Coffee and memories.

This post is brought to you by an intrepid and encroaching feeling of OMG I IS ESPLODINGS! aka: I’m feeling kinda ADD today.

**

I’m at the Leesburg Starbucks.  They are so entrenched in the middle of nowhere that they do not as of yet have the new Trenta size.  I am a sad panda.  Of course, this lasts only so long as I don’t think about the strange van I passed on the way here.  It was pulled over to the side of the road, not one of those piddly little minivans or elongated PT cruiser type vans, but a straight up huge econoline mobile living room type of van.  I had a moment of oh man, I hope they are okay before being completely distracted by the fact that the living room on wheels was GLITTERY.  It sparkled like movie edwards’ skin. Pale and glimmering it huddled by the side of the road and I had to wonder if my coffee lacking mind was making things up.  Then I realized it was made of paper mache.  No really.  It was completely made out of twinkly jesus bumper stickers.  Every conceivable surface was plastered with the sayings of the lord made pretty in flashing sticker font.

I could not fumble to my camera phone fast enough, so I’m pretty sure I made it up.  After all, in my family, if there was no picture- it never happened.

**

My favorite place to hide when I was a kid was up the spindly dogwood tree in our backyard. I was a monkey.  If it was climbable, I was up it.  I loved this particular tree best of all because the branches spread just perfectly to create a cradle for my skinny little limbs.  It peered in the kitchen window and I could spy on my parents while they did the strange dance of grownups.

The strangest thing to realize at this age is that my parents were this old when they had me, actually a bit younger.  I can’t imagine being my age with a child like me poking about in my life.  Wow, it’s just sort of a mind fuck to think that my parents were just goofy kids like me with a kid.  I’m not as surprised I turned out this silly now.

My Dad would dance around the kitchen with me standing on his feet.  We’d boogie to Elvis, or the Who, or the Beatles.  He had a big bushy beard and wild hippy hair.  My mom’s hair was nearly black like mine but permed into this fabulous fake jyoofro.  Dad wore tight jeans and strange paisley shirts while mom knitted her own square shaped tops and stitched me into a little strawberry shortcake jumper.

The house was always littered with cats, black, white, and striped.  They would bring us presents.  Griffin was especially fond of rolling snakes into the bathmat. I always poke rolled up cloth on the floor with my toes first to make sure a garder snake doesn’t wiggle out.

My own cats caught me a bat once.  They were so THRILLED at what they had provided for me.  I of course flailed abstractly around the house fearing for rabies and other such normal things before catching it with a towel and throwing it out the front door.  I don’t know if they ever really forgave me for losing the mouse with wings.  Now they just leave me little desiccated lizard bodies around the house as record of their undying affection.  Of course, they eat the legs off first.  I think they just like the crunchy bits.

**

I don’t really have a favorite childhood memory.  I had a ridiculously awesome childhood.  But I think the one the popped into my head first was driving in my Dad’s old wood panelled vw bug and singing “If you’re gonna play in Texas” by Alabama at the top of my lungs.  I think he and I ruined that particular tape by playing it so often.  It had “Song of the South” and “Eighteen wheeler” on it.  I’m pretty sure my sick obsession with Southern Cock-n-Rock comes completely from my Dad.

**

I was the girl who got her finger stuck under the grocery store conveyer belt.  Yea, that one other parents warned their children they’d become.  My parent’s always warned me to keep my fingers off the swiftly moving black belt, but it was almost in my kid mind like they were telling me there was pirate treasure buried underneath.  So of course I looked.  I vaguely remember the look of the wheels and belts and a brief and blinding flash of OH COOL.

Of course, that’s about the same time my mother remembers hearing a child shrieking bloody murder and wondering who’s child that was before realizing it was her own child.  She tells me that she was convinced I had sliced my thumb off. (I didn’t.)  She always shakes her head and sighs heavily when I remember that moment.  I realize now that it’s because my curiosity turned her into that parent.  You know, the one that other parents tell cautionary tales to each other about.  This was long before the advent of mommy blogging where she would have found solace amongst other women who could tell her their children were just as weird.

Sorry mom.  I grew up just fine.  And I can tell my kids from experience exactly WHY you don’t put your fingers on the grocery belt.  That’s something not a lot of people can do!

**

I love red high heels.

**

And riding Jackalopes.

Scared spaces

Sometimes I am completely paralyzed by the idea of who I could be if I tried.

It’s easy to be me right now.  Just a server, just scraping by, just sort of living and sort of doing things that make me happy-ish.  I’m finding myself crippled by self doubt lately.

I need to put in my applications to college.  The thing is that means I will have to actually go to school, pick a major, pick some sort of career.  I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I’m scared if I pick the wrong thing I’m going to pigeonhole myself into something lackluster, something less than.

