting.
This sort of exercise is impossible without a trip down memory lane, which is really the last thing I wanted today. You can't not read the things you come across, and so the rest of the afternoon went like this:
I began with a five page letter from my recent ex. Which I then tossed. Next was a series of birthday cards from my parents, telling me how proud they were of me. I kept only the most poignant ones. Then I found a stack of Christmas cards from my ex husband. I kept all of these, because he's an incredible writer. Then an engagement card from my aunt who passed away. This was followed by a letter from my ex-niece, from when she was nine, telling me how excited she was to be one of my flower girls. Then photos from my wedding of the flower girls, and another of me surrounded by all of my girlfriends, everyone happy and laughing. Then a stack of photos of me when I was a child. Then photos of my grandmother, and an incredible photo taken at the height of the seventies of my mother, my grandmother, and all of the other sisters, each looking beautiful and invincible. The last thing I discovered, which totally unraveled me, was a photo of me napping on the living room floor with my dad.
How is it possible to have experienced so much laughter, and love, and disappointment and heartache all by the tender age of 32? I have a lifetime of emotion already experienced, and the evidence of my roller coaster ride fits neatly into a shoe box.
In the photo with my father, I'm about three. My hands are tossed above my head as if I had completely surrendered to the land of dreams. My father's arms are crossed over his chest, as if protecting himself from dreaming. Like he knew it was a bad idea to fling yourself at the world with such abandon.I realized, looking at that photo, how much my parents must worry about me, and I was ashamed of the disappointment I have caused them at various points in my life.
I'm experiencing parenting through my best friend, who just had her first child in November. This tiny, perfect little girl inspires so much hope. Her freshly begun life is so full of possibility, and we are all of us projecting our dreams onto her, speculating and imagining the kind of woman she will become.
No parent imagines divorce, or heartbreak, or failure when they gaze at the marvel of their child's newly-seeing eyes.
It amazes me that I can usually go through my days feeling very positive and at peace, and then something will crack open the lid, and my sorrow will pour out like molten lava. I have moments of such complete fear. Fear that I have missed my one shot at blissful domesticity, fear that I will become one of those women who is too afraid to give herself over to love again, fear that my hurt is too deep and will never completely go away, fear that I will grow old without ever having children to love, fear that I will get sick with nobody to take care of me...
I watch as all my friends grow into their marriages, begin to have children, buy houses, find new love, and I feel truly that I'm going to be left behind.
Tomorrow, I will NOT go to brunch early. This way, I don't start my day surrounded by young families.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
A short story written in the summer of 2008.
She heard him yelling before she saw him. “Hey Sister…what up?”
With a deep inhale she set her chin and smiled. Whatever. An adult male can ride a skateboard. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s eco-conscious. Or a good sign that he’s fun and playful. Or something.
He looked like a blonde Pauley Shore. She wasn’t sure, but she vaguely remembered that Pauley Shore was in jail for something ridiculous like public masturbation, or kiddie porn. Or was that Pee Wee Herman? Anyway, it didn’t matter. It was going to be fun. She was in a “yes” place, and the world was full of fun things to do that hadn’t occurred to her before.
He hopped off the board (which seemed ridiculously large) and did that cool kicky thing that sends it from lying on the sidewalk to being neatly tucked under your lanky, freckly arm. He didn’t take off his aviator sunglasses as he shook her hand and gave her a comically cordial “Nice to meet you.”
People who leave their sunglasses on when they are being introduced was a pet peeve of hers, she smiled and said something polite and introductory, all the while thinking that he looks more like a seventies porn star than like Pauley Shore. Maybe. He was also smoking.
He took her to a restaurant on the corner, and insisted that they sit inside so they wouldn’t be interrupted. The proprietors knew him, and endured his teasing and sarcasm. He ordered a lot of snacks. She wasn’t hungry. There was also a half litre of wine, which she was pretty sure would be mandatory.
She noted that he had the crazy eye. She could see it right away. The radar blipped quite clearly, and we all need to know that she saw it right away. He made her laugh though, quite sincerely. And he smelled really, really good. He also reminded her of her very first lover. He was like a ginger version, and better looking, for sure. Her first lover was actually quite hard to look at, but he taught her how to cum for the first time, in at least six interesting ways. They laughed a lot, and she knew that he and ginger shared the same healthy attitude towards getting naked and sticking your body parts into someone else’s. She really, really liked that.
