A Darling Monster

Saturday, September 8th, 2012 11:00 pm
my_lost_mind: (hiding)
 This post is largely for myself, to make a list and throw a handful of coins into a wishing fountain...
First I want to tell a story that may or may not have ever happened.  If you ask my mother, it's truth.  However, I honestly don't remember this (and I remember a ton of weird random things from my childhood)
When I was a kid, walking through some shopping mall with mom and my siblings, mom handed me a few coins to toss into the mall fountain.
Back then, fountains were for "wishing", and if you tossed a coin or two into one you might just see your wish come true.
I tossed in the coin, and wished as hard as I could (most likely a wish to be pretty, popular, or to meet some favorite pro baseball player I had a crush on).   Mom asked me what I wished for.  According to her, my response was "I wished for all the money in the fountain".  
She claims that this is why I've never achieved wealth.
I disagree, because I don't recall a time in my childhood when I was ever obsessed with money.  Maybe it was my sister who wished that wish - she's the one who turned out to be financially successful (because she was not the lazy ass student slacker that I was)
What's to follow is sentimental romantic nonsense, throwing a few metaphorical coins into the cosmic fountain
I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever.. (yes. I borrowed that from a Stevie Wonder song)
In the back of my mind I keep getting this feeling that someday I might actually get the relationship thing right.
To that end, I'll write down a list of qualities I would like to find in a potential mate, whenever he happens to show up in my life.
A smile that makes everyone around him feel comfortable because he's comfortable, happy in his own skin.  A warm and approachable persona, someone who wears his "geek" or "nerd" pride well, whether that nerdiness is from a love of books, history, music, science, cooking, science fiction, or art.  He's figured out who he is for the most part and is okay with it.  He's had his midlife crisis, sown his wild oats, and is now ready to deal with settling down in one form or another.
A love of learning.  

Someone who is passionate about something other than just professional sports or reality television.  

Don't get me wrong,  I enjoy watching football, hockey, and baseball but not to the point of obsession.  There are plenty of women who love sports to that level of obsession, but I'm just not that woman. I hate reality tv, there's just no free pass on that.  

Ideally this guy would be into something I find interesting, and that they would find some of the random crap that I'm into interesting.  It would be really fun to find someone who was a huge Star Trek fan, loves 20th century pop culture, classic muscle cars, cooking, politics, maybe into genealogy research or can name every album ever recorded by the band "Sparks" (and Sparks isn't even my favorite band, it's just something random and geeky).  

Again, doesn't really matter what it is - just be into something that is fuel for conversation.
A true love of conversation.  

Someone who enjoys real conversation, and not just what you would think women want to talk about.   I'm not one of those women who wants to sit around talking about "feelings".  In fact, I would probably start to get a bit squirmy if that's all he ever wanted to talk about.   I want to talk about random stuff,  current events, funny stories about our families, our life experience, stuff we're passionate about.  I just happen to enjoy talking with friends, and having someone that I can actually connect with on an intellectual level is the greatest turn-on I can think of.  

It would also be wonderful if my mate is into something I enjoy learning about.  See above ("love of learning")
Self-sufficient, both financially and psychologically.   Someone who manages to keep a roof over his head, food in the fridge, and can do a pretty good job of taking care of himself and keeping himself and where he lives in decent condition.   He's kicked whatever demons haunted him years ago and does not need a woman to look after him.   Someone who is not in a constant state of crisis or upheaval, has settled stuff with the ex wife, ex girlfriends, kids, etc.  

In other words, someone who is fairly drama-free and lives a rather ordinary life.  Profession isn't important, as long as what he does makes him reasonably happy.
Looks are not as important as how he carries himself, and the "vibe" he gives off.  I realize this is a really vague statement, but I've dated men who were 5'4" (ie. just a hair taller than me) and weighed less than me, and I've dated men who were almost a foot taller and more than 100 lbs. heavier.  I've dated men with hair longer than mine, guys with buzz cuts, and guys who would be bald by 35 (one of the guys I dated ages ago is still rockin his David Crosby style ponytail - gotta love it).  

