REPORT A PROBLEM
I guess men and women really are very different. But so are individual women and men. There are so many types and variations, that it is no wonder we are confused and struggling to understand each other. Or just get laid. Whichever comes first. Some are monogamous in nature, others are more like relay runners, sometimes in several races at once. I will not even begin to elaborate on what the confusion amounts to when nationality, religious orientation and sexual preferences are mixed into a relationship. I really hope we get better at it as we go along. Do we?
Neighbors. You gotta live with them, but I sure could live without at least one of mine. X lives above me. She had somehow gotten the idea that I like her stuff. So she kept bugging me with it until one day, when I quite distinctly told her my opinion of her ragged-ass smoke-infested puny junk. At present, a couple of old bouquets grace the lawn in front of my windows. Is she trying to tell me something, or is she just being a slob? Dunno. But she sure ain't the sharpest tool in the shed. Get a dustbin, fool.
Bone-tired. Emotionally and physically drained. Worked hard and feeling quite ragged and feeling the pressure and stress of a new job. Oh dear, how hard it is to be alive. And yet, how pleasant. I will always do my best. Always. But I will also try to take care of myself and those around me. Cat lurks behind me, she wants to play. She has had a little tuna and a walk outside, and she is feeling frisky. Lucky little cat. Now I will go to bed and dream of a very good job and splendid benefits. I have hope.
Oh well, another day has passed. Another part of my life is history. Today I have lost my way, found it and then lost it again. Blimey, what a day. Colleagues somewhat strange, very unique in their own way. We have different standards. Cat is outside, I think, although she has developed distinct camouflage skills. She insists on tuna, I grin and serve up the usual crunchy stuff. This business of getting lost has really gotten to me, I thought I had a good sense of direction. Maybe I was also afraid of the not so very well-lit paths …
Kindness. Good to keep in mind. In traffic, for example. When the Jerk in front of you establishes that this is his private road by riding in the precise, exact middle of it. Or when an army of nannies roll down the sidewalk in a tidal wave of prams, strollers, kids, bags, the odd dog - who of cause doesn't bite, he just clamps his loving 200-pounds of jaw-pressure on your nose for fun - and a vague air of invulnerable innocence and a tangible air of processed - ! - baby food. But hey – remember the kindness, right? Right.
War. Why is it so important to America? Has US forgotten what it is like to be at war? It is a while ago that America saw war on its own territory. Now the US starts one up on another continent. I saw September 11. I watched in horror and despair as the towers fell. The consistent cry for war scares me deeply. We will see wounded and death. Vietnam? El Salvador? Allende? Nagasaki AND Hiroshima? Why always insist on violent solutions? Nothing good will ever come of violence. "They started it" is a kindergarten argument, fitting only for toddlers.
Late Friday. I got to thinking about borders and membranes. How thin is the thinnest protective material, like the condom that denies sperm access, the shield that keeps contaminated ebola-blood off the scientist, the windows in a warm bus keeping out the cold rain on the outside? Sometimes the barrier seems almost constructed of nothing but air, being a matter of convention and personal space. It seems the last barrier has to do with eye-contact. Think New-Yorkers in a 5 p.m. A-train. It seems to me that if destiny exists, it is in the strengths or flaws of such barriers.
Oh me, oh my. I did it. I took my father on and made myself clear; I prefer to hear more than grunted one-syllable statements in the declamatory mode. I want context and detail, just a little. Listening to him, I find that I remember grandfather. He rarely said anything kind voluntarily, and it has rubbed off on his sons. Bright men that they are, they know this. Changing it is another matter, of cause. But I faced the dragon, and I am still alive, spiritually and otherwise. Perhaps he is more human-sized now. Fair to him and to me.
For some time, I have lived without television. I have followed the news on radio and Internet, and frankly, I do not miss it. Well, except on Sunday night or some late night, when some midnight program is better than silence and bad dreams. Right this minute I miss it, having some craving for light entertainment. And yet … I have a book I want to read, a friendly little cat to rest on my stomach and a tray of freshly baked buns and some tea. I have been called on by friends and helped by strangers today. Pretty entertaining.
What a day. I received help from a stranger on Sunday, only to have it backfire. He helped me fix a flat tire, but in the process, he forgot to properly tighten the bolts and screws holding the wheel in place. So – all this Monday has been haunted by a loose back tire, a chain that kept jumping off and too much oil on the chain. To get the bike back in shape was – ironically – a task he again took upon himself. So tomorrow should be really, really interesting. If any related troubles arise, I just might take up voodoo.
