Sometimes you can predict, looking at a small child, that he will have problems later in life. Most times you can't.
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.
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.
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
I don't think I looked too thin. I think I looked right.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
"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?"
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
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.
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.
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.
"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?"
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.
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.
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.
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!
Every face, aside from the security guard's, was familiar to me. Every name known.
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.
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
It rang again. Must be important, so I answered.
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,
Fifteen minutes later, my son was escorted out and handed over to me.
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.
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.
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.
"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
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
The purple pen today. Purple suited her mood. So many subtle meanings, she felt. It was right.
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?"
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?
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.
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.
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
Set everything else aside; work. When you finish, repeat with the next set.
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.
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.