I’m scared to try and only get half way there.  Where ever the hell THERE is.

I love writing.  I love the stories I tell myself more than my actual life most of the time.  I love the idea of the life I could live.  It’s easier there, packed away in my head in this little box I can take out and dust off and parade around.  It’s just mine, my little fantasy land of make believe.  There’s no real work involved, no stress, no fear.

That’s what holds me back most of the time.

I am so scared.  All the time.  I’m scared that people won’t like me.  I’m scared that people will just let their eyes pass me by.  I’m scared of being vanilla and pastel.  I’m scared of being beige.

But the fucked up thing is? I’m totally living in beige.  I’m totally holding myself back and sabotaging myself so that I can dislike myself and feel sorry for myself and just shrug through my life saying:

Well, I could do it, if I wanted to.  I just don’t want to.  No really, I don’t.  I’m cool with where I am and what I’m doing.  I don’t need to be spectacular, because I’m just not and if I try to do something amazing and fail, then it just proves that I’m just this lump of girl who should have known her place.

How fucked up is that?  My brain HATES me.  I swear it does.

All it takes for me to change my life right now is to go online and put in my application.  That’s all!  Just a little bit of typing and I’m done.

I just don’t want them to say no.  I don’t want to be turned down and turned away because on paper I don’t look so amazing.

**

On paper I look like a thirty two year old with a 2.89 GPA and way too many jobs to list.  I look like someone who has just bounced around and failed at life.  I look like someone who doesn’t care.

Paper doesn’t show people how hard I’ve loved.  It doesn’t define me in more than black and white and social security numbers.  It doesn’t tell them the moments where my breath catches sticky like honey in my throat because something is so beautiful it breaks my heart.  It doesn’t show them how loud I can laugh when I’m filled with joy.  It only shows them the simple bits of me that I’ve accumulated between the moments I want to string and sew together to make a patchwork pastiche of brilliance and insanity.

It doesn’t let them see me question whether my arm was more important than my drinking.  I can’t express to them the time I held out my hand to a lover and felt them shake because they were with me.  I can’t make them see the world with the slippery colors of my frustration.  I can’t shake them and scream that there is more to me than can be shoved into a small essay.

I’m a fighter on the inside.  I try and I fail and I try and I fail, but I keep getting back up to try again.

The little black lines can’t hold all of me.  They can’t swell and separate and take shape so they can see me.  The just hold the spaces in between the life I’ve lived.

**

On paper I’m reject-able.  In person, I swallow worlds with my words.

On paper I’m beige.  In person, I’m scared.  It’s a life less lived.  I’m not just a typo.  I’m not just a number.  I’m that gathering of water under a faucet that’s just waiting for her maximum density.

I’m waiting to fall.

Apparently, I am a girl.

This has been a week of moments.  I usually like to try and keep my life at a constant hum (not roar, not anymore) of content.

This week was so full and so vibrant I can actually feel it fading in my brain.  It’s like watching cream swirl into a new cup of coffee: the swirls at first are so distinct, perfect little spirals, that fade and blend into a solid tone of goodness.

**

The neighbors are watching TV with the windows open.  I can just make out the muffled tone of the news over the thumping grind of the dryer and the soft dissonance of the rain.  There are tires squealing, people in such a hurry, and the feel of my phone.  I want to stop and take a breath, to breathe in the rich dark smells of the earth and laundry.

**

He wants to marry me.  He grins wide and sparkly, like a toothpaste commercial that’s mine.  He smells like home and feels like a warm bed I never want to leave.  He makes faces at the freckled boy waving skinny arms in delight as the Lightning score the winning goal.  It was his birthday yesterday and he kissed me awake.  We decimate two pounds of crab, flinging bits of juice and succulent meat about the table in our frenzy.  His fingers are slick and I can’t look away from my intent claw cracking to file his face away at that moment, just his fingers.  It’s really good crab.

**

I found a dress.  It’s white and flowy.  It’s not lace and princess, just simple and me.  I show it to Maria and she agrees.  It’s my dress.  She also asks if he’s actually proposed yet.  I shrug, because it’s not official.  He just put his nose in my hair while I made coffee and asked when I wanted to get married.  Like it was no big thing.  Like I hadn’t been wanting just that question secretly most of my life.

**

My grandmother’s ring is nestled at the bottom of my mother’s underwear drawer.  I remember pawing through her underpants to pull out the black plastic box with art deco scrollwork.  It’s a simple band, but my grandfather worked for years driving Greyhound busses to add a new diamond with each promotion.  They’re small, but it means so much.  She wanted me to have it.  It’s been waiting for me for years.  It’s still at the bottom of my mother’s drawer.  It’s still waiting, but it’s waiting with purpose now.