What I notice first about a man is his eyes and his smile.  Does he look AT me or do his eyes dart around the room.   When he smiles, laughs, does it look like he's trying hard not to fart in public, or does he genuinely seem to be having a good time?    Does he look comfortable in what he's wearing and/or are his clothes at least clean and not full of holes?  I am not a fashion whore, but I'm tired of dating guys who cannot bear to throw out their favorite t-shirt with the beer slogan, riddled with stains and holes.  THAT shirt is for working on the car, building something in the garage, or hanging around the house on a Sunday afternoon, you don't wear that shirt when you're going out for dinner.   I will admit to having a weakness for men with blue eyes and at least some hair left.   He also has to be within 5-10 years of my age.   I'm really not going to be happy with a man approaching 60 unless he looks like Brian May (who is actually IN his 60s, yes I know).
Must be able to put up with an independent, passionate, stubborn, eccentric, slightly scatterbrained 46 year old woman who looks younger than her years, often dresses like she just stepped out of 1978, and carries 30 lbs. more on her petite frame than she should.  Someone who can deal with a little dog or cat hair on their clothing, isn't bothered by the fact that their female companion is mostly vegetarian, puffs away on an e-cigarette (gave up the cancer sticks years ago), and is a certified beer snob.  

My ideal mate also must be able to challenge me on occasion to think outside my own cranium, to help me pry my mind open when I am stubborn and stuck.  Someone who encourages me to be a better person (which means he's going to have to be one patient dude).
I clean up well, and know how to behave around suits, but I prefer not to (behave, that is).  Obviously, I'm not the type of woman for a man who is looking for arm candy, or a younger mate who can still produce offspring.  That bus left the depot years ago.
Chemistry is important, in fact it's critical.  However, in my strange little world, chemistry is one of those intangible things that just sort of happens.  Like spontaneous combustion, or the zombie apocalypse.  Sometimes people just explode.  Right, scatterbrained.  Got it.

Seriously, some of the most magical chemistry I've experienced in my life has happened under really ordinary circumstances.  I remember listening to the Love album "Forever Changes" for the first time, with the guy who introduced me to that album.  Listening to those amazing songs, with that guy, in his tiny basement apartment, looking at him looking at me, was brilliant.  I fell head over heels in love with him.   On a different day, different guy, I remember standing outside of a very ordinary neighborhood bar, at twilight, looking into the eyes of someone I had previously only seen as a "friend".  I noticed the flecks of gold in the blue of his eyes, staring at me as if I were made of light.  At that moment in time, I knew that something would happen between us (and it did, and it was wonderful while it lasted).  
Chemistry is random, but when it happens, when I feel that spark with someone, it's like being given a dose of the absolute best drug in the world.  The only catch is, you're Alice in Wonderland and are not quite sure if what you're taking is going to make you feel taller, smaller, or send you on some mad chase after a white rabbit only to wind up at a tea party with Johnny Depp in crazy makeup.   Sometimes you get lucky, and what you get with the dose of chemistry is a lovely gentle high that lifts your spirits and just makes you feel good.    Well, there's good sex as well.
I'm not looking for a husband to support me, a father figure, or a caretaker.  I don't need a man to buy me expensive gifts, pay for everything, or feel that he is anything more or less than equal to me.  What I do demand is honesty, kindness, and respect.   When I say "respect" I mean, respecting boundaries, respecting "no", respecting differences in opinion, remembering that even in a couple, there are 2 unique individuals who must be able to maintain some sense of themselves in order to preserve their sanity.
This brings up an interesting point, and it's something that brings out my inner cynical girl.
I'm wondering where, how, when I might actually meet a compatible companion without having to resort to one of those hideous online dating sites.   Do I really need to pay $45 a month to feel the same sort of rejection I can get for free by hanging out in a crowded hipster bar on a Saturday night?
I know that if I get too caught up in that whole crazy carnival of circuitous thought I'm just going to wind up feeling bitter and foolish.
Someday it will happen, I can feel it.  I believe it.  If there is one thing in this world that I still have faith in, aside from the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, is that love can and does happen to anyone.
Random, strange, beautiful, crazy love.  

