Thursday, April 20, 2017

Table for One, Please

A recently-widowed acquaintance, who is not someone I consider thin-skinned at all, went to a restaurant by herself. The hostess practically rolled her eyes when the lady asked for a table for one, and even asked, "Only one?" as if the business of a solo diner is too insignificant for them to grant the privilege of dining there. The point is, the widow had her bereavement driven home by an inconsiderate person. I think the hostess would have been pretty embarrassed had the widow said to her, "YES, MY HUSBAND DIED A MONTH AGO, AND NOW I AM DINING BY MYSELF."

I've been on my own for a bit over a year now, not by choice, and not because anyone died. My boyfriend walked out on me for another woman he'd been seeing behind my back for almost a year at that point. I haven't returned to many of the restaurants that we used to frequent, unless they were places where I dined before I met him. I haven't been back to the local steakhouse, or the pizza pub. I did attempt the Italian place one town over on two different occasions, but I just can't bring myself to go back.

Dining alone happens for myriad reasons. Like the widow, one's partner has died; or like me, my relationship ended and there's no one with whom I can dine. Some people are just grabbing a bite when others in their immediate circle aren't available. There are those who choose to be by themselves, who like their privacy, and for whom dining with others might be unpleasant or stressful. We still have money to spend on food, and the restaurant experience. I, too, was once the one waiting tables- I get that it won't be a big tab, but I am still going to spend would you rather have my one-top, or no one at your tables?

I have to push myself to go inside a restaurant and sit by myself. Most of the time, I chicken out, go through a fast-food drive-thru, and eat in my car. The upshot is that I'd rather be lonely in my car than stared at in a restaurant (in case you are unaware, fat people invite that attention in any space where there's food involved). It's just one more instance when I wonder if this is it, and my routine will revolve around loneliness for the rest of my life.

If I didn't wake up with a cat lying on my legs in the morning, I'd probably be in even greater despair.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Only the Scenery Changes

The problem with being the big fish in the small pond is that if you decide to jump to a pond with more fish like yourself, you're just one more fish.

My mother told me that when I dragged myself out of bed the day after high school graduation in 1986, AKA the Morning After My World Collapsed. The rather melodramatic hail and farewell speech to which Hopkins had treated me was still rattling around in my head as I lethargically ate my bowl of cereal sometime approaching noon that day. I looked like ten miles of bad road, having cried myself to sleep when I finally gave up and came in the house around five a.m. .

I left for college that summer with vengeance in my heart. I came home with an attitude that manifested almost immediately in band practice, when I told the drum major to go to hell, in front of God and everybody. When she rushed off the podium to confront me, I set my drum on the ground and told her, "None of you people matter. All I have to do is get through the next eight months and then you don't exist anymore."

Band was the most important thing in my life. What I had done would have gotten me suspended from school under the previous director. The new band director shrugged it off, reset the drill, and told me to take a few minutes to collect myself. During the next water break, my friends rushed to talk me out of quitting, something unthinkable and horrifying that had never crossed my mind before.

The funny thing is that I meant it. Hopkins was gone and I didn't give a damn what anybody thought anymore.

(Of course, at that point it was August and he was still in town, but he might as well have been dead and buried, for what he'd said to me on that fateful night.)

For the rest of the school year, I took zero prisoners and gave zero foxes, which was made geometrically more difficult by my sister's sudden challenge to the popularity pecking order as a mere freshman. I subscribed to a scorched earth policy that firebombed anybody who dared step on the trigger.

I didn't care anymore.

Either fortunately or unfortunately, depending on one's perspective, I care too much to be that reckless these days. While Hopkins is nominally in my life again, I am weary of hearing how the parade has passed him by, when he marched right over me without looking back a long time ago.

...and dread the day/when dreaming/ends...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Thirty Years, and I Haven't Learned

This past Saturday was the prom at my high school. What I remember about my three rounds of prom attendance are: when I was a sophomore, I had a pity date, because the guy I'd been seeing since the previous summer decided to dump me a week before- a senior boy from my church stepped up and took me so the dress my folks had bought wouldn't be "wasted";  my junior year, my date, a boy I'd been dating since the preceding summer (there's a pattern here) hit on several of my friends, talked a little trash about me within earshot of some of the guys from the band and got threatened for it, and was only there because my mother refused to let me break the date in January when I was sure I was over the guy; and, last but not least, my senior year the guy I had been dating for almost a year at that point (see that pattern?) broke up with me at the prom breakfast so he would be free and clear to take a different girl to his own prom.

