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BY suzy

03/01 Direct Link

As she walks to work in the morning, it’s a magical time.  The sun isn’t up yet, and there’s a blurring between the lives lived in the daytime and the lives lived in the night.  Weary partygoers stumble home after a night of revelry; hookers, hoping for a last pick-up or two, wait together on street corners.  The transvestites always admire her accessories and make her feel even prettier than the cat-calling construction workers.  A white coated worker stands outside the funeral home, having an illicit cigarette.  A cable car passes, jingling its bells sleepily. 

03/02 Direct Link

She didn’t believe in therapy, but after her father died, her mother became simultaneously terminally ill and penniless, and her own marriage started to crumble, she thought that she’d try it.  She told the therapist everything, but it didn’t make her feel better. It made her feel even worse when he hugged her good-bye one day and tried to kiss her.  She fled to the elevator, shaking, thinking it was all her fault.  She should never have told him she was in love with another man – clearly he thought of her as fair game, knowing that.     

03/03 Direct Link

When was the last time?  She doesn’t remember.  But then, she doesn’t remember the first time, either, something that everyone is supposed to remember.  One of these days, she’ll submit that deep, dark secret to PostSecret  and find out if she’s the only one.  “I must have sexual amnesia,” she muses, trying to recall that first time and that last time.  Was it the time she cried afterwards and he didn’t say anything?  Or had she already cried out all her tears by then?  Why can she remember one night stands but not her husband?   

03/04 Direct Link

I used to dream often about a house.  It was a recurrent dream, and I’d walk through it room by room, up the stairs, mentally decorating and placing furniture.  The house was always empty, but so familiar. I welcomed those dreams.  I wonder if it was a real house, and whether I haunted it in my dreams; whether the owners would see me walking up the front steps and think “Not again!”  Whether I’d one day come across the house while awake and astonish the owners by appearing in real life, not just as a ghostly dream visitor.  

03/05 Direct Link

“Tell me your secret desires,” he whispers, kissing her neck.

 All she can think of is a revenge fantasy she has about her ex-boyfriend. She passes him splendidly in her chauffeur-driven limousine, splashing mud on him as he lies on the sidewalk.  His life has become a ruin since their break-up.  Ha!  Her eyes brighten as she spills this out to someone who is a total stranger, other than the fact that they just had sex for the third time that night.

“You want I should beat him up?”

“No, “ she sighs.  It wouldn’t be enough.  

03/06 Direct Link

When he came home from work, he could hear her singing in the Victorian clawfoot tub which she had found and charmed the contractors into carrying up three flights of stairs. They acted like she was doing them a favor as they hauled the cast iron contraption into the bathroom.

He closed the door quietly.  She was singing “Beautiful Dreamer” in a way that told of childhood.  Who the hell knows all the words to Stephen Foster songs?  

He walked quietly into the kitchen, so she wouldn’t stop singing and he could be part of her moment in time.     

03/07 Direct Link

She never wanted to get married, completely bemused by girls who dreamed of nothing else from the time they were children.  The same went for children. She always found dolls kind of creepy, and knew that motherhood was not for her (she often wished her own mother had realized that herself before it was too late).  She was perfectly happy living with her boyfriend.  But he wasn’t.  He wanted to get married, and he kept asking.  Finally, she thought, Well, I don’t care and he does, so why not?  This is not a good reason to get married.   

03/08 Direct Link

He took a second job to pay for the engagement ring.  He picked it out himself, and she never had the heart to tell him she didn’t like it.  Is it a terrible sign when your fiancé doesn’t know you well enough to know what kind of ring you’d like? She wondered about this almost as much as she berated herself for not liking it after he worked so hard to get it.  But if it’s a symbol, what exactly is it a symbol of? Hopes? Disappointment?  A bad sign?  Misunderstanding? Acceptance? None of the above?   

03/09 Direct Link

I am awakened by hard rain drumming on my curved roof.  It makes a change from Adventurous Audrey demanding to go outside (not asking; not she).  I lie there a moment in the pre-dawn gloom, wishing I could enjoy what most people consider to be a cozy noise rather than fearing it heralding a power outage.  These are an inevitable occurrence every winter, when we get our year’s supply of rain.  And my hamlet is always the last to get the power restored.  

Despite the pouring rain, the cats still want to go outside.  There are adventures waiting.  

03/10 Direct Link

The blanket still smells faintly of my late mother’s perfume.  I remember it from my childhood, and in my mind’s eye, can see it on my parents’ antique cherry wood bed, comforting my mother in her long recovery from my sister’s birth.  In retrospect, I realize she had serious post partum depression, but at the time, I thought it took months to recover from having a baby.  Now the blanket is worn thin and I notice how scratchy it is and how worn it is in spots, but I can’t bring myself to throw it away.    

