Self-Indulgent Drivel

naked on the internet

Category: my heart is full of sad

It’s just me and my dog…

Mom asked if I’d take our dog, Lily, for a walk tonight.  I was wearing shoes and Mom wasn’t, and I never really mind getting  out and seeing the stars, so I agreed happily.

But we couldn’t find the leash.  It’s one of those nice, retractable ones, and it’s hot pink, so it should have been easy to spot.  But it just wasn’t there.  Mom went digging through a cabinet and found something that would do: Sam’s old leash.

Sam was the first dog I ever had, the only other dog I’ve had.  We got her when I was eight, when my family was living on a ranch in Hollister.  I think I must have named her, because “Samantha” seems like the kind of thing an eight-year-old girl would name a puppy.  She was a mutt, apparently part Husky and mostly Question-Mark, and she had the coloring of a German Shepherd, but the coarse hair of a Lab.  She weighd about 50 pounds and was good at responding to verbal commands.  You could walk her without a leash.  She had the softest ears I’d ever felt.  I called them “velvet ears.”  She got stinky when she didn’t have a bath for awhile.  Sometimes we’d let her wander the neighborhood, and I had a special way of calling her, almost a song.  “Sa-MAAAAAAAAN-thaaaa.  C’mere, c’mere puppy!  Saaaaaa-mmmmy!”  And she’d always come, and you could hear the fast beat of her paws seconds before you’d see her.

She was a damned good dog, was Sam.

She got old and she died.  She was a shell of herself by the time she finally went.  I was maybe 23 when I got a call saying that Sam had died.  By that point, she wasn’t fun anymore.  I hadn’t really cared about her in years, if we’re being honest.  She was more a stinky, incontinent burden than anything else.  And she just made me so sad, seeing her so old and feeble when she’d been the best dog a kid could hope for.  It was a relief when she finally died.

I hadn’t really thought about Sam for a long time until my mom pulled that leash out of the cabinet tonight.  And I attached it to the collar of my spunky little Lily-Pie, my sweet puppy who doesn’t always come when called, who you can’t even think of walking without a leash, and I thought about my first dog,  my Sammy.  And I remembered what a good dog she was, what a sweet dog, and how much I loved her.

And now I’m crying harder than I’ve cried in months.

Damned dog.

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How to fight the loneliness

I feel like crap today.  Here are some things  I do (and you can do!) to not feel quite so crappy.

  1. Make sure to keep eating, even if you don’t want to.  Even if it’s something small, make sure you put nutritious food in your belly.
  2. Get out of the house, even if it’s just to go to the store.
  3. If you think of something that might help, no matter how silly, try it.
  4. Find ways to distract yourself.  Books and music both help.  TV just numbs you, but maybe that’s what you need.  Try a book first.
  5. Remember that this too shall pass.  There have been good days, this just isn’t one of them.
  6. Don’t mope around with gross hair and dirty sweatpants.  Get ready for life, even if you don’t have anything planned.
  7. Do something indulgent.  Take a bath, take a walk, take a nap.  Treat yourself a little bit.
  8. Don’t sit around eating carton after carton of ice cream or whatever.  But feel free to eat a small bag of M&Ms or a reasonable portion of another treat.
  9. Get in touch with friends, just to say hello.
  10. Keep breathing.  Sometimes that’s all you can do.

a.l.t.a.w.u.t.b.f. PART DEUX

As an addendum to my last post, because I feel it needs to be said:

I certainly wasn’t all peaches and sunshine, either.  I am not blameless.  “Amy” is not, as far as I know, a bad person.  Ok?

a long time ago, we used to be friends

[I’ve done my best, but this whole thing sounds, well, pretty damned petty and high-school-ish.  I think that suits the story, though, so I’m done editing myself.  Names have been changed.]

I met Amy when I was a freshman in high school.  She was a sophomore, and I practically worshiped her.  She just had this air of cool about her, even though she wasn’t one of the popular crowd. She sat behind me in Biology, and we had a mutual friend, Hannah, so I got to know her pretty well before the year was over.  I never stopped thinking she was awesome.