This is my wish.
my_lost_mind: (foolish)
Dateline:  Blue Moon
I'll start with the daytime drama, er, adventure first.
I had the day off work so I decided to bite the bullet and venture into the Registry of Motor Vehicles to obtain my drivers license for my new state of residence, which happens to be the same state of residence where I grew up.
I'm not a big fan of such agencies.  I almost always end up waiting for hours for my "number" to be called, only to be told that some specific piece of paperwork isn't quite right, the employee processing my paperwork is having some problems with the computer, or some other random impediment that causes me to have to wait longer (or "come back when you have x, y, or z paperwork corrected").
Today, I got lucky.  A man old enough to be my father, dedicated employee of the registry of motor vehicles, decided to have a bit of fun and flirt with me while processing my paperwork.  Gawd I love the midwest.  Only in this part of the country do you get treated to some 65 year old man telling you that you "really need to go to the renaissance faire..."  because... "I work there, at one of the clothing vendor booths on the weekends".    He went so far as to complement me on the drivers license photo from my previous state, telling me that he liked my hair "down" (vs. restrained in a ponytail as it was on Friday). 
If that wasn't enough, he had to make a joke out of asking for my telephone number (for the voter registration paperwork), which he made a point of correcting to say he was "only kidding".   
Uh huh  (Didn't think it was possible for me to be able to roll my eyes like that anymore).
Really?  Thank you so very much for sharing that sir.  My life is now complete. 
Gotta give him an A for effort on that one.  At least he didn't lie and say he played the role of the "King" at the renfaire.
After dealing with Captain Renfest, I was told I had to take the written test for this state.    Yeah, I was not expecting that but soldiered on, paid my paperwork fee and proceeded to the desk where I was to pick up the written test.   The friendly woman at the counter looked at my name on the paperwork and said that my surname seemed familiar.  Turns out she was a neighbor of my father before he became a resident of an assisted living facility.  She and I chatted about dear old dad, I told her that dad is doing okay but doesn't always remember things from his day to day life.   We chatted for a bit longer, she told me of various elderly former neighbors of my dad who have passed on, she wished my father well, and handed me the test.
I took the written test, passed, got my photo taken and was presented with a shiny new drivers license.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in heavy retail therapy, including a trip to the Golden Land of Particleboard and a stop at a shiny new grocery mecca - spending no less than $40 on booze because there was a good selection of craft beer, and product demos. Seriously, who can pass up a rum cream liquor that tastes like melted salted caramel ice cream?
After returning to the condo of awesomeness, I took my devoted doggie out for her second walk of the day. We headed out on our usual route, but were sidetracked by the extreme cutness of a black pug with crooked teeth and a super bouncy personality.  The pug was outside with his humans, turns out that the humans actually live in one of the condos on the other side of the community.
I chatted with the neighbors for a bit.  This is where things started to get a little weird - I swear that I must have strange attractor radar or something - I seem to always find the oddest people to talk to.  The cast of characters:
Eccentric Polish Lady:   Owns the condo near the pond. Still has the awesome Polish accent that reminds me of my whackadoodle Polish grandma.
The Dude:  40-ish guy.  Son of Eccentric Polish Lady.  Lives with mom at the condo.  File under "Failure to Launch".
Too Friendly Italian Guy:   Owns a condo next to Eccentric Polish Lady and The Dude, was visiting them for some reason. 
Junior:  Son of Too Friendly Italian Guy.  Gainfully employed.  Friendly.
The Pug:  Funny-looking black pug dog with very crooked teeth.  Belongs to Eccentric Polish Lady's daughter who left the dog in mom's care while she was out of town.
Too Friendly Italian Guy seemed genuinely interested in me once I started talking about the fact that I was gainfully employed, was not married, and brewed my own beer.  Eccentric Polish Lady was also amused, as was The Dude.  As the friendly but awkward conversation continued, I started to feel like I was on some sort of bizarro world episode of "The Bachelorette" - where my "prize" would be to go on a date with one of the 40-something young men who seemed really amused by their respective parent's attempt at figuring out if I would be a good match for their offspring.
We talked of family, where I grew up, had I been married before (yes), whether I had a college degree (no) and other questions that seemed really random but I played along because my dog was having such a good time playing with the little pug.
After a while, we were joined by another neighbor - a woman I've met before (very nice, has an awesome dog of her own).  Her dog joined my dog and the pug in an impromptu doggie play date, and the conversation shifted away from me.
Eventually the little gathering ended.  Too Friendly Italian Guy and Junior left, neighbor lady took her doggie home, and The Dude wandered off with The Pug to walk around the pond with the children of another neighbor who happened to walk buy (I guess The Dude is friends with the mother of the kids).
I know... hard to keep track of all the characters!
I wouldn't even be writing about this if it didn't seem like I had been the first sane single woman to talk to either of these guys - and I suspect that their parents were thinking the boys needed to grow up and find a decent woman to settle down with.
Yeah, um... read the next entry for the follow up on that.   Never a dull moment in the heart of suburbia.
my_lost_mind: (unhappy)
There are a few letters to people in my life that I would never send for one reason or another. Either the person has been gone from my life for a number of years and I have no way to reach them via the electronic universe or via the post, or sending a letter would just disrupt a fragile balanced puzzle of a past vs. present relationship. These are just words stuck in the corner of my mind that want to get out and breathe.

