Thursday, September 8, 2011

I say a little prayer for you

I can hear thunder.

This is odd/notable because even though it rains up here like nobody's business, we've been in the "sunny season" lately. Also, even the frequent precipitation of earlier months was largely devoid of thunder/lightning. A slow, steady drizzle that moistened rather than drenched.

I've been in my convalescent leave now for two and a half weeks, and though originally I planned to write a lot during this time, I haven't. Writing seems to be more prevalent when I'm sad, or angsty, or working through something... I guess only the latter applies, and I'm not talking about medical here. Basically, the interior monologue, the war (if you will) that I've been processing, chewing on, regurgitating and re(?)regurgitating is: at what point do I say, I'm an adult? When do I get comfortable enough... no, not really the right word. When do I get confident enough? Secure enough that I live my life, acknowledging that I will never make some people happy, but to try any other way will be to make myself unhappy. Oh, conundrums. As Rick Nelson sang, "You can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself." I feel like I'm walking into my own Garden Party.

I've also been busy falling in love. Falling in life. Doing laundry. Doing dishes. Taking walks. Listening. Telling long stories. Watching (or not watching) movies. It's been restorative in the way that restoration is, and the way that my life wasn't before.

Liza is beyond alright. And I assure you, more is to come.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

halves and wholes

If I didn't nap every day, I wouldn't have trouble getting to sleep at night. If I didn't have trouble getting to sleep every night, I wouldn't nap every day.

I lay in bed on my back, gazing out the window, one hand idly rubbing my stomach-- feeling the stretched skin, the hardness underneath. I wonder if it grew today. I wonder how much it grows in a day- this mass inside, swelling at the root of me. It lives in the center of my guts, like a pit. The flesh around it swells, is displaced. The only way to part the fruit for the seed is with a knife.

The same hollowbody riff plays out in my brain, a simple bit of melody with a glass slide, over and over. I get fixated on the repetition. It comes around again and I hang on, oscillate, reach for the sound I know is coming. My favorite part of a song is the opening bars.
So pregnant with possibility, even if I already know the ending.

Friday, July 29, 2011

and by night I traced her spine.

went to a Brandi Carlile show last night up in Bellingham with two friends: one of a lengthy acquaintance, the other quite recent.

I could say a lot about that, but just imagine what I might say and you get the idea. I didn't really sit still all night. We went for beers and snackies post show, and I soaked up the delight of fellow humans against the backdrop of bad appetizers, neon beer lights and cheap furnishings. We all looked each other in the eyes. I laughed low and deep, and meant it. I told Angie I worried about, in my fumbling efforts to not miss anything in life, that maybe I was missing everything all the while. I always have to leave it behind. All of it. In order to have hands reaching out, they have to be empty.

And I remain restless.

On the drive home I thought and thought, about how the last time I drove you home I almost reached over and held your hand, and the subconscious part of me was the one orchestrating, and at the last minute the sane part of me sat up and prevented the unknown. Last night, we laughed and I touched your leg with my palm while we were laughing and you grabbed my hand, my whole forearm even, and clutched it to your chest. Just for the record, because I enjoyed it, I'm going to say so. I enjoyed it. Connection, you are elusive, but by God when I find you I'm going to take you by the throat with the utmost gentleness and respect and not let go.

I couldn't see the stars. And I traced the coastline, the knobbled pitted spine of the earth, back to my island home.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

early morning hiss

So, yeah- it's just after 4 a.m. I just got awoken in the oddest way, which was by a combination of a thunking noise, hissing, the motion sensor light on the garage turning on, and something moving outside my window. Apparently a stray cat thought it would be a great idea to jump up onto the screen/sill of my bedroom window; or maybe a stray cat has three-foot-tall legs and happened to be going for an early stroll. At any rate, my two suddenly defensive felines stood braced against the glass, hissing for all they were worth. As I sat up, the outside cat ran away.

I've never heard Boomer hiss before. I felt so... championed. Olive is still sitting against the glass, rumbling in near-silent sentry.

It reminded me of the time when Lindsay was gone, and I let Bella sleep with me in Jacksonville (something she never would have approved of, but I loved). The powerfully-built pitbull mix leapt off my bed in the middle of the night, snarling and barking as she ran out to the front door. My heart leapt like an out-of-control freight train. After a moment, I called her back, and her large square head laid down on my heart when she clambered back up with me on still-shaking, wound-up legs.

Nothing has ever warmed the cockles of my cold, cold heart more.

Now, the cats just probably want to fight and hiss because they like fighting and hissing. But I'm choosing to believe they were defending their mama because they would lay down their lives for me. Allow me to continue in my delusion.

I talked to Joe and Faith over the weekend separately, but the same subject arose with both. As I look forward to all this medical crap- consultations, MRIs (which I'm curious about but not really looking forward to, per-se), surgery, recovery and whatnot, it's the first time this year I wish I wasn't single. I've been enjoying my singularity this year, truly-- stretching into my self, this life, this adult skin and moreover trusting myself to do the right thing with me. Not to cut God out of it, but I think you have to let yourself go a little, and know you're going to be ok. At least, that's what I've been working on.

Their responses, and the same responses I've gotten from Brian, Ellen, Katie, Steven, Tracey, even Princess and the Skipper, is whatever I need, they'll help out. Tracey sat next to me during the ultrasound. Katie wants to be there for the surgery. Ellen and Faith want to nursemaid. Tim wants to keep me company while I recover. Mom's planning on flying out. Brian has promised to drop everything, even if I so much as just want to talk. Honestly, I feel like I have a whole group of cats hissing at the window, and the generosity and quickness of it all is near-overwhelming.

