Category Archives: go ahead and cry

A Little’s Enough

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I wrote fan mail once and I mean like once in my whole life. 

I facebooked Tom Delonge from Angels & Airwaves (also Blink 182) and tried at first to NOT sound like a deranged teenager and then gave up because who cares?  I wrote about what his music had meant to me at an especially wounded time.  I went ahead and threw in a “you saved my life.”  I’d be more ashamed except I really truly meant it.

Secret Crowds

Everything’s Magic

Love Like Rockets

A Little’s Enough

 

As I was writing a chat window popped up and “Tom” asked me for my info to send me free tickets.  It was obviously a hacker, and I don’t recall whether I bothered to hit send on my email or not.

All that to say that as much as I like to think of myself as someone who holds her shit together around people who are celebrities, Tom Delonge was above and beyond.  If I met him?  Pregnant and out on rape charges.  That’s how that would go down.

This weekend I had a mild inner ear infection.  The kind that make you dizzy, really, really dizzy.  I spent my weekend on the couch crocheting.  I was feeling better today and in yoga pants I’d put on Friday night and never bothered to change, I took my bike up to the corner grocery store.  It’s important to have a visual of my wet hair, sequined tshirt with cat hair, and bike helmet.  I had about 18 items in my cart but since I’m in that store like every third day I know that the express lanes are often waiting and totally accepting of more items.  I have the decency to pretend to care when I start unloading my items onto the counter. 

“I hope they don’t count past 15,” I mutter to the tattooed elbow in the corner of my vision, just so I don’t seem like the bitch who ignores signs.  Rocket ship tattoos, it registers.  Really awesome rocke- HOLYSHIT.

HOLYSHIT.

HOLYSHIT.

THIS IS HAPPENING.

HOLYSHIT.  I know who that is.  I glance at the clock beyond his head.  Yep, that’s Tom Delonge.  I pretend to consult my blank wrist to the time on the clock.  Still very Tom Delonge.  Stop looking at a blank wrist.  Tom is buying groceries with his daughter Ava.  I am melting down while wearing cat hair, sequins and a bike helmet.  He’s attempting to do normal people things.  I’M attempting to do normal people things while watching him do normal people things.  Do not touch him.  DO NOT BURY YOUR FACE IN HIS TSHIRT AND CRY, VJ.  STOP MUTTERING THESE INSTRUCTIONS TO YOURSELF  TO YOURSELF UNDER YOUR BREATH HE MIGHT HEAR YOU.

He turns and looks at me.  I hope I wasn’t making strange strangled noises, I don’t think I was, but who really fucking knows?  His eyes meet mine and my face splits in an enormous smile and there was a moment of I-know-you-know-that-I-know-and-I-know-that-you-know-that-I-know and Ava said “Daddy!  something I didn’t catch.”

.

.

The cashier said “cash back?” and I stopped blinking. 
“That was Tom Delonge from Blink-182, you know.”
“Was it?”
“He’s kind of the only person that I don’t know that I totally care about.”
“You should catch him in the parking lot.  I’ll hold your stuff.”
“No ……. I don’t think I could do any better with words.”

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Chapter …. Ah, screw it.

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I’ve decided not to try to tell you the long backstory of the man who is now my boyfriend.

I’ve been trying to tell you all along really, and the fact that he’s now my man doesn’t mean the story of his life is really mine to tell.  I think I’d rather tell you about the now stuff anyway, because now I’m allowed to stick my fingers in his hair, and write him sappy love letters.  (Not at the same time, obviously.)

Look at us, in the same space. I'm not sure how to communicate how HUGE this is.

He lives in New York City, and I’m still here for awhile, so that sucks, but that’s only thing that sucks about us, everything else is magical and perfect and impossibly defiant of gravity.

We will be in love until we die and possibly longer, since my atoms love his atoms and atoms last virtually forever.   I know I’m tempting fate to say so, so boldly, but I’m ok with that.  Suck it fate.  I’ve got my man.

We might look like everyone else, but I can’t escape the idea that we’re going to DO something together, something every one will feel.  We might give birth to the AntiChrist, is all I’m saying.