There were lots of questions. She was doing all the asking, and then she stopped herself and asked if he was a narcissist. He thought she was joking, and told her that he wasn’t asking as many questions because he was watching her eyes to get all the answers. She tried not to roll them.
He kept telling her that he was quite convinced that their strange circumstances leading to the date meant that their paths were supposed to cross, and he could feel something “was up”.
He was “on”. But she expected that. She was also breaking her no actor rule. He also liked photography. She remembered that her first lover used to always tell her that she had the perfect seventies porn star body, and then she got a vivid image of Ginger (yes, we’re just going to go with that) taking incredibly dirty photos of her and then screwing her stupid on the cold, hard studio floor, and she flushed from head to toe. More wine.
Some of the questions couldn’t be asked. They were the ones about love, and family. There were almost tears, (not hers) and she wasn’t sure what to do with that information. She put her toes in a deep lake of pain, and wasn’t really happy about the prospect of swimming in those waters again. Not again. We’ve all got something. Some of us have lots, but she was not going to be someone else’s experiment in trying to go legit. “You’re on your own pal” she told herself “I’ll watch from the dock as you try a few new tricks, but I’ll be damned if I’m going skinny dipping with you.”
She was moved by his emotional vibrancy, but decided to never admit that to anyone. Ever.
More wine. And Frangelico. With the rope. Which she kept and tucked in the bottom of a suitcase when she got home. She really wanted to smell him. He showed her pictures he took of his daughter. She’s ginger too. A perfect little fairy girl. She had his big hazel eyes, and a fragile sadness about her. She wanted to meet her, but didn’t say that. She wouldn’t say that out loud for a long time. The daughter should have been a bump, but it was more effective than a puppy. More wine.
He kissed her once, simply, without any preamble. That’s the best way to do it. It didn’t remotely seem odd. He smelled really good.
They decided to go for a walk, but not before moving his car. She was relieved that he didn’t rely solely on the skateboard. The car was cool. Camp in the back of it cool. Better than a convertible with leather seats. It looked like a bomb went off, but there was a baby seat, and that was nice.
A walk. Garden sculpture and lilacs in bloom, making the city smell like Paris. Wisteria like Paris. A little shop like Paris with an Eiffel Tower outside. He took her hand and led her in. After taking some time to decide, he selected a card with the Eiffel Tower on it, and paid the gal behind the register. The ugliest little dog in the world sat panting on the counter.
Another restaurant. This one dirty, but in that good way. The patio, because it was balmy. Dirty gin martinis, and more Frangelico. He pulls out the card and gets a pen from the waiter.
“This is for us.” He says, eyeing her matter-of-factly. “We’re going to write little bits to each other back and forth until it’s full, and then seal it and put it in a box. Our box. And then one night, at the cottage, after the kids have gone to bed we can pull it out and open this like a time capsule, and we’ll drink wine and laugh about when we first met, and be like…yeah…and we’ll remember everything.”
There’s more kissing. He has a horrible moustache for this film he’s shooting, (Seriously. He’s an actor. That was a solid rule.) but she kind of likes how it feels, and she also thinks that’s making her flush. She thinks he would look perfect with a slightly scruffy almost beard and a trim so his hair is still kind of shaggy, but not so long. He smells like something she knows, but she’s not sure what.
They get the bill. Now the plan is the beach. Or the drive in. Or something. There is a quest for a fire log and a bottle of wine. The liquor store is closed, and they are led to an upscale billiard hall, where they find some couches and don’t play pool. There is a Tarot reader, and he gets his cards read. The reader tells him that it’s time to just be happy now. To beat his chest and be proud and happy and ok. Ok. A surprise martini and more Frangelico, with another rope. She keeps that one too. She’s not sure why she is still so mobile and articulate. He keeps telling her she’s pretty. She keeps kissing him. He’s sweet and really, really gentle.
They talk about camping and fishing. She wants to do both with him. Now. “Let’s just drive.” she’s thinking “Let’s just drive and park, and make fire, and have sex in a sleeping bag, and you can keep me warm and smell really good.”
