Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I haven't written in a while, for which I apologize. I'm STILL behind on papers due for Adler that have to be turned in by the middle of August or I'll flunk and if I flunk, I have to pay back my tuition and the $9k loan I took out to live on. So I better get my ass in gear and do some actual fucking work.  Things are still pressing forward to my transfer to the other university, though the wheels in the system need some WD-40.

It hasn't helped that I've had spurts of being really sick, running high fevers of an unknown origin without developing anything severe. This has been going on for a couple of months. This time, however, I've been rewarded with the cold Luke caught at his mission work camp in MI. Except I never catch colds, I catch bronchitis. Every goddamn time.  Looks like I'll be making the 4,000th trip to Resurrection to see the doctor, who's been treating me for the water weight I gained, which is finally working. This doctor is sharp and thorough, unlike that other nimrod I had before.

It's really amazing how little grieving I did towards Guy and how little I miss him. I think that is testimony to the fact that I was in love with the chase and not the catch. I could honestly give 2 craps what's going on in his boring life at this point. What's even weirder is that I don't consider POE a rebound interest ONE BIT.

Remember that old Survivor song, "The Search is Over?" I think it came out the year POE was born, when I was in 7th grade. Anyway, the last line is "love was right before my eyes." And to a great degree, that's true. Now I regret not having spent more time with him here at home, but we've been communicating via Facebook and it's almost a month he's gone.

He's had it with the Egypt experience and can't wait to come back to the States. He just doesn't like it there and it's not just because of the political unrest. He does live near the Gaza strip in Alexandria. He hasn't had a decent night's sleep in weeks, chiefly because Ramadan's time to pray schedule is fucking him up (he's not Muslim himself). He's studying for the GRE and getting ready to teach his course. There are so many things going on in Chicago that I'd like to just call up POE and say, "Hey, let's do this!" and he'd be totally into it. Then I remember he's halfway around the world.

The other day he messaged me a simple one-liner on Facebook, "I miss you my friend."

I said, "Aw, I miss you too. Lots."

He wouldn't have messaged that to me randomly if I was just thought of as a friend. I'm sure he misses all of his friends. Kate is sure about this. She goes so far as to say he's my "exotic Egyptian boyfriend," though I wouldn't jump that far that fast. We are still just friends and that's ok. But I feel so comfortable with communicating with him and I do honestly miss him a lot. So yesterday, I sent him the audio of this clip and asked him, "Is this what you were trying to say?"

Haven't heard a response back yet, but he was on Facebook late in the evening for him, and he could've gone to bed. His birthday's coming up at the end of next month, a factoid I only found reading his licensure paperwork. I ordered him a gift I hope he likes a lot for his eventual office or desk, with the theme of Frank Lloyd Wright from Taliesin, Wright's home which is now a museum and preservation near where my family vacationed in Wisconsin recently. 

I'm thinking of getting my passport renewed, you know, just in case. It's a pipe dream, I understand, but you never know what might happen. I just can't imagine going a year without seeing POE. 

Adler friends who know about the burgeoning pairing are all in favor and universally think we're both wonderful people who would make a wonderful pair. That's good news. I'm not jealous that he has a ton of friends at that school. He should. He's THAT awesome. He's hard not to like. The polar opposite of Guy, who was hated by pretty much everyone but me. 

I'm a firm believer that the best relationships are the ones that come along when you aren't looking for them, when you least expect it. Anyway, here's the Survivor song I was referring to: 

Sniffing the tears.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tim, perhaps you'd have shined a brighter light in my blog if:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Propinquity with the Low Talker

I sat across the room from POE. We had a total of about 5 classes together. He's graduating. In any case, he'd speak and Sean next to me could hear him just fine, but me? I couldn't hear a word he said. I would say, "What? What?" and he'd repeat himself and I still couldn't understand him. I said, "Well, you're a low talker!" He finally remembered the "Seinfeld" episode and laughed heartily. From there on in, he spoke more loudly for my poor old ears. He'd always have something incredibly interesting or intellectual to say in class--I just couldn't hear him (because I'm 14 years older than he is, and my hearing is going, I guess!). 