Maybe not.  Maybe we’re not magic, maybe this is just a wickedly strong version of a normal phenomenon, like storms becoming hurricanes.  I don’t really care.  I’m just so goddamn happy.

It’s never what you’d think.

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When I was eleven, my dog Jubilee was put to sleep.  She was …. a bit overprotective.  Over the years she tried to protect me against a toy poodle, a passing car and then a horse … You get the idea.  She protected us right into a lawsuit.  But she had such soft ears, and she loved me.

They gave me her collar, and I hung it from a nail in the back of my closet.  I didn’t cry.  Not at the empty yard, not at her chewed up yellow food dish.  A few months later, I was rumaging for something at the back of my closet and bumped her collar.  The so familiar clink of her license tag hitting against her id tag set me suddenly sobbing.

I can still conjure up that little sound in my head.

I used to go to summer camp every year.  I have letters from the friends I made, I have tshirts signed with “Keep In Touch” and “Don’t Ever Change!”  I spent a fortune in film.  And nothing has ever ever conjured up the memories of that place like the day I was in a diner and I wiped a napkin across my face.  That napkin must have been the same brand as the kind used in that camp cafeteria.  Isn’t that just the strangest thing?  Napkins having a smell?  And yet suddenly I could remember the black metal chairs with the red padding, wondering if I’d have any mail from home…

I make it such a point to capture the moments when I’m truly happy.

That vacation in Hawaii?  I daily, faithfully stole hotel wifi to document it.  Post cards, that magnet on my fridge, that local handmade Christmas ornament.  And then one day dry skin has me rummaging in my travel bag and there’s that mostly empty lotion sample from the hotel.  One whiff and I’m back between those yellow walls, watchin my little brother practice magic tricks.

Sometimes I think souveniers are useless.  Memories pack themselves in your luggage, and unpack themselves when you least expect it.  When you most need it.

I was sorting my laundry tonight.

I’ve been cautious around anything baby related since my miscarriage.  Everyone warned me, and I think expected me to dissolve around Drea’s perfect little daughter, Audriana.  And I didn’t.  I’d given myself all the permission in the world to choke up around my pregnant friends and instead found myself only sharing their joy.

I almost wondered if I wasn’t a little bit cold.  Compartmentalizing my memories so neatly.

And then, tonight with the laundry, I was matching up pairs of socks.  And there was the black and blue pair of Betsy Johnson socks.  Sharp as the lightning bold down the back of the ankle was my memory.  Brady’s mother gave me these socks.  They were the first contact we ever had actually. 

Brady, newly armed with the knowledge that he’d accidently knocked up yours truely, got on a plane to visit his family for Christmas.  And when he told his mother, she scrambled to assemble a gift to send home.  She read my facebook page where I mentioned my love of cute socks and so on New Years Eve I found myself unwrapping some several pairs of glittery, outrageous socks.  I felt so overwhelmed, so welcomed into their big, loving family, suddenly a part of something much bigger.  I cried into them, my excuse at the time that I was pregnant and hormonal.

I cried over them again tonight.  I was thinking of all that was best of that wonderful phase in my life.  Funny that family was hiding in a pair of socks.

“Your body remembers,” she said.

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My therapist had remarked that it sounded as if there were suddenly a lot of babies and pregnancy in my social circle.  She sounded concerned.

I told her I felt encouraged by my interactions with pregnant friends.  That I DID think of Sadie, but that that thought wasn’t dominating my reactions, that I could feel the appropriate joy for my friends.

I haven’t forgotten, didn’t want to of course, but my emotional state seemed stable.

She smiled and told me not to lose that encouragement if the anniversary hit me hard.  “After all, your body remembers.  And it’s going to have to process that.”

I didn’t fully appreciate what she meant until I found myself suddenly sobbing, still feeling that year old sense of ….. bewilderment at how empty my arms felt, no matter how tight I clutched them around myself.

Signing off from the lobby

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I’ve worked here for six years, and loved it.

When I leave here today, I will be ending my employment with this company.

The company no longer exists as such.  A bank owns us now.  This bank has hired me to stay on here for a week or two, to field phone calls as our assets are sold off.  But I’ll be virtually alone in this building without all the people that made every day a joy to be here.

