i'm a bit hungover, not in the literal sense of the word, from my weekend so far.
i am really glad that i came back last night. because i slept until 1115 today (gasp!) and am still tired. but coffee is helping that. as in, the brewed blueberry variety.
where to start? friday, i guess.
actually, let's go with thursday. i saw my shrink.
sometimes when i go there, she doesn't ask any questions of me. it makes me feel like she's waiting for me to bring up what i want to talk about in an effort to see the way my mind strings things together.
but the problem is that when she doesn't ask things of me, i don't get anything out of my sessions. it feels more like writing a memoir, or reading it aloud.
she does always have supportive things to say to me, don't get me wrong. but i really thrived in the pain of those first two sessions when i felt like she took a sledgehammer and cracked my head wide open, letting buried thoughts spill out.
and it hasn't felt that way since. that was january.
for the 24 hours preceding the visit, i was slowly filling with dread. i thought i'd spend the whole session crying, talking about the anniversary and my fears about reuniting with brownies.
and this is something worth mentioning, though i haven't figured out its significance yet. i am late to every single appointment.
i don't know why. or how.
my schedule has changed. i should write about that, too. but i couldn't drag my ass out of bed in time for the last two appointments with her, so i was 5 and 10 minutes late to those.
before that, it had to do with time management at work, and not getting to my car in enough time to drive to the appointment on time.
and i am perfectly aware that it would appear as though i don't give this priority. but i promise that i do! i think about it for days before, and all day when i have an afternoon appointment. but there's always some little piece i forget to figure in.
this week, it was forgetting that i parked my car a good 3 to 5 minute walk from my apartment. i stayed in bed soaking up the last of a dream about my ghost as long as i possibly could. i was doing math in bed. 30 minutes to get ready. a 25 minute drive. yes, i can lay here for 5 more minutes and still be on time.
but i couldn't.
and i was late. again.
moving on...the session covered the anniversary. it covered my anxiety over brownies and trying to figure out what i want to say to her. we talked about my role in friendships. how i am usually the earpiece and rarely the mouthpiece. how i sometimes feel slighted because of it. and how, instead of bringing it up, i just put it away. and how i sometimes just stop talking to the person i'm annoyed with completely. and stew about it.
i've done it more than once, with more than one person.
with the exception of nina, kit, alice, and nate, i feel like no one ever asks me how i am doing. never try to get me to talk about what's going on in my life.
and though these four are my best friends, all other friends in the category of 'used to be my best friend' or 'something more than an acquaintance' really don't ever reach out to me.
and she pointed out that i must enjoy this role, to continually put myself in it. and that before, maybe i didn't need to have people listen to me. but now that i have something big and tough that i'm going through, i expect the return favor, and i'm not getting it.
she also pointed out that i can't just expect people to realize this on their own. because if they're out of the loop of my life, they won't know to ask, or randomly check in. and that i might have to initiate the conversations if i want to use them for support.
which is obvious, but i hadn't thought about it yet.
it feels really strange to have this really huge non-secret. that i have no qualms telling anyone about. and having a huge circle of friends who have no clue.
i had this fear that someone would randomly remember that my anniversary was on tuesday and post something about it on my fb page. i worried about that for a few days.
but nothing happened. that was a relief.
so that was thursday day. thursday night i was completely exhausted. home from work at maybe 8? i could have fallen asleep then and there. but i had to catch up with nina, and was supposed to go out with alice for a bit. maybe from 9 to 11.
i was on the fence about it, only because i was so tired. but she ended up out without her other friends who were going to meet her, so i wanted to go.
and once i was out, i was completely awake.
kit had a show to go to that night, and when i finally got myself together to head alice's direction, i'm walking down the block and she is standing in front of me. i yelled her last name, not realizing she was on the phone.
we walked together and talked a little. a few blocks later, i see someone who used to work for me.
it was crazy. within three blocks of my apartment, i saw two people i knew. this is a big city. this happens all the time. this is why i feel like, when i am ready to start over as far as boys go, i will not be able to live here anymore. because this big city is really just a small town.