POE was married when we met, so I assumed he was still married when we got to be better friends. I had no idea he'd only been married a year and had gotten a divorce when we went out to dinner a couple of weeks ago. A single guy? Not arrogant? Not uncommunicative like Guy? Funny? Smart as a whip? Deeply intellectual but likes pro wrestling and Aerosmith and silly man stuff? The least important but still significant? He's movie-star gorgeous. This is a universal truth among every woman I know who's seen his picture.

And I am about 97% sure he likes me a lot. Kate keeps telling me, "If you ask me 'He wouldn't do that if he didn't like me, right?' one more time, I'll punch you in the face. Of course he likes you." The problem was, I was always too close to the situation, as I often am, to notice if someone is interested in me FOR just being me, because I have low self-esteem. But on all of the assumingly self-empowering pictures I'd put up on Facebook about being proud to be a voluptuous woman and being proud of it, he'd "like" it. I think men from other cultures, as Kate said, have a very different standard of beauty than American men do, who like women built like 10-year old boys, like I was when I was anorexic. POE was born here, but grew up in Egypt. 

POE and I would meet in the Adler smokehole for a cigarette frequently, and always got along, and he is one of the most giggly, positive people I've ever met. He could turn my bad, negative, depressed mood into a good one in just a few sentences. I never got into my lamenting over the Guy bullshit; in fact, I made more an impression about BMF being good to me than anything the scant times I would even mention another man. And he never talked about his wife, or ex-wife. 

He's earned his masters from Adler and is awaiting his licensure. He's also applying to PhD and/or PsyD programs back here in the States, but for the next 6-12 months, he's taken a position of teaching Psych 101 in his homeland. Sadness. He's gone, right when we were beginning to build a closer bond and spending more time together. 

POE entrusted me with all the licensure paperwork and school transcripts/applications to mail out from the States for him while he's gone. It wasn't something he asked me to do. I offered to do after he asked me how to get a PO box here where I'd forward his mail, not thinking I could just forward his mail to my house. Duh-me. So that's what we're doing. I'm happy to help him out. POE was genuinely grateful. He asked me out on what could be construed as a thank-you dinner, but it felt more like a date. At least to me, it did. We went to the fancy trattoria which I love across the street from school. 

We had a total of 3 goodbyes. Once at school, once after dinner, and once, the long, sad one, when I dropped him off at the airport on the 4th of July. I just kept thinking "This isn't goodbye, it's see you later." I have to think that to have hope that he won't fall in love with a princess while he's away. He'd have to take 2 trains with a lot of heavy luggage to O'Hare, so again, I offered to drive him to the airport and he happily accepted. (Because I'm nice like that.) 

What could've been a very easy trip into Uptown in Chicago to pick POE up was sidelined by a Goddamn Motherfucking Rib Fest closing off part of Broadway. Me, with rampant driving anxiety and a poor sense of direction, meandered aimlessly through every neighborhood on the north side of the city until I finally tore my hair out, gave up, and POE and I mutually decided he'd take a cab to where I pulled over, nearly in tears and running an almost 102 fever the whole day, so I felt extremely crappy to begin with. I was hopelessly lost with my AT&T Navigator not yet installed on my new iPhone. Google maps was no help. He finally found me, and actually said he thought we were having a fun adventure instead of saying, "You know what, I'm two seconds away from the train, I think I'll just take the train to the airport and you can go home." Instead, he wanted to ride with me. So that he did. I insisted on paying for his cab ride, but he wouldn't let me. I feel bad about that. All smiles, no arguing, no frustration (visibly anyway). Point being: I didn't feel rejected.