**

It’s March and the world is waking up.  I opened my windows and cleaned my apartment.  I filed my FAFSA and am putting in my college applications.  I’m going to be someone.  I’m going to do something with myself.

**

It’s been a week full of walking Walmart to keep my head from sabotaging me.  It’s been a week of coffee drinking and laughter.  It’s been a week I will never remember fully.  It will be spaced out with elipses and parentheticals.  It will be a week of punctuation.

I wrote a poem on accident the night we fell asleep with him finally 29.

You smile like your face will crack

when you fart in my apartment.

You write epic love poems about your car

and call me Babes the monkey.

That’s all for now.

Beautiful Blog Award, and some fangirling.

This has been a weekend that I want to stick my fingers into like a huge crate of lentils.  But before I get to that, I have to say thank you to someone.  She’s made of awesome.  Like in a literal sense: I am in awe of her.  She nominated me for this:

I have much to thank the internet for; it gave me my best friend in the whole world.  It kickstarted my writing habit again with “racy fanfic” several years back, and has opened its arms to me when I decided to attempt a serious blog that had more than me flailing about sexy boys.  It’s been here for me in the worst times of my life, and has helped pick me up and push me into the best times as well.  Mostly though, there is a strange family that just suits up and shows up to tell me that I’m loved.  And that is the greatest gift. Ever.

So yes, there are a couple of rules to this award.  And now I will awkwardly attempt to do them justice.

1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
(so I tried to figure out how to add a link on here for like ten minutes- failed miserably- and am going to just pretend that I actual am something other than: “Is verra pretty! Doesn’t know shit about coding!”)

Jenny.  Wow.  Sometimes, when I meet someone in person all I can think is, “dude, this person is SO COOL! They will be my friend whether they like it or not.”  I’m not used to having this happen over the internet, but I’m learning it happens even more often than in the really real world.  So yea, this is one of those girls.

She has been kind enough to share some of her writing with me and it’s that sort of honest viceral REAL that cuts me like honey.  It’s gorgeous and witty and heartstoppingly good.  It’s the kind of writing that makes me feel insecure about my own writing, and then she does things like tell me that I inspire her to write it.  Then there is a loud thunk which is usually me hitting the floor because I’ve rolled right off my bed in shock.  It’s that sort of sprawling, arms akimbo, unflattering pose that only happens when I’m, well, floored.

Also.  She committed a blatant act of arson to get rid of some unwanted baggage, and that in my book makes her my people.  Burn baby burn!

So this is me thanking her.  Because when I don’t write I feel alone, and when she writes I feel a part of.  And I think when we write? It’s going to be spectacular, because beautiful women need other beautiful women to remind us that we’re worthy and inspiring.  And honey? You’re one of those women.
2. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

Check! Did it.  It’s SHINY!

3. Link to the person who nominated you for the award.

um.  Go here.  Give her candy in the shape of pretty words. http://neuroclassymom.blogspot.com/

4. Share seven interesting things about yourself.

hmmm.

1. I joined the army once.  My first day of Basic was my 22nd birthday.  The drill sergeants prowled the cattle truck walking across our ruck sacks while a large samoan dude cried for his mom next to me.  I had Tori Amos stuck in my head and would press wildflowers in the book that taught me how to blow shit up. I passed my final fitness test on two percosets and two broken shins by running two miles and puking on my first sergeants shoes.  I think it was the only time he was ever proud of me.

2. I drove to Seattle in two and a half days straight from Cincinnati on a whim.  I was hopped up on AMP and had a panic attack somewhere in the sticks of Wyoming about deer.  Those little bitches would just sit in the middle of the highway in the dark and scare me for sport.  On my way back I picked up two hitch hikers and drove them to Nebraska.  They were in a band and wandered WalDrug with me and swapped driving shifts.  It was the last time I did a great American road trip, for now.

3. My first kiss occurred in the back of a beat up ford pick up with a rusted out bed.  I could see the wheels and the road whizzing beneath us.  I was sixteen and he was seventeen.  We’d just finished a Lakota Sweat Lodge ritual and my skin felt like it was encrusted in salt.  I kept track of our kisses until I hit fifty, then I gave up.  His name was Eric.

4. I shaved me head for the first time when I was 18 years old.  I did it on my Dad’s front porch with a lesbian named Karen.  She was the queen of the Olive Garden I worked at and had long arms and pretty blue eyes.  We cranked up Ani DiFranco and pulled out the clippers and shaved each other’s heads in a cul du sac in the suburbs of Cincinnati.  Later we made out for hours on the yellow bedspread on my Dad’s bed.  I think she’s living in Ashville NC now, but I could be wrong.

5. I have no kids, but I’ve been to two births.  I am sort of the unofficial camera guru of birthing.  I took all the pictures of my little sister Anna’s birth and had the incredible blessing of being the chick on scene for Maria’s Simon.  I promised both of them the same thing the moment I held them. “I’ve been here since you took your first breath, and I’ll be here for you until I take my last.”