so kit caught the bus a block from where i was headed. and alice was bright eyed when i arrived. i'd been waiting to see the inside of this bar for a while, i was really excited that i finally made it there. there was an incidental drag show that night, and the ladies in the place were FABULOUS.
there is a special this bar runs day in and day out. can of pabst. shot of jim. $3.
though the smell of whisky alone makes my stomach churn, i was in the mood to do a shot with alice. i'd taken a raincheck another night, and it was time to cash in.
so i did the first shot that i've done since 21. actually, as i wrote that out, two more popped into my head. at home in december, i forgot that we started the night off with a lemon drop.
it was not strong. it was more like a drink. but it was intended to be a shot.
also, i think that when the girls came to visit last summer, i had a shot of smirnoff raspberry. fuzzy memory. must be true.
but before that, it was tequila in tahoe. which i've not ever touched since. the smell makes me sick.
in any case, i had a chilled shot of citron. and it was smoooooooth. i was actually pretty nervous about doing a shot. sensitive gag reflex and all. and thinking it had been something like 11 years since i'd done one.
but it was nice. and then a beer.
and i felt fine. tolerance building exercises, anyone?
so we talked. i met a couple of alice's friends. one was pretty drunk, and on a mission to find casual sex to be had. he was funny. after another shot and another beer, i was dancing next to my barstool. with him. jokingly. but still.
it was fun. and that was the second time in six days, at a bar with alice, that i felt the urge to dance. didn't matter that no one else was or that it wasn't exactly the kind of place where you would dance at all. didn't matter.
i texted nate from the bar that he'd better make dancing happen when i went to see him. because i needed it.
so after all that alcohol, i walked home quickly. and kit texted me to say she was on her way home. it was ironic, because i didn't intend to be out that late, work the next day and all.
but we left at the same time, and came home at the same time, so she came over for a cigarette. that turned into an hour and a half long conversation over ice cream and glasses of water. talk about families and about my wedding. other stuff, too.
neither of us realized that we had so much to talk about, but i think i went to bed at two.
friday couldn't go by fast enough. all i wanted was to be on the bus to see nate (and brownies).
something felt very wrong as i left work to catch the bus to see nate.
i felt like i forgot something. or that i was doing something wrong. i couldn't put my finger on it. halfway to him, on the bus, i think i figured out what it was.
i didn't say goodbye to ever. i didn't go 'home' after work to see him before getting on the bus to nate. i didn't do anything between work and the bus because i had no one to answer to. no one to check on. no one.
and it was incredibly foreign. and also, a feeling of freedom. i just WENT.
i'm nearly positive that's what it was. because as soon as i realized it, i didn't feel like i'd forgotten something at home anymore.
and then i was there. and then nate was there. and then we ran around the city and dropped my stuff off before going out.
and did we go out!
gay bar. amazing. packed. strong drinks. dance floor downstairs. drag queens as far as the eye could see. sailor hats? dunno why. but they were also everywhere. so many cute gay boys.
and we danced. and then went up for another drink. and danced some more.
and stared at this dancing boy on stage. i guess the proper title would be go go dancer? i don't know. i've never been in a place where there is an incredibly HOT guy in a bikini bottom, dancing and rubbing, touching and flaunting right there. in your FACE.
when we first went down to dance, i averted my eyes from him. like i wasn't supposed to look. or stare even.
but after a drink, i realized just what an amazing specimen he was. women were licking him after putting dollars in his bikini with their mouths. he pulled the suit down not once, but twice, revealing a very cute, very hairy butt, for men to stick dollars into the crack of.
it was awesome. i was giggling and dancing. and i was DRUNK.
just two drinks at the gay bar is about all i can handle. this has been proven to me the two times in my life i have gone to a gay bar.
but i was thirsty and nate was far from done, so i ordered a stella. first time with one of those, it was nice.
and we danced more. and then he had another drink and i had to switch to seltzer for fear of riding the train home too drunk and getting drunken motion sickness.
and that helped a little. but i was still slurry. i hate hearing my own words come out like that. but tried to embrace it.
we got our coats out of check, and after nate's quick dance with his crush of the night, we were out onto the streets, in search of pizza at 2 am or so.
and we found it. and it was good. and then to the train, and home.