Once I figured out where the hell I was going, it was smooth sailing to the airport. Pulled over, POE gathered his extremely heavy year-long belongings and held me tightly. Why does every guy "Mmm" and "Ahh" when he hugs me? Am I that huggable? We both said we'll miss each other and my now-signature adieu of "Much love!" which he repeated back. I was sad. I think he was sad. I watched him on the sidewalk and waved goodbye. It was the longest, most bittersweet goodbye. I was never that moved when I'd say goodbye to Craig when we'd part when we were dating, and certainly not Guy. (Incidentally, I hope Guy and Lady GuyGuy are in Michigan pretending to be migrant blueberry farmer pickers, putting together their Escher puzzle and frustrated to hell as to where the last piece is.)

POE and I will be in close contact. I hold his future in my literal hands in terms of his applications. Plus, we just like each other. There's Facebook, Skype, email, the telephone...and in building a great love story, there's a boon to building a major friendship backing that up. Kate says Americans rush into things too quickly and say things too quickly, and I agree with her. POE and I have a whole lot of time to build on what's already a solid foundation. I'd be a liar if I didn't say I didn't already miss his beautiful smile, though. The last thing he texted me was " See you later, Annie. It won't be long." It'll just feel like forever. But it won't be.

"I've known you for a long time, but I've just begun to care." POE, you said yourself, you've been listening to more country music. I think this fits into the country rock genre nicely. 

ENTER MY MOTHER. We all know she's brimming with positive thoughts and simultaneously doesn't believe any man would be remotely interested in a loser such as I. "Don't you think he's just using you to do him all these favors?" Way to deflate the budding romance, Ma. No, I don't think he's just using me. He wouldn't go to so much trouble to have things work out the way they did if he was. There were 100 easier ways for him to put his exit out of America more expeditiously and easier. But he picked me. So I'm choosing to ignore her statement. I think that's for the best.

So there you have it. POE. You'll be in my thoughts, warmly. Come back soon and stay this time. At least, I don't feel like I have to hide his face from the world.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mother of the Year

Do you have kids?

Do you know how difficult it is to be a single parent?

Do you have teenagers, who love you one moment and hate you the next?

If not, you might not understand this. Unless, of course, you remember what it was like to BE a teenager.

It's hell. Literally.Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. All of it. Hell that you carry around with you every day until you come to a comfortable enough place where you might find a kindred spirit, a buddy, or even someone who won't threaten to whallop you at school, or a lifelong childhood pal who always has your back. Luke's fortunate inasmuch as he has the latter already, at least.

Tonight, he hates me. I'm a terrible mother. He has everything a child could want in this world right now, but my attention is too scant. I'm too distracted. I'm still behind on grad school papers. I can't focus and mend my own life, never mind my top priority, his life. He's nervous about high school and I'm nervous because I'm behind in registering him with his father, who's been lax in it himself.

Hyper-vigilant therapist me is ready to throw him back into therapy, when he's really probably just having a really bad day. We're all entitled to bad days. But then he says he doesn't like to BE at Dad's but has more fun with Dad, while I'm boring and I'm on the computer all day.

Summertime always gets my son down. He has spurts of activity, but otherwise, he's old enough to hang with the guys until almost 11pm if they're really local, that I have no problem with. He has some time with his cousin out of town for a few days, and a family long-weekend vacation, and work camp, which is a week, but has no idea how to fill the rest of his time. He's all but abandoned the book he's been working on for 2 years. I urge him not to give up on his creative pursuits. He's even losing interest in his YouTube channel, which he's worked long and hard on since he was 8.

I don't know what to do to remedy the situation because I can't really afford to spend any more time with him than I already do. I HAVE to get through this summer term without failing. That's as much as can be expected of me at this point. I get wrapped up in my own problems so easily, that I negate his. But in terms of my ever-present suicidiality, if Luke doesn't even care if I'm around, if I'm such a bad mother and he's so much happier off hanging with his dad, why am I bothering?

I'll keep fighting for him, for me, for us. He thinks I'm disingenuous when I say how fiercely I love him, but it's true. He's the only thing keeping me alive right now. Bugger the rest of it. I just want him to be happy, but I don't think his present mood would be uplifted with a dead mother for some reason.

