savoring your sympathy

Chatted online with the love-of-my-life-of-the-nineties last night.  We’ll call him Bunny!  Anyway, for some reason it cheered me right the hell up.  And about an hour after he went to bed (because he’s old and married with a baby, the wuss) I realized I didn’t hurt so much anymore.  Somehow talking to Bunny gave me some perspective or something.  Or maybe it’s just nice to know that there are people out there who, despite the time that’s passed and all the shit we put each other through, still care about me.

Thanks, Bunny!

I feel it all

When I was 14 and had just started high school, I developed a crush on my brother’s best friend.  The feeling was mutual enough that we spent four days talking on the phone in the evenings and eating lunch together at school, and I, being young and being me, dreamed up a future for us that involved going to prom together four years in a row, which of course implied that we would be together for at least that long.  We weren’t even officially “going out.”  On the fourth evening, he told me he didn’t want to continue our little whatever-it-was.  When we got off the phone, I walked into my bathroom, fell to the floor and cried my eyes out.  I felt like someone had taken a giant melon-baller and scooped out my soul.  We had never even kissed.  If memory serves, we never even held hands.

My heart was broken.  It took six years for that particular wound to stop stinging.

What I’m trying to demonstrate with this rather embarrassing anecdote is that I tend to have very strong emotional reactions to things that other people could probably just shrug off.  To put it another way, I’m kinda crazy.

Looking back, I see how silly it all was.  I saw how silly it was at the time.  Here’s the thing, though: I didn’t want to be obsessed with this person.  I didn’t enjoy making an ass of myself when he was around.  I knew that it was irrational how hurt I was over what had happened.  I knew that it didn’t make any sense, that I should have been able to get over it, that it wasn’t the end of the world.  But I had never felt pain like that before, like when I was crying on the bathroom floor.

I have felt pain like that many times since.

Anyway, now I’m almost 29, and my heart is broken over a guy I haven’t been involved with for almost a year.  And it really feels sometimes like the fates or the gods or some mischievous imps are playing some sort of trick to keep him on my mind, to remind me how much the whole situation stinks.  I removed him from my instant messenger lists, deleted him from my Facebook friends, un-favorited his OkCupid profile and have strongly considered deleting his number from my phone.  Still these little things happen to constantly remind me.  And today is his birthday.

And, of course, there was last night’s conversation with that guy I was in love with when I was 20.  My relationship (such as it was) with K was very similar to the relationship I had with this other fellow, and so hearing that he was in love with me back then… well, it makes me feel like my soul’s been scooped out by a giant melon-baller.  And it makes me want to punch someone in the face.

Because my reactions are oversized, inappropriate, irrational, unwarranted and unwanted.  Because I fall in love so very easily, and so very hard.  And it crushes me and it sometimes takes me years to stop hurting.  Because hope might be the best of things or whatever, but it can also be a form of slow torture.  I don’t want to hope that K comes to his senses and realizes he loved me all along unless he realizes it really soon.  I don’t want to hope anymore.  I don’t want to care anymore.

I’m more than a little unbalanced, and because love is something I have difficulty being rational about, I have a feeling that K will never want me enough to be with me.  He told me he liked my enthusiasm.  He said he liked my intensity.  But those things are also, I’m sure, what scared him away from me.  Just like that boy in high school.  Just like that guy when I was 20.  I can’t love without trying to be absorbed by the other person and wanting to absorb them into me.  Without, as I like to put it, trying to eat their soul.  K will never want to be with me, so what I want now is to be ok with that.  I want to let it go, let him go, and move on.

Now that I have no choice but to be alone, I’m trying to want to be alone.  I’m trying to fix whatever is wrong in me so that I don’t continue the cycle of falling in love like dry grass catches on fire and then being left with the ashes where my heart used to be.  I’m trying to be good enough for myself so I don’t try to get other people to fill me up and make me whole.  I’m trying, and trying, and trying, and it just hurts and hurts and hurts.

So here’s a poem:

Oh Yes, by Charles Bukowski.

there are worse things than
being alone
but it often takes decades
to realize this
and most often
when you do
it’s too late
and there’s nothing worse
too late.

used to be one of the rotten ones, and i liked you for that

God Damn It.

About eight years ago I was in love with a boy.  For many, many reasons, we weren’t destined to be together for the rest of our lives.  But for one month, it was beautiful and pure and everything was wonderful and I was in love.  Most sincerely and wholeheartedly in love.

And it fell apart.  Like things do.

It took me… gosh… four years to get over him.  Four years of thinking about him when I didn’t want to think about him.  When my heart ached and I was sick of having an aching heart.  I just wanted to be over him.  I wanted not to care anymore.  Eventually my wish came true.