Dear Comet,

The first time I met you a couple years ago, you and I were strangers at a party. I remember thinking you were a curious fellow who told some great stories and seemed to be bursting with knowledge. I also remember being preoccupied with so many other things that happened that weekend, and what was going on in my life back home at the time, that really didn't get much of a chance to connect with you.

The second time we met was at the same social gathering, one year later. It was Friday night and you were quite drunk, but remembered me. I had developed a strong aversion to drunk people, as you can recall I was living with a dysfunctional alcoholic at the time who was making my life hell. My best defense to my own ambiguous feelings was to gently scold you, saying how impossible it is to have an intellectual conversation with someone who has been drinking too much. I also mentioned that if you wanted to talk to me, really talk to me, you should not be quite so drunk the next time we meet.

The next day we spent a little bit of time together, although you were seriously tethered to your friends and they seemed to be more interested in keeping to themselves than inviting in an outsider. Truth be told, I really only wanted to get to know you, to spend some actual time talking or hanging out since all you were to me at that point was a figment of my imagination, wrapped in a complicated human form. I was seeing what I wanted to see, and because you would not, or could not talk to me alone nothing seemed to shake that feeling in me that you were some sort of mystery that needed to be solved.

I wanted to know whether or not my gut feeling, my instincts about you were correct or if this was all the product of my imagination, just looking to feel some spark of joy, something to feel hopeful about. The riddle would not be solved until I could prove myself wrong, or be pleasantly surprised to prove myself right.

Later that night, we connected again - another party - voices lost in a crowded room. The whole experience felt like most of my high school years, I had no idea if you were thinking of me in the same way, if you were curious about me, if we had anything deeper in common aside from what we shared in our brief conversations. We talked about music, Star Trek, our trials with trying to get by in a tough economy. We also talked about our strange families, and you told me a sad tale about yours. This brief conversation only made my feelings for you more complicated - was this triggering that old inner need to rescue, or were you someone I could really connect with because we shared similar painful journeys in life?

I could say something poetic like, it felt like we were two comets that just happened to zoom past Earth at the same time once every year, only to disappear into the cosmos again following our own unique but distant path. To be more direct, it felt like I was losing my mind. How is it that I can only spend a few hours a year with you? Seriously, departing that party on Saturday night felt awful for me. I wanted some sense of closure, one way or another, and all I got was more ambiguity. It felt like leaving Brigadoon, not knowing if I would ever find it, or you again.

Yes, you're right. I was still living with my ex at the time and trying to stay in touch was going to be complicated, but you knew that he would be leaving. You knew that he and I were no longer a "couple" and I was not coming onto you from the perspective of cheating on someone else. I really just wanted to get to know you better. You never gave me your phone number, but I gave you mine, and my email address, and snail mail address, and we became friends on FB after that point.

