Wednesday, April 30, 2008
When you know someone, you know what you can expect from them. Don't expect this to radically shift.
Adam and I have been talking a lot about the people who just disappear into relationships. Oh, you may still see them. It's not about frequency, really. It's about who they seemed to be and who they let themselves become, and how aggressive they become when you call them on it.
When he and I first got serious, I was summarily dumped by a long-term friend who, I think, decided I was boring because I was happy. If that's the case, David, then fuck you very much and I hope you get your tacos on your own from now on.
Another friend told me I was no longer "crazy." Again, if that means I'm happier and more sane, I'm better off for it.
I changed, sure. I was less accessible, yes. I didn't run for the phone every time it rang. But I did call back. And if a friend needed something, I was there. I may not be there at the exact moment they called or emailed. But I made sure to be there.
You cannot change other people. You know who they are and what to expect.
It's true. Fucking frustrating, but true.
Sometimes songs are postcards from the future. Often I have found that a song reveals something subtle but important about my own life that I was only vaguely aware of while writing, but that became clear as time went on. I wrote “Black Cadillac” six weeks before a rash of deaths began in my family. The day I finished writing it, I played the completed song to myself, as a kind of last run-through to check for rhyme scheme errors and syllable scanning, and a tidal wave of anxiety started rising in my gut. I knew I had given myself a message.
Monday, April 28, 2008
"His heart sounds great. His weight is stable. I keep thinking I'm going to find something, but there's nothing."
At nineteen, Oliver's biggest crutch to bear -- besides a touch of feline asthma and a bit of arthritis, which we're treating -- is a neurotic owner. The guy is feisty as hell, which Dr. Gordon says helps keep him alive. That's my boy!
When we got married, we asked for donations to the Berkeley Humane Society -- where Oliver's vet also is -- as well as Habitat for Humanity. Netted them some well-deserved cash, we did.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
A question, perhaps rhetorical, you decide. < seeker0075 > 04/23 22:58:07
When do we stop thinking about deal breakers and start thinking about forever?
I noticed that some (not all, just some) posts in here often garner a response along the line of "Get a divorce (break up, what have you) this is a deal breaker for me..." regardless of the length of the relationship. My wife and I have had a great relationship (not anything for the record books, but pretty awesome in both of our opinions) and I think part of the reason is that we don't think in terms of what isn't allowed, what isn't acceptable, what we will not tolerate, what is an absolute deal-breaker; but more along the lines of what we can do to overcome the next obstacle, how we can improve on what we've done already, what goals we'd like to build toward, what things are deal-makers.
I can't help but think that the amount of negativity that I have seen from people actually in LTRs on this forum would eventually poison any relationship that a person is in. I understand that sometimes people have off days, I'm not talking about the negative comments that sort of catch people off guard because they're out of character, I'm talking about the negative comments that are given consistently. So back to the question: When do people go beyond the point where they stop thinking about marriage (and LTRs) as a temporary state of affairs and start thinking of it as something that is worth working on because it should last forever?
I'm quite sure it depends on the person and the relationship and a million other factors... Like I said it may just be a rhetorical question, but I think it's a question each person in a LTR should ask themselves. I believe that if more people asked themselves this sort of question we'd have far less posts in here about petty arguments and whether or not it is okay to cheat, throw things, expect someone to do something for you that you aren't willing to do, etc.
Friday, April 25, 2008
It turned out better than I'd expected, obviously. But I'm just saying. Maybe I'd find the Flickr pictures of his honeymoon or stumble across his updated Facebook status. Sometimes putting your foot down and telling someone what you want has the best results.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Do you not understand I control nature?
You shall pay.
The person whose oak tree you ransacked.
Monday, April 21, 2008
The summer of 1998 baked on. Autumn arrived to rain-swell the creek and send skull bits floating down the bed of silt and stone. Winter followed to skim the mesh of gray twigs and pale bones with a veil of ice. Then, one February morning, two hunters running their beagles were stopped cold in their tracks; the living, finally, took notice.