Some of my best memories of high school are of hanging out with Hannah and Amy, although Hannah moved to Los Angeles after my freshman year.  Still, whenever Hannah visited, the three of us were tight.  And when she wasn’t around, it was Amy and I.  My junior year in particular, we spent every lunch period together, we formed our own club, hung out on weekends, dabbled in lesbianism…  high school stuff.

I broke up with my high school sweetheart right after Thanksgiving my senior year.  I was really broken up about it, because I’d thought he was the love of my life and we were going to get married and have babies, etc.  A couple months later, my dad was going on a business trip to L.A., and I convinced him to give Amy (who’d been away at college) and me a ride down to see Hannah.  When we got there, I was thrilled to be around my two best friends, and I (apparently) talked an awful lot about how upset I was that My One True Love and I had broken up.  I was told later that I talked constantly, no matter what else Hannah and Amy were trying to do or talk about.

Looking back, yeah, that sounds like me.  But my heart was broken, and I hadn’t seen either of them in awhile, and I had a lot on my mind.  So I talked.  A lot.  Whatever.

I didn’t see Hannah for three years after that, and I didn’t see Amy for a year and a half.  Such was their disgust at my behavior.  Neither of them told me why they were shunning me, they just wouldn’t call me back or see me at all.

When I finally ran into Amy again, it was because the boy she was dating had been in a play with my mother, and the cast party was at my house.  She didn’t  know that she was coming over here until they got to the door, basically.  I believe the first thing I said when I saw her was “YOU BITCH!!!”  But we hugged, and everything was ok, and we were friends again.  She told me the reason for her absence from my life, and although I didn’t think it was fair… well, if she was willing to forgive, so was I.

The next summer, when I was 20, I decided to take a trip to London.  I invited two of my cousins, a childhood friend, and Amy, and offered to buy everyone’s tickets. She resisted.  She said she wasn’t sure she could stand to hang around with me for two weeks straight.  That should have told me something.  But I insisted, she came along, and I did drive her nuts.  On her free trip to London.  Whatever.

That fall was a rocky one for me and Amy.  She did some shit I wasn’t too impressed by, I slept with a boy she had a crush on, and so we weren’t on great terms for awhile.  But the friendship puttered on, we made peace, things were ok even if we weren’t quite as close as we once were.  And a couple of years went by and I started noticing, again, that Amy wasn’t returning my calls.  She’d gotten her cosmetology license, so I saw her when I wanted a haircut or to have my eyebrows done, but we weren’t really hanging out anymore.  And then she moved to Portland without telling me, and I was a little sore about that, but I figured that we’d grown apart.  It happens.

When I moved to Portland, I made an effort to see her.  We hung out maybe ten times in four and a half years, if you count the times I had her cut my hair.  I went to one of her birthday parties, she came to one of mine.    It all seemed friendly enough.  I was sad about the distance between us, but sort of relieved too.  And here’s why:

I spent ten years of my life trying to make Amy like me as much as I liked her.  I’m really embarrassed about it now.  She didn’t want to come to London, even though I paid her way.  I had to talk her into it.  She’d written me off twice and hadn’t said why until later.  I was always chasing her.  I’d called her my best friend for years, and I don’t think she’d ever felt that way about me.  Yet I kept trying.  It was exhausting.

So…

I went to a club tonight where my old friend Julian was DJing.  He bought me a drink at the bar, and we got to talking about Amy.  Apparently she came down here for a visit recently, and said the reason we weren’t friends anymore, from her end anyway, was that I’d embarrassed her with old stories at my 27th birthday party.

Unless my memory fails me, which it seldom does, she never said anything to me about it.

I drove home tonight near-tears, thinking about this.  Even though I gave up years ago on Amy and I ever being close again, it made me feel like shit to know that she’d dropped me once again without ever having the courtesy to tell me why. I’m sure I did tell some old stories at that party, I was drunk and made an ass of myself that night.  And I am really sorry if I made her feel bad by flapping my jaw like I did.  But I wish that someone I’ve known for half my life would have told me about it instead of just writing me off.

Maybe I was a shitty friend.  At times, I’m sure I was.  Demanding, high-maintenance, bitchy, often drunk, a whole lot to take.  Ok, I get it.  But I think I also went out of my way to be a good friend to her when she’d let me.  I’m sure I managed to fuck up a lot in the last 15 years.  But I think I deserve(d) better than to be tossed out, like all the good times, and there were a lot of them, meant nothing.

