eleven am, first day back at the fruit. after two months, i'm back in a cubicle on a saturday morning, wearing a headset. i've waded through hundreds of emails, and i'm listening to thom yorke's the eraser. my coffee sits next to me in my trusty red mug. already, my fingers are finding their way around codes and procedures that i thought i'd forgotten. amazing how quickly the brain reboots to work mode. these two months never passed. here i am, just like always.
i'm rubbing my eyes now. i'm back in the world of productivity and bottom lines. i'm a responsible adult again.
and it's all okay. i know what i'm doing and i'm good at what i do.
here i go.
puking! puking nothing but the flu medicine i took at 5:30!
this really blows, man.
SICK! chills and fever and ache, on my.
this is was not on the itinerary.
who will leave the living room alpha dog? and who will just be the bitch? you decide!
*video is actually longer than 0.00 seconds.
a. get up early.
b. bring coffee to kevin.
c. go for a bike ride with said kevin at shelby bottoms park.
a. woke up at 11:30, when marlei brought--to my bedside!-- tea and toast on an elegant breakfast tray.
b. visited jenna and trevor, who at least live near shelby bottoms park.
c. ate indian food with kevin instead of riding bikes.
i was very excited to take snapshots and video (coming soon) of darling liam, who is no longer a newborn, but a full fledged squealy, own-head-supporting baby. and to think, he was only born may 2. such maturity.
i'd like to think that i got a few good shots this afternoon, but my camera battery was dying, and i did not bring a spare, damnit! and so, the quality of the photos suffered. hence the graininess that i usually try to avoid at all costs.
that aside, you must go see this handsome munchkin (and all the other photos featuring kevin and his wieners).
tonight was old times reinvented. after kevin and i enjoyed too much food at a restaurant called sitar, we headed over to bongo for a cup of coffee. soon, none other than my long lost brian reed showed up to hang out awhile. i got to hug his neck and pat his handsome head. tomorrow, we're going to have lunch and play bocce!! (yes, i had to google the correct spelling.) good lord, i've missed that guy.
later, marlei and i had a cocktail at jacksons and enjoyed girly existential conversation, just like always. and then her bill called from across the street at boscos, so we paid the check and joined him, along with many folks from the cast of faith/doubt. however, the party was clearly over as soon as we showed up (coincidence?), and so the three of us decided we'd have a night cap elsewhere.
elsewhere turned out to be jacksons again. and, of course, we had the same waiter again. i shrugged when he did a double take. he giggled. he has my tattoo on his arm. and his name is dan. good waiter. i highly recommend him.
ah, so now it's 2:30 am, and somehow i doubt i'll be awake in time for church at NINE EFFING O'CLOCK. what has gotten into those episcopalians anyway? back in my day, it was acceptable to saunter in at 11:30, and you'd only have missed the opening hymn, which was usually really boring and melodyless.
ahem. anyway. goodnight, world. and enjoy today's contribution to my roadtrip photodocumentary.
it's another day in nashville, tennessee, which began slowly enough with poptarts for breakfast before meeting kevin at mccreary's for lunch. on a whim, we decided to go see clerks2, which was surprisingly fantastic.
afterward, i went back to marlei's to rest before getting hottied up to go to the opening night of a play called faith/doubt. i'd brought hottie-up clothes, but when i pulled up the pants i just bought in may, they did not fit. naturally, this catastrophe threw me into a hormone-induced tailspin. my hair sucked. i had to dress ridiculously casual. i felt like the frumpy tshirt friend with whom you never want to be seen in public. i was that drab and suddenly obese.
and so i cried awhile, of course. and i called helen and cried to her. i have a migraine. i have cramps. i want to come home! she helped me buck up like she always does, and kevin, marlei, and i thoroughly enjoyed faith/doubt, which is a collection of nashville's own stories of faith and doubt woven into a beautiful narrative.
seriously, though, i don't know what my problem is. i'm here, in nashville, surrounded by people i love so much, and my heart is enormously achy. so much so that i guiltily feel like driving home immediately, if only to hide under the covers of my own bed.
kevin was so kind and attentive to me tonight. we enjoyed a late night dinner at boscos, before heading back to his place to play with his pups awhile. (schmelen, i took photos of the dachshunds.) we lazily sat over beers and good conversation, and i was able to relax and simply be here for a moment or two.
