Wednesday, December 21, 2005

from now on our troubles will be out of sight 

Today is the first day of winter. But, O, it has been winter in my heart for some time now.

S. called on Friday and we made plans to see each other on Saturday.(!)He came to my work and waited for me to close up shop.(!!) He told me that he loved me so much, had loved me from the moment he met me, but truly was not able to handle the whole three-kids thing. He said that just wasn't how he imagined his life turning out and he needed to let me go. We decided if it was our last night, we wouldn't leave things left unsaid. We danced, we cried, we held each other. If you are going to have One Last Night with someone, I would recommend that one.

So it's kind of okay. I miss him like crazy, and it sucks that the hurdle we can't get over is one that is so impossible to fix (what am I to do about my kids? I can't exactly make them disappear) but at least it isn't something about me intrinsically, and at least I know that whatever the outcome, he always felt the same as I did. I was right all along about him. And it may be over and it may have been difficult and frustrating and doomed, but I was truly loved. It was real.

And so that will have to be enough right now.

He told me that in his perfect world, I would have met him first and I would be having his babies right now. Brea kind of took exception to this, she thought it sounded arrogant, but I know what he means. He told me once that he was looking for the girl who would change his life, and I think I did, if not in the way he thought.

I wished that night would last for days, that the gods would stop the sun in its tracks to give us time, like when Ulysses returned to Penelope.

I went to a work party last night, and as I walked in, one of the guys said, "Hey! Where's your boyfriend?" and I almost turned around and walked out again. Saturday when he was there I'm sure my feet were two feet off the floor. I had caught S. staring at me while I did my paperwork. He said he'd never really seen me concentrating on something before. I guess it doesn't make sense to tell about it but it warmed me.

So, goodbye, S. Via con Dios. Thank you for everything you said and the way you made me feel and the way you were powerless to stop yourself from loving me. I hope you get everything you want and I hope you are happy and I hope you find another girl who makes you believe you could be loved.

Pman and Alex and I decided yesterday that when I move out, I'm moving out alone. The kids are going to live with their dads. I have so many feelings about this that I'm not sure where to begin. If I took the kids I would have to work 23 hours a day to keep body and soul together. It makes me feel like such a bad mommy that I would even consider it. But I've been a stay-at-home mom for six years now, so I guess I can take six months off for school, at least enough time to get myself settled and find out if this is the career for me. I can't waitress forever. Thank heavens my kids have dads who will step up, who will give me the gift of time and space and allow me to not have to be totally and solely responsible for my kids 24/7. And no one would bat an eye at this situation if I were a dad instead of a mom. It might be nice to be the fun parent instead of the taskmaster for once, to get to know my kids as individuals instead of always shepherding them as a group, and to enjoy them rather than cleaning up their messes for a while.

But I still feel really guilty.

And no, I'm not really feeling the whole Christmas thing right now. The idea of Christmas is mostly making me feel despair right now.

But today is the first day of winter, the shortest, darkest day of the year. Maybe despair is the appropriate thing to feel today, because maybe tomorrow will feel a little brighter. It can only get sunnier from here, right, guys?

And if I don't see you before then, Feliz Navidad, y'all.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

think of all the fellas that i haven't kissed 

Greetings and salutations. Welcome to the S-blog. Don't think I don't realize that the only knitting content on this blog for the past three months is the scarf I knit for him.

But you've stayed with me this far--aren't you dying to see how it turns out? Me too.

I have forgiven him for the unforgiveable thing. By the way, it wasn't another woman. Be serious. And I guess we shouldn't write this thing off until one of us marries someone else, or dies, or gets fed up and runs off with the Merchant Marines. Here's what happened:

(Background info: I've found a new sidekick/drinking buddy, and he has a terrifying ability to egg me on, which is precisely what I need, right?)
So I went over there last night (Don't ask, you know I'm weak. Don't question me.) and after a few hours of fighting and tears, we decide to call it a night. He is adamant that we will never be together again. It dawns on me that perhaps I was a little hasty in stringing him up for The Transgression, and maybe I should work on that whole shoot-first-ask-questions-later thing. It's five in the morning. He asks me to please stay. I'm already half-asleep, but I'm babbling on (I'm one of those people who talks until they literally fall asleep. Teddy does it, too. It's hilarious.) about That Night and some of the things I was trying to tell him then. I was talking about how neither of my husbands have really been dancers, although they've occasionally made efforts with varying degrees of success, and how lonely I've been over the past eight years, feeling like I've never had anyone to dance the slow dances with, and he leaps out of bed. I'm all, and where the fuck are you going?