They are still, to this day, the most incredible experiences of my life.

6. I have a comic book collection I’ve been lugging everywhere with me since I was eight years old.  Even at my lowest point, I would not sell them.  They are my prized possessions and I read them until the covers fall off.  It’s something that makes the comic nerds in my life cringe, but the stories! Oh.  The stories!

7. One day I’m going to be a teacher.  I’m going to put my serving apron down and pick up a text book.  One day I’m going to walk into a classroom and stare out at kids who are probably not going to care one way or another about what I’m teaching.  It scares me, but lord, I want it.

5. Nominate your own seven Beautiful Bloggers.

I don’t know if I actually KNOW seven bloggers… but I’ll give a list of the ones I love.

http://www.mommymelee.com/ Um, this is sort of a gimme.  I’ve known Maria for like seven years? now.  She is my favorite writer friend and I was priveledged to write with her.  We broke each other’s brains with the pretty words and have managed to make a strange internet omg!girlcrush! into a lasting friendship that I can only thank whatever is looking out for me for.  She’s seen me at my worst and has watched and supported me as I picked myself up.  She’s my best friend, what more can I say?

http://citizendick.org/ .  Well, they aren’t technically beautiful bloggers, but my boy Kevin writes for them.  He was the guy who picked on me in high school, but then had the balls to contact me out of the blue and apologize.  He’s one of the coolest dudes I’ve met in a long time and I’m super glad we reconnected.  It’s a prime example of how people can and do change.  Also? There is free music and he has STELLAR taste.  He introduced me to one of my new favorites Dan Mangan and continues to be my music guru.  After all, we all need someone with the time to listen to the music and point us in the direction of cool new tunes.  I’m just lucky enough to have one who can write.

http://www.minnesotajo.com/ Every once in awhile someone comes into your life out of nowhere.  They are your advocate and cheerleader.  Jo, you are totally that person.  I’ve never met her, but when I do there will be tackle hugs.  I’ve never met someone with a bigger heart in my life, and I’m proud to be among her fans.  Also, she makes me giggle.  ALL THE TIME.

http://www.grumblegirl.com/ So yea.  This is one of the cool kids.  I’m all like omigoodness she’s shiny!  There are pretty babies!  And she’s witty!  *hide*  Luckily, she seems to be the kind of person who doesn’t let me hide, and I dig that.

http://grammarmonkey.blogspot.com/ This girl? She rules.  She may not know how cool I think she is, and how much I wish I could be teensy and power packed with awesome like she is, but I think the cat might just be out of the bag now.  Anyone who will wade through and edit the ridiculous pile of fanfic (srsly, wtf me?) with grace and tact… or even actually sign on to do it? Coolest Person Ever.  Also, she is the most adorable karaoke songstar player of all time.  And she will kick your ass at Halo.

http://morgangoose.com/blog/ Um yea.  I have no idea what he’s talking about half the time.  But he’s my brother.  And he’s a tech nerd.  He makes pretties happen.  Also, when you get the two of us together? Look out world, we’re totally taking over.  If I knew anything about what the heck he’s talking about, I’m sure I would be even prouder than I already am, but since I don’t I’ll just say, he’s my brother, he’s a genius, and he writes about smart tech stuff that is beyond me.  And someone should totally get him to write about his gardening skills sometime, for they are LARGE AND OUT OF CONTROL.

http://brokennerves.net/ I love Melissa.  Really I do.  I want her to come to my house and dress me up like a doll and be all awesome while wandering around my apartment.  We’ve sort of known each other for quite a while now, and that thought has not changed since the first time we “met” on a chat.  Dude, have you seen this girl’s style? It is inspiring.

And wow.  Now all I have to do is pester Kate into starting a blog and I’ll be just about perfect.

Yes or No questions.

I have had a lot of sex.

There, I said it.  I’ve banged my way around the country and left cities behind so I could walk into a grocery store without the heated “OH DEAR GOD! I vaguely remember telling him I’d call…”

I’ve had wild sex and group sex.  I’ve slept with best friends and complete strangers.  I’ve done the nervous STD check when it’s gotten to the point of oh man, I just don’t know.  I’ve let myself be used and used other people.

There is one moment that I want to talk about, because it is a time that I used to let shape who I was in the sack.  It affected my self esteem and ate away at me from the inside out.  It fed the little voice in my head that told me I was unworthy of real love. (Also, I’m going to write it as a story as a way of distancing myself a little bit from it so I can tell it.)