However, the only time we ever seemed to "talk" to each other on FB chat was when one or both of us were going through some particularly bad time. I remember the time you told me that my ex would escalate his crazy before he moved out (and he did), and you seemed genuinely concerned. Maybe that was just what I wanted to read in your words. I remember the time we chatted on FB this past Spring when you were down on your luck, feeling hopeless, and I sent you money without you asking for it. Once again, it felt like something I should do because it felt like something I would hope someone would do for me if I were in that same place.

I felt a connection to you that now seems foolish, false, and a product of my imagination.

When I didn't hear from you again for a few months, only to have you pop up again on FB chat, once again down on your luck and needing money, I started to see through some of the gauzy netting I had been viewing you through. You seemed to be in a perpetual state of going from one crisis to another, unable to get out of the cycle of shitty bad luck that you had found yourself in. Still, I found it hard to judge you. I wanted to feel compassion, still wanting to get to know you. I continued to effectively "stalk" you on FB, for what it's worth. Waiting to see if you would comment on a post I had made, reading your updates hoping that something good had happened in your life Nothing.

How stupid is that? Really. I know you don't have consistent internet access, but how is it that I managed to get myself sucked into thinking we could actually cultivate a meaningful friendship by FB alone? I'm sorry Comet, but I really thought at some point you might see fit to call me, actually call me on the phone (since I had given you my cell phone number at least twice in the past). You have no idea how much a 30 minute phone call would have meant to me, just to hear your voice, to have a real conversation.

We didn't see each other at the social gathering this year - you couldn't afford to go. I get that. You asked if I wanted to attend a different convention in September, closer to where you live. Truth is hon, if I were less jaded and more foolish, I would cough up the money to go to that con just to spend time with you. I've done similarly foolish things in my life, but did so knowing I would reap some small reward from taking that risk.

I'm not like that anymore, and I don't have any faith left in our paths crossing again unless you actually make an effort to connect with me. I hate it when I'm wrong about someone, and I feel worse when I realize I've been doing nothing more than cultivating an unrequited crush, instead of trying to form a friendship.

You're getting this letter because I'm moving on, as I should have months ago. I can't deal with the teenage drama of FB stalking, trying to turn fantasy into reality, and still not having one fucking clue what you're really all about. If you wake up someday and decide that you actually want to get to know me, then pick up the damned phone and call me. Don't send me a PM on FB, don't post some shit on my FB "wall", you know my name, look up the number.

Yours Truly,

That Girl

my_lost_mind: (Default)
One of my greatest strengths, as well as my greatest flaws, is that I prefer to see the world with a lovely gauzy pink veil cast over it. Any color will do actually, except maybe black.

Of course I know that when things get really bad for me, a friend, or family member this means I just flat out shut down and refuse to accept that things are Really That Bad.

The funny thing about this is that I'm not particularly religious, I just hold on to some strange inner belief that no matter what happens, as long as I wake up on the right side of the grass, I know that it's going to be "okay".

I'm not entirely sure where this attitude comes from, to be honest. Neither of my parents were or are particularly optimistic, but they were (and are) very good at denial.

Take for example my first husband. He was a mentally unbalanced control freak with anger management issues. No, really. He was. He's the kind of guy who would get into some disagreement with me while we were riding together in the car, pull over at some store on the side of the road, and make me get out of the car. He used to put his fist through hollow walls (I once watched him punch a hole in a hollow door). The man was one angry fellow. This anger showed up fairly early in the relationship, but I stuck it out anyway thinking somehow he would magically transform into a kind hearted, emotionally stable prince who would just "be there" for me when I needed him.

I wanted to believe that he was a good person, or at least someone who wasn't quite so screwed up. Of course this lead to me sticking around in an otherwise psychologically abusive situation for far longer than I should have.

I've always had a problem with recognizing when people were being jerks to me, not wanting to believe it - wanting to believe that "they can change.. if only...". If only the sky turned purple, and the grass blue, and the world looked like some far out funky Peter Max painting with groovy people wearing flowers in their hair. Yeah right, pass the magic herb over this way, I'm sitting over here on a giant orange mushroom.

With all this inability to see the faults in others, I have to say that this optimism has saved me from wanting to opt for the big dirt nap more than a few times.