and the craziest thing happened. i was asleep. probably mid conversation with him. and i was deep in a dream. and i got a charlie horse.
deep in my calf muscle of my right leg.
i can't remember the last time i had one. i almost cried out, it was so horrible. it would not let up. and i was rubbing and pushing into my calf as hard as i could, but the muscle that was killing me was so deep in that i couldn't get to it. it felt like 10 minutes, but it was probably only 1.5 or 2 until it subsided.
but even when it was over, it still hurt like a bitch. and upon waking, and even today, it still hurts. so crazy.
alright. so. wake up too early after the night we had. too tired to stick contacts into my eyes.
so i had to wear my glasses. which i usually love, but was really not into at the time.
i feel sometimes like i look mannish in glasses. i wear enough makeup, but something about my face feels more harsh behind hornrimmed glasses.
and i have the most intense worry lines between my eyebrows from years spent with ever. i didn't have it before. and i am getting botox when the divorce is over. well, i think i am. i don't agree with putting botulism in your face, but the crevices i've made for myself are really effecting the way i think other people see me, and more so, the way i see myself.
back to the story. so it's too early, but we have to rush to meet brownies. so we're up and out the door and onto trains and running around.
and it was CRAZY. i worried, stressed, and made myself feel sick over how it would be seeing her again. about what i would say. about how i'd tell her the part about ever and i splitting up. about what she would be like. if she'd be genuinely happy to see me after all we put each other through.
and i'd been thinking about it for days before going.
yet somehow, as we walked up to the apartment building she was staying in with her family, i was completely calm.
i set my coffee down on the stoop to finish my cigarette while we waited for her to come downstairs with her sister.
and i was aware, on every inch of my skin, that i was freakishly at peace. calm. not worried at all. not stressed at all.
and it kinda freaked me out that i was so calm.
but it just felt like something completely natural to be doing at that moment.
like, 'yep. just going to pick up brownies for the day.' nonchalant.
and she came out. looking exactly the same as she always has. her sister did, too.
and we all hugged, and we were off.
i let nate break the ice. we'd talked about it beforehand. he knew i was nervous, and that she probably was, too. i mean, what do you say after ten plus years of silence?
she talked about her life and nate made jokes and made us laugh. i talked minimally until the conversation turned to me.
we got her phone fixed at the apple store, and talked about our night out on the town the day before. she talked about getting lost underground, and spending four hours riding trains alone.
if we'd known, she could have come out with us, but we didn't. so she lost her first day/night in the city. major bummer.
and we made our way through the streets, and it happened. she asked if i thought we'd stay where we were permanently. and i just said it.
'well, we bought the house with the intention to stay for a long time. but i moved out two weeks ago. we're splitting up. and i don't know if i can stay there after the dust settles in a year from now.'
and i got the obligatory jaw drop that comes with those words. and she asked if we could reconcile. and i said that it's just over. that we'd tried to work it out, but that i just wasn't happy there, for a long time, and that i had to start over. and she was really sorry to hear it.
and i just said that everything had improved since i'd decided to leave, and that my life right now is a mess, but fun, and that i'm going out a lot and drinking and having fun.
and that i don't know where i'll end up when all of this is said and done.
i'd been thinking about it and writing about it on the way. i don't know where i'll be.
part of me thinks that moving to new york makes perfect sense.
part of me thinks that i belong out west again. that i should go to sf or to portland or to seattle. but then i remember how far that is from my hometown, and how horrible it felt to be so far away from my family the first time around.
and i don't know where else i might go. i need to explore a little.
but i was actively thinking about it. and nate brought it up. that we'd have fun to the point of excess if we lived in the same city. and i know that to be a true fact.
it would be fun. and i could envision it. easily.
but there's no room for coffee there, as far as i see it. kinda like where i live now. there's no room for another cafe. too saturated.
and really, that is all i want.
when i finally leave kenna and do my own thing, i feel like the only reason i'd leave kenna is to do my own thing.
and most likely, it would be in another city. another place than where i am now.
and i cannot express how much i don't want to want to go home to do it.
i have to keep telling myself that. i don't want to go home. i don't want to go home. there's nothing for me there. i don't want to go home.
oh, but sometimes, i do...