**

“You really want to sleep with a bald chick right now, don’t you?” She asked, elbow on the bar while a man tinkled away on a baby grand piano.  The bar was made of white marble.  The walls, smooth and cold against her shoulder blades, tilted upward to a graceful arch thirty feet above.  A chandelier glittered at the top- the crown of this aging princess.  There was a baby grand piano on a raised dias that was home to a little man with limber fingers and a soft velvety voice.  He was background music to the rich as they smiled and chatted pleasantly.

She was a wildflower in the center of this manicured garden of the drunk.  They whiled away their time in legal battles, high powered money pushing, and politics.  They were glossy like magazine pages and drove cars that purred.  Her car clattered.  It clanked and was held together with duct tape, a coke can, and sheer force of will.  She’d scrounged her shoes from next to a dumpster- black and white two tone doc martins with a magical message written inside.  Her jeans were ripped and didn’t fit like they cost more than ten dollars, which made them more honest than she was.  She grinned like she would eat them, suck the marrow from their bones and floss her teeth with their hundred dollar blowout hairstyles.  In her head she imagined them as pampered declawed house cats, while she ranged long boned and mangy.

He smiled, looked abashed, and waved for her drink to be refilled.  He was short, round, and wrapped in a designer suit.  He had dark greying hair and a credit card made of metal.  It clinked against the bar as he rolled his cigar between pale clammy fingers.  She liked that he wanted her, but was completely uninterested in him.  He ran the entire IT department for a big name company that owned most of Cincinnati.  She liked that he ordered her absinthe, bohemian and green.  It tasted like licorice and burned sweetly across her tongue.  The bartender, a sweet little blonde thing from kentucky, had brought it back with her from Prague after a fully financed whirlwind trip was tendered to her as a tip.  The girl- too young- played with the fire that melted the sugar cube and ran her fingers over her scalp.

“I do.” He replied as she took another drink.

“Good.  Maybe you’ll learn something.” She knocked back her drink.

She came to puking in a bathroom.  The seat was cold and hard against her forearm.  Everything was blurry. His voice sounded from outside the door.  She grumbled something about being cool while her stomach forced her body into painful convulsions.

Black.

She came to again with his tongue between her legs and tears smearing her makeup.  He grunted like a pig and humped against her leg. She whimpered and couldn’t remember saying no.

Black.

She woke up and he was sprawled across the bed.  Plush and round and naked.  He snored and she bit back a yell.  Pants.  Must find pants.  A scramble through an apartment she didn’t remember, just a vague impression of size, expensive swedish furniture and a huge glowing window.  She snatched up her shirt, threw on her jeans, snagged her shoes and fled.  Still drunk in the street, barefoot and clutching her shoes and purse she tried to get her bearings.  Big buildings, harsh daylight, grainy texture like an old movie.  Car, parking lot, and a stuttering run.

She didn’t realize she’d left her glasses until she’d gotten home.  She never saw them or him again.

The next night she switched bars, found a tall tattooed gum chewing freak and took him home.  She told herself it was better this way.  She told herself the only way to get over something was more of the dog that bit you.  She’d thought she was a sleek wild cat in the midst of tame housecats.  She’d never realized she was swimming with sharks and cats hate water.

**

I have too many stories like that one.  The ones where I never said yes, but I never said no either.  I have too many stories where I just throw something special away because I was sure I didn’t deserve it.

There were too many times I kissed someone because I felt sorry for them.  Too many times that I slept with someone because I thought it was what they wanted.  I never thought about me.  I never thought my opinion or my worth mattered.  There were exceptions, brilliant beautiful times that scared me, but mostly it was just sex.  That’s what I told myself.  Just sex.

Except now it’s not.  It’s not ever going to be just sex ever again.  I’m worth more than that.  I deserve to be cherished and loved.  I won’t let myself be used.

I haven’t slept with Jacob again.  I am not going to sleep with him again until I’m sure it’s just me in there.  I’m not going to let myself be used just because I feel like it is something he needs.

Love is a gift and sex should be the celebration, not the wrapping to tear and throw away.  And damnit.  I want those glasses back.

Disney!! OMGJ@JKEJ@!!

I’m sitting outside a Starbucks right now.  It’s strange how much of my life revolves around coffee and the procurement thereof.  It’s overcast today, that sort of damp chill that settles on my skin like a wet dog nose.  It has been a truly surreal whirlwind of a week for me.

See, when I started the journey to sobriety, there were certain things they told me to do. Get a sponsor! Get a home group! Read the book! Keep coming back! WORK THE STEPS!