I had a pretty downtrodden day myself. Seeing an old friend for lunch on Saturday, about which I'm really happy, I'm more than embarrassed to have her see me in the state I'm in when she's thin and beautiful. While I love my brother dearly, and saw him yesterday, it's somehow okay for him to come up with as many remarks as to why I'm "puffy and bloated" as he wants, asking me if I'm diabetic, when I told him months ago, I'm NOT. It's bad enough to have strangers judge you for your weight, but your own family?  My rail thin friend is ordering diet pills when she's the size of a dime. That's just insane. I'll go on those if I need to be on speed for some length of time, but I'm not that desperate yet.

Therapist appointment in the morning. I asked Meg, "Where do I start?" when my ultimate goal right now is just in staying alive. Meg reminded me of my now too-small Keith Richards "Too Tough to Die" t-shirt, which I offered to will to her. As of now, the offer still stands.

No, we don't go to hell. We carry it with us every day. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

What Guy Couldn't Handle...

This is what I think drew Guy away from my friends and I. Obviously, he must have been pretty square his whole life. When I asked him if he'd seen "Deep Throat," he said everyone in his dorm in college went to see it, but HE didn't. Mmm hmmm. Come on, we've all SEEN it.

Double goes for Lady GuyGuy. She's as square as a Rubik's Cube and without all the colors lining up...

I purposely took down BMF's blog because of too many nosybodies. We thought about fighting them off, but then we didn't think it was a great idea. So Kate emailed BMF's blog about me directly to Guy. I wonder if he read it yet.

I'm doing a favor for a friend at school who's going to teach in Egypt for 6-12 months. He needs a PO Box in the States to get his mail from the grad school about PsyD programs. I told him it's really no trouble at all to check his PO Box every week or 2 and mail him his goodies to Egypt. He's divorced, like me. He smokes, like me. He's really sweet. I don't consider it a date/date, but he's taking me out for food after school next Thursday. A meal with a man who's not Guy! It's more of a thank you get together, and he's paying for all the postage and parcel to Egypt, but I'm looking forward to it. A meal out with a man who's not Guy...I say again, I'm not used to this!

I was finally put on another water pill because I puffed up so badly again. I'm pissing so much I can actually see my ankles and feet bones again. I'm on some new medications that make me sort of sick to my stomach, but I'm pressing forward. Medicaid's still up in the air. I'm supposed to call them on Monday to see where my case has escalated, but that's like the worst time to try and get a hold of them. Craig said he paid me his arrears, but he has no idea how it's going to get to me. New debit card? Check? Magic beans? Time will tell.

I finally got my payout from the Chicago Fire Department for failing their physical agility test in 2007. All of the women failed. The test was totally biased. I finished it, just too slowly for the Department. The women who didn't make the cut filed a class action lawsuit against the Fire Dept and we won. Those young enough to still get hired were, and are being paid retroactively from 2007 when they should've received a salary. They made out like bandits and got the job. I'm too old now and it wasn't meant to be anyway, though I trained WITH a firefighter for 2 years to be ready for the test and I thought I did really well, still I failed. Let's just say I received a handsome payout, quite large for a class action suit. That'll help me out a LOT, especially if I'm scrambling by the end of summer/beginning of fall for funds if I transfer to the other university. A nice cushion. A very nice cushion.

I'm transitioning to an e-cigarette. They're very tasty and believe it or not, my mom's letting me smoke them in the house since they're scentless vapor. I've ordered a buttload of cartridges and can count on one hand how many real cigarettes I've had each day the last 3 days. It's part of my quitting plan. So essentially, I'm lying on my bed with my swollen feet propped up (damn water retention) smoking e-cigs and still behind in my assignments for the summer courses, which, as long as I don't fail with an F, I'm cool with financial aid. Thus, with all the shit that's going down in my life right now, I'm hanging on as best I can exerting the least amount of effort as possible.

 Which is sort of my life motto, isn't it?

