Musical Chairs

Musical chairs

I feel like we’re playing musical chairs in the world.
I am not good at that game.

Where can we go?

What can we do?

Where is it safe?

When I was a kid people used to scream

at me because I would never leave my chair.

If I did it was to slither

over to the next chair
before the music even thought about stopping.

In my house there are many chairs.
There are many photos.
I like to stop

and sit on the chair that looks directly into the photo
of my family surrounding me.

That’s all I see
That’s all I pray for.

Happy Birthday Edna St Vincent Millay!

When you, that at this moment are to me
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

When you, that at this moment are to me
Dearer than words on paper, shall depart,
And be no more the warder of my heart,
Whereof again myself shall hold the key;
And be no more—what now you seem to be—
The sun, from which all excellences start
In a round nimbus, nor a broken dart
Of moonlight, even, splintered on the sea;
I shall remember only of this hour—
And weep somewhat, as now you see me weep—
The pathos of your love, that, like a flower,
Fearful of death yet amorous of sleep,
Droops for a moment and beholds, dismayed,
The wind whereon its petals shall be laid.

Obsession

You know what it’s like when you meet someone and you can’t breathe and you feel like someone’s given you a date drug but you know that’s not possible and you keep wanting to stare at the person and you are so self-conscious you can hardly talk? Remember that? Pretty much, most people remember that if they are lucky.

And then what happens is that memory, that electric memory, just goes away and we’re left with whatever decision we made about that person along the way. We could’ve married them, we could’ve dated them, we could’ve just thought about them, it doesn’t really matter. That feeling that you get when you’re attracted to someone is so dangerous because it can cloud rational thinking for your entire life.

I remember having that feeling. I remember meeting someone and thinking that it was the most surprising meeting I’ve ever had in my whole life.

Looking back, I remember after our first dinner we were waiting for our respective cars and it was a cold night and somehow without thinking I leaned back into him and he said something like “ is this OK?”

I didn’t respond to that because we both knew that it was.

We spent a year together off and on because our children were young and sometimes we had to be alone with them and not with each other. We tried to plan our weeks so that we each had our kids at the same time and we wouldn’t be lonely. I remember thinking I wasn’t lonely because I had my kids and I had him and I was fully convinced that he loved me more than anyone had ever loved me before.

Once, when we were on our way to a restaurant in San Francisco and walking past an alley, he grabbed me, pulled me into the dark of the alley, and kissed me in a way that I’ve never been kissed before, to quote a song.

We went to Paris together, we went to Lake Tahoe together, we went to New York together where he asked me to marry him.

We had been dating at that time for maybe eight months and I had not even been divorced a year. Neither had he. We were sitting in a hotel room on the upper east side and he said there’s something I want to ask you. He was pacing at the time which I’ve never seen him do. He said, “stand up”and so I did and he said “the only way I can solve this dilemma is if you marry me”.

I said what dilemma? And then he told me that his ex wife was trying to get back into his life and he felt guilty because after all he was an Irish Catholic and there were two children to consider and if we were married she would stop doing that.

I looked at him.

He said to me you don’t have to say anything I can tell how you feel. You look like a deer caught in headlights.

To be honest, I was panicked. This was the first I had ever heard of this and we’ve been together almost 9 months at this point. I was scared shitless but I didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe that this was really happening because I was so convinced what we had together was so strong it would never be broken apart.

I said to him I can’t marry you because I’ve just gotten divorced and it would mean so much upheaval for my children. I think it would be too hard. Let’s just keep on having a great time and after a while I know it’s gonna work out. You can’t go back to your wife. You were miserable!

He said oh just forget about it let’s go out to dinner and things were never the same between us.

We got back to California. There was Christmas to get through and suddenly he just stopped calling. At first I didn’t recognize it for what it was. Honest to God it never occurred to me that this great passion would have an ending. This camaraderie, this intellectual compatibility, this deep understanding of each other: it never occurred to me that this was going to go away. I didn’t believe this could ever happen or even think about it. Nothing could take this away for me as it was the first and last time I’ve ever felt like this.