So I did.  Then all this other craziness started happening.  I started getting… dare I say: Happy.  It is still one of the strangest feelings in the world to wake up every day and not feel sick and green and hollowed out from the inside.  It’s always a surprise when people like me for me- not who I thought I should be.  I cleaned my house, then moved, then moved again, and again, and oh yea, two more times.  Each time I had to go through the mantra again: get a new sponsor, get a new home group, get plugged in to the fellowship.  Each time I can feel that part of me that wants to feel cool and accepted start to rear it’s ego laden head, and squash it down firmly.  I’m terrified of crowds.  Really.  I always feel like someone who I think is cool is going to look over at me and point:

You! You don’t belong with us!  We are the cool kids, and you- you are so not cool.  You are a poser! You are a geek, and awkward, and fat.

The list goes on.  But.  It never happens. They laugh at my jokes.  They give me nicknames.  (Dude, nicknames- I am so totally a fourth grader who always wanted one.)  Going to an AA meeting is like pushing yourself face first into the waves.  The ebb and flow of humanity is awesome- in the actual literal sense of the word as well as the slang.  They’ve probed and pushed and pried down my walls.  I can catch myself out in a lie now.

Which I totally do ALL THE TIME.  Example: I was going to stay in a hotel room with Jacob (the ex not ex it’s complicated guy) the night before Disney, but I found myself telling Maria that we were going to meet up the day of and head  up. Weird, right?

Well, it’s like this.  I have arguments and conversations with people in my head that I think would happen if I told them the truth.  It’s always completely incorrect, because yea, I am so not a mind reader.  Also, I am really bad at gambling and guessing.  But the arguments go the way I think they would in the WORST possible scenario.  Which convinces some part of me that I shouldn’t tell them what is really going on, that it would be easier for them (HA!) and me, if they thought something completely different.  I should also mention that I am a terrible liar.  Much like Simon.  I can’t make eye contact, I hedge, and I usually do it over the phone to avoid them seeing the visual tells.  It’s a terrible thing, but now- since AA- I can call back, or own up to the lie, tell them the truth, and feel better.  Which I did.  It’s still hard to own up, but it’s definitely worth it.

**

Now, Disney.  Huh.  It was insane!  Got there the night before and stayed in the Saratoga Springs Resort Hotel.  Jacob is a total hotel snob, I’m perfectly fine with a thirty dollar a night flop, but he apparently needs something closer to luxury.  As he was footing the bill, I saw no real need to argue the point.  It was AMAZING.  Soft beds, great water pressure, folded point toilet paper, and towels crinkled like origami fans waving hello in the morning.  There was a balcony that overlooked a golf course and I totally felt like a rebel smoking in Disney.

We met up in Downtown Disney, which is a very strange place if I might add.  It’s this semi circle boulevard of shops and bright shiny lights that made me feel like I was in a carnival.  They seem to pump the smell of fried onions into the air to cause massive cravings for deep friend anything.  There’s a circus like building that holds the Cirque du Soleil which I totally want to see, and a dinosaur popping out of the cement with blinking red eyes.  We met up, giggled, walked around and took it all in.  Then the food was needed.  Everything was closed by this point, so we ended up forced to attempt to eat at Planet Hollywood.

I’m a food snob.  Really, I am.  This was sub par.  Rubbery chicken something and overly loud music.  The pasta carbonara was good, but I seriously felt ill at the amount of butter and grease that was pushed bodily into two portions.  The decor was kick ass though, and we spent a good half an hour pointing and awwing as we meandered through the THREE levels. (Which makes the server in me cringe at the ability to keep food warm when trying to manuever up stairs or whatnot.)

So, then back to the hotel, which was confusing.  But we survived and set the alarm for 9:30 which is godawful early to this single/no babies chick.  We ended up talking until 1am however, thus negating the idea of going to bed at a decent hour.  I will cover the odd relationship status thing in a later post.

Morning arrives to coffee and a decision not to plan.  Ditch the electronics at the hotel room and take off for MGM studios.  Started on the Aerosmith rollercoaster.  Um yea.  I hate rollercoasters until I am actually strapped in and moving.  It’s weird. Every picture of me they take on rollercoasters is like OMG I IS DYING!! then I’m laughing my head off two seconds later and loving every minute of it.  Then Tower of Terror.  Once again I maintain that Rod Serling is the closest I’ll come to knowing the voice of God. Wash rinse repeat.   We ate lunch at this 50s diner place that was phenomenal.  Included kitchy decor and black and white predicta televisions.  Our waitress was surly and fabulous.  I had pot roast of awesome and Jacob chowed down on meatloaf. I loved it. We spent most of the meal giggling over old TV shows and plotting to see if we could really do four parks in one day. The meal was large and the day looked like it was going to be just about perfect.  I briefly considered doing the American Idol experience, but just as quickly decided not to.  I loved the little street performers who meander about and accost people with acting.  They were super fun.  I actually remembered to bring the camera this time, so bonus. We then wandered around MGM before deciding to move on to Animal Kingdom to see the fuckoff large fake tree.