More than a decade ago, I suffered my first bout of very real, very serious depression. Within about 6 months of time I lost my job, my grandmother, was in the middle of a nightmarish situation with my then-housemates, and a former boyfriend (that I still had not managed to get over) announced the birth of his first child. One at a time, these types of life issues would have been easier to weather. Getting them all in one big flaming ball was pretty hard to manage.

Still, some little chunk of meat inside my skull fired off enough electrons (along with the help of some modern chemistry) to convince me that if I were to die today, I might miss out on something else that was infinitely better than what I was going through right now.

This same dynamic kicked in when some years later, I went through a bad breakup and financial ruin within a small stretch of time. Even though I felt like a big wad of melted gravel-infused bubble gum on the bottom of the Universe's shoe, I figured dying wasn't an option because there are folks who are not given the option to stick around another day.

Somehow I just manage to keep breathing, which keeps my brain operative, which keeps the body doing it's usual thing.

So what?

Alright, so here's where it gets stupid.

I've always managed to get myself into trouble by looking forward to things happening in my life that never seem to materialize.

I spent the better part of my childhood and teenage years daydreaming about growing up to have some mythical life with a husband, children (with 2 cats in the yard..life used to be so hard...), staying at home writing books, tending a garden, and being some hippie earth mother type. I remember being 14 years old, thinking about John Lennon and how old "40" seemed to be. I wondered what my life would be like at 40, and started to think about all the living that John Lennon would never get to do... (okay, cut me a break, I have ADD). The point is that nothing seemed to be able to shake that fantasy loose from my brain - that I would have this storybook life of perfect bliss someday.

Never mind that my parents hated each other, my home life was far from idyllic, so where the heck did I get all these vague notions of what a perfect life would be for me at 30, 40, etc. Maybe it was too much pop music, but any other life path for me would have seemed unbelievable at the time.

It wasn't until I reached my mid-to-late thirties that I realized life really is what happens while you're busy making other plans, and that old fantasy started to fall apart like some city from a post-apocalyptic movie. Before I knew it, I was staring at the wreckage of my beliefs that I would have a happy marriage, kids, the house in the suburbs, etc. and was trying to come to terms with the reality of being in a bad relationship with someone I didn't want to marry, approaching the point of being "too old" to have biological children, and still climbing out of a pit of financial ruin. My career was getting better, but it certainly wasn't the life of a prolific enigmatic author. This feeling sucked, but losing this dream shook up that pink glittery snowglobe in my head that always wanted to believe that all dreams come true.

Here's another brief tale of weirdness from my recent past. About 7 or 8 years ago I had a crush on a guy that I only saw a few times a year. Every time I saw him, I wondered if I could ever strike up some sort of longer conversation that would lead to us (at least) going out for a drink, coffee, etc. I knew that he was single, and lived a few hours away, but that didn't matter. He had an adorable smile, was bright, a little reserved, but also had a very calm manner, pleasant voice, and great sense of humor.

I attended a regional convention related to the hobby that we shared, and he and I sat next to each other at dinner one night (with a group of other hobbyists). We talked a bit, I learned about his financial (and other) troubles, and I felt a little sad for him. He seemed fairly defeated. Despite talking for that brief time (and some well meaning friends trying to convince him to call me "someday"), nothing more materialized. Shortly after that convention, I took up with another guy who I was far less into and my crush fantasy was tucked into a metaphorical box in my mind.

My life got stupid, complicated, and crazy over the next several years. A few years ago I attended a club meeting for that old hobby I was into, and learned that my old crush had passed away in 2009. Just like that. I had not thought about that guy in years, but somehow the news of his passing made that old daydream feel uncomfortable. I felt an overwhelming sadness. More Reality beating the living shit out of Fantasy. Dreams die. People die. Everything dies.

But I don't wanna live in Realityville.. It hurts.

The last year or so of my life I've been cultivating a sense of pragmatism when it comes to my daydreams. I've cultivated crushes on men I have no chance in ever meeting in real life so I can keep my fantasies in check. In other words, I can sit and watch Top Gear and daydream about James May, going for a ride in the English countryside in one of his amazing cars and stopping off at some lively pub for a few pints, and so on. This is a fantasy that falls squarely into the "not bloody likely" category. I can wrap my head around the fact that there is no pining for this person, wondering what they're up to, wondering if they think about me. None of that.