sometimes what makes me feel the most comfort is what i've always known. and my family. spending the preciously short time i have left with all of my living grandparents with them.
among other things.
back to the reunion.
it was awesome. it was fun. it was all of the good and none of the bad of what i expected.
we took her to meet up with her family in another part of the city, and spent some time with them.
and then it was over.
they got on a train going one way, and we went another way.
and she hugged me goodbye. and then nate. and then me again.
and we said we'd catch up down home when i visit next.
we succeeded at keeping things light. and had a lot of fun together. running around, laughing to tears. rekindling old memories. and keeping each other in hysterics.
we went to a bookstore. they didn't have the scrabble dictionary i was seeking. but i had the thought to purchase a book nina had shared with me a long time ago. and i sought it out and found it. and bought it.
cruddy. lynda barry.
i remember crying the first time i read it. and that it was an amazing story. but no more detail than that.
hardcover. $7.50. how i love that store.
we'd traded places. i used to read voraciously. now she does. i used to see movies. now she does.
i forgot how she said the word 'again'. kind of like uh-gee-un. and 'oh, lord' in her way. her laugh hadn't changed one bit.
i've had so many dreams in the past where we were friends again. or where she was telling me to fuck off. but being there made me feel like the world was a slightly better place because of it.
i know that we aren't going to be instant best friends again. that things will not ever be anything like what they once were. but they're better. and i'm getting to be an expert at rebuilding.
i know that we did a lot to each other that we will have to talk through. i know that these things will take a lot of time. but i feel now that we are both on the right track. we both want to heal. and reconstruct the bridges we burned.
and she disappeared down the stairs, and became any person in the city. just doing what they're doing. insignificant to almost every single person around. except for me. and nate. and her family. we know how significant she is.
and then it was just me and him again. and we walked the streets doing touristy things. on a boat at sunset. my first time. and it wasn't lost on me.
it was the most fun i've had visiting with nate yet. he kept me perpetually entertained.
it's funny. all day yesterday, i heard zach galifianakis singing, 'cause we're the three best friends that anyone has ever had'. and even though it wasn't exactly that, there was something about it.
because at one point in time, we really were.
and then, it was over.
we headed back to his place, i packed my things. nearly forgot a bunch of stuff, but didn't.
went to a bar to have a drink before i went back. and the bar had two for ones that couldn't be shared. so we had two for one.
and it was a gay bar. and i was drunk.
made it to the bus just in time to catch the one that was leaving. but not in time to get a drink.
the heat was cranked. there are not words for how hot it was on that bus. and i was parched. and hot and drunk is not a good combination.
somehow i read a good chunk of life of pi in that state. i don't know how. when i looked out the bus window, it made me feel sick. but reading lines in the book didn't.
so i read until the words started to get swimmy. then switched off the light and passed out until we were nearly home.
woke up enough to make sure i had everything i'd brought onto the bus. bought a ginger ale to remedy my sore throat.
and it was interesting what happened next. i was exhausted. i was confused. i was still sleepy.
and i was walking, freezing. no mittens. icy soda and bag of books in one hand, cigarette in the other. and i started to head to the train that i have always taken home from the bus station.
and stopped dead in my tracks, realizing that is not how i go to get to the apartment. and i stood on the corner, forced to think about how i need to walk to get home.
and i realized how far i had to walk to catch the bus.
it was midnight. and though it was quiet where i was, there were lots of people out in other parts of the city.
i thought about taking a cab. but i spent a lot of money over the weekend and am kindof morally opposed to taking cabs when there's public trans.
so i walked. freezing. tired. walking.
maybe fifteen blocks. no bus came. and i hailed a cab.
it was exactly $5. which was great. i was home maybe 5 minutes later.
and it felt good to be back. a little sad. but good.
and i got ready for bed, talked to nina for a minute.
and read myself to sleep sometime just before 3 am.
woke up at 1115.
and i'm still in my pajamas at 317 in the afternoon.
about to get a shower. to go to the house to get the car from ever.
and then back again. before some kind of plans that will surely involve consuming alcohol with kit and alice. or kit or alice. or both.
and going back to work tomorrow.
not quite ready for that to be the case.
but it is.