If you weren’t aware, there is a fuckoff large fake tree:

It is made of something not tree and has all these animals carved into it.  We were right in front of an entire paddock of lazy kangaroos who would not bounce no matter how many times I attempted to show them what bouncing looked like.  I’m sure I looked insane, but dude, BOUNCING KANGAROOS!

We had just wandered past a couple of seemingly empty um, cages? Before being accosted by an anteater.  Seriously, and anteater.  They are LARGE! with tails like dusting fans.  Jacob casually mentioned at this point that he’d been sort of mugged by one in Peru.  I wanted to kick him, but settled on just listening to the fact that he’d been in Peru, and mugged by an anteater.  Apparently they just walk around and stick their long noses in people’s pockets looking for ants and leave anteater snot in their wake.  On second look, maybe no anteater peru stories for me.  Yet.

And then the rain hit. We bought what basically amounted to seven dollar condoms of useless.  They ripped, the hoods did not stay on, and there went any attempt I had made to keep the hair looking shiny and nice.  But, on the upside, everyone cleared out and we got to ride Everest and the Dinosaur trail ride of dark and explosiony with only a five minute wait.  There were otters doing cute otter things and huge fish.  Also, my digital camera ran out of juice right after this picture.  Lame.  So we bought disposables and I am waiting for them to get developed.  I always forget how much fun it is to have no control of how a picture turns out.  There is no delete on a disposable.

First thing to do at Magic Kingdom was change our reservations from 5:30 to nearer 9pm.  Pot roast takes a while to digest and I needed room for the delicious French food that Epcot had in store for us.  It was surprisingly easy.  We headed directly to Future Land, do not pass go, do not collect 200 bucks.  I love future land.  It has space mountain.  Which is terrifying in that “Oh god we just derailed for realz” kind of way.  By this point we were holding hands and being obscenely adorable.  It’s different in Disney, there is no eye rolling, just happy smiles from onlookers and hordes of babies to play peekaboo with.  We romped.  We rode the teacups.  We rode the carousel.  We ate funnel cakes and licked powdered sugar from our fingers.  There were pictures in front of the princess palace and the feeling that everything is wonderful.  At least for right now.

Disney really is a magical place.

Finally we moved to Epcot.  I love the monorail, my inner five year old thinks they are badass.  We were stuffed in with an entire troop of toddlers and strollers and Jacob got teary eyed at the idea of kids.  I think it just about made my heart break with happy.  Then we wandered epcot, poked around the Wall-E toys.  (It was our semi official first date movie after all, the first time around.) And rode the space flight ride that made me feel like the kid who went to Space Camp was still alive and well inside of me.  Then we travelled the world and I almost bought an obi from the ridiculously adorable japanese girls infesting the japan store.  Seriously. ADORABLE.  Then we were mystified by the bag of salted dehydrated crabs before moving on to France.  I had a dress, in a bag, with shoes.  They’d been carried around with me all day waiting for the Ally Sheedy moment from the breakfast club.  He went to see if the upstairs fancier place could take us while I changed.  I came out and it was worth every moment to see his face.  There will be a picture soon, I hope.

Dinner was amazing.  The whole day was amazing.  I’m not doing it justice right now.  Really I’m not.  I had blisters on my heels and wet jeans.  I had sore cheeks from smiling so much.  It was just about the perfect day.  We both thought so.  I can only hope that this is just one point, not the high point, of things to come.  I’ll keep everyone posted.

**

Also, I am ridiculously pleased that I blogged when I was happy.  Wasn’t sure I could do it.

Just enough rope to hang myself…

Okay, so for those of you who don’t actually know me, here’s a little story:

Once upon a time over starbucks, in a city not too far from here, a girl met a boy.

She’d been born in April, a sweet faced child with honey colored hair that darkened as she got older.  She laughed loudly and played with GI Joes.  She grew up happy in a small two bedroom brick house that squatted close to the ground.  She clambered up the spindly dogwood tree in her backyard to look in the kitchen window at her parents.  There were always dogs bounding through the grass and cats strewn lazily around the furniture.  She grew up happy and loved.

He’d been born in March.  He grew up in a huge two story house with a bay window that overlooked the river.  His family fought with firsts and harsh words.  He grew up sharp and angry.  He had the violence of love and the stillness of the picture perfect pretend.  He played hockey and learned to be shrewd.  His best friend was a lopsided beagle. He knew the words to every Beatles song, ever.

Years passed and they grew up different, but the same.  He learned to love, but flee.  She learned that love meant heartbreak and pain.  She learned the value of walls and burned bridges and made huge bonfires from her rage.  He learned that the safest place to be was alone.

They each were twisted.  They each learned to cut first.  They believed they were unworthy.

Years later, trying to become healthy and happy, they met in the dark, telling secrets among strangers.  They met in a room filled with love and sobriety.  He’d gotten there first, and she was still fumbling through her first year.  She didn’t notice him and he fled the room quickly to get away from her.