Prom is the last night of Ballyhoo for some of us. College formals don't involve the level of preparation or dress, and then, if you don't get married, you will never attend another occasion quite like it again as long as you live. Best enjoy it while you can.

Thirty years out, I'm the class spinster, having figured out very early on that I'm not good at compromise- that is to say, I have a breaking point about putting up with being lied to and cheated on. The guy I was dating my sophomore year eventually came out of the closet, but I still remember when his butch female friend stood behind him interjecting brutal put-downs as he broke up with me one morning before first bell. The fact that he's gay, and I know it really was not my fault in any way, shape, or form, took some of the sting out of it in hindsight...but holy crap, it hurt at the time.

As we were driving back from the city on Saturday night, I said something to Hopkins about the kids heading to the after-prom party at the bowling alley in the next town over, and then something in the back of my mind just snapped.  I was so shell-shocked that I blew right past his apartment building and had to turn around to take him back. I couldn't even articulate it, but what flashed through my mind was, "Oh, my God, I'm still making the same mistakes thirty years later. I've never learned anything. Men still pull the same crap on me that teenage boys were back then, and I'm still waiting for Hopkins to notice me. WTF?!? I don't have much longer to live my life and I really, really want to get unstuck."

Is "close" the best I'm ever going to do? Why do I have to go through all these also-rans and close-but-no-cigar auditions for real life? Why do I always fall short? I was waxing nostalgic to Hopkins about a handful of very bad dates I'd gone on, and as I concluded, I said, "But that was all such a long time ago, when I still had hope, you know? Back when I believed that those things might actually work. I don't have the luxury of that self-deception anymore."

Someday I'm going to have to get up on that stage and do my soliloquy, if I don't get cast in a play. Even if I have to deliver my lines and run my scenes alone, I have to leave the rehearsal and move on to the performance. Too bad that I have stage fright...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Research Says...

CNN published an article today on the idea that monogamy is a thing of the past. Okay, well, not everyone finds an "open relationship" appealing. It's especially unappealing when you've been in what you thought was a monogamous relationship and it turns out that you're not even first among equals.

A man can be as fat as a pig, or ugly as a mud fence, or stupid as a rock, or a combination thereof, but GOD FORBID a fat woman of any stripe would consider herself worthy of his attention. I mean, really, a guy has to have STANDARDS!

(By the way, IRL my first name is Hebrew for 'bitter'. It fits, at least at the moment.)

With the current looming potential for WW III to begin any day now, I wonder what it might have been like had anyone ever considered me worthy of love. Alas.

Well, I do have a kind of love: the kind that means there are a couple of cats in my bed most of the time and two Airedales taking shifts sleeping on the bedside rug. It's the kind that manifests as a small Siamese cat pushing its head under my hand at 3 a.m. because she wants her ears scratched. It's the kind that involves a heavy, long-haired black cat vocally berating me because she's bored, from a spot above my head on the bed pillows. It's my male Airedale leaning on me and looking at me as if I am the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's my female Airedale doing the "Airedale dance" when I come home from work.

Maybe all of that makes me too weird to rate human companionship, but they're pretty much my life, and what keeps me bearable during the hours in which I must interact with humans.

Monday, April 3, 2017

What Am I, Chopped Liver???

One of these days, I swear I'm going to lose it and punch Hopkins in the face.

Not really, but damn.

So I hauled him off with me to visit my mother's hometown. This time of year is hard; it's been the harbinger of far too many funerals, and I felt the need to just go. Also, I don't take just anyone up there- even though I give the appearance of being very extroverted and putting everything out there where people can see it, I don't. The things that are truly important to me are very closely held; if I take you to Hardinsburg, there's a reason. If I don't trust you, you'll never see it on my watch.