They pay that bill too, and head to a local place near where she’s staying. More Frangelico and Irish Whisky. That’s it for her. Somehow, and this is where it starts to get fuzzy, he starts to talk about the box again, and kids. He wants more. He wants a red headed little boy, and maybe another girl. A sister for his daughter. He tells her he would protect them all. He would protect her too. She is locked suddenly into how urgently she wants to make a family. How every moment she dares to think about it her throat seizes up because she’s worried that she’s broken. Because of that thing that happened. That thing that doesn’t feel real. Tears are streaming down her face, and she doesn’t have to explain because he just knows, and so he takes her gently in his arms and just holds her. They say nothing for a little while.
He keeps telling her that he’s home. That he feels like he is totally safe and at home. He is so calm now. The pretense and posturing is gone. Under the comedy, and the sarcasm is a kind, and very normal person. There is so much work to do though.
They leave. They get snacks. Everything is really funny. She makes him laugh just as much because she’s clever sometimes. He takes her to a familiar building that is a converted loft. They hop into a little pit that looks like a place where there is some construction happening. He tells her he is getting her a housewarming for her new apartment. He pulls pieces of something from the puddle in an empty elevator shaft. She thinks they are goldfish at first. Then maybe rocks. He puts them into a plastic bag and takes her hand and leads her off. She feels really safe.
He takes her to her doorstep. They chew gum because they smell and taste like pepperoni. At the door, he begins to take out the contents of the plastic bag and lay them out on the cement.
They are little metal stars. There are a dozen or so of them.
“You have to let them dry, but when they do, they have this really incredible patina. They are for you. For your housewarming.”
She kisses him.
He smiles, and then is suddenly sad.
“I have to go right now, or I won’t ever leave. When we each fall asleep, let's think about pinball, and maybe we'll see each other in our dreams.” He says as he gets into his car and drives away.
She sends him a sweet text message to let him know how much fun she had, and then she falls asleep thinking about the flickering lights of a retro pinball machine.
Later she would learn that he angered quickly, was terrified of commitment, and on that particular day, realizing he was out of his favourite cologne, had rubbed the powder fresh rear-view-mirror pine tree deodorizer all over him to hide the smell of summer sweat.
A water colour on the front depicts the Eiffel Tower
HE: With an arrow diagram. If I could, I would kiss her right here.
HE: It started this way…
SHE: Wisteria dangling, ripe with it’s own voluptuous beauty, as heady here as any other continent and I realized it was true…you could take that feast with you anywhere and unfurl the checkered cloth whenever your soul was hungry for a beautiful snack…
HE: I stop when I can’t feel my cheeks! I bruise pretty easy, but I am tuff! I would…
SHE: You can’t spell, and I have always believed that there was a cut off age when you must retire a skateboard, but you knew my heart, and that is just like Paris…
HE: Please don’t be sad…take it! How did this happen…always forever.
There is lots of blank space left. On the back cover is the name of a song.
All I Wanna Do Is Rock - Travis
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I have not experienced Christmas as a single girl in seven years.
Of course I have moments where it is undoubtedly the most difficult time to fly solo (like last night at a work function when the beautiful girl who's maternity leave I am covering arrived with her beautiful husband and beautiful baby in tow) but there are also times (like last night after the function when two of the party guests sprung me and whisked me off to the Reservoir Lounge to listen to a beautiful young girl sing amazing jazz) when my heart is full of freedom and possibility. There is also a sense of peace. Truly profound peace that has made me love each snowfall a thousand times more than I ever have before. I liken it to people who experience physical relief for an extended period after living with chronic pain. Sometimes the things that I DON'T have in my life are the greatest blessing I could ask for.
And so, because the Internet feels like a far greater, more infinite, and yet strangely more tangible universe than wishing on a yuletide star, I shall utter my Christmas Wish. I'm sure most of you know what it is already, but it is in fact two-part and I've come to realize that the second half will never happen without the first:
a.) I wish for healing, and the deep, unfaltering self-love that I need to know my own worth, and to know that it is better to spend peaceful time alone in The Fortress of Solitude, regaining my super powers and connecting with my ancestors and with the universe than to try to save villains from their own diabolical imaginings.
b.) I wish that as my heart becomes whole, the universe at large will sense that I am strong enough, and sense that I trust myself enough to make a good choice, and send me a fantastic partner to fight crime at my side. Not a side-kick. More of a Butch Cassidy.