I called, I wrote, we had dinner, but he never had the guts to sit down and look me in the eye and say “this is breaking my heart but I have to go back to my wife and my family even though it’s you that I love”.

He left phone calls unreturned. Once in a while we would have dinner but he would never come home to my house. I heard through friends that he had moved back in with his wife. It was the most unbelievable thing to me that I had ever heard. I had spent months hearing from him how that would never happen and how she had lied and cheated and he would never go back. I believed him. Just as I believe the clock on my iPhone now.

I thought we would be together forever because it was so good.

I behaved badly for a few more years. I was so embarrassed about my behavior but I couldn’t help it. I would call him and write to him and try to see what he was doing. I couldn’t get him out of my mind.

Years have gone by since things between us ended. To be honest, I don’t really think about him much anymore.We did meet one night in a bar and had too much wine together. Unfortunately it broke my heart all over again and there’s nothing that hurts more than having to put something together a second time.There are so many more pieces.

Last fall I went with a friend to a funeral out in Marin and I chose my seat on the side of the tent very carefully because I did not want to see or be near him. I knew he would be there. A nice young man came and sat next to me and I said to him he looked familiar. As the service was beginning he said I am married to blank blank who is the daughter of this man. For a moment I thought I have to get up and move and run out of here but I decided that at this time in my life I would stay put.

I watched my friend give his tribute to his old friend who had died. It was clear to me that he had noticed me. It had probably been close to 15 years since we’d seen each other. I can’t comment on how he looked because I knew I still loved him and he could be 500 pounds and purple and I still would.

He had the power to make my heart turn in my chest and to make me feel tremendously sad which is a feeling that I have had all too often in my life. It’s almost like if you’re going to sleep and you know you need another blanket so you take the same one from the end of the bed and put it over you but it doesn’t warm you it only makes you immobilized for time.

I’ll probably never see him again. We will never be together. The future I saw so clearly in 1995 will never exist. I don’t know whether it’s better or worse to have felt this kind of love for someone else and to have felt this kind of passion or if life would have been easier never knowing the feeling? People talk about sustainable farming. I wonder if sustainable passion exists?

I only know that with this man I felt like a woman first and It didn’t matter that he was alcoholic, completely sexist, rude, sometimes mean, in the long run I can’t explain it. We had a chemistry that was different and magic and it never changed over the time we were together.

If he came and knocked on my door tomorrow I’d pack my bag and leave with him. There’d be no turning back, there would be no questioning. He’s the first and last guy that I trusted enough to consider traveling with through life and letting him drive.

But then again I’ve made a lot of bad decisions about men.

Melania

Melania

Melania reminds me of mean Barbie:

You know the one I mean…

You never play with mean Barbie

as you can’t talk her like the others.

You have no idea what her voice would

sound like so you leave her respectfully

in the box. Lord only knows where she’s from but someplace tough.You don’t even remember who gave you mean Barbie. You do have a hunch. So many people can’t connect with kids or anyone for that matter.Giving mean Barbie to a kid is like invisible punishments: you know they are coming but you don’t know when or where. Or what you’ve done.

I have great sympathy for Melania. I may be the only one in California that does. I’d like to know what bargain she made to keep dressing like mean Barbie and holding the hand of the Donald. What is she thinking when she has that expression on her face that makes her look like Cruella Deville? Is it all about money? What would it have been like for her if she just had married a normal guy who couldn’t afford beautiful clothes.

I’m hoping that there’s a reason that’s very compelling that she’s doing this other thing just to be the first lady. It’s one thing to be the first lady to Barack Obama but it’s quite another to be the first lady to Donald Trump.

Maybe she has a plan. Maybe she thinks there’s some tiny way she can make things better in the world. I hope so. People gave me mean Barbies and I never took them out of the boxes.They made me nervous. I have a really hard time with people who are living a disingenuous life. I’m lucky because I have the advantage of being able to live a genuine life.