When it comes to thinking about men that I actually know and/or have seen and would like to know better, I have learned to temper my enthusiasm. I've learned that no matter how much I might want to get to know someone better, hope that they call, wonder if they are thinking of me, etc. boarding that particular train of thought is like being blindfolded in a large transit center, spun around a few times and pointed at some random door. You might end up going somewhere interesting but you're also just as likely to end up completely lost, stuck just outside of Clusterfuck City, in the absolute worst part of town (with no return train until morning).

Mind you, this is still a raging battle in my head.

This daydreaming habit is very old, and I do tend to cling to it when I'm feeling bored or lonely. The key in winning this battle seems to be avoiding those choices that lead me to be "bored", and to find activities that make me feel less socially isolated.

I'm never going to knock this out completely, and I am okay with that. Being a dreamer is what I am, and despite my crunchy cynical outer shell, I still have that old romantic heart beating within. I'm just trying very hard not to paint anyone's face into that perpetually unfinished painting tucked away in the dusty corners of my mind.
my_lost_mind: (Default)
I have a photographic memory. Sometimes for no definable reason, my mind will present to me some random snapshot of a moment in my past like a sort of twisted Viewmaster. Other times, these moments are presented to me in video form, flashing short-subject movies in a semi-dreamlike state of mind.

Anyway, I'm often presented with images of an apartment I shared with a friend of mine back in the summer of 1988. It was a sort of cheesy-looking place with hideous gold shag carpet that had probably been in that apartment for 10 years. The style of the apartment was also reminiscent of the 70's, it had what was called a "sunken living room". In other words, there was a step down to get into the living room. This was my first attempt at true independence, even though that really wouldn't come for me for another 5 years or so. I had just escaped one abusive relationship and traded it for an almost equally psychotic one. Yet, there were moments of pure bliss here. I would listen to music here, sitting on the living room floor, smoking a cigarette or doing a jigsaw puzzle and almost feeling like a real grownup.

I also remember the waterbed I had here. I had pastel green bed linens for it, and a lamp with a decorative green light bulb in it. This was a room that I had wanted since I was in high school - a place that was truly my own. I remember those wonderful summer nights when I could leave the window open and hear the breeze and the crickets and the noisy parties going on in the building across the courtyard.

These little flashes of nostalgia are generally no big deal. It's more unsettling when moments of passion, long buried in a shoebox of forgotten experience, stuffed in a corner of my memory, come flying at me like knives made of the most perfect polished silver. Bright, clear, sharp enough to slice me to ribbons. I see a moment of a first kiss, a boy that broke my heart when I was 14, with his deep intense gaze through dark hypnotic eyes. A boy who confused and thrilled me to the point of breathlessness. A boy who made me cry like I had not cried before (and it took me 3 years to get over him). Then I'm thrown another memory, another lost love, a memory that draws a breath and kicks me hard in the ribs. The one who broke my heart at 16. The smell of photographic development chemicals always brings this memory on (he was a photographer and had a darkroom in the basement of his parents' house).

These memories probably wouldn't be a big deal if I were to experience them in a more disjointed sense. But these are so surrealistically visual that I wonder if these memories even belong to me, or if they are some residual visual junk left behind after watching a movie or tv show.

I can vividly describe moments and places of my childhood. I now know why I was not gifted with a talent for drawing or painting. I would be truly tortured, surrounded by my own paintings of images from every snapshot in my head. A friend's attic bedroom where we would listen to music, burn incense, and talk well into the night. The backstage area of my high school, where I spent countless hours of my teenage years painting sets, messing with the costumes, or just hanging out waiting for my turn to rehearse. Yes. I really do have a time machine in my head. The only problem is, I can't go back into the experiences, I can only watch them. Like having my very own ghost of days past, keeping watch on my sanity, whisking me away to a randomly generated moment in time for some inexplicable reason.
my_lost_mind: (foolish)
I was born in the midwest. I grew up in the midwest, but these are tales for another entry.

