Twirled Around

Somehow, this became all about me… we are taking a break because I need to get back to myself, the me I was when he met me. We come from different worlds… he thinks that I’ve been trying to blend into his world and losing myself in the process, so I need time to get back into being me.

I opened the door on Sunday afternoon expecting to see one of my friends as the sound of the knock was familiar, it sounded like hers, but he was standing there… clean, sober, and serious. He came to talk.

He’s right on some of that… when was the last time I went to a poetry reading?

It’s been a couple years, maybe three, since I read my own words out loud on Phelps Street in downtown Youngstown with crowds of people walking by, a few stopping to listen. Or, was my last time reading to a bar crowd in Suzie’s Drafts & Dogs? That was fun. I quit the art committee for the annual Women’s Show after I had that little stroke. Wick Ave was closed, so I’d have to walk in from Fifth Street, and it was just too much for me at the time. Losing the sight in my right eye knocked spatial relationships out of wack, so I seldom try to bead anymore. It’s hard when pliers grasp air next to the wire. I quit going to gallery openings because I cannot afford to taxi home after bus hours.

And why is that? “Babe, I need $10.” Well, there goes my cab fare.

Yeah, wait a minute… how exactly have I blended into his world?

I haven’t… I can’t… he blocks me out. “The Secret Life of [His Name]” is the title of his closed, tightly guarded book. I’ve teased him about that… he lives a dual life. Always has… covert missions to the store for a loaf of bread doing the Arnold thing, “I’ll be back.” Everything is a secret. What he does, where he goes, who he sees when he’s not here with me, even who cooked the fucking chicken that he brought home on 4th of July… all of it, none of my business.

Some secrets, he has told me, is to protect me. There are things I don’t need to know about… people who are not safe for me to be around, what I don’t know won’t hurt me.

Now my life, on the other hand, is an open book… “Bee Out Loud” is more than my tagline. Having spent most of my childhood locked in silence, I have to be open and honest and just throw it all out there.

The only “secret” I kept from him are my written words, including THIS BLOG, and that’s because he told me, back when we first got together, that I needed to keep something to myself, a part of my life for me, not to be shared with him. Yeah, I choose my VERY PUBLIC and easily accessible blog as my thing not to share with him. All I did was quit posting links to this blog on Facebook (which made it two clicks away from his eyes instead of just one) and never once brought it up in any of our conversations.

There was no mention of the key or the chicken on Sunday.

We agreed to take a break; that I need time to work on me, to get back to being my old self. I’m still thinking about that… not sure if he got the idea from reading the title to one of my favorite songs (Joanne Shaw Taylor’s “Lost Myself to Loving You”) but if he actually listened to the words, the lyrics are about NOT losing myself to loving you. Maybe it’s just an excuse… as in, “I’m cheating because YOU changed” kind of thing. Which, of course, he has not and will not own up to… but, I’m not stupid. Someone cooked that chicken and that key opens the door to someone’s crib.

Oh well. Does it matter?

NO… my heart is shattered into a thousand pieces, but it shall heal. And I will NEVER go back to being the me I was when he first met me, even if I start doing the things I used to do all the time more often again.

I simply cannot be the me I used to be because life changed me… having that little stroke changed me. The death of two beloved Aunts changed me. The loss of a sister changed me. My muse and confidant of 20 years abruptly exiting my life had a profound impact on me. My cat dying changed me. Some asshole dumping my nephew’s body in a frikkin McDonald’s parking lot changed me. Another nephew assaulting police officers during a drunken PTSD episode in my living room changed me. The vet wanting to “take a break” instead of just flat out leaving me has already started to change me.

It is not just people exiting my life that alter the course of my existence. Every new friendship slightly changes things, the therapy I started weeks ago is changing me, even a conversation with a stranger on the bus can ever so slightly shift a perspective. Life is fluid, like a river constantly changing, unless your life is extremely stagnant and even then, moss grows. Thing is, if you isolate to track a single drop of water from any river, it will never flow past the same point twice. We cannot turn back time. I cannot be the me I used to be and, in time, I won’t be the me I am right now either. Life goes on.

So okay, we can take a break instead of flat out breaking up… I need time… maybe he’ll use the time to get his own self together. I don’t know… time will tell.




Independence Day

LAST NIGHT:  I’m thinking 4th of July is Independence Day.  It’s been coming for awhile.  I’ve been slowly connecting dots while arranging ducks in neat little rows.  Patience is a virtue.