As we were rolling around in the Barnes and Noble on the way back, he said something offhand about "I'm probably never going to get married." I stared directly at the floor and immediately moved out of his line of sight, muttering under my breath, "By the way, I still have two of my three engagement rings."

I also paid for his meal, in thanks for his going with me, but also...well, let's just say I got it out there quickly that they were on one check and it came to me. I finally broached the subject of the splitting the checks thing, and realized immediately that I'd hurt his I added in a small voice, "It makes me feel...I some kind of troglodyte." That made it worse.

How do I tell him that I started having them split the check because I don't carry cash, and because I didn't think it was fair for him to pick up part of my tab because I out-earn him three-to-one? No good way to do it without making things worse.

I wish I simply had the courage to say, "Look, I've been in love with your silly ass since I was fifteen. I would love to know exactly what I'd have to be to encourage your romantic interest, but that's not fair to either of us. I shouldn't have to be something I'm not, just because you can't find anything about me that's worthy of your attention. I'm tired of settling for the pat on the head. It was old and stale when we were in high school, and it's older and staler now. I like you enough to endure these slights just to hang out with you- but it's soul-crushing. It's not like I don't know that you don't want me. I do. In spades."

Every time I open my mouth to say it, the words die on my tongue, so the humiliation goes on...

Friday, March 31, 2017

Oh, Not Again

Long story very short, Hopkins' grandmother died. He e-mailed me hours before it was publicly announced, and I sat on the information until I was sure that his sister had been informed.

But this is someone who categorically is not interested in me. Really, he makes such a huge production out of it and it's so very demoralizing and annoying. However...

This week is the state library association's academic conference. The other two librarians are attending, so I stayed home to mind the store. Wednesday, as soon as I closed the library, I repaired my makeup, changed clothes, and drove home for the viewing.

That's where it goes walleyed.

You'd think, when you walk into a room and someone's face lights up that much, that it's an indication that they're glad to see you. You'd think, that if they insist upon violating the local funerary custom of seating the close family in the chairs immediately opposite the casket, that it might follow that people will assume you're a couple. (Otherwise, it's not done. Trust me. I've been going to this funeral home all my life and so has he. I was in the 'wife seat' and that's why people asked. He insisted that I sit there.)

There's more to it than that, but I'm too tired and confused to write it.

Due to our staffing issues, I wasn't able to attend the funeral proper, so I e-mailed him late in the afternoon to do a gut-check and find out if he made it through the ordeal okay. Around one a.m., he wrote back thanking me on behalf of the whole family for making a special trip over on Wednesday.

Oh, come on, man: I have crossed oceans of time to find you. It was your near death that prompted me to reveal my presence to you, in spite of your very specific instructions many years ago to the contrary. I had diligently avoided you, news of you, your presence, and everything else because you made it so clear that I didn't matter to you.

But that's down to me. I observed your reactions in that funeral home the other night, and came away with something that hurts more than ever: I can read you. I did...but I've made a flaming fool of myself over you twice in the past, and I won't crawl out on that limb again.

Either put out a hand to catch me, or let me go. I'm used to being a self-rescuing princess.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Wait a Damn Second, Dude

I hang out with Hopkins because, frankly, I don't have a lot of friends. To him, I'm a convenient lift to an activity he seems to enjoy (improv) and that's it. This past weekend, I had to take my father's watch for repairs, to the oldest continuously-operating jeweler in the state. As we pulled through the iron gates of the parking lot, I asked Hopkins if he wanted to go in or stay out in the car.

He said he'd stay in the car.

If he'd left it there, I would have been okay, but no...that was not mean enough.

He added, as I was stepping out of the vehicle, "I wouldn't want them to get the wrong idea."

Dear Hopkins: Insofar as this may come as a shock to your system, I have owned, at different times, a total of three engagement rings, two of which I still have. That means (GASP!) that there were at minimum three (THREE!) men who actively wanted to marry me. Had you left it at that, I probably wouldn't be so angry BUT you felt it necessary thereafter on the same evening to inform two complete strangers (a bookstore clerk and a server) that we were NOT a couple. What the HELL, man? SERIOUSLY? I KNOW YOU DON'T WANT ME. Stop being an asshole. No woman within a thousand-yard range who caught ANY of that would even vaguely entertain the idea of going out with you, because it plays badly to the cheap seats.