Beautiful writing, I think.
I'm reminded of the story I once wrote for the Fairfield Daily Republic about a migrant worker killed as he ran across a dark Suisun Valley Road at night. I started out all lyrical and, shameful to say, not nearly as articulate as the Times writer. I was the butt of more than one joke at the critique session that day.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
At the bookstore I don’t much look at the happy couples. They don’t interest me like the ones just come from dinner, fighting with doggy bags still in their hands. It’s those couples – the ones terse with tension, strained by the unspoken, hissing with rising steam – it’s them. I watch their fraying wires grow ever thinner, taut with tug o’war.
Their fights. Oh, their fights. Their glorious fights, the intimacy, the intricate complication that has brought them to argue in the Home and Garden section. They have sown this anger, they have watered it and tended it, clipped it, designing with sharp bladed edges. And I – sometimes I alone – am here to witness its bloom.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
The world has never been more connected, but in some corners, it's developing a real hang-up over the ubiquitous cell phone.
Taking a cue from France's national railway, which offers phone-free "zen zones" on high-speed trains, Austria's second-largest city this week began ordering public transit commuters to keep their phones on silent mode.When will this happen in the U.S.? I'm counting the days.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I spend nights in bookstores. It is not for edification; it is for sanity. I can choose to stay within my own smudged ivory walls or to go outside and seek human contact.
It’s not a tough choice. I go mad if I stay home for too long. If I remain within my own walls for several hours at a time, my eyes roll up in my head. My eyebrows run riot and I grow claws and fangs. Green lightning shoots out my mouth and ears. Obviously, I must drive to Borders.
Borders is great entertainment. First off, it’s free. All the best entertainment is free. It’s open from early in the morning to late at night. And it’s a rotten ugly bastard corporation, so I can stick that in their collective faces if they try to toss me out after I’ve been loafing around for six hours or more.
Not that I’ve ever been threatened with involuntary departure. I behave myself while I’m at Borders. I keep quiet and entertain myself. I fly below the radar of the booksellers and baristas. I am a good houseguest, even at the corporate bookstore.
I told her I'd waited for someone to take me aside and say: "What the hell happened? What a difference!" I hadn't been hoping for it, but I'd been expecting it.
She said: "It's like saying to someone who's dropped 200 pounds: 'You're not fat anymore!' It just doesn't feel right."
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Inside my apartment, seated next to each other on my battered blue couch, so cat-scratched and thrashed that wood pokes from the fabric in parts, we kiss. He tips my face to his and takes my lips under his gently, with tender feeling, with a cautious tongue.
My mind has gently pulled away, untangled itself from his arms, picked up the keys and walked out the door.
I call him Junior, alluding to the four years that lie between us. He has dark hair, close-cropped, hair that strains to be curly but can’t quite slip its bounds. His eyes are blue and merry, his hands warm and real. He is home right now, in an apartment in Oakland, with his girlfriend Stephanie and his cat Toby.
Last night, I attended a meditation class and heard lots of talk of community, or sangha. This led me to wonder: What is a community? Are we a community because we have come to sit together? What is the quality of a community made up of strangers? Is there such a thing?
I have a much more intimate definition of community. It's made up of those closest to me. My inner circle. There are lots of other ways of addressing external community, but then again, I wouldn't use the word community. Group, maybe, a gathering of like-minded strangers. But community? How can you be a community when you don't even know each others' names?
Monday, April 14, 2008
ME: I don't know. Let's give this question the 30 seconds it deserves.
ADAM: It's one of life's great questions. Like, what's the meaning of life, if a tree falls in the forest, what happens at porn stars' weddings.
David Curran rules!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I've only very recently started joking about this stuff.
