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12/01 Direct Link
Love’s bond 'twixt child and dog could not be torn. When tears streamed, a puppy's tongue dried them. When doggy eyes implored, a girl’s dinner was secretly shared.

It was because of this bond that she was the first to notice.

"It’s cancer," said the vet. "Maybe we can get it but it may grow into the brain."

Selfishness urged us to operate. Love urged us to let her sleep. Love won.

They were inseparable, but for the cancer. Two decades later and the girl, now a woman, reaches for a friend who lives only in her heart.
12/02 Direct Link
The last time we were happy as a family was Thanksgiving 2005. Already we had known things were troubled, divorce likely, but we set that aside. We had the vacation home which is now his home. We invited the entire family up there; we had the room for everyone to overnight. I prepared as many dishes ahead of time as I could and we trucked it all up there. We had two turkeys: a traditional roast one, and a deep-fried one. Both were eaten down to the bone. Laughter, games, riding ATVs along the creek bed. Fun and love.
12/03 Direct Link

Sometimes you can predict, looking at a small child, that he will have problems later in life. Most times you can't.

I see him, preschooler, clad in "big boy pants" and a tee shirt, eating a Red Vine, seated on top of the dog watching his favorite cartoon show.  He had been bold, and filled with laughter, imagination, light. I don't see the young man he has become in that image. I could not predict the moody tortured youth or the man struggling to identify himself following a dream that seems impossible to reach.

That contrast hurts so much.

12/04 Direct Link

I was the right size. He says I looked too thin, but it felt right on me. It falls in the mid-range for my height. Clothing sizes were right.  I had so much choice in what I could wear.

It felt better. Healthier.

Today, my clothes feel restricting. I despair when I look in my closet; I'm limited because I refuse to buy more in this size.  Surely I'll drop those pounds! then I can fit into the stuff that I have sadly put into boxes.

I don't think I looked too thin. I think I looked right.

12/05 Direct Link

What makes the parting ever so slightly less difficult to handle is knowing there will be a next time. This keeps the sense of loss, of loneliness from overwhelming.

We each still have far to go, and we have time in which to go there. Yet, increasingly my heart becomes certain that this one is one I could make a life alongside. I picture it, sometimes. How we would arrange our lives to be true to ourselves and yet together, so that partings would be few, far between.

No one knows what will happen. For now, it's just girlish dreaming.

12/06 Direct Link

You want to know as things unfold. You, like me, want to learn to adapt to changes and new situations. I don't know what things churn inside you, what causes you discomfort and so can only guess what reassurance I might offer.

I've stated he seeks a primary partner. He's fully aligned with open relationships but wants a snugglebunny with whom he shares most of his time. He is at this time deeply smitten with me.

I find myself increasingly less attracted to him. I like him. We have things in common. We're both lonely.

But it's not quite right.

12/07 Direct Link

I love the desert, but it's no longer holding my allegiance. I once swore I would never leave. I thrilled to its austerity and heat. I loved the soft khakis of its landscape and the bold fire of its skies.

Now, as I drive through it I find the bleakness and sameness bores me. It seems to feed into those moments when I am melancholy, tipping the balance over toward depression. It feels lonely and sad.

This place has no real history and no character. Its charms are superficial and man made.

I would shuck all, go someplace with depth.

12/08 Direct Link

"It is not only light that falls over the world. Spreading inside your body it's suffocated snow."

She stared at him a long moment. "You gotta be shitting me. Suffocated snow?"

"So much clarity, taking its leave of you, as if you were on fire from within."

"Suffocated snow? Do you listen to yourself?"

"The moon lives in the lining of your skin."

She suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. "Where do you get this stuff?"

He drew himself up. "It's Neruda.  When I think of you, his poetry comes to mind."

"Suffocated snow? What does that even mean?"

12/09 Direct Link

Manshaped: boy were they!  Not so much what I consider appealing. The man shape that appeals to me is relatively slender, wiry -- fit, tight muscles, just enough body fat to give shape to the form.  Tall or short doesn't matter.  Heavy muscles, chiseled, oiled, dominant veins riding atop bulges, that sort of look is unappealing.

I like men's asses. I like them when they're shapely, clearly with muscle beneath them but with padding so they have shape.  These boys had nice tuschies.

But they were boys -- some younger than my son. That felt oogy to me.

12/10 Direct Link

We stopped to picnic, pulling off the road into a wooded area where there had been a campsite at one time.  The sun was warm but the ground still snowy.  We picked our way through brush to get to where some logs had been dragged around a fire ring.  Cold snadwiches, chips. Nothing fancy.

At first the skull looked like a bit of bleached wood, but there was no mistaking the hollow sockets and the teeth.

He set it on a stump and photographed it.  "I'm a CSI!"  I laughed. It was just a cow.