We’ve communicated some in the years that have passed.  Nothing too heavy.  I know where he’s living and which girl he’s with and what he’s doing for money.

He instant messaged me at 3am, and I was up, so we started talking.  And it seems he was in a sentimental mood.  And he told me he loves me and misses me which, ok, that’s a nice thing to hear.  An old friend misses me!

But then: God Damn It.

He told me that back then, all those years ago, when I loved him so purely, he loved me too.  He was young, he was stupid, he didn’t know what he was doing, but he was in love with me.

Oh, and he’s sorry for hurting me.

God damn it.

time makes you bolder

I had bad self-esteem my whole adolescence and, indeed, until a couple of years ago.  I think that’s fairly normal for women.  We don’t tend to like ourselves.  Too fat or too thin or my boobs are too small or whatever.

Look at what a fucking badass I was!  And I didn’t like myself.  I didn’t think I was pretty.  I must have been 20 or 21.  And I could hardly stand myself.  It was a bad time in my life.  These pictures were taken by someone I was desperately in love with at the time.  He messaged me tonight on Facebook and then sent me these pictures.  It’s weird to see myself so young and remember who I was back then.

I like myself much better now.

I made a decision about two years ago that I wasn’t going to talk bad about myself to myself anymore.  I wasn’t going to feel bad about my small boobs or my chubby belly or… whatever.  What had happened was that I found some photos of myself at 18, and I remembered how insecure I always was about my body/hair/face/teeth and… how stupid that was.  I had spirit, and it showed.  And whatever “flaws” I might have, well, this is the me that I’m stuck with.  I decided not to waste any more time despising myself.

I have good days and bad days.  I still think my tits could stand to be bigger.  And lord knows I could lose some weight.   But…  well…

I’m a badass.  And some people think I’m pretty cute.

You’re so fine, you blow my mind


Aren’t crushes on actors so silly?  I know, I know.  But, you see, this one’s worthy!  Oh yes.

I am trying to watch (500) Days of Summer, but I can’t.  Because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  He is so cool.  He is so dreamy.  Oh.

I also love Ze Frank, but he’s married, and that guy who played Archie Hicox but only as Archie Hicox and I have an unhealthy attraction to Gary Oldman who is way too old and also a conservative Republican.

But Joseph Gordon-Levitt is my age.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is boyishly handsome!  Joseph Gordon-Levitt can sing!  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is smart and lovely and and he seems to have depth!  So I can’t watch this stupid movie because I keep getting all flutter-hearted and having to turn it off.

I need to get a life.

and i start to complain, but there’s no rain

I live in a city famous for its dreary weather.

People always talk about the gray.  I moved here for the green.  When I first visited Portland in September, 2005, I’d driven up from California on a whim.  If you’ve ever done this drive, you know that you’re on Interstate 5 for a very, very long time.  From Carmel, CA to Portland is about 730 miles.  About 550 of those are I-5, and it is not always a beautiful drive.  Much of it is flat, dusty farmland, small nowhere-towns and miles and miles of seemingly endless asphalt.  Finally exiting the highway in Southwest Portland, I was suddenly surrounded by tall white trees which had yet to drop their abundant green leaves onto the streets below.  For the five days I was here on that first visit it only rained once and never got chilly.  The weather was nice enough to wander the city and visit the Japanese Garden in only a hooded sweatshirt.  I fell in love with this place.

So I moved here four months later and didn’t see the sun for three weeks.  It was an adjustment.  What I didn’t know at the time was that we were in the midst of a particularly nasty winter.  In the years since, I’ve learned the value of a parka, absorbed the fact that no self-respecting Portlander carries an umbrella (the wind ruins them) and nearly perfected the delicate art of driving in the rain, which takes not only skill but also great stores of nerve.  I also learned that there’s a particular beauty to a freezing-cold day, that there’s a sweetness in walking fast enough to warm up and maybe rewarding yourself with a hot cocoa for your trouble.  I’ve learned that the seasons, even the cold, grey seasons, are glorious and made more glorious by their contrast to one another.

On a clear day here, Mount Hood is visible to the east and St. Helens to the northeast.  On a warm day people flock downtown to the riverfront and laze on the banks of the Willamette.  Out of the city on 84 is the Columbia River Gorge which is the best place I’ve ever been to watch a sunset.  West about two and a half hours is the Oregon Coast, which is a stunningly beautiful sight even to someone who grew up spittin’ distance from the beach.  Go North the same distance and you’re in Seattle.

Yes, it rains all winter, through much of fall, well into Spring and sometimes even in summer.  And that is why we have such voluptuous rivers, internationally famous gardens and rolling green hills.  That’s also why we’re a booming agricultural area where the idea of sustainable local food isn’t just a pipe-dream, it’s a happy reality.  I feel better knowing where my meat, dairy and produce comes from.  Have you ever bought Tillamook cheese?  Well, I’ve been to Tillamook.