He turns on the light. He starts shuffling through his CDs. He starts playing the Dire Straits' "Romeo and Juliet," which I know he thinks is the finest rock ballad of all time (I know a few people who agree with him, actually.) He climbs across his king-size bed (He has this massive bed in this wee little studio apartment. It's like Max's boat, sailing away across a year and a day.) and pulls me out of bed, in my undies, no less. And starts to dance with me.

Here I should mention that he is my exact same height. Maybe half an inch taller. He's basically precisely my size. And he's actually a very good dancer.

So, anyway, as soon as I realize what's going on here, I lose it. I lose it completely. I am crying so hard I'm just shuddering, and tears are running down over his shoulder. He's essentially just holding me up at this point, trying to soothe me. And I'm just wrapped around him, because I fit his body perfectly, weeping into his neck. And it's possibly the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me, ever.

(Not that my exes didn't try. And succeed spectacularly, often. Pman knows me really well, and has impeccable taste when it comes to choosing things I might like. It's not meant to be a comparison or a dig.)

But what can compare? He was listening to my lullaby chatter, realized how he'd hurt me, and spontaneously decided to give me that dance. At five in the morning. In my underwear. There's just some little dark corner of my heart that's never seen the light of day, and he knows that part just by looking at me. It's crazy.

It sounds so much like something I would do.

And so we didn't talk about it anymore. We will, he says, but he's kind of worn out from the last week, and if his week without me was anything like my week without him, well, I understand. He told me how he wants to call me all the time, too.

(I work in a restaurant. I cry when I see anyone in chef's whites. Bad combo.)

I'm pretty much incapable of stopping before anything but total annihilation for this guy. And thank the dainty goddess for that. Seriously. What a relief to know I can still love this way.

But all his protests that we are not together? Well, if he wanted me gone, our little American Bandstand moment (Romeo and Juliet? Could you just fucking die or what?) was pretty much the worst way to go about that plan. He could lead me around by a ring through my nose after that. He's either gonna have to have me killed or put in prison to get rid of me now. (Which I think is totally fair. Either he loves me like crazy, too, or he's just running around enchanting the dickens out of guileless young maidens like myself, in which case he deserves whatever he gets.)

You know how coaches teach visualization techniques, picture the ball going in the hoop, nothin' but net kind of stuff?

I can see him in my life so easily. And I'm not doing it to psyche myself up. I just do. I can see us at movies and parties and driving in the car and getting too drunk at the holiday work party and making out in the coatcheck room and staying in dive motels on road trips and him washing and me drying and then I get kind of dizzy and have to drink some water.

I know his expression when he's sleeping, probably better than I should. I know his expression when he's received a gift he loves, and it's so shameful to say but he will probably make the difference between a Merry Christmas and a hellish one for me. I want to kiss him at midnight on New Year's Eve and then never stop kissing him. I want him to give me a birthday present. I want to give him a birthday present, and his birthday isn't even until June.

I still get kind of itchy when he talks about his future children (I'm not prone to hives, thank heavens) but being without him is simply miserable, physically painful, Annabella Sciorra in the pit of despair in What Dreams May Come.

Ack. Secret Penpal, exactly who did you hex?

And it's still entirely possible that I have completely lost touch with reality and I'm typing this from the rubber room where I spin out a whole life for myself inside my head. But I will leave you with this one more shmoopy moment, and then it's on to the Airing of Grievances.

I've worn the same perfume for about 15 years. When I was about ten or eleven, my dearly-departed grandmother would let me wear a spritz of her perfume on special occasions. My favorite of her enormous collection was Poison (Dior if you're keeping track) because, get this, I thought it smelled like grape juice. I've never been without a bottle since then. Oh, sure, I've flirted with other fragrances--loved that Victoria's Secret vanilla stuff they used to sell--but my heart and my pulse points belong to Poison. I couldn't change it now, even if I wanted to. My hats, scarves, purses all smell like it. And to my children, it is the smell of Mommy. Anyone who's ever known me well would think of me immediately if they ever caught a whiff of it in the mall. It is one of the things that makes me ME.