Yes, this is with whom my ex thought I was cheating on him. GUESS AGAIN, EX: Not only does he NOT want me, he's hell-bent on reminding me that I'm unworthy of his attention. (That's a bit specious for many, MANY reasons on which I don't wish to elaborate.)

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Just Call Me Diogenes and Hand Me a Lantern

My family doesn't have as many generations as some. They often married late on my mother's side, leading to an interesting conundrum: my grandparents were both born in the Victorian Era. Their parents were getting on a bit in age when they were born. There are fewer generations between me and my ancestor Philip Lightfoot, who fought in the American Revolution, than there are for the majority of people my age.

I'm a walking anachronism. My parents were children of the Great Depression, and my mother, of course, was raised by two Southerners of Victorian vintage. My ideas of honor, family, relationships, et cetera, are informed by older value systems.

It puts me at a disadvantage.

On top of being over-educated and physically unattractive (read:fat...I might as well be bright purple and have three heads), I have unreasonable (apparently) expectations about truthfulness, fidelity, and other little things like that. I'm probably going to be single until I die as a result.

Also, God help me to not ever have another man accuse me of cheating on him as long as I shall live- because I am not, have not, and will not, EVER -and use it as a justification for committing infidelity on his part. I'm not wired that way.

I guess I'm not pretty, young, or thin enough to reasonably expect to be treated with respect or dignity. I've been made to feel like an alien for having this seemingly unreasonable expectation.

What ever happened to dealing with comes next, after the shine is off the apple? People are disposable, or at least I am...or that's how it feels.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Freedom and Other Illusions

Funny, it doesn't feel so hot- but then again, I wasn't the one who did the dirt. I'm not into hurting people. I'm not into lying, stealing, or cheating. 

Every time I've tried to talk to my ex about it, he throws it back at me and tells me it was all my fault. 

I guess so; I put up with his bullshit for that long, so I guess I deserved it...

Wait. No. I didn't. 

So it's a one-year anniversary of not setting foot in the local steakhouse, because we ate there about every couple of weeks. It's the one year anniversary of me going to a movie here in town. In a couple of days, it'll be the one year anniversary of receiving disconnection notices for three utilities at once, due to the thousand dollars I didn't know that I owed, because that's what he was supposed to pay in lieu of rent (it was less than half the total household costs, by the way).

I should have known. He was still so angry at his mother about his childhood that he wasn't there for her when she was dying, until the shit totally hit the fan. It wasn't entirely without reason, but you know, he's not the only person who had a parent who wasn't straight up out of a Leave It to Beaver episode. Some of us still suck it up and do our duty.

A year later I'm still sore. I'm still hollow. 

He got to move on. He got to have his revenge, like some schoolyard bully. I paid for every woman who ever took a dump on him before I came into the picture. I am now the most recent Evil Bitch (by his definition) about whom he will tell sob stories to any woman stupid enough to buy his line. 

Here's the catch: it's not the truth. I knew, long ago, that although some of their motives were questionable, he probably drove every woman who kicked him out to their wit's end. I tried to tough it out and it blew up in my face.

It's hard enough. I'm not young anymore. I never had a decent body, being a 'such a pretty face' fat girl. My IQ is too high, I have too many degrees, I assert my opinions, and I don't like games. I guess I'm through with dating. In retrospect, maybe my parents should have let me join the convent way back when. I'd be just as lonely inside as out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

There Are Things I Remember, And Things I Forget

Today would have been Margo's 51st birthday. I remember how much snow we had two years ago, when all Hell broke it is almost seventy degrees Fahrenheit and sunny. I still miss her terribly.

Yesterday was the first anniversary of my transporting a tri-color Walker Coonhound to At Risk Intervention's Waystation in Knoxville. He was a friendly dog. I finally got to meet Cyn, with whom I've corresponded at various intervals throughout my rescue career.