People talk about the rain, but people don’t talk about our gorgeous summers where it’s never too humid and seldom too hot and it stays light until ten at night and you can sit outside your favorite pub (there are, after all, some great pubs here) and drink fruity drinks until 2am.  Does no one notice?  Before I moved here, I never heard anyone talk about how the smell of clover and fresh-cut grass drifts through the air here in April and May, or how the leaves turn gold and red in October when the days are still, as often as not, warm.

This is the time of year, early spring, when the grass is growing again and the flowers are beginning to bud and while, yes, it’s raining today, it got up near 70 degrees yesterday.

We get less rain here annually, in inches, than New York, Boston, Atlanta, Miami or (get this) Houston.  Compared to where I’m from in California, sure, it’s rainy here.  Compared to other cities outside California and the Southwest, our rainfall is about average.

I visit California and its eternal springtime whenever I can.  On Christmas day, 2007, I drove up into the golden hills near my mother’s house and watched the sun sink down on a 75 degree day.  A few days later I flew back into Portland, and upon stepping off the plane into the freezing, damp air, I thought clearly and happily, “I’m home.”

I’m never alone, I’m alone all the time.

I’m hormonal.  I’m horny.  But I don’t really want to be touched.  I don’t want everything that comes along with being touched.  I don’t want someone else’s ego.  I don’t want someone asking me to stick around after, or asking if they can stay.  I don’t want to have to worry about someone else’s needs and whether they’re being met.  I want to be alone.  But I’m lonely.

There’s no fucking point trying to make a connection with someone who doesn’t make my heart soar.  Why try?  Until I find someone who really gets me in the gut, I don’t want to bother.  Only I’m not used to not having a someone.  I’m not used to being alone with myself.  Where’s my newest shiny distraction?  Since the last best one is gone.

Sometimes the best thing for everyone still sucks.

Don’t you hear the laughter on the way down?

I keep having sex dreams about exes.  I wake up in a tizzy.  Have managed to resist the urge to call said exes and try to make dreams come true.

Went to the Gap yesterday.  The Gap is where I find pants that fit.  Nowhere else can I consistently find pants that fit.  Pants shopping, no matter what size I am at the time, always makes me so frustrated I want to cry.  NOTHING EVER FITS RIGHT.  Ahem.  But, of course, at the Gap, I find pants that fit.  They make pants for my big ass, and for that, they’ve got themselves a long-term customer.

I’ve had this stupid sinus infection, and the sinus-unblocking drugs from the drugstore work pretty well but also make me verrrry sleeeeeeepy.  So I’ve been sleeping a lot.  But then I wake up at weird times like 4am and am awake until noon.  Today I woke up at 8!  Which is somewhat a normal time!  But every minute now is passing extremely slowly!  There is nothing to do at 8 in the morning on a Saturday!  Nothing I want to do, anyway.

It’s supposed to be warm and beautiful today.  It isn’t warm and beautiful yet.  Curses.

You say you want me, but I’ve got my doubts.

I had my reasons, and they were good ones.  I keep forgetting that.

It was almost a year ago that I sabotaged my relationship with K.  And I was thinking about it the other day, remembering how it all shook out and feeling bad for my behaviour, and then I remembered: I had my reasons, and they were good ones.

I have been wishing he wanted me back.  But now I remember why I acted like such a jackass: so that he would never want me back.  Never.  As in, not ever.  I’ve been blaming him for being cold-hearted, for not wanting to be friends, for not missing me.  But that was the plan, such as it was.  And it worked, so, hooray.


I ended things, or made him end things, however you want to look at it, for a very good reason.  Our relationship needed to end.  Not be put on hold– I could have done that myself.  I didn’t need space or time to think.  I needed to be rid of K.  I needed him to never want to be with me in that way ever again.  And it worked.

Hooray.  Ow.

Please be, save me

So I’m thinking maybe I should try being alone for awhile.

I haven’t spent any real length of time not chasing after some boy or another, or in a relationship, since I was 15 years old.  And while I’ve spent the past two years resolutely single, I’ve dated.  I’ve chased.  I’ve pined and obsessed and all that nonsense, and I need a damned break.

And since nobody compares to K, and since I haven’t stopped pining and obsessing, and since he wasn’t mine in the first place and ain’t ever coming back in any case, maybe I should stop chasing after boys until I find one who makes me feel like he did.  Maybe I should hold out for someone who makes me feel like a better person when I’m around him.

We’ll see how long I can hold out.  I make no promises.