I was emailed an old blog entry from February, someone sent it to me and I don't know whom, which I found profoundly strange. But it was a nice tribute to Guy. There was a picture in it that, to me anyway, is still true today, though our friendship is kaput, it would seem, which I hope isn't forever. It said this:

And oh my, are we tangled.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Words: A Guest Blog Post from Best Male Friend

Annie has been gracious enough to allow me some space not in the comment format to say a few things.

I'm BMF.....her Best Male Friend. I have some shred of anonymity on the blog (though there are hints as to who I am), as does my best male friend, who frequently comments anonymously, but if you knew him, you'd recognize him from his personality alone. I think Annie let me post a blog some time ago, but geez, that is but a faint memory. I'm around now to let you see Annie as I see Annie in this moment in time.

Our relationship as friends is sort of like a pair of high school girls who share every minute detail of our lives with one another. The kind of friends you see all day at school but go home and spend another 6 hours on the phone with reviewing the events of the day. Whenever we can, we can be found texting, Skyping, calling or (very rarely) traveling together with that ol' gang of mine. (That's a trip, I tell ya.)

It's fair to say the only secret really "out there" is who I am, and that's for the best. I trust her with my innermost thoughts and feelings, and am not afraid to express them to her, because the nature of our friendship has never been a facade. Otherwise, I have no reason or cause to lie to her. No reason to lead her down paths like the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. There are enough other people in her life pulling crap like that.

I am a happily married man with children whom I adore. I have never and would never leave my wife or home for a permanent life with Annie. We both know this is for the best, because one of the only negatives in our friendship is that we enable one another to succumb to our mutual demons. That would never be a healthy dynamic. One or both of us would implode, and we love one another too much to ever allow that to happen. As I've commented previously, my wife knows the nature and ins/outs of my friendship with Annie. She's had her bitter moments and temper tantrums, but overall, she's very hip and patient and like I commented, understands and appreciates the unique voids in my life which can only be filled by someone on Annie's level and likewise I with Annie.

Where is Annie today? Fighting mightily with every ounce of energy she has left to stay alive. Her health has taken a serious turn for the worst, which compounds her bipolar depression. This is the longest period of depression since I've known her that hasn't either been switcherooed with mania or evened out by her medications. She has mentioned on several occasions that she wants to commit suicide for lots of reasons, but she wouldn't go through with it because of Luke. Thank the universe for that, because I'll be damned if I'm going to lose her by her own doing. I'm scared, because she has enough drugs on her to actually do it. I'm scared because she's cutting herself again, a behavior she hasn't engaged in for a number of years. Instead of taking her stress and frustrations out healthfully, or outward, she punishes herself. She destroys herself because she bears all that's going awry in her life on her own. She doesn't like to bother people with her problems, though she's no bother at all. Never.

She's told all of her friends (though hidden from people like her mom, but Luke's aware) of the present challenges she's facing. She just texted me that she took her nighttime medications a little early because she's really tired, and then hurled her guts out. She's under a tremendous amount of stress. Stress that I can't fix, which eats away at me, and yes, a lot of times when I'm talking to her and she is crying, I cry too. I cry not out of pity but rather because I've been to and through the depths of coming close to losing everything that ever meant anything to me. I know what it's like to have "friends" so angry with you that they vow to cut you loose because of your attitude or behaviors.