So, I carry a bottle in the infamous makeup bag, naturally. Last night, when I was trying to keep my long hair away from my very runny nose, I reached for my makeup bag for a ponytail holder. Apparently I sniffed, or inhaled slightly? when I opened the bag. And S said, "Pardon me, don't think me rude, but why did you smell your makeup bag when you opened it?"

Then I handed him the bottle. He said in the softest possible voice, "It smells like you." I told him the above story, dead granny, smell of Mommy, one of the few rock-solid things about my being, blah blah.

And then he hugged me so hard he almost knocked me over.

Don't know what it means, don't know what it signifies, don't care.

That man is just like summer vacation to me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

that's when those blue memories start calling 


Anyone know what yesterday was?

If Alex and I had stayed married, it would have been our 8th anniversary. On one hand, it's moderately depressing--it sneaks up on me every year--but on the other hand, we went out and celebrated our "unversary" last night, much to the amusement of the other bar patrons. We even danced to our old song. No romance here, just a love grown so old it's familial. He's my brother and my ideal dad and a very good friend, and it means the world to me that he still has my back. Especially these days. What a warm thing, that we didn't work out as mates but we still care so deeply. X, if you are reading this, thanks for last night. I don't feel any better (in fact now I'm hung over, too) but at least I feel less alone.

The really funny thing was that we ended up at a strip club. We would never have made plans to go there or anything, but we sort of got swept up by a party of people and we were too intoxicated to much care where our next bar stools would be. Thankfully, this place has some unmirrored bar real estate, so I could avoid looking at anything but the guy tending bar (who I used to go to high school with) and bottles of Stoli.

I have to say, I love strippers as people. Nekkid ladies just embarrass me, but you can count on a stripper to rock her sisterhood. Run into a stripper in the ladies' and guaranteed she'll compliment you or ask how you are even if she doesn't know you from Eve. That having been said, the strip club absolutely horrifies me. It brings out the Doris Day in me. Alex and I were so busy running down our love lives and sharing confidences that we didn't pay any attention to the girls, so that was nice.

I started my new job yesterday, at a Seattle-based upscale chain with a horse as its mascot. I think I'm really going to like it. I was intimidated by the amount of preperatory materials they gave me, and the food and beverage menus are enormous, but basically it's still just waiting tables, no matter which way you point the cocktail napkins. And at the very least, I have a decent uniform--no more covering my cleavage with my hand when I bend over. So there's that going for me.

Yesterday--which was insanely busy, by the way, with delays all over town and frustrations around every corner--was also the day I locked my keys in the car. I had a very strong urge to be a girl about it, and very nearly lost my shit, started crying, and either made Keith or some big strong man help me. It's what I would have done a year ago. Instead, I freaked out for a few minutes, and then thought, "Wait! I'm at SuperTarget!" I bought a can of WD-40 and a $2.99 prybar and jacked my own goddamn car. Hear me roar, damn it.

But the very worst thing, the worst ever, that happened yesterday was that S. and I broke up. For good, I think. We were only officially dating for less than a week (the movie was great) and that's how long it took him to completely sabotage it. He did something really bad. Nearly-unforgiveable bad. He-definitely-should-have-known-better bad. Class "A" (jewelry) offense, nearly. I'm not a very fancy girl--I don't believe in gilding the daisy, rather--but some transgressions require reparations. He said he was very sorry, and that's all I'm likely to get. He just doesn't seem to have it in him to make amends. Whether he just doesn't care enough about me, or just doesn't know how to make it right, I don't know. What has two thumbs and isn't holding her breath? This girl.

So I broke up with him. Not bartering the self for the relationship, and all that.

People, I am heartbroken. I couldn't overstate it. I am so sad. I cry in my sleep, I cry in the car, I cry over Christmas songs, and I get a little light-headed and dizzy when I see chefs in their whites.

I'm not feeling eloquent today. It just feels like nothing now can ever come to any good.

All I want for Christmas is a relationship that doesn't defy the Geneva Conventions. We are going to have words about this, Santa.