At the wedding I waited for someone to take me aside, slip into their confidential whispers, and ask me about the changes. Then I think about what Adam said: It always mattered more to you than it did to anyone else.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I’m holding my cordless phone, the one that starts to falter after a half hour and die twenty-five minutes later. I’m balancing on one foot on the battered, stained carpet in my living room. The other foot is tracing a pattern on the coffee table, a spiral, in and then out, the repetition a source of strength. I’m swinging a shoelace at my cat. He bats and hisses, then slinks off to lick himself and glare happily.
“I didn’t get the memo,” I say.
“You think this is a joke, don’t you?” I picture him in his own home, surrounded by the detritus that gives him inspiration for his art. He works in metals and moldings, throwing in fire for the random danger of it all. “I jacked off thinking of you today. You think that’s not love?”
My stomach is sour, my brain flattered. The intersection is a familiar place. It’s a bottomless black pit, a sucking hole of emotion and need.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
- People he has more in common with are the ones who give a damn -- regardless of what side they're on
- If we took care of our own personal pieces, maybe peace would take care of itself.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
This occurred to me later while I was on the elliptical machine at the gym. When I first started looking at pictures from the wedding, I thought: My God. Fat fat fat. I've always struggled with my weight. Maybe it's genetics, complications from PCOS, luck of the draw, whatever. But then I started looking at the pictures again. I look radiant. Adam looks thrilled. Everyone was so happy to be there, and everyone loved how intimate, low-key, and friendly everything was.
Does that mean I was a skinny bride? No. Does that mean I wouldn't like to be a few sizes smaller in the future? Absolutely. That's why I've been going to the gym regularly ever since we got back from Tokyo.
So the pictures. No, it's not skinny skinny skinny. But it's happy happy happy. And life? It's an active thing, not a passive thing. What helps? Honesty -- as in this post -- as well as optimism. I'm excited about continuing to move forward in every way.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
My grandfather came. And I felt, rather than heard, him speak these words: Enjoy the newness.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
He said, "Ironically enough, bad tired can be a day that you won. But you won other people's battles, you lived other people's days, other people's agendas, other people's dreams, and when it's all over there was very little you in there. And when you hit the hay at night somehow you toss and turn, you don't settle easy."
He said, "Good tired, ironically enough, can be a day that you lost. But you won't even have to tell yourself, because you knew you fought your battles, you chased your dreams, you lived your days. And when you hit the hay at night, you settle easy, you sleep the sleep of the just, and you can say, "Take me away."
He said, "Harry, all my life I've wanted to be a painter and I've painted. God, I would have loved to have been more successful, but I've painted, and I've painted, and I am good tired, and they can take me away."
Now if there is a process in your and my lives in the insecurity that we have about a prior life or an afterlife, and God. I hope there is a god - if he does exist, he's got a rather weird sense of humor, however.
But if there is a process that will allow us to live our days, that will allow us that degree of equanimity towards the end, looking at that black implacable wall of death to allow us that degree of peace, that degree of non-fear, I want in.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
"Sorry," Adam said.
"Sorry won't help."
"Fuck you, then," Adam said, and kept walking.
The plot by as many as nine boys and girls at Center Elementary School in south Georgia was a serious threat, Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner said Tuesday.
Apparently the teacher offended these kids by scolding one of them for standing on a chair. What a bunch of sick little fucks.
“I’m parked over there,” he says. Inside the stereo has been hijacked by house music. I know without looking that throngs of Piedmont Avenue girls are dancing around MacArthur Boulevard Gregory, and that he will bed one of them tonight, and that one may not be Medea.
His is a 1960s-era American car, a classic model that I’ll wager was a Corvair. It has wings and chrome and inside is a giant fucking mess. As we slide inside – him opening the door for me first, then slamming it shut and trotting over to the driver’s-side door – I remember one of the few things Medea told me about her friend Bill. He lives in a loft in Fruitvale, she said. If you took the H-bomb and dropped it, just chucked it down repeatedly, it could only help matters.