In the midst of even crappy times, I have to just shake my head at how damn blessed I am. New friends and old friends line up, rank and file, and blow my mind. I can feel your square head against my heart, guys. It feels wonderful.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

seven wonders

If I live to see the seven wonders
I'll make a path to the rainbow's end
I'll never live to match the beauty again--

I know I hinted last post, but the ultrasound on Friday confirmed it; I've got something growing in me. MRI scheduled for sometime this week. I get my bloodwork and ultrasound results back Tuesday, when I follow up with the flight surgeon. It's not going to kill me, but it is rather annoying. I'll, uh, try to keep y'all posted, I guess.

Slipped out of town twice this weekend, listened to a lot of Fleetwood Mac and got downright intoxicated on getting to know someone new. I work with a lot of brilliant people, but sometimes somebody comes along that more than clicks, and it is a most welcome intrusion. I forgot what it was like to feel all restless in your legs and twitchy in your lips. To look at someone, and know, and be bothered and not bothered all at once. Distracting as all hell, is what. And the sauce of life.

Drove up into the mountains today, towering sheets of thick rock, clouds that look like more snow in the sky framing snow below. It wasn't planned. Every time Ellen took a switchback, I couldn't help but exclaim. We drove past cascades, close enough that my arm was misted in cold spray. There were rivers, and lakes, and trees, greener than green and taller than tall. The air was sweet and whole. Kids were playing on mounds of dirty snow, and a girl trudged past me in shorts, lugging a snowboard. I felt clean up there, and ready.

at a certain time, a certain place
you touched my hand
and you smiled--

this next week will probably be just as weird as last week, and you all should know sometimes I think I'm crazy for this, but I still just wake up grateful. Grateful for sky and water and sound and a pumping heart that keeps me feeling all of it, keeps me awake, keeps me alive. As long as the road is there, I'm up for the journey.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

days like this.

Last night, somewhere close to midnight, I woke to a sound that was reminiscent of a small plunger.

"NO." I commanded, kicking Olive off the bed about 0.6 seconds before she started vomiting. She does this maybe once a year... certainly not enough to make me angry. And at least, if it's on the floor-- well, the floor is my preference to the bed. I drifted back to sleep. I have the watch, and sleep is a precious thing. You never know when you won't get any.

0348, Super Mario Bros. jangles next to my head, the phone vibrating on top of a stack of books: leadership principles by a female Marine Captain, a collegiate tome on feminist theology, capped off with a jewelcase of Sim City 3000. I can't get it to run properly on my laptop. I just want to put down some orderly streets.


It's my boss while I'm on watch, and we've had an incident. "My God," the words tumble out of my mouth, lack of mental clarity leading directly to lack of filter.

He decides I should only come in a half an hour early, 0530 instead of 0600, and after I hang up I just lay there in the dark. I could probably get another 45 minutes of sleep, but there's something about hearing the dark twist of a person's loneliness that keeps me awake. This is a very different thing than regurgitated cat food. I can see the sky out my window, and it's a dense charcoal. Enough to smother a body, given the chance.

On the way to work, I'm autistic and just listen to the same song over and over. Deception Pass is indefinite, the choking fog obscuring the road ahead, the dropoff over the sides into the churning slate tide below. I'm driving into nothingness. More than fear, I feel liberation.

The next four and a half hours are a steady, brisk pace of tracking down information, talking to the right people, talking to the wrong people, dead-ending, re-formatting, and digging up direction that really could be read any number of ways. I get Jen to cover for me while I go to the doctor, and find out nothing I didn't already know. I'm scheduled for an ultrasound on Friday, so we'll see how that goes. I do pretty well in the car, really only teetering on the edge of losing it when I get a text from Tracey: "I always have time for you."

Days like this, you look up at the sky above you.
Days like this, you think about the ones that love you.
And all I wanna do is live my life honestly.
I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me.
Every regret I have will go set it free.
It will be good for me.

I go in and tell almost nobody. This is my news right now, and that's it (so y'all keep your mouths shut, too). Think of me with kindness, if you think of me. The next week is probably going to be a little bumpy.
The boss offers to give me the rest of the day off, and I decline. I have a job to do, don't I?

We get the damned report off, finally, and I relax for a minute as the day, the lack of sleep, the lethargy catches up to me and bears down on my shoulders. Up ahead of me, through the half-door, I get beckoned. Seems I didn't read the right mind at the right time, and something that should be great isn't so great and I'm standing tall, defending something I'm proud of. I can't even muster enough energy to put a little passion in my voice. I say what needs to be said, and all that echoes in my mind is a single word: bullshit.

Days like this.
Yeah you think about the ones that went before you.
Days like this.

I lean on the open window, ignore the turning engines and whine of the APU and let the breeze blow in.

And all I wanna do is live my life honestly.
I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me.
Every regret I have will go set it free.
It will be good for me.
It will be good for me.

The last plane takes off around 1930. The clouds are grey, but they can't hide the cornflower above them.

Days like this.
That you think about the ones that love you.
Days like this.
Have you ever seen the sky such a clear blue.

(soundtrack for this post courtesy of Over The Rhine.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Joe and I, listening to a particularly fine piece of music.

Cluphead: i want to spacewalk to that one day
Cluphead: even if it is when all my particles just belong to space
Eidolon JS: that's the best time to spacewalk
Cluphead: i hope i remember it , that music
Cluphead: and float along with the space
Eidolon JS: at least, seems like it would be
Cluphead: it certainly cuts out the middle man
Cluphead: and it is pretty much what i would consider heaven
Eidolon JS: yeah
Cluphead: not because it is the lofty skies
Eidolon JS: me too
Cluphead: but because it would be absolute pinnacle complete contentment
Eidolon JS: to me it would be because of the absolute 100% integration into the components of the universe
Cluphead: i hope my particles bump into yours.