It upsets me now to think of how she’s the most striking example of a very bad habit of mine: my self-destructive tendency to throw myself at people, hoping something will stick.  I am a faithful and persistent friend, even when it kills me.  And I’m astonished by how dense I can be when it comes to the indifference/ambivalence of the people I love.  It breaks my silly heart.

I don’t want to be that way anymore.

I should probably also work on the telling horrifying stories at parties thing, but, y’know, one step at a time.

and i don’t believe in god, so i can’t be saved

I wish I were a Christian, because then I could believe that God has a plan for me.

you wreck me baby, yeah you break me in two…

…but you move me, honey.  Yes you do.

About two years ago I had just gotten out of a yucky four-year-long relationship.  I sold the engagement ring, cut off all my hair, and got a tattoo.  And then I met K.

He didn’t want a girlfriend.  He didn’t want anything serious.  He certainly didn’t want to be monogamous.  He made it clear that I wasn’t to get carried away.

But I fell head-over-heels, ass over tea kettle.  Mind over matter?  Anyway, I was crazy about him.  He really didn’t seem to mind.

But, again, he didn’t want anything serious.  Well, hell, neither did I!  It was great to have someone in my life who wasn’t trying to, as I like to put it, eat my soul.  We enjoyed each other’s company, and then we went home.  We saw each other about twice a week, on average, for a year.  And it was lovely except when it really wasn’t lovely at all.

*sigh*

He was more Clark Kent than Superman, more Edward Norton than Brad Pitt.  But his kisses made me walk into walls.  The way he smelled drove me crazy.  I’m convinced his skin secretes an addictive chemical.  And like any worthwhile addiction, it was fantastic when it was good and achingly awful when it was bad.

“…it’s like the sun shines on you, and it’s glorious. And then he forgets you and it’s very, very cold.”  -from The Talented Mr. Ripley

His smile is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.  Especially when he was smiling at me.  These past couple of weeks, when I’ve been missing him, that’s what I’ve missed the most.  That smile.  How much we used to laugh.  Dimples and crooked teeth, and a gleaming glint of a sparkle in his eyes.

When I said his kisses made me walk into walls, I wasn’t kidding.  I’d lose my sense of balance and direction and just… stumble.  Dead sober, even.

I have never in my life loved anyone the same way I loved him.  I might not ever love anyone like that again.  And I’m wondering how to live with that.

Ten months ago we stopped seeing each other.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault, and if we have to assign blame, it would probably fall on me.  I behaved rather horribly and while it seemed necessary to cause a ruckus at the time, I regret it now.

He never loved me, you see.  He says he doesn’t know if he’s ever loved anyone in that way.  So here’s me ridiculously in love with him, and he’s– what’s a good word– ambivalent?  indifferent?  heartless?– not in love with me, anyway.  So after a year of this, I thought, well FUCK, Folsom, it’s been a year.  If he doesn’t love me by now, he isn’t gonna ever love me.  It isn’t going to change.  This will always feel horribly lopsided.

I once said I’d not only give him a kidney, but I’d tear the fucking thing out myself if I had to.  While this was an exaggeration, I’m pretty sure he didn’t feel anything similar for me.  He always paid for my drinks, but that’s not the same thing.

So it had to end.  And I wasn’t strong enough to end it myself, so I acted wretched so he’d have to end things.  Every time I had tried to walk away, I found that I couldn’t.  I loved him too much.  I was addicted to his skin, his smile, his company.  But I knew he’d have a much easier time letting go of me, so I made it real easy for him to walk away.  And by Gosh, he did.

We went out for drinks a couple of times in the months after that, and it was painful, but I enjoyed seeing him.  It was almost like old times, minus the naked, sweaty aspects of our former relationship.  It was nice.  We laughed.  We smiled.

I haven’t seen him in about six months now.  He got himself a bonafide girlfriend and doesn’t want to see me anymore.

I would give a kidney to see him again.  If I had to, I’d even tear it out myself.

Not really.

But I might be willing to buy my own drinks this time.