Odd Dream

Remember children, if you steal where you land, you’ll never get far.

Such an odd thing to say… last spoken line in a movie-like dream.

It was an odd dream, like watching child versions of myself and an old friend from afar. We were playing in the shallow end of a pool on a warm day, with sunlight dancing off the water. The speaker was woman dressed in a 1950’s bathing suit. We were young and she was minding us. Then the dream flipped to the end scene in the movie, shot in the same location at a later time. All three of us appear to be sleeping, still in our bathing suits, still in the water. We are sitting together, leaning on each other, with our heads tilted different ways. For a moment, I’m confused because it is snowing. Are we sleeping? Are we dead? Are we under the water? No, there is snow on our heads and shoulders, snow dusting the thin layer of ice on the water. We look transparent in the blur of swirling snow, as if faded shells of ourselves. Then Rodney’s shell breaks and there is nothing there. He’s gone.

I woke up wondering who she was, definitely not my mother and too thin to be his… but, I don’t know what she looked like then as we did not know each other as children. Then I wondered if he died. He always vanishes, one way or another, just before I wake up from a haunting dream. Why he still sneaks into my dreams now and then is beyond me… we haven’t spoke one word in over five years. When was the last time I saw him? 2005? Why use the land instead rhyming far with are? “If you steal where you are, you’ll never get far” would be easier for children to remember.

The whole thing is odd… bit bizarre, as we’re not thieves.

I don’t steal because my experience of being wrongfully accused of stealing as a young child got drilled deep into my soul. I got whooped, had to apologize and everything, so humiliated over a stupid little Santa soap. Aunt Donna had a whole dish full of personal use size novelty soaps. She told me that I could keep the one I had used. I asked if I could take it home and she said YES, but she sure as hell didn’t have my back when mother marched me over there to return it. Maybe that’s why I have a hard time asking anyone for anything… to this day, I’d rather not.

On another note…

The women’s art show scheduled for this summer will be a “virtual” event, details to come… not sure if they intend to hang it or just post images sent with entries online somewhere. I hope not, mainly because photos for my entries were snapped with an old cell phone camera and they’re not the best… here’s a comparison.

Opportunity, snapped with old cell phone camera.
Opportunity, quick snap with new phone’s camera.

Maybe just my opinion, but the colors look dulled in the submitted photo. Maybe it is just my eyes… cropped images look flat. They lack the depth of background, shadows on walls and such, so I’m hoping they hang the art and do a virtual tour with a video camera.

Odds are, Opportunity won’t be accepted anyway. I just want to get my fave piece in… that’s My Aura. If you want to see it, it’s on Mice4Mars.com (my relatively new art blog). It’s a WordPress blog, recently upgraded to a paid plan to go “ad-free” as I really do NOT want ads for flabby arm ointment or political bull stuck in between art photos. Someday, this blog will be ad-free, too. I’m waiting a bit to stagger the annual renewals so the payments won’t hit the bank at the same time.

Thanks for reading… peace be with you, wherever you land.


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.



Seventeen Thoughts

A full year has passed since the R-tist Douce slammed a one sided 8 text goodbye into my phone on a cold bitter morn. I had kept secrets, withheld private information about my own personal life… just wasn’t ready to share. When I told him that I wrote him a letter to explain what’s going on with me and a yeah, I’ve been seeing someone, he did not wait for the letter to arrive… he mulled it over in the night, then played judge and jury, executing our friendship at dawn.

I wrote about it last January in Sixteen Changes.

I still don’t get how he concluded that I was “emotionally cheating” on him AND the man I was quietly seeing, a bit bizarre considering that the R-tist and I were, by his own choice, just friends. Sure, we had a bit of history, we had tested the waters years ago… but, not once in 20 years did I actually sleep with him as in curl up like puppies and wake up together in the same bed. We never had that kind of relationship. We were just old friends, good friends, at times each other’s muse, and I loved him dearly… still do. He was one of my best friends and I miss him.  I haven’t seen him in over 10 years (which makes the cheating thing even more bizarre) but he was the one person that I could always talk or text about artsy things, share poetry, dream out loud, whatever.

I’m still kind of mad at him over all this… why would he trash me up one side and down the other? Accuse me of being delusional, saying I want my cake and eat it, too.

Yes, I do… I want my cake and eat it, too… I don’t believe in dumping my friends just because they happen to be of the same gender as a current love interest, especially if we have been friends for a long time.  I can see where friends may become an issue with that “cleave to your spouse” thing, if a person turns to their friend instead of their husband, whatever… but I’m NOT getting married. I don’t think I need to dump my friends to get laid, nor could I date anyone so insecure that they can’t deal with me having my own close friends. I shy away from control freaks, try to avoid the abusive types, so there is no reason why I can’t have friends AND a lover, if that’s the cake and eat it, too.

It’s also a two way street… do I get weird when I hear my lover say “love you” at the end of a phone conversation with his best friend, who happens to be female? No… I’m secure enough in my own relationship to know his love for his friend is on a totally different plane than his love for me. Apples and oranges; this is real life, not teenage drama crap.

There’s a part of me that wonders if the R-tist thinks he did me a favor… oh yeah. He accused me of being delusional, so I have spent the last year seeking the clarity of cold reality.

I have seventeen thoughts on that…

No, I’m not going to list them… bottom line, he did himself a favor.

By ending our friendship, he stopped using me as a crutch. Hopefully, he got his act together and did something with his poetry instead of wasting endless hours texting or talking to me. Maybe he started making art again… started chasing his dreams again… got a new job or some help for that depression that kept him on the brink, or overcame his fear of rejection enough to make amends to his son.

As for me… there is a hollow place, a quiet space, shrouded with sadness where this friendship used to dwell. My words are silent, swirling inside my own head.

I write about it because I cannot talk about it… this blog, you know, is so publicly private.

Maybe I should explain that…

When I first started seeing the vet, he told me that I share too much. Like he doesn’t need to know where I’m going or what I’m doing all the time, he’s not one of those control freak guys. He kept stressing that I need to keep a part of me for me, so I figured okay… this blog is mine. I will never discuss it with him, never share anything I write, even though it is out there on the internet, as public as can be. I’m pretty sure that he reads it now and then, even though I stopped sharing links to new posts on my Facebook page, as he will occasionally say something about knowing more about me than I think he does… But, for my own personal amusement and the sake of keeping something as “all mine” to never share with him, let’s all just pretend this very public blog is my own personal private zone to write about anything and everything, including how I feel about this lost friendship.

The vet’s opinion is a flat out, “He’s not your friend. A friend wouldn’t do you like that.”

The vet was with me with the text slam arrived. In his mind, there is nothing to discuss about it, the friendship ended so there is no need to ever bring it up in any conversations. My mind doesn’t work like that. I cannot use logic to shut off how I feel. I valued the friendship. I was deeply hurt by the way it ended, but I still mourn the loss, still miss my friend.

Time heals all wounds, but scars remain.

Thanks for reading.