03/11 Direct Link

Am I the only one who doesn’t think Tiger Woods needs to make a public apology?  As far as I’m concerned, this whole scandal is between Woods and his wife, and it’s none of the public’s business.  I am alternately appalled and entertained by the irony of people’s wanting to know every salacious detail while condemning him for the same.  The pillory seems to be alive and well and living in America. We might as well throw tomatoes. And it all has nothing to do with his career or talent, the reason for his fame.     

03/12 Direct Link

And while we’re at it, can we stop calling every actor or actress in adult entertainment a porn star?  There are very few people in that particular business who are recognizable names and could be called stars: Jenna Jamison and Ron Jeremy spring to mind.  But these women who are linked with Tiger Woods and may or may not have made adult films are not stars.  I guess it just sounds better (or possibly worse) in the press than the truth.  That seems to be a recurrent theme and problem with today’s media, from the tabloids on down.  

03/13 Direct Link

Ever since I moved to the country, I’ve been plagued by allergies.  It’s like having a cold that never ends: constant sneezing, blowing my nose, congestion, sore eyes.  So far I’ve sneezed my way through fall and winter, and if it’s this bad now, just imagine how much fun it will be when spring really starts blooming. I’ve tried all the over the counter medications and nothing works.  Maybe I’ll eventually get used to the environment and the allergies will stop or lessen.  I miss the days of having health insurance and an allergist.  

03/14 Direct Link

When I moved, I brought the stray cat I’d been feeding.  It started by giving her water during a heat wave. Then I thought, “If I’m giving her water, why not food?”  This led to buying her a bed, which I put on the porch so she had shelter.  When I was packing, she started sitting right outside the front door, as I to remind me to bring her with me. The vet says she’s about 12 years old, and has had her legs and ribs broken at some point, but she’s a happy cat now.  

03/15 Direct Link

I have to admit to a certain petty satisfaction when I find mistakes in high profile magazines and newspapers.  I hit the trifecta this week, finding mistakes in “The New Yorker” (“confectionary” instead of “confectionery”); “Vogue” (an article referred to “San Francisco’s Lake Merritt”, when that lake is in fact in downtown Oakland); and “Vanity Fair” (quoted the title of a famous Rod Stewart song as “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” rather than “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”, the weirdly-spelled, yet correct version). But when I find spelling errors in books, it annoys me. Go figure.   

03/16 Direct Link

I hate Daylight Savings Time.  It’s Nature, people, deal with it!  Newsflash: changing the clocks does not give us more daylight.  We get the same amount we always get this time of year.  No more, no less.  Putting the clocks ahead and saying it does is like taking a rug, cutting off the end, sewing it on the other end, and saying it’s longer.  I can’t believe that we, in the land of the free, go along with the nonsense every single year.  It’s time for us to rise up and rebel! Are you with me?!  

03/17 Direct Link

Today the sun is shining and Dad isn't here to see it.  I can't call him to wish him happy birthday or look forward to an email telling me what he made for his birthday dinner.  Nine years after his untimely death, it can still hurt as much as when I first heard the news and my life was divided into "Before" and "After".

In these After days, I should try and focus on the happy memories.  I know I'm lucky to have had a father who was also my best friend. But sometimes the loss is hard to bear.  

03/18 Direct Link

Sometimes she looks at the ruin her life has become and wonders how she got there. She did all the things you’re supposed to do when you are a responsible adult: go to college, get married, buy a home, get a job.  It all slowly fell apart, and now the apartment is sold, the proceeds vanished in the economic meltdown, which has also affected the revenues at the firm where she is a partner.  She is making less money than she did 20 years ago and can’t even afford to get divorced after being separated for five years.    

03/19 Direct Link

I pitched some story ideas a week ago to the editor of a website I often write for, and I haven’t heard back from her yet.  Yesterday, my sister and I were driving home from the village store when I told her about this and then said, “Maybe she hates the ideas.  Or she thinks I’m a terrible writer.”  Her eyes straight ahead on the curving road, my sister said, “Mom’s dead, Suz.  Get over it.”  I was silent, taking this in and realizing she’s right. I turned my face toward the setting sun and smiled.   

03/20 Direct Link

It was a bad break-up. Leaving her husband of fifteen years would prove to be much easier than ending it with her boyfriend of two tumultuous years.  After the final fight, he left, slamming the door and leaving many of his possessions behind him.  He used this as an excuse to come by, pick something up, and get her into bed.  Unfortunately he was the best lover she had ever had, and their chemistry didn’t die along with the relationship.  Finally, she took all his stuff and dumped it on his parents’ lawn. She never saw him again.     

03/21 Direct Link

What better way to get over your ex-boyfriend than a one night stand?  Especially one with some Eurotrash guy you’ll never see again.  It seemed like a good idea in the bar after drinking a few martinis and ingesting a few chemical substances, but naked in bed with him – at her apartment, never a good idea in the one night stand situation – she just felt depressed.  She wasn’t really paying attention when he whispered, his lips against her neck, “I haff no preconceptions” and she realized he meant contraception.  She had both, and this wasn’t it.    