12/11 Direct Link

It's been difficult for me to talk openly. Look at the years spent being emotionally punished for it!  I'm learning and finding it rewarding. I'm learning that, in the end, it's the easiest path, not the most difficult.

I had two frank talks with the ex. I could see the hurt he felt; inwardly I cringed. He's slowly starting to get it: he and I cannot be together.

And then there's Probie. I've been worried about his feelings, but he seems to be a big boy, and takes ownership of what he feels. I can just be myself without worrying.

12/12 Direct Link

"Delilah has worms; I might get them."

"Sorry to hear about the cat, but why you? You eating her poop again?"

"Am I not supposed to do that?"

"Not unless you're a cat-eating predator. Are you?"

"It's from any contact with the cat's face or saliva. I kiss her, she licks me, she sneaks sips out of my drinks sometimes."

"That would explain her whack-o behavior, given that you drink only wine..."

"If I start vomiting, then we'll know for sure."

"Given your penchant for nausea, how will you know if it's worms?"

"If I vomit up worms?"

12/13 Direct Link

I don't know what it is; it ain't engineering. It isn't even engineering management, or project management of an engineering type. I've been sort of shoehorned into a role that encompasses damned little engineering management and tons of property management, logistics management, facilities management.

It sucks because I don't like doing this for my own properties, never mind some building across the country.

What makes this worse is that I haven't been given the tools I need to be successful. I don't know the right people to contact. When I ask, I am treated as though I'm whining, or stupid.

12/14 Direct Link

They call it "Hump Day" because it's the middle of the standard work week, the hump, but of course it took on the innuendo and everybody, upon hearing "Hump Day", loves to go there, to the innuendo.

When I was a child, it was cute. I'm more than fifty years old now and I love innuendo and punnery the same as the next slutty geek, but for some reason, I grow weary of this one. It is, to me, akin to chuckling stupidly and saying "You said 'willie'."

That said, if anyone is actually getting any on Wednesday, happy humpday!

12/15 Direct Link

Every face, aside from the security guard's, was familiar to me.  Every name known.

I walked in the front entrance and down the main corridor to my office which is in the bowels of the building. The company houses hundreds, if not thousands of employees in this facility.  I started my career here, and came back a few years ago.

Along those intervening years filled with layoffs and transitions, and the work I've done since returning here, I apparently have come to know a lot of people.

It felt strange to be greeting everyone I met by name.

12/16 Direct Link

The default ringtone tearing into my fogged sleep told me I could disregard; I picked up the phone anyway. Squinching dry, sleep-bleared eyes, but that was no real number. WTF? Fuggit. Put the phone down.

It rang again. Must be important, so I answered.

"Mom?"

Ahshit.  I had an hour, less, to dress, get cash, and get there. Three bank machines and two cards later, found the dimly lit triple-gated security entrance. A uniformed woman recorded my credentials, counted the cash, and disappeared.

Fifteen minutes later, my son was escorted out and handed over to me.

Fuck.

12/17 Direct Link

I can't watch Burning Man videos without getting a little bit homesick. How weird is that? I still recall looking at the vids and the photos and, when seeing images of BRC thinking about how stark and dusty and hot it looked. How could people live like that? The premise seemed so cool, but did it have to be in that alien landscape?

Now I look with a completely different eye, and I am filled with a sad sense of longing. How could that place have worked such magic on me?

I can still taste and smell the dust.

Yearn.

12/18 Direct Link

He's needy, he's prone to going nuts. For now I am all he has; he has placed, in his mind, all the coins of his well-being into the vault of my willingness to provide emotional support.

I don't believe he is aware he has this angle, or is doing this intentionally, but he is adept at leveraging, even subtly, his insanity and my fears when it comes to his impact on our son. No, his plea is aimed at the goodness of my heart. My motivation comes primarily from fear that he will spiral down again if I fail.

12/19 Direct Link

"December 23rd. That's my day. That's when I leave here. I can't wait," she said privately to whoever would listen, then proceeded to burn bridges in the months following.  She plied her new job in the office, pestering co-workers with invitations to seminars. She gave their personal cellphone numbers to her new colleagues.

Last week, I asked her if she would like me to take her out for a farewell lunch.  "I'd love to go to lunch with you, but I can't afford to leave here. I haven't quite gotten the business I expected to."

12/20 Direct Link

The purple pen today.  Purple suited her mood.  So many subtle meanings, she felt. It was right.

"W-a-r-r-e-n."  She wrote it in neat block letters, sounding the letters out as she wrote them. She paused, looking at her work. The raspy New England voice continued in her ear; she paid it no heed, admiring the confluence of the name, the shade of purple, the tidy printing. It was all right.

"We cleah?" the voice was saying.  "Warren'll be your rep." 

She was ready. "Right, then, what about Warren?"

12/21 Direct Link

When he was born his father's family agreed he looked like Pop-pop.  His mother's family was certain he favored Grampy. Mother thought he was a baby version of her husband.