Have rekindled my love for audio books. Currently, I am listening to Edgar Allan Poe's " The Purloined Letter". Complete with phony French accent. I can hardly concentrate on the story, so horrible is the fake accent. Why not just bloody read the thing? I find myself drifting, I long for the sea and the steady rhythm of oars in water, specifically mine, digging divots in the channel and the fiord north of where I live. Just a singlesculler and me. Peace, water, wildlife and the afternoon sky. Something about a body of water heals me, settles and quiets the soul.
Today I saw a strange sight; an elderly woman seated in the shotgun seat of a small family car. The strange part was her posture. She sat as if turned off, or robbed of power like a toy without batteries. Static, motionless, staring straight ahead. I mentioned this to my mother, who could not help but laugh at the idea. Still, is that not what we frequently do with our old people: Stack them like firewood or forgotten toys in static and sterile environments, to keep them safe – allegedly. Or perhaps to keep us free of care and unpleasant work.
Sometimes things click into place. I have discovered that someone close to me helps me, but at the same time sabotages me. She does not want things to change, it is always her rules, her way, via unstoppable and vaporous pressure. I am always in the wrong, no matter what I do; I am wrong per se. But – her expectations for me contrast with her life. "You have too little of a social life" – so has she. Virtually no personal friends. "This job is wearing you down". But guess who took early retirement? She. She does not even know me.
A day of hope, misery and more hope. Yesterday, I asked sent a short but desperate message to a web page about careers and jobs, asking advice about my rather dismal situation. Editor turned cleaner out of need. I got a long reply, and a good one, with specific advice and links to people who might be of assistance. I wrote a start on a good story. I had the fortune to be able to repay a favor. I calmly took a tempered and diplomatic showdown with my fearsome mother. Pure triumph. And all on a sunny and beautiful day.
I hope everyone has a favourite uncle. Someone who always has time for you at family gatherings, someone who sees and hears you as a person, not just an annoying noisy kid. What happens when they grow old? When they start growing grey and creaky in mind and spirit? I wonder, and I will try to find out. In the meantime, I have a little project to perfect, something that will surprise our host, my mother. With her will be my father and my aunt. This should be fun. I turned one of her paintings into a calendar, via computer.
I like being kissed, held, hugged and nuzzled. How come one cannot spend the day doing just that? Why is it, that we have to do all this running around getting money together? I think people just want to be loved and return love. To care for one another. But in stead, we do all this unimportant stuff with our time, all this secondary fiddling and positioning and acquiring to bolster our lives. How dreary and boring. We are at a technological level where anything is possible. So how come we do not have time for more tenderness, more kisses?
How come there are no real men left? Have there ever been any, and what did they look like? I mean, was there ever a time when Lancelot or Prince Valiant remembered the anniversary, took out the trash and said: "Prithee, but Thy art Most lovely in that gown, and Thy posterior doeth not at all look too big in it". What the H…. is the matter with dis picture? There never were any "real"men, no more than there were real women. Even John Wayne was called "Marion" in real life. There is just the Realistic Men. Real men – illusion.
Spring is just around the corner, the sun is in the sky for about eleven hours. I can feel it in my bones, I am beginning to wake up, just like the flowers beneath my windowsill. Soon the waters will be warm enough for sailing and rowing. The only thing that isn't flowering is my spirit. It is still a humble and frozen little thing, shivering in a metaphorical corner. I have trouble sleeping, constant pressure settles on my midsection and I tend to hold my breath. Stress? You better believe it, buddy. But – the only way is up, right?
I am weary. Simply tired in advance, and the day ahead is just so long. But I will persevere. Fortunately, there is a good book waiting for me at the library, someone will bring cake to work, and the weather is good. Her eyes are very catty indeed. I guess it is up to me. I would like some vacation or a timeout. But there is always the money to consider. So – Tally-Ho! Into the breach, dear friends. Cat is flabbergasted at my nerve, I have had the audacity to move her out of her – my – chair onto a pillow.
Feelings – Oww Oww , Feelings … How do I feel? Whell, dat's de ting, chummy, I DON'T KNOW. I am so turned around, so stressed out, that I can't even locate my own feelings. So I look out my window. Sunshine. Great, I feel good about that. I see Cat getting what-for from a couple of gulls. Funny, kind of. Thursday - the week settles down, and so will I. Hey. I think I feel something; relief. And pain in my belly. And sore eyes. And some satisfaction at the thought of how I handled the troubles of the day.
Domination. An odd concept to which I am no stranger. I am not talking about the bondage-version. I refer to the balance of power between a group of people. It appears that I am a rather dominant person. I try not to be, I am not in favor of pushing or forcing others to give in to my views. I would rather have them listen to what I say. But time and again I am confronted with an individual who reacts very negatively to this vibe I apparently give off. Then they punish me for the fear they feel …
Mother’s birthday. Interesting, certainly. I wonder how the day will play out. I could just go to the cinema, or I could go to the clubhouse and talk to the other rowers about the upcoming season. I suppose there is a lot I could do. But I wish to be with my mother on her birthday. Is that strange, childish? Dunno. But all is well here. The house is okay, the sun is shining – allegedly a sign that my mother has behaved well in the past year – and the day is good and open. I got to remember her gift.