now, it's one in the morning, and charley is sacked out on my foot. the night is drizzly and cool, and i am so ready for the wave of sadness and panic to pass over my head while i sleep.
may i wake up tomorrow without a migraine, and with a lighter heart.
in that need, i put all the faith i can muster tonight.
yeah, so it's thursday, not friday. maybe i need some more sleep.
friday afternoon, and i'm enjoying a bit of time at bongo java, one of my old haunts. it's indescribably wonderful to sit at this place where i have so much history--dates, intense conversations with friends, cramming for midterms and finals--and simply have the freedom to enjoy myself, and be by myself.
and holy oh my goodness, batman, there is a breeze on this porch! there is rain in the forecast! sweet relief, how i knew you would come.
meanwhile, there is always an adjustment period whenever i come to nashville, although it was different when i was here with helen in may. there is simply so much of my life here that i left behind when i moved, and when i throw myself back into this place, i experience some emotional dizziness in the transition from present to past and bringing the two together.
as i left marlei's house this afternoon, the fog was thick in my head. driving down familiar roads, everything felt foreign. am i really here? did i drive thirteen hours yesterday? nothing felt real but the shifting of gears. and then, the fog suddenly lifted, and nashville became familiar again. there's my old street. that's where i got my first speeding ticket. oh, i remember when this happened in that neighborhood. i'm here! i'm here!
and here i am. i live in austin; it is my home. i love my life there. and i am free to return to nashville, because it is home too. i have my cake, and it is rich and excuisite, as i savor small bites.
ah, it's good to be back. i promise to allow myself the room and grace to be present this week, come what may.
after three redbulls, two beef jerkies (shared with charley), and one whataburger, i have arrived in nashville safely. actually, i'm in franklin at the moment, but that's of no consequence, really. already, i've had a beer with marlei and kevin. and then the shaky exhaustion hit me after driving thirteen effing hours...and now i'm in bed.
charley's not sure what to make of all of this. i imagine that the car ride was pretty boring for her, as she kept sighing and sleeping. crossing the mississippi was a big deal, though, as was seeing a bus on fire in memphis. other than that, it was sleeping and beef jerky.
now, she's curled up with me, but is full of nervous energy. why are we at marlei's house? where are moe and lucy? why aren't we at home? who are these dogs and why must they pay attention to you? don't they know i'll turn into snarly charley and try to bite them?
calling all poor drivers in texass, arkansass, and tennassee: stay home.
me and my girl charley are hitting the road in just a few moments.
so last night, i dreamt of my father. i have dreams about him from time to time, and the context usually works one of three ways.
1. he is the silent guardian type of guy, watching as i encounter something hard or bad. once, i dreamt that fred phelps chased me all the way home like a bully, cornering me on my own porch. dad stood behind the screen door, and didn't say a thing. i found my bravery and eloquently defended myself while effectively dismissing his bullshit theology.
2. i'm an adolescent again, yelling at him for being dead. the vibe is usually one of "now who's gonna give me a ride to the mall?"
3. i'm utterly confused by the fact that he's alive when i know he's dead. and he's utterly confused by the fact that i keep telling him he died. "but i'm right here," he usually says. and i nod my head in disbelief: dead people are clueless about their mortality.
anyway, last night was more of a fictionalized family dream. i was a child and an adult simultaneously, and was learning, for the first time, the real story about my dad. that he left my mother in 1964 without a word. he simply disappeared for years. the only clue as to his disappearance was a demo tape he left on the lawn. he'd recorded something, elvis-style, that he'd written. the song was an ode to the new york times crossword, and the secret messages therein. it was a really crappy song, honestly, but it kept my mother going in the years of his absence. she spent twenty years or so looking for clues in the song, anything to give a hint of where her husband had gone.
so then, the mystery was solved when my father came back on the scene just before i was born. apparently, he didn't remember that he had a wife and children, and no one knew where he'd been or what he'd been doing, but my mom had to fly to oregon to bring him home. as the dust finally settled, rumors began to surface that he had another family somewhere. and that he'd had a successful music career.
and then i woke up.
the strangest part of the dream was that i was not even in it, really. i was simply listening to no one in particular tell this story. and i sat back and watched it like a flashback.
oh, but what does it mean???