It’s easy if you lose someone that’s a part of you and your heart breaks and nothing is ever the same again and you keep hoping that you imagined the whole thing but you know you didn’t. Living a genuine life is the only way you can live after you suffered great loss. Things become clearer

And it’s annoying to a lot of people. But the good news is you really don’t care. Truth is a liberator and I guess that’s the benefit of pain.

Parking lot debris

I have a friend who manages a parking lot outside a large office building. The other day she told me that there were no longer many condoms found in the lot but there were many dental picks. I’m not sure if this is good or bad and I guess it depends on your point of view. Good to take care of your teeth but bad to miss out on passion.

Retirement Community

Retirement Community

People come to my house because they think I will let them in.

So I do. Sometimes they’re drunk or on drugs or they have no money or they can’t be alone.

They are just looking for a nice place to stay for a while.

Most of the time I wish they would leave but I can’t tell them that.

I am a hospice:

I am a hostel

I am alone.

I know how to deal with being alone

but when other people come along it upsets the balance.

I want them to go but I want them to stay and be quiet.

I want them to be available for full body

warmth but only when I want it.

I have “anxious attachment”

There is no cure. No machine

No robotic surgery

No redo of childhood

Only a desperate longing

A low grade fever

All the time.

Match.com

Macrophoto of two match heads.
Image via Wikipedia

Finding a Match on Match.com

Yes, it may seem strange to married people that many are seeking love on Match.com, but it is very true in todays’ world of high tech compatibility. There are many young people on Match which is natural, but there are many older people as well. There are people from “good families” as well as hard working people who have little extra cash. There are doctors, lawyers, socialites, nurses and teachers:  retirees as well as “still hard at work” people. I still don’t understand why married people are surprised to hear about their friends being on Match. I have been on Match and I have had success as well as disappointments yet I believe this type of dating is the way of the future.

Let’s face it, if you are single and want to find a partner it isn’t always easy. Your friends forget to keep looking for men for you and there are just so many ways to meet guys in today’s world. Match is a great way to see who is out there and it is easy to eliminate the wheat from the chaff. I have to admit, however, it presents a problem that I haven’t found an answer to and here it is.

Match informs people who check out your profile how active you have been on the site. There is a caption above each profile that states the hours, days or weeks since you have been logged on. Why is this important? Well, think about it this way. You meet a guy, see him a few times, begin to like him and when you go online to Match  you see how recently active he has been. If you really like the guy it smarts to see he has been continually trolling since you began dating. If you find he is actively online it’s  like hearing  he was seen out with another woman from a friend. He might say in response to this, “Well you went online too!” and this would be true. So what do we have here? A public disclosure of online infidelity by both parties and it happens almost instantly.

I have no idea how to solve this issue because I am guilty as accused. If someone on Match winks at me, I am curious to see what that person is like. I am curious and easily flattered to a point. I like having online admirers but it doesn’t mean I want to meet them.

Sometimes it is nice to live in a Jane Austin world where one just continues to correspond and never actually meets the other person. I think what it boils down to is the lack of absolute trust in a relationship and the difficulty of finding this in todays’ world. In past generations people met their mates through their family or friends. In today’s world many of us have lost our “tribe” and with this loss come more of a sense of aloneness. I have met a few men on Match who seem to have no lives and are almost desperate to connect with a woman who will provide them with a life. I bet a number of men have found the same thing in women.

The solution would be for each party to resign from Match once they had found a relationship that seemed worth pursuing. For some reason this seems difficult to achieve. I may be the only woman who feels this way but I do believe this. I think it is a good sign that a guy is willing to forego Match in the hope that a relationship will work. It seems to be a sign of self-esteem. I am surprised at how unwilling Match members seem to be to do this and I wonder if it has to do with the fleeting nature of internet dating? Or worse, the fleeting nature of love.