Is Guy one of the things that's got her so distraught? Absolutely. I've met him. I can't say he impressed me whatsoever, nor did I feel like engaging in conversation with him, but that doesn't matter. It's how Annie feels that matters. And Annie is devastated. We, her close friends, have all tried to reason with her and reassure her that while she may have made some mistakes or opened her big yap too widely, his choice of and means by which he bid her farewell were downright cruel and unjustified for a relationship, a friendship, a kindred soul union that's 5 years in the works. We all tell her to forget him and that someone spectacular is going to come along and no, she won't grow old alone, but telling her to forget him or disregard him is silly. Keep in mind that she never asked Guy to leave HIS wife, either. She never even slept with Guy. She wanted more than he gave her, and to be more special to him more often than in little convenient spurts for him. He thrived on her attention and adoration, but went ahead and chastised her because she fell in love with him. The way their final conversation went down, as it was explained to me, was that he nervously and speedily cut ties and amputated her from his life. Just like that. He bitched about this blog, and about the fact that his co-workers had figured out too much information. His family did too, most likely. His reputation as a fine, upstanding, Catholic healer of the sick and weary was tarnished by the fact that he led my best friend down a path of deceit of his own doing for a very long time. His wife is his rock, his soul, his life? Well, THAT's interesting, as I've commented before, considering the fact that he rarely, if ever, called her by name to Annie, crabbed about her family a lot (he doesn't like them, by the way) and made romantic, physical gestures and said things to her that are not akin to that of a fine, upstanding Catholic man. I'm not a religious zealot, never have been, but I understand the Christian concept of sin. Guy's sin was not in following his heart with Annie, or even secretly engaging in naughtyish behavior with her, betraying his sacred marital vows. The sin he needs to confess the most is that he fucked with Annie's head and heart when she looked to him for strength, support and love. None of us, not one of us, as her friends, believe that he wasn't at some point or currently is in love with her. And he said "I love you" to her tons of times. If that was all bullshit, that's some pretty major bullshit to plant in an impressionable woman's head. That's scuzzy. But he couldn't have Lady GuyGuy and Annie on the side and have that be okay. Maybe Annie wouldn't have badmouthed her so much if she wasn't such a swamp frog to Annie when THEY met. That's not conjecture--Annie can quote verbatim the rudeness she was partied to. Thus, Annie's attitude towards and opinion of Lady GuyGuy was, in my opinion, totally justified. At the VERY least, he owes her an honest conversation about what happened, what went so wrong so quickly, and explain his detachment. I don't consider 5 minutes on the phone and her wrought with tears a sufficient ending to an otherwise mutually terrific friendship. If I did that to her, I'd never be able to forgive MYSELF, much less go to some child-molesting priest to beg for penance. Shame on you, shame on you, shame on you, Guy. Face it, brother, you didn't handle it like a goddamn man. We tell Annie she deserves better, and she does. But she also deserves an apology and an explanation from you. (Bets are waging you'll wimp out totally and never do this.)

Annie lost her health insurance at the beginning of the month and is struggling to have it reinstated. She's dependent on Illinois to cover her healthcare, which is very expensive. Luckily, she's got enough money to cover the racking up bills and all the expensive medication right now, but that won't last forever. This has her really stressed out and frustrated. The money stress has been compounded by the fact that her ex-husband is in deep doo doo about not paying her child support for Luke that he's behind, for a long time. He's not acting like a responsible man in much the same fashion as Guy. Giving Annie the unfair shaft. What's worse with her ex is that it's a detriment to their child, which I personally find reprehensible. People criticize me for not financially supporting and taking care of Annie, when I totally could afford to. That's not my role in our friendship. Annie needs to become self-sufficient, and while I've helped in dribs/drabs, I want her to learn how to manage her finances just as I had to learn once I had some money and wasn't almost living in a box under the highway.

Annie is scrambling to find another graduate school to go to in the fall because things didn't and weren't working out with Adler. Without going into great detail, she's a brilliant genius and has a great shot at getting in anywhere she applies, but there's a measure of urgency to all of this which is ALSO stressing her out. I'm not ashamed to say I'm very good at what I do professionally and am well compensated for it. Annie deserves that too. Her path is still forming, but she deserves a chance at the best education (I only have a high school diploma, so graduate school is totally foreign territory for me. I just know it's hard.) she can get.

Her relationship with her mother, who she lives with, is majorly fucked up. Her mom treats her like a kid, and is legitimately abusive towards her. The constant egg shell walking at home and atoning for ills (half of which aren't her fault to begin with, or were accidents, or misunderstandings) have pushed Annie to the limits of her sanity. Problem is, she's stuck. She can't afford to leave, so she has to put up with it. This breaks my heart for her, because the last person who should negate you is your own parent. It's getting worse, and she's shedding more tears, and is afraid. Annie's mom doesn't make her feel good about herself. She makes her feel really, really shitty about herself. Less than human, even. She misses her dad a whole lot and Father's Day was really hard on her, as it always is, just like his birthday and the anniversary of the day he died. Speaking of which, Jesus Christ, Guy, it was your own father who couldn't revive Annie's father and he died. And you treat her this way? What the fuck is wrong with you?