Today is the eighth anniversary of my visit to the animal shelter in Columbia, Kentucky, following one of the largest animal hoarder raids in the history of the state. It was overwhelming. It's also the first anniversary of Molly's rescue ride; sadly, ATRA and Jane Belle Gates, her foster mom, had to let her go due to increasing complications from cancer before she reached a year in rescue.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of betrayal.

When I stopped at the house on the day I was picking up Molly, one of my boyfriend's socks was in the driveway near his SUV. I knew what it meant, but I pushed the nausea down and waited for him to come out to go with me to get Molly, as promised. Instead, he ignored me and continued playing his electric guitar, which could be heard for about a block. I didn't have time to wait for him, so I left to get Molly. She had to be checked in by a certain time at my vet's clinic- I barely made it.

The next day, I returned to his house keys and a Dear Jane letter on the stove. The sock in the driveway meant exactly what I thought it had, but rather than tell me that he was leaving me for the woman I knew he was seeing behind my back, he packed up the last of his things and took off while I was at work.

The following afternoon, the disconnection notices for all of the utilities arrived, to the tune of almost a thousand dollars- he'd been stealing the bills out of the mail for months and concealing them, not paying them to create a nest-egg for his new life. In a panic, I borrowed the money from my father. It became my birthday gift that year when he sent me a note "forgiving the loan". The price of my ex's freedom became a reminder of his unfaithfulness and rejection two months later, as if it didn't already sting enough.

I haven't dated. I've looked, half-heartedly, at dating websites, but I still feel too numb to process the idea of letting myself in for that kind of betrayal again. Chris ("Hopkins") still makes an enormous production to servers of the fact that our restaurant tabs are separate, and it feels more humiliating every successive time it happens...this is the guy my ex thought was in love with me. Funny how one can weave a justification out of nothing.

My ex tried to tell me what hell his life was in the nine months immediately following his departure, to which I put a halt: "Why should I care about this? It's what you chose, isn't it? That hell was preferable to me." (cue crickets)

Trust me, that's a hard one to to bounce back from; it may be my life's work. I don't know if I ever really will.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Problems are There, but They Could be Worse

A few things have happened in the last week that are worth noting for varying reasons:

Hopkins did go to the improv show. While I was in the bathroom, Stefan's father asked him if he was blind or just stupid, and further informed him that it was awful that he didn't seem to notice or care that I looked great that night. It kind of rolled right off of him, reinforcing what I kept telling my ex to no avail: I've been down this road so many times before that I know exactly how this ends, with a big fat 'not interested'. I'm that guy at the D&D game who has boobs. This hasn't changed in thirty years and it's never going to change.

A young woman I had quite literally known since her birth died of an overdose. She was working in my father's medical group as a physician's assistant, and my dad was her preceptor physician. She grew up down the street from us, and for many years, her father was our family's veterinarian; I remember her so clearly, as a child and a teen and a young woman. This SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. Today I went home and looked at her lying in the casket and thought, "THIS IS BULLSHIT." You're not going to convince me otherwise. She was ten years my junior and I feel so angry and regretful that her life ended far too soon. The flowers were beautiful, by the way.

Lastly, a friend's husband died after a short but fraught battle with cancer. She is a woman of deep faith and I hope that it will sustain her through the coming difficulties. Their twin sons will graduate from high school this spring, and there is a younger son still at home. I haven't seen her in a hundred years; we reconnected through social media, so I've tried to keep up with her that way. She's one of the most truly decent people I've ever known in my life, so this has a tang of supreme unfairness to it. She had the life to which so many of us should aspire, and now she has lost her husband, who by all accounts was a nice guy. (It turns out that he was veterinarian for another friend's mother's ancient, late Boston Bull Terrier.)

Vet families have had a bad run lately, seems like.

The pastor of my home church has also relayed the information that a couple who have been integral to the congregation (and who are very special to me) are suffering. The husband has entered hospice care. What I'm not sure a great many people remember is that he has an M.Div. from the Presbyterian seminary, but chose not to seek a pulpit after completing it. I talked with him when I was in discernment and it was one of the things that showed me that I wasn't really cut out for the pastorate. While he is very quiet, I am rather strident. Neither is the right fit for ministry. He led the Session when I was called to be examined for my catechism. His wife, who for a long time was our pianist, would quietly pivot my toddler sister and send her back up the side aisle when she ran away from Mom during services.