He hasn’t touched the little off-white chip of what I suspect to be his favorite rock candy yet… I found it on the bed sheet, right where he sits to roll his smokes, and laid it on the black base of the lamp on my nightstand. Maybe he hasn’t seen it yet. Maybe it’s not what I think it is… I don’t do that shit, suppose it could be tested, but how do you go about doing that? I don’t know, so I texted a photo to an ex-druggie. He suggested licking it to see if it will numb my tongue. I really didn’t want to do that, so I barely touched a tiny edge to the tip… the sensation reminded me of alum.


EARLIER TODAY:  I had just put the chicken and ribs that “someone” (his word choice) barbequed into the toaster oven to warm up when a glint of fresh cut metal on his keychain caught my eye.  He usually drops his keys on the stand by the door.  But today, he came in with bags of food and left his keys on the kitchen table.  I sat there like nah… then spread them out to see.  For the last couple years, he only had three keys on his keychain (key to my house, key to his apartment, and his mailbox key) and now there were four and I know damn well that brand new, freshly cut house key was NOT on his keychain when he was here last. I could also tell from the shape of the cut that it was NOT a duplicate of his or mine. So, who the fuck gave him a key to their crib?

Of course, I had to ask whose keys are on his keychain… in nicer words (no swearing) even if I couldn’t keep the edge out of my voice. He was instantly hot, declaring “they’re mine” and claiming the fourth key is some random old key that he’s had for years, blah, blah, blah… yadda yadda.

Long story short: we broke up.  Then we talked… we both knew it was coming.  He says it’s what I wanted.

No, it’s not.  I love him… this rips my heart out, but it has to be… his choice, my choice, our choice… trust erodes on secrets and lies. Hiding addiction requires secrets and lies. The key was just the breaking point. He can swear up and down that he’s not seeing someone else, but that brand new key opens someone’s door.  He could have picked a better lie… told me it was a spare to his sister’s house, something I could believe.  He can’t even tell me who cooked the chicken.

It doesn’t matter.  He walked away in the pouring rain.


BTW, I flushed the crack.

Toast & Bridges

Marty is back… he’s been sneaking around the yard for weeks, but this is the first time I was able to snap his photo.

The groundhog is extra skittish this year so I think he is avoiding the man who tried to evict him last Fall by blocking all but one entrance to his home. The plan was to wait until Marty was out wandering and seal off that entrance, too; but, the vet never saw him out again.

Of course, I had to text him a photo with, “Here’s your buddy, lol.”

I’m pretty sure Marty Marmion is a boy… no sign of babies, so Marty must be short for Martin. I only see him on rainy days, go figure. That’s about as close as he’ll get to predicting the weather.

Marty’s tenure here is pretty safe as we took a couple steps back… I told the vet that I need to be the girlfriend he comes to visit, not the woman he kind-of, semi-part-time lives with, and so far that seems to be working out even though he told me that’s some fucked up bullshit. He still has a key to the house, still comes and goes as he pleases, but it changed the dynamics a bit. No more sulking around like he doesn’t really want to be here but feels like he has to… our time together is more enjoyable.

Screech, halt, delete?

Not always enjoyable… between saving this as a draft and coming back to finish, we got into it on Sunday, made nice on Monday, I went to psych Wednesday, and now it’s Thursday… who knows what tomorrow will bring?

I keep thinking about burnt toast. You can scrape it dry all the way down to the raw bread so it doesn’t look burnt, but you will still taste a hint of burnt with every bite, even if just imagined.

At the slightest provocation, he throws words to the wind. Take Sunday’s fight… he was instant mad because I asked if he had any money for me. I forgot he had problems with the ATM, but oh no… he don’t believe that I can forget anything. Rawr, rawr, he’ll be gone before I get back from the store.

That’s three times… three times since May 1st that he’s put those words to the wind. So much for always and forever, third time is a charm… I say “okay, fine” and fight’s on, then as soon as he calms down, he changes his mind.

How many times does he have to threaten to leave me before I’m done?

Toast and bridges babe…


UPDATE:  Marty is a Marsha!!! Either that, or daddy has liberal visitation rights with the two young groundhogs that play from here to the garage two doors up. One has a dark, bushy tail… should I name them?  Nah, they’ll grow up and leave home… least that’s what my dad tells me.  He has new babes under his shed every year.