this might just be the clip you need to start your morning RIGHT! forget the caffeine, forget the wheaties.
simply dance with this dude:
i'm sweating so badly today that i've got moist spots underneath my boobies. this is never good.
also, beer is not necessarily good in such heat, either.
so, today is monday, and did i mention it's hot???? i'm sitting at the green muse with chris and gregg, and our laptops. and even though i'm an avid smoker, we had to relocate ourselves inside the airconditioned cafe. [you can't smoke inside any austin establishment.] i've traded my beer for iced tea, and my shoulders are sticking to the back of a leather couch.
where can a girl get some relief?
nashville is where.
so it's just as hot there, and probably as humid, but i'll have a/c a la sylvia the hyundai all through texas, and arkansas, and tennessee. and then, i'll have marlei and kevie and alll the rest. i'll require them to fan me incessantly, and there will be much merriment in the imbibing of pale ales.
see you wednesday, nashville. wish me luck in the long ass drive. hopefully i won't get eaten by a wild something in arkansas.
My three years on Effexor were a nightmare of anxiety, sexual dysfunction, mania, and sleep deprivation. Even with the help of Prozac to counteract withdrawals as I tapered off the drug, I experienced a long period of vertigo, migraines, and panic. No one who is being treated for bipolar or depression should have to suffer MORE from the drug that is supposed to bring relief. Shame on Wyeth for not fully disclosing the risks.
you may remember that i wrote a post yesterday, wherein i was quite excited and high from the eureka moments i experienced in staying up all night.
i was blissful. so much so that i pulled out the dusty flat iron, and did my hair! that's right. my hair is long enough to do such things to it. also, i allowed vanessa to photograph me in a booby tanktop, playing my guitar, badly. she makes me look like a guitar player, however, because of her skills of an artist.
and ginger came over, and we rocked the stifling afternoon with bloody marys and wine, the latter of which i drank too much. of course. everyone knows i wouldn't touch a bloody mary (b.m.) with a 10 foot pole.
naturally, my manic, loud self annoyed an equally sleep deprived helen, who was only awake so early yesterday for schoolful reasons. she retreated to the green muse for a very long time. and i had to apologize with tail between my legs. yes. i was loud. you were sleeping. i am sorry.
night fell once again, and though i was beyond exhausted, i couldn't fall asleep. brain was on. mind was racing. tummy was grumbly. and so i munched on some crackers and hummus, chatted with vee and lawrence, and played with my pictures.
as one o'clock came around, one of my nostrils stopped working. oh no. not a cold. it's too hot for a cold, i thought. so i went to bed. and slept for a very long time.
now, it's thursday afternoon. i can breathe, but i've got a fever. and my eyes burn. ah, crap.
let this be a public service announcement: eight hours' sleep, every night, is conducive to good health. skipping a night may result in languishing with a cold in one hundred degree heat.
(but i'm still gonna write that book.)
whew. what a night. before helen went to bed at 10, she joked, "you'll probably be going to bed when i get up at 4." she was right. i was still awake at 4, and woke her up and made her tea. we smoked cigarettes on the porch before the sun came up, and the clouds were moving fast across the sky. "what a weird morning" we sighed.
so why was i up until 8 am this morning? i blame it on marlei. okay, not really. but after writing her bloggy birthday card, i found myself back in time, immersed in my own archives. i have not read back in a long time. i started at the beginning: 2002, as i was about to leave my cushy job with every intention to wake up as a real writer in ireland. and then i came back, and it was 2003, and my world was turned upside down. i came out then, but not out loud on the blog, for a bazillion different reasons. i was afraid: of losing friends and jobs and readers. i was afraid of condemnation via internet trolls. i was afraid to be a publicly lesbian christian writer girl. (god help me if someone googled those exact words.)
last night, i encountered myself again in that dualistic place, trying desperately to find the balance between my increasingly public sexuality and my suffering faith. i wept in memory of that nomansland, and how lost i felt. on the blog, i wrestled to maintain a hopeful voice. i left my struggles ambiguous and universal. however, in my journals, my voice was wavering, and my words were more about anger and fear and hopelessness. that duality nearly killed me. and in order to save myself, i attempted to sew together the disconnected parts: the hope with the hopelessness. the fear with the bravery.