I ask for love because I already feel like my life is very rich with all of the other things that a super savvy gal needs to be happy; amazing friends, an amazing family, a great career, incredible artistic opportunity, a beautiful home, good health, and a vivid social life. These things will all continue to help put me on the road to wellness.
I had a coffee with my recent ex this weekend. It taught me two things:
1.) Everything that I believe about him now is true
2.) He is the most profoundly selfish and narcissistic human being I have never known.
I say never because four years later, I really have no idea what was real. Except my own feelings. I've been so angry at myself for wasting so much time with him in such a toxic atmosphere, but if I hadn't spent that time there, I never would have realized how huge my capacity for love is. How much I'm willing to give, how deep my emotions can run, how selfless I can be. I know there will be no other relationship in my life that will be as fraught with trauma and difficulty as that one was, so from this I know that I am equipped to deal with most normal relationship challenges, and I know now exactly what I want, and what I am unwilling to live with in a partner. These lessons are not wasteful at all, are they?
When you walk in the snow, try to take a moment and be still in your heart, and feel grateful for everything you have and everything you have been able to shed as you go through life. Make a Yuletide wish for yourself too. You deserve it.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I had a great evening with a male friend this weekend who I have known for just over a year. He's smart, funny, creative, talented, enjoys cooking, art, music, has a great sense of family, and is just the right age. We laugh our heads off together, and there is seldom ever a lull in conversation.
Of course there's a but. He has a girlfriend, and it is absolutely not my style to interfere in other people's relationships. Having been on the receiving end of such unpleasantness, I could never do that to someone else, but I question how happy he is.
Early in the summer, we had a drunken moment after a dinner party I hosted where it was suddenly really obvious that if I wanted something to happen it could have. He didn't make a move, or say anything to suggest it, but I could feel it like electricity, and see it in his eyes. I attacked that head on, not with the lip-lock I was thinking about, but with a direct conversation about all of the reasons why we should NOT do any such thing. He was at first shocked by my direct approach, but then I think grateful for it. I made it really clear that I really liked him, but it was important for him to make a decision about his relationship before starting anything else.
He's still in the relationship, so I suppose that was a loud and clear response.
We've managed to maintain a friendship, and no lines have since been crossed, but there is always a moment of awkward goodbye when we spend time together alone.
He has so many of the great qualities that I would like to find in a partner, but in such an instance, I would always be looking over my shoulder wondering when he might begin to develop feelings for one of his female friends, and I have made a promise to myself to never again be in a relationship that breeds jealousy.
I never remember my dreams when I wake up, but early this morning I had a very vivid dream where my back molars were very loose, and when I would wiggle them with my tongue they would fall out either whole or in pieces.
One of the first things I did this morning was consult the internet about such a dream:
Psychological Meaning: Dreaming of teeth falling out may represent insecurity. These dreams often occur at a time of transition between one phase of life and another. When we lost our milk teeth, we also gradually lost our childhood innocence. Loosing your teeth therefore show that today you have similar feelings of uncertainty and self-consciousness as you did in childhood. The dream could also highlight your worries about getting older or your sexual attractiveness.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Which I still care nothing about, but I couldn't resist digging further to discover why Sean Avery was in so much trouble. Again.
For those of you who, like me, don't care about hockey, Sean Avery plays for the Dallas Stars. He also was dating Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert, who is now dating the Calgary Flames' Dion Phaneuf. (Elisha apparently likes hockey more than I do.) Sean Avery, while in Calgary, and while being interviewed by the media, went on camera saying something to this affect:
"It's good to be back in Calgary, but there seems to be a trend in players dating my Sloppy Seconds."
He is now suspended by the NHL for six games. His own team says they support the decision, and would have suspended him themselves if the league hadn't.
I clearly don't have to illustrate how crude and infantile his comment was. I would hope most of you grasp that immediately. What sent me on a Saturday morning "I hate frat boys" downward spiral was the incredibly arrogant way he said this. So cocky, and deliberate. I'm not sure if I'm alone in this response, but I could immediately conjure one or two jilted exes of mine making similar comments about me. Believe me, I don't have many who would ever fall into that category. But ladies, we all have one or two, don't we?