03/22 Direct Link

Getting over him was like rehab, even though he’d punched the vice president in the face at her office Christmas party and stood her up on Valentine’s Day, and probably cheated on her with his frumpy ex-girlfriend.  She was never sure about that one, but the fact that they got back together suggested that he had.  This didn’t stop him from stalking her, though, and keeping track of her every move until she finally  had to get a restraining order. If only she could get one for her heart and emotions, she’d be all set.  

03/23 Direct Link

He feels the tiredness tug at his eyelids. Looking in the mirror as he shaves, he thinks, “I go on a lot of first dates.  What’s wrong with me?”  He’s 45, he has a good job and a nice car.  He’s a straight man in a gay town, a man who has never been married and has no children.  “I’m carry-on,” he thinks, putting on a fresh shirt.  “No baggage here!”  Sometimes he thinks he should just give up, but he somehow keeps hoping that this time, it will be different.      

03/24 Direct Link

Few people could endure my brother’s Spartan lifestyle.  He has no neighbors, lives on thirty-five acres of land in our late mother’s trailer. It’s very small, containing a bed, a desk, a kitchenette, and a shower.  Until he dug the well this fall, his showers were of necessity no longer than three minutes, since that would use up all the water.  He has solar panels for electricity, which power giant batteries, and a generator.  He has a little propane heater to ward off the night’s chill. He has the pioneer spirit I so sadly lack.   

03/25 Direct Link

If I had known then what I know now, I’m not sure that I would have bothered with the expense and boredom of college. It was so hard, working all day and going to school at night, sacrificing sleep to homework for four long years.  And for what?  I have no savings, no retirement fund, and I don’t know how to do anything practical.  I wish I’d learned to build shelves, plumbing, electricity, and how to do basic car repairs instead of getting a useless degree in linguistics.  At least I could fix things around the house.  

03/26 Direct Link

One of the things I miss most about having healthcare is having an allergist. Here in the country, I have year-round allergies, which translates to a cold which never ends.  I’ve tried every over the counter allergy pill without success. I have sneezed my way through the fall and winter, and I imagine that the burgeoning spring will bring no relief.  I wish I had an allergist t wave a magic wand and banish the allergies once and for all. It’s all this damn Nature everywhere.  I’m not allergic to cement, skyscrapers, taxis, museums, or shops.

03/27 Direct Link

I take my friend’s daughter to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at a historic hotel.  She'll be seven in a couple of weeks, but is so old for her age that I sometimes forget she’s a kid.  Her mother went to the yarn shop to buy knitting needles, and when she’d been gone for nearly half an hour, I observed that it was taking a long time.  “She’s probably distracted by some gorgeous yarn, and now she’s debating whether to buy it or not,” her daughter replied.  She was right.  She knows her mama!    

03/28 Direct Link

A week ago, there was a sunny 80 degree day.  My sister and I took her dog and met our friend Lu at the beach with her two dogs.  We walked along the shore for more than two hours, watching people ride horses on the beach and seals bask on their rocks.  I got the first sunburn of the year, despite a careful application of SPF 70 sunblock.  Lu lent me her baseball hat to no avail. Today, I woke up to a wild hail storm. It looked like snow.  March’s weather can be as unpredictable as I am.     



 
03/29 Direct Link

Rob turned up while I was sipping coffee this morning. If you visit, just walk right in. Of course, if I've gone to town (aka the Three Hour Tour), it could be a long wait.  Good thing for you there are books, movies, and magazines galore.  And cats to let in and out, even though they now have their very own cat door in the door leading to the balcony.

That's why Rob stopped by, to install the cat door.  While I woke up slowly, he installed the door upstairs. It's very relaxing to watch other people work, I find.     

03/30 Direct Link

June and Audrey are getting used to the new cat door upstairs.  I had to shove them through it a couple of times before they grasped the concept, even though they've had one between the main house and the studio for several months now.  It's great not having to leave the door ajar all night, especially now that the cold and rain are making yet another farewell appearance.

I had a vain hope that they might use the cat flap exclusively, making me obsolete as a doorman, even while knowing it was on the unrealistic side. A girl can dream. 

03/31 Direct Link
This morning, I stopped to pet Henry Etta on my way to the kitchen. She was lying on her side, paws relaxed, and fast asleep. The room temperature on the heater read 60, which pleased me, thinking that Henry Etta had been warm all night. Lately I've left the heat up higher at night for her comfort. As soon as I touched her fur, I knew something was wrong. She was cold and stiff. I felt her nose for breath, put my ear to her side to listen for that brave little heart, but all was silent. My heart broke.