So we wait, and I'll go home again. At least my class reunion is during Cow Days and maybe I can see some folks there instead of at the funeral home.

Recapping: Valentine's Day was a bust, although someone left a book and some candy in the mailbox at my house with a kind note. That helped. A lot. Really, it did. Hopkins was himself, per usual, and meh. Then the MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, for non-library folks) rolled out, with some nasty surprises. *sigh* Hiding under the bed's really not an option but it sounds GREAT.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Before the World Ends

My fatalism's a little worse than usual. A week after Valentine's Day last year, I came home to find that my now ex-boyfriend had packed up and moved out, leaving my keys and a Dear Jane letter on the stove. He told me later that it seemed too cruel to leave me before Valentine's Day, although the gesture ended up being vicious in a casually backhanded way.

I haven't dated anyone since.

Christmas was sad. New Year's was a disaster and I was a burden on my friends. Now, the annual reminder that I'm undesirable looms large on the horizon.

I've been campaigning relentlessly to cheer myself up. I have a week's worth of outfits to try to be cheerful for students. I've ordered several very snarky cat-themed Valentine cards from an artist in England. I'll have to do our Valentine's Day book display soon at work. So far I just feel numb.

I've put off asking Hopkins if he wants to go see Damaged Goods because I know he'll refuse since God forbid I should think it was a Date! On Valentine's Weekend! I went to one of their February shows alone a while back because there wasn't anybody to go with, and ended up having pizza with Stefan at Puccini's Smiling Teeth afterward. That was my big Valentine's Day, although admittedly, it was one of the better ones. This was never one of my favorite holidays.

I remember being all psyched up about making my little "mailbox" or bag for school (sometimes the teacher had us do them using white paper sacks and maybe a red heart doily) and putting it up with everybody else's. The good years were the ones when we had to make a valentine for every other person in the class, so that meant we'd all get some- but there were teachers who preferred to let it "shake out naturally", meaning we only had to give valentines to the people we actually liked. That meant that some of us might get one or two, and the popular kids got a lot (often from each other). That's when I realized that there was something "wrong with me" in that context.

I want to be happy for all those "coupled" people out there, but being almost fifty and alone, especially when I was dumped this time last year, just drives home the fact that I will probably die without having had the fireworks or the Thousand Strings or any of that stuff. Publicly, I say that they don't matter to me, but it's self-defense. No one wants to admit that they know they're permanently on the reject pile.

So here I am, trying to chug along, operative term "trying", not "succeeding". I need the 14th to come and go quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Shall I Make My Own Judenstern?

The one thing one cannot escape is one's DNA. At the time of my mother's death, my sister paid to process genetic tests for both of our parents. The results now reside on servers with the National Geographic Society.

A few months later, when the results came back, I brought them up and looked at the migration maps based on my parents' ancestry. My mother's was not a surprise- but my father's held a few little bombs for which we weren't totally prepared.

Mom was a genealogist, and for a long time suspected, based on certain patterns, that some of Dad's ancestors were Jewish. They'd obscured this very carefully and converted to Christianity along the way, becoming Methodist clergy and congregants. Dad hotly denied it, insisting that the family is English, and indeed, our surname was granted as an official name in the 12th a different family. My sister has since pursued further genetic matching with a lineal society bearing our surname, and learned that we belong to a secondary lineage of that name. In other words, we're not the English ones.

As I studied the maps for my father's ancestral migrations, they snapped into sharp, immediate relief- I was looking at the Diaspora. By cross-referencing the genetic profile and the exact migratory patterns, something became patently clear: my mother was right. My father's paternal family was Jewish. First to Italy, then across to Spain and Portugal, and then to the British Isles, then the Netherlands, and America; the Russian Jews fled to Romania and dispersed through Eastern Europe. We were just ahead of the Inquisition on the one hand, and running from pogroms on the other.

His mother's family is no less interesting. We knew we were part Cherokee, and Irish, and could trace those back, but the surprise there was that my grandmother also had Romany (that's Gypsy, to the non-PC) ancestry. Great. At least there's some precedence for my reading Tarot as a hobby, I guess.