More than 12 years ago, I left this part of the country to journey across the country to the land that borders the sea. I don't recall much of the original journey except that it included driving a 1993 Geo Storm with 2 cats along for the ride. A somewhat noble, but eccentric knight drove the big metal box on wheels that contained a collection of household goods and other useful items, as well as a ton of useless sentimental crap that I am incapable of parting with.

This knight and I made a homestead in a place called Germantown, and made a genuine attempt at the whole "happily ever after" thing. I learned about this great and powerful force that was about to sweep across the country, this amazing invention known as The Internet. I bought my first domain name, and set up a web site where I could write pages of content that nobody would ever read. There was no Blogger back then.

A year later we moved across the river to another town and set up our household there, but somehow it just wasn't meant to be.

I schlepped my crap back across the river and settled into a commune, um.. I mean.. apartment building in a nice suburban community. I had a great job, some great friends, and was fairly happy where I was in my life at the time, but there was something missing.

I did manage to pick up 3 tattoos while I was living in this particular part of the country, but I was hungry for the elusive "something different". Well, this... and intelligent single guys.

To make a very long story short, in the first summer of the new century I packed all of my belongings into another large metal box on wheels, loaded my cats and myself into a 1997 Saturn, and we all made a merry trek to a very strange land. A land full of friendly blue people who lived in a world quite different from the land I came from. These folks were liberal.

I suppose I should mention that the kind fellow who drove the metal box on wheels was a conservative living in the land of the blue people, but he was a strange sort of conservative. The kind that drives a rental truck with no pants on (it was July after all).

This journey was the beginning of 12 years of what could best be described as a rickety carnival ride left to run while the operator ran off for a cigarette, and to hit on the biker babe and her drunk friend.

Within these 12 years I had my heart broken more times than a boxer's nose, changed jobs at least 3 times, had mono, bought a place (only to lose it in a bout of serious economic hardship), adopted a dog from a shelter (only to lose him to a heart attack 7 years later), got a few piercings, swam in the sea, went fishing in the sea, learned how to brew beer, started a new career, made ice cream using liquid nitrogen, bred tropical fish, broke my ankle falling down stairs, got drunk a lot, and met a large number of really interesting people, some of which I still consider dear friends.

My last 5 years in the land of the blue people was also full of bitterness, anger, depression, insomnia, and helplessness because I foolishly tried to rescue a small boy trapped in the body of an adult alcoholic with a personality disorder.

It took more than 2 years for me to save enough money, and wait for the stars to align and guide the way back to my home.

I had no ruby slippers, no fairy godmother, just my own maddening determination (and a sympathetic employer who allows me to telecommute) to return to the midwest. My kin are here, both the kin I adore and the kin I am not so fond of. The people here speak my language. Even though I am still a blue person and these folks are mostly red (some are more purple), they are still welcoming and friendly.

There's no place like home.
my_lost_mind: (hiding)
I seem to have misplaced it. Perhaps it was left on the patio and blew away in the last storm. Either way, I haven't been able to find it anywhere.

I guess I'll just get this thing started.

I set up this blog so that I would actually have a place where I can write down the ideas in my head that seem to bubble and churn like some horrible pool of fire you run across in one of the higher level zones in the World of Warcraft.

Facebook just isn't cutting it anymore.

I could post something like "I am really angry right now because I had a really shitty day, I'm lonely, and guys suck". Some friends might read it, or might post a comment about their shitty day, but that really doesn't express how I'm feeling.

I've been writing down thoughts for most of my life. Blogging isn't anything new to me, I've simply lacked the discipline to maintain any particular data set for extended periods of time. I suppose it's partially because I'm this incredibly insecure human with an angst ridden teenager hanging out in the dark corners of her mind, smoking bummed cigarettes and looking genuinely irritated. Of course, it's not cool to be an angst ridden teenager in an adult body.

People just think you're nuts.

I also have ADD, which provides great multi-tasking superpowers, and the ability to stay focused in the middle of a crisis. It also means I have the attention span of a squirrel and am continually distracted by activities that require less concentration than writing.

Anyway, I have something to say and I'm going to use this medium to do it.

Some entries might just be random babbling, other entries might be more serious. You, dear reader, might find humor in both (I hope so).

March 2013

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