She fretted. One reason she had longed for a second daughter was that she was certain any testosterone-enabled child of her husband's would be challenged by the same quirks that made life for her husband so difficult.

Through the years, most of this proved true. Hyperactive, trouble in school, super smart, and voices in his head.

Who knew it would be the girl who was the alcoholic?

12/22 Direct Link
It's weird to be annoyed that a dinky freebie website that provides some rudiments for entering a sort of unscored contest challenging people to write 100 words every day for a month suffered a glitch. Yet annoyed is what I have been. I liked the discipline, for one. I liked being able to see and possibly mock other peoples' entries. I liked seeing what you had to write. On a whim, I checked the site today. It's back! I can now take all of the entries I've written so far and pop them into 100Words, no worries. Downside? No you.
12/23 Direct Link
I have never approached the holiday in such a calm fashion before. I have never been so less prepared. I'm leaving tomorrow, but only now packing, organizing, wrapping gifts. I suppose it could be more pronounced: I could be doing this tomorrow. I don't feel guilty, stressed, or anything about it. It just is what it is, and I'm remarking on the difference from years past. As for the melancholy, well I'm pleased to report that this year I don't feel any. That's undoubtedly because of this trip I've planned, and the prospect of a relaxed time with my Princess.
12/24 Direct Link
The way his mind works amazes me. He sees things no one else seems to, not only what they present now, but what they could be. That's why his photos are amazing. He somehow understands the potential, and his camera captures it. This applies to his writing, and his humor as well. How did he see that stress ball and start thinking the way a dog might? I still chuckle at the memory. He frets, though, about himself, about who he could be and who he is not. I wish, for his sake, his talent would break down for that.
12/25 Direct Link
Sunshine, a princess, and what many people may have a difficult time grasping in a non-prurient fashion, a naked male comprise my day.

Taking a few days to spend in a desert resort community with my daughter and her comfortably nudist boyfriend is a splendid way to spend my time.  I assured him I was not uncomfortable -- I had after all spent a week amidst naked gay men -- and he was happy to strip down to worship the sun and heat. I am happy to be with my baby girl.

I dearly wish you were here, too.
12/26 Direct Link

The day felt long, although not the drive. It should have felt short; I did sleep well, slept late, and spent only 12 hours or so awake and upright. It was the variety of activity, I think, that made it feel long when I had at last retired.  For one, we walked a lot. We saw a variety of things, and did a lot of people watching, a lot of talking, and enjoyed the company of several dogs.

Regardless of what my mind perceived, my body knew and so I found myself more awake than asleep this night; hence this post.

12/27 Direct Link
In scanning the entries for the month, I note with some sadness the dearth of posts.  The glitch -- as yet unexplained -- that prevented people from entering on a daily basis for so many days is the cause.

I continued the practice. I wrote nearly daily, keeping the entries on my personal blog. It was simple, then, to copy and paste into this site when at long last the keepers noticed it was broken and figured out how to fix it.

I miss some of the regulars, though. I dearly wish they had chosen to catch up or keep up.
12/28 Direct Link
I've got just a touch of feeling left out, alone, abandoned. The weird thing is that I am surrounded by people wanting or needing time with me, but the one person I have been yearning for has been preoccupied with all the other things life has been dealing.

It's like a child, or even a dog:  ignore what you have in hand, and long for what's over there, what the other kid, other dog has. Obsess over it. Stare at it. Will it into your grasp.

When you get it, love it, gnaw on it, and grip it forever.
12/29 Direct Link

Find a drive you can sacrifice. Nuke it. Scrape it down to bare metal. Then load it with your favorite OS.  Let it get all the updates first, before you do anything else.

Next, install the applications you absolutely MUST have: browser, word processor, email.  That.  Next, list the applications you need to do the job you're about to start. ONLY those applications. Find them, find the info you need for them, find the data you're working on, and load ONLY those things. 

Set everything else aside; work. When you finish, repeat with the next set.

12/30 Direct Link

A while back I had written about wants and needs, and where I lacked the strength of will to ask for help when it came to fulfilling them. A conversation ensued, the topic turning to loneliness.

"I think," said my correspondent, "many people feel lonely, even when married with children and friends all around. I remember that feeling: of being married and feeling so totally alone."

I remember it too. It is part of what drove me to cheat, because there was a man who offered something I didn't know I had craved.

I am feeling far, far less lonely now.

12/31 Direct Link
A roomful of Colombian women, one elderly American biker, my companion and me. Two of the women were lesbians and were partnered. Two were roommates, each seeking boyfriends. One of those had dated my companion in the past, but decided it wasn't going to work out as a romance. They have been good friends for three years now. Another woman was married to the ancient biker.  He spoke three languages fluently.

The women all spoken broken English and took turns translating one another for me.

They also had fun trying to teach me to dance.  It needed wine.