"the struggle is not worth your life," i was once told by a wise redhead. and it's true. there is freedom in telling the truth and letting go of the fear that you will be disowned for it. there is still estrangement, to be sure, but so much more room to stretch and yawn, and say good morning to myself. here i am. still in the thick of that cloud of unknowing, but it's not all-consuming anymore.
i am living the truth in love. i am sussing out the truth from the rhetoric. and so i stayed up all night, reading my own story. four years later, i clearly see that i have been on a path. a real and righteous path. i couldn't see then. i was an israelite spending unnecessary time in the desert, i thought. but now i see that it's simply a labyrinth i'm walking. into the center and back out again.
i told amber earlier today that i am so relieved to see the wall of storm behind me. it's still rumbling in the background, but this big one has passed. and i'm still standing.
as i re-enter the world of academia and constant writing, i want to remember the story of a girl trying to be who she is in a world that says she could never be whole. or holy. it should not be so. it should not be so excruciating. i am committed to casting my little stones into the pond. i've been collecting them for years. and i've got them in my pockets. i'm readying.
okay, so the story of our week in houston is turning out to be quite visual, eh? it's not that i am lazy; it's just that the following videoclip is priceless.
flibbity, i thought of you the whole karaoke-filled evening.
i shot this with my digital camera, so i apologize in advance for the quality. but, if you squint, you may be able to see the prompter screen behind mister asian sinatra. as he sings "my way", the inspiration video shows clowns in some sort of altercation. it was absurdity at its finest. enjoy!
tenemos una campeon nueva: Â¡italia!
this afternoon, a newly emancipated helen and i decided we had to see superman returns tonight, if only to do something in celebration of the completion of her first summer term. martini joe happened to be outside as she let out the pups before we left, and he decided he'd like to go too.
and so the three of us packed into the car, and headed over to the alamo, where we would be guaranteed draught beer, and good food, as we enjoyed the movie.
as the opening credits rolled, and the john williams familiar theme kicked in all strings and brass, my chest tightened. my eyes welled up with nostalgia and ache. after all, it's superman! i grew up on these movies. by age four, i had joined the legion of children around the world who sported oversized towels tucked into collars. i jumped from high places with arms confidently in front of me, hands balled into hopeful fists. standing at the top of our house's fifteen stairs, i even prayed that jesus make me be able to fly. after all, by faith, i could have whatever i ask, right? kenneth copeland told me so.
ask the members of the legion if you're not sure how my prayers were answered: bruised knees and a cape confiscated by my mother. the seed of doubt was planted in me, too. why could i not move things with my mind like luke skywalker? why could i not fly? why could i not raise roadkill from the dead?
oh, but i forgot my doubt when i watched christopher reeve do his thing. i watched the first two movies everytime they were on cable, which seemed to be every day in the mid eighties. i rooted for the love affair with margot kidder. i got all twitchy down there when they finally hooked up in the fortress of solitude. i had dreams of being superman cuddled up with lois lane in that fancy silver waterbed.
all of these fantastic memories came back to me as i watched superman returns. brandon routh is no christopher reeve, but he's on his way to becoming this generation's viable superman. kate bosworth is no margot kidder, but i still rooted for them, even though james marsden seems to be a martyr of a perfect boyfriend.
anyway, i found myself weeping through much of the movie. silly? sure. but why was i weeping at all? definitely, the absence of my father's running commentary of the movie was palpable, especially with martini joe, who is so much like him, seated next to me. (my dad always had something to say about what made gene hackman such a great lex luthor, or how that christopher reeve kid was going places.) the majestic score woke up the wonderment i used to experience every time i watched the earlier films: that i was a hero, i was important, and if i tried hard enough, i could probably even fly.
it's been nearly six hours since i left the theatre. my heart rate has slowed back to its mundane pace. but i still think i shed a few "important" tears, as opposed to just getting sappy over a long lost childhood movie character. the consensus? my long-dormant memories are more than snapshots of a baseball and apple pie childhood. when it came down to the simplest of matters, i put my whole being into the essence of the superhero: i truly trusted jesus to make me fly someday. i was attracted more to lois than superman, and knew even then that such an attraction was wrong. and so i quickly changed my story from i want to be with lois lane to i want to be her.
it took nearly twenty years, but i got to sit near my own lois lane at the movie tonight. and i may not be able to fly, but i do have my driver's license.