The NHL deemed his behavior appalling and anti-social. If THAT is what they consider appalling or anti-social, they would LOVE some of the cases I could present. Wouldn't it be great if we could drag one or two boys we know before such a commission? Or, even better, if members of "their own team" were so disgusted by them, that they insist on a formal hearing?
What would punishment look like? They are suspended to six months of no dating? They get a favourite toy taken away? They are forced to walk around town with a red "A" pinned to their chest? (Guess what the A would stand for?)
I think perhaps Elisha should re-consider her love of hockey. Perhaps she could learn to drive a golf cart. You don't hear a lot of stories about golfers behaving like complete assholes, do you?
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
When I see a ... as the subject header for an email, it can only be one person. And tonight I came home to "..." and "If it's ok with you, I think we should have a talk at some point."
Not having ANY CLUE what this talk may be about, I truly don't know if it's ok with me, but as always, curiosity has gotten the best of me. The holidays do funny things to people, and I'm prepared to let go of some anger. I have no idea what I'm in for though. It should at least make for good material.
Today I passed a billboard ad while I was on the streetcar. It was for Cosmo TV. If, like me, you think this magazine is insufferably offensive, then by the looks of their Television marketing campaign, the network will be even worse. The ad was hot pink, and featured a giant, perfectly manicured hand, which may have been holding a martini glass, with the pinkie finger extended, and a tiny little man clinging to it for dear life. Presumably "wrapped around it". Gag. Suffragettes and bra burners everywhere must be collectively shaking their heads, and rolling in their graves. (Though in my imaginary world, suffragettes are burned so their ashes can be scattered in the wind. A deliberate choice to avenge their witchy sisters by taking back the sacred power of fire, and a defiant resistance to being trapped inside a man-made box for all eternity.)
Having a man wrapped around your finger isn't feminism. Feminism is about EQUALITY. Coming together on an even playing field, and celebrating those unique differences that give us power of equal strength and potential. It's an arm wrestle that ends with both wrastlers calling a draw, and enjoying a pint or two and talking about the current political climate, or world hunger.
I love that feminism has come full circle, where we have made huge inroads with issues like workplace equality and basic recognition as viable members of society, and we can now celebrate our sensuality and innate "femaleness". I hate the current model of young woman that pop culture and the media has created. It makes my heart burn, and my ovaries want to shrivel.
I could rant endlessly about this topic. I blame a lot of it on the Madonna/Whore stigma. It's so hard for the average person to accept a woman who is smart, and talented, and nurturing, and basically a "good girl", but who is also deeply in touch with and comfortable with her sexuality. In men, we revere that trait. We worship icons like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Vigo Mortensen (insert wise, powerful, sexy, paternal, strong male celebrity here) but who can we readily think of who exudes the same degree of sexuality and savvy, from the female persuasion in our modern age, who hasn't at some point been called a whore? I immediately think of Catherine Zeta Jones, but I'll bet she married an old man because nobody her own age could even comprehend that combination. To be honest, I don't even know if she's smart. I DO know Sharon Stone is MENSA smart, but still everyone thinks Basic Instinct. It was one role for god's sake!
Paris Hilton is the ultimate representation of the type of woman pop culture has given birth to. She makes me shudder. She, Nicole Ritchie, The Olsen Twins, Britney, and that crazy, drunken lesbian who's name escapes me right now. The one with the freckles... They should be transported to an island and left without cellular technology and credit cards. A secret camera crew could film them as they truly unravel. Eventually, I pray that they would eat each other in a orgiastic frenzy of canibalism not fit for prime time television. (This special footage could be pay-per view.)
Children starve to death every day, and these girls will choose to do it to become a perfect size "0". Who the fuck invented size "o"? No such thing has ever existed until very recently. This is it gals. We live in a world that encourages us to aspire to "o".
I say lube it up with a tub of Crisco and stick it where the sun don't shine.
I don't want big fake tits, I NEVER want to be orange, I will probably never have a hard, flat tummy, and I try to use the word "like" the way it was intended, when creating a simile or describing something I am fond of.
So, if it's ok with you...we SHOULD have a talk at some point. I have no idea what you would like to say, but I think we both know that it's not so easy to silence me.
How I long for the day that someone is not wrapped around my pinky, nor crushing my little hand under a steel-toed motorcycle boot, but is strong enough to hold it firmly in his own, knowing each of us can look the other square in the eye and not be so afraid.