Good lord. I have really thrown a rock into the pond. Am waiting nervously for the ripples to bounce back to me. Left a pissed-sounding message on my parent's answering-machine. Now I am awaiting the equally-pissed callback. But there are issues that we need to deal with, head on preferably. I have no TV, and usually don't miss it. Today, now, I do. I could really use some boring actioner and some bite-sized news. The war is ridiculous, surreal. I cannot believe that our government has voted to send in our one sub and a bunch of soldiers. Inadequately silly.
Sunshine, but still very, very cold. I need my bones warmed up, the heat to rise up again through my feet, hips, body, arms, chest and head. Soon, I guess. In the meantime, coats and sweaters will have to do the trick. But spring almost is here. If nothing else, it is demonstrated by Mr. and Mrs. Duck, who have returned to their precarious home, next to several roads with heavy traffic. Salmonlike, they return every year. Meanwhile, I try to keep my head above water, like always. I wonder if life is this hard for everyone. Well, is it?
Fu.. Darn. Thought I had The Solution to an old problem, which has been bugging me. Or rather, my computer. Neener-neener-neeener. Misdirected by support, swindled by salesperson and - well, let us just say, it don't work. Why is it that we believe the description on a package? Even when previous experience tells us otherwise? Personally, I believe it is some kind of hardwired reflex. Oh well. Maybe I am just an easy mark. Next time I talk to a support-person, I will be very specific. Cat doesn't bother with silly computer. Not even the mouse causes a whisker twitch.
Back and forth in time. The sun rose today like any other day. Cars pass rapidly by on the other side of the wide lawn between my westward window and the road. On the stove a pot of pasta and beans. Cat enjoys a bowl of favorite food, I am clipping away at the keyboard. Faintly, in the background, Delibes. I went to church today, praying to for a solution to pain. Lit a candle, and enjoyed the calm of several centuries. Below lie corpses of a king and his brother, betrayed and murdered at the altar, ignorant of sunrises.
Good Lord, for a day. Head-under-the-arm fuckups, oversleeping, moving like a chocolate jellyfish in sunlight. Talked to Dad, which is an improvement. He and I have had a major fight about manners and upbringing. Mine. Basically, I am sick of his moody fits of cranky attitude and sloppy manners when visiting me. Does he accept even a cup of coffee? Nope. Does he still try to give me orders? Yep. Does he get away with it . No way in hell. Not anymore. If I am going to fuck up my life, then let it BE my life, by George!
But oh! How soft her tread, the sound of silken paws barely audible. She lurks and sneaks, tail slinking low behind her, prowling. The prey awaits her in the kitchen, sweet smelling of meat and warm fat. Nonchalantly, she scouts the territory. Large, clumsy feet pound by her, a threat to her plan is temporarily away. Good. She moves in for the kill: there, on the counter, a warm dish with meat on top. Cooked, but adequate. She pounces; it's delicious and chewy, just the thing. Uh-oh. "What the bloody hell …" Retreat. Strategic, of cause. Wasn't that good anyway.
Economically speaking, I am no success, but as of yet, no disaster either. But emotionally speaking … I am a disaster area. Like I have grown up on avalanche slopes, getting hit every time I made a noise. Or an area full of quicksand, where you have to pick and prod and weigh every damn step. Trained to do nothing specific, except not to fuck up, tip the apple cart – which is damn near impossible when you are a kid. Dad is angry, my fault. Mom is crying, my fault. Forever looped through my mind. Nothing I did could help.
Daydreaming about a certain man. Not particularly tall, but impressive of build and presence. Dark gray eyes, black hair and goatee, sometimes a black hat. I have to watch myself in his company, lest I turn into a giggling little twit, unable to pronounce even the simplest statement. Does he even see me? Even if he does, what does he see? Get over it, silly girl. Grow up, do your job and care for your tasks as they present themselves. Never mind his eyes, his voice, or the way he always seems ready for anything, focused like a confident cat.
Today is my birthday. I dislike celebrating it, I don't find getting old a concept to celebrate. Of cause, there is the opposite, which is no picnic either, I guess. I have had some trouble with this position over the years. In 1997 my mother arranged a surprise party for me. Oh boy. I was kind of flabbergasted on the day itself, but the day after all the feelings turned up. I was really mad. Because she had not respected my very explicit statements on 30th birthday parties. Which is to say I did not want one. At All. Zilch.
The Tip Jar