They met again when she was left by his friend.  He watched her drive off with dark eyes and waited.  She packed her exboyfriend’s things in a box and came to believe that it was for the best.

They met for the last time over a deck of cards and a pack of Camel lights.  The night was low and close under the branching tree that flowed up from the pavement to spread and reach toward the green starbucks canopy.  The table wobbled as they played.  She laughed and sparkled.  She danced and wrote words like a swelling thumping jazz song that he couldn’t get out of his head.  He had a wide smile and broad shoulders decked with a smokey voice that tasted like licorice.  She couldn’t stop thinking about him.

She tried to set him up with her best friend.  He was dangerous.  He had to be unavailable and the easiest way to turn him off was to place him with someone she could never betray.  It failed spectacularly.  She sat in the movie seat, eyes wide and glowing- hyper aware of his shoulder so close to hers- and believed that robots needed love too.  She bought the little Wall-E toy, and it reminded her of that night.  They ate, the three of them, her, her best friend, and the boy.  She watched her plan fail as they picked at each other awkwardly and talked to her all night.  She had planned that she would lean back in her chair and watch them fall in love.

But her plans never did work right.

He threw a party for her when she’d wrestled herself to nine months sober.  He cooked ribs and invited everyone to watch Zombie movies.  He had a knack for morbid irony. He left her bits of poetry stashed in small places in her purse, her books, her pockets.  They piled like puppies and shot pellet guns until dawn.  They managed to keep the fire between them light and friendly for exactly two days after that.

Then it was slick kisses and clutching fingers.  It was the feel of broad shoulders and hands against soft pale skin.  She shivered.  He growled.

The little girl woke up one day and realized she was in love.  The little boy had found someone who laughed as big as the sky and sparkled.

The story doesn’t end like they do in the movies, or the story books.  Those never talk about the little battles.  It never touches on the fact that she doesn’t like doing laundry.  It doesn’t talk about the nights when the sex becomes routine and bland.  It doesn’t talk about the jealousy and the self doubt.  They lie.  It never shows the end. It never shows the secrets kept to keep from hurting each other that destroyed the core.

It never shows the little girl opening presents that tell more truly than any word that he just did not know her.  It doesn’t show the moment when she feels her heart break while she fingers the cheap abalone shell earings shaped into silver hearts.  It doesn’t show the boy cry in front of her for the first time when he unwraps the Wii she thought he would love.  The packing, the pain, the Budget trucks and the mess left behind when love doesn’t last forever.  The story neglects the nasty text messages sent from a place of pain and fear.  It doesn’t include the letters and poems he wrote some other little girl that wasn’t her.

I miss the way you used to dance around the classroom.  I thought you were lucky to know me, but now I’m starting to realize how lucky I was to know you.  I’ll tell you one day.

The movies always panned away before the little girl found herself outside her apartment in a strange place screaming and unable to breathe as her world crashed down.  All of this is glossed over.

But the girl loved him.  He was beautiful, brilliant, and a good man.  He tried as hard as he could to keep her happy and punished himself when she wasn’t.  She wasn’t happy alot.  She’d uprooted her life and followed him instead of standing firm.  They’d both given too much and tried in all the wrong ways.  They’d lost track of the people they loved.  Not her for him, or him for her.  They’d lost track of how much they loved themselves.  She’d stopped dancing.  He’d stopped writing poetry.  She’d gotten complacent and it matched his.  Theirs was a romance of mistakes.

This is the love story of Meagn and Jacob.

**

He called me this morning and it was like a cloud moved out of my chest and wafted away.  I miss him.  He was my best friend.  He’s the one who held me when I cried over my grandmother passing.  He’s the one who leaned against me, a solid weight of trust.  But that’s broken and we’re awkward and trying to not let all that we shared end up just being another: “And then we never saw each other again.”  I know it’s dangerous.  I know I’m asking to be hurt all over again.

But I’m going to try.  I’m not going to try and get him BACK.  Well, that’s not true.  Shit.  I’m not going to actively pursue him, my heart is too fragile right now, but I’m going to let him back in.

We’re going to Disneyland on friday.  I just want to take a break from the craziness that is my life and run around like a hooligan.  I want to laugh with him again.  I’m selfish.  I’m weak.  I’m heartbroken and damn, I really do miss the sound of his voice.

But I’m not stupid.  I’m going into this honest.  I’m keeping my friends in the loop.  I’m not going to hide it from them expecting their stern disapproval and disappointment. I’m terrified right now, but I’m learning to just let go.

I’m not in control.  I’ve never been good at making plans.  I have to trust that the beautiful vibrating center of the world that keeps atoms in chaos without collision will keep me from shaking apart too.