She got a flat tire over the weekend. While not a huge issue, and she handled it well, it's little things like that which add up to Annie losing her shit and the bipolar really rearing its ugly head. It's just one thing after another after another and I think that is what drives her to threaten to kill herself.

She gained a lot of weight and feels awful about her appearance. It's because of a medical problem and is not her fault at all, but it makes her feel ugly and unlovable. I try to remind her that I KNOW her and I LOVE her and that she's always beautiful to me. She won't be this way forever. When the doctors get the problem fixed, she'll slowly make it back to where she's comfortable with how she looks. Until then, it's our duty to reassure her that it's just a shell of who and what the real Annie is all about. She's a sexy mama any way you look at her and that's the truth. There have been plenty of times when I feel like I look like shit and she thinks I'm gorgeous (???) so we're even.

I guess to sum it up, everybody, please, cut Annie some slack and if you love her or even like her, prove it. She needs it more now than ever. I don't want to lose my friend and I'm scared. Apart from my wife and children, she's the most important person in my life. It's easy for me to say "Hang in there!" but she's hanging to a cracking branch. Guy? MAN UP YOU FUCKING PUSSY. Meg, Kate...keep up the fabulous work in helping to take care of her and being so selfless with your love and attention, when I know you've both got a lot of shit going on in your own lives. I do what and as much as I can, but I'm far away physically, though totally in her spirit.

Annie, you're hilarious, and SO damn smart, and creatively gifted, and a great mama, and you have so much talent and drum pounding to offer this world. The people who matter care. Please take care of your needs and undo all of that stress one thing at a time. It's all you can do. You'll pull through, soldier. Come on, you're one of my biggest role models of strength and survival. Don't let these setbacks stop you. And that's exactly what they are. Setbacks. Not absolutes. Not definitions. Not doomsdays. You will be better than ok. You'll be spectacular. Just wait and tough it out. Until things turn around, rest your head on the shoulders of those of us who love you. And when I say I love you, I MEAN it.


And that's what real love is. You connect with someone and laugh your asses off. You create together. You strive to bring out the best in one another. You've saved my life. Let me help you save yours.


Your Bestest Ever Male Friend

I Miss My Little Spy.

Someone's been on the blog for several months, logging in hundreds of page views, through an anonymous proxy out France, simple-proxy.com, or some such nonsense.

I tried blocking the IP, but none of my tech-savvy support staff could halt this obvious ("stalker" is such a harsh word), over zealous reader. It wasn't just a blog fan, this was someone who'd check the blog religiously several times a day, especially in the morning.

My tracker lets me nickname returning visitors, so this one I called "The French Inhaler," after a favorite Warren Zevon song.

(BTW, I wore a Warren shirt to church Saturday and only the organist who stopped by to practice recognized his face. He said, "He's an Excitable Boy!" I said , "YESSSS!!!!" Then some members and I talked about the rarity of mesothelioma, the lung cancer from which Warren died. Just an aside.)

Since the Big Guy Dump, "The French Inhaler" has been more and more scant. Ok, I fold. There won't be much more about Guy aside from how much I miss him and uncovering the truths behind the things he said to me.

"French Inhaler," know this. I know you're not Guy. He's not that tech savvy. It could be Lady GuyGuy, or one of the work minions, etc, but I don't get kicked to the curb without a fight. And that fight hasn't taken place yet. If the "French Inhaler" wants to pass that message along, feel free. He owes me a much larger explanation than was provided.

Interesting factoid about the French Inhaler: he/she seems to sleep in on weekeds. It's 5:30 am Saturday morning here in Chicago, and he/she hasn't logged in yet. At least THEY'RE getting some sleep.

"At least you have BMF..."