I keep telling myself that a loss is so often a launch, and I laugh at the truth that this is probably the only way I would ever have left this job.  I’m not so much worried for myself as heartbroken.  Perhaps Most likely better things are waiting but …..

…. I’ve been so happy here.

“What’s going to happen at Christmas, an outbreak of leprosy?”

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That’s a line from an old kids radio show that Jesse and I used to listen to as kids, an episode about a Thanksgiving gone horribly wrong.  It was also said a lot this past week and a half, as Buckman and I went through a series of insanely awful events.  As in, the hospitalization was not even the low point.

I’m not kidding.

(Quick background info.  Buckman hasn’t been able to find work here, and my company is floundering.  Between the long overdue paychecks and the expensive vet bills, my saving account won’t can’t cover me anymore, and so I gave notice to my apartment and told Jesse to clear the spare bedroom.  Buckman arranged to go back to DC.  Moving day was scheduled for last Sunday, and Buckman flies out tomorrow.)

I’ll start this tale of woe with the Weds before Thanksgiving.  I popped into my gyno’s office for what was supposed to be a painless procedure.  I left an hour later, in tears, minus a bit of my ladybits that I’d been rather attached to, which was taken from me without so much as a warning much less any sort of painkiller, by a device that resembled the lovechild of a fruit picker and a hole punch.  As a parting gift, I was also given a piece of paper which warned me to treat my vagina like a gift, as in Do Not Open Until Christmas.

Lovely.  Thanks.  You’re not my gyno anymore.

The next day, Thanksgiving, dawned bright and clear and Buckman puking his guts out.  By two in the afternoon he was delirious and the question was no longer “should I take him to the hospital?” it was, “how on earth am I going to carry him down three flights of stairs to the car?”

At one point the doctors where prepping him for surgery to remove his appendix, but eventually it was determined that he was suffering from gastroenteritis, which is essentially the experience of food poisoning, just with more pain.

I ate Thanksgiving dinner in the hospital cafeteria, and I’ll admit it.  I felt sorry for myself.  If only I’d known what I know now, I’d have been laughing like Buckman on painkillers.

After a failed attempt at Thanksgiving dinner for Buckman, in the form of cranberry juice from the nurses, I took him home.  He’d lost eight pounds that day.

Friday was a lovely bright spot in that week.  I left my dying cat and recovering Buckman to look after each other and watched my sweet Samantha marry Mickey, on a boat, in a full day extravaganza of food and dancing and food and did I mention food?  And more dancing.

Sometime in the night that night, Dulce yakked all over the bathroom rug.  Which was a delightful little surprise to find at three AM, when I joined her.  All of Sam’s carefully prepared goodies were seeking escape from my body, through any route possible.

Yes, it turns out gastroenteritis is contagious.

I crawled back to bed, only to find that Dulce was not going to be outdone in the sick department, and had thrown up there to.  I piled all the laundry by the door and slid in under another blanket.

I spent the next three days not packing and moving as planned, but meditating through the pain of stomach cramps, trying to hold down popsicles, and maintaining a quarantine of the apartment against wonderful helpful friends.

Come Monday, I could stand for short stretches of time, and I used this newfound power to drive Mau to the vet’s office to say goodbye.  I was too weak to dig his grave.   Buckman, Jesse and Bethany had to do it for me.

Did I mention my therapist just went on three weeks vacation?

Tuesday, now days past my moving date, I managed to box my things, and my wonderful friends all pitched in to help me pack.  In the middle of carrying down boxes, the fella I’ve been seeing, well …. he gave me reason to decide not to see him anymore.

We loaded up the car, and Angelica’s SUV.  And then her battery died.

I finally cracked.  I sobbed until Triple A showed up.  Somehow I managed to get through the rest of that night, get everything moved, and clean the apartment.  In hindsight I’m not even sure how.

Fast forward to today.  I’m alive.  The past few days have been a lot better because, well, they’d pretty much have to be.  Plus I can eat full meals now.  And I’m unpacked.  Rudolf enjoys playtime in the backyard, and Dulce’s starting to recover from the stress of the move.

I guess what I’m saying is, I think I’ll live.