So, to recap: on my Dad's side of the family, we have no small experience with genocide. People have been trying to kill us off for eons.

In the current climate, when racist, fascist, xenophobic ideologies are running rampant in the United States, I'm not comfortable. Visually, I can "pass", but my genes are of record. I'm not completely white. I'm not completely gentile. What I am is quite demoralized and more than a little scared. So when they come for me, what badge will I be forced to wear? The Judenstern (the yellow star of the Holocaust), or a combination for my 'undesirable' ancestry, or something that reflects my "political dissidence"?

It's this knowledge that took me into the streets with a pink cat hat and thousands of other folks. I'm not 'whining'- the people who are kvetching the most about it are whiter and more gentile than me, so they don't have anything to worry about. I can't hide in plain sight anymore, and I really don't know that I would if I could.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

In My Little Corner

I've wondered all my life what it's like for people who are comfortable in their bodies, who don't feel sheer terror at the thought of sharing themselves with others because they might be humiliated or rejected. I wonder about people who enjoy intimacy, instead of panicking anytime they realize that somebody might have an interest in them.

Is there a time when you can comfortably call your body "home"? When you can live in it and not feel like it prevents you from being fully human? Is there a time when your mind won't race back to the slights and belittling in the past...those transactions of relationships when you realized how much they liked you and wanted to be able to find you desirable, but the inability to get to the latter negated the former?

Is there a moment when you aren't friend-zoned? Is there anyone who might want to fall asleep beside you and wake up next to you, and not want to gnaw their arm off to escape the fact that they did? Is there anybody you might actually trust enough to let yourself just...I don't

Should it bother me that the man I've had a horrific crush on since I was a teenager feels comfortable making sexual innuendos around me, because I'm that friend, you know, the guy at the D&D game who happens to have tits?

It's depressing, too, when the server asks how the check will be split. I can handle it more gracefully by quietly saying, "These will be separate," but having him announce, loudly and without tact, "Those are separate!" as in, "God, NO, I'm not WITH her, do you think I'd lower myself to that? Do I LOOK desperate?" makes me want to crawl under the table and promptly die.

Bottom line, I set myself up for it, I suppose because it's safe- and although I won't be pressed for intimacy, I also won't be offered any because I'm undesirable. I should just quit hanging out with him...but then I wouldn't have anyone with whom to go anywhere. I'm afraid of a real date (but nobody's exactly asking, are they?), and I'm so weary of these fake ones, too- just world-weary of driving home late at night and wondering, over and over, "What's wrong with me? How am I so defective that nobody wants me?"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Next Branch

I remember watching the old Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies as a child, and thinking that someday, he was going to miss the next branch or vine as he swung through the trees. Somehow, there was always another one to grab, and he never fell.

I missed the branch, but I think it's because I was thrown, instead of making the jump myself. Off-balance, gracelessly, I feel like I hit the tree trunk and plummeted to the ground. I'm in so many pieces that I don't know how to even begin to put myself back together.

Everything is discouraging. The world is colorless, airless, joyless. I've started retreating into myself so far that almost no one can reach me on the bad days. I've perfected folding up and disappearing, the way I used to when I was a teenager, out of sight on my big rock in the front yard, up on the roof where nobody thought to look, or under my bed behind the barricade of old toys and boxes, lying perfectly still so no one would know I was there.

It's reached the point where people exasperatedly have told me that they don't want to hear about it, that I need to "snap out of it" and "move on". It doesn't work that way. I shudder to think what it might be like without the small amount of pharmaceuticals I take...but I really don't want to be any more heavily medicated than I am.

I'm treading water in jello, being hauled under by quicksand. I have nightmares about abandonment and exclusion. I feel worthless.

It doesn't really matter what I write in this ex only trolled it to reinforce his inner justification for pulling his vanishing act. I'm pretty sure the woman for whom he left me is the kind who appreciated the melodramatic gesture asserting his greater devotion to her.  Honestly, I don't think anyone else actually reads this thing.

If you've ever wondered why people kill themselves, it's because they realize that they're invisible and that they have never mattered. I've tried, but all I have to show for it is a massive litany of failures.