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

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.

"At least you have BMF..."





Sunday, June 15, 2014

Warbling Somberly.



Happy Father's Day to all the men out there raising people to become bigger and better people. I can't cover all of you or all of your roles, so consider this a blanket statement. You're doing a bang-up job, so go you!

I'll be BBQ'ing burgers tonight for dinner on our Weber grill, which I was only reminded of my dad having when my mom mentioned he'd received one as a Father's Day gift, gosh, like 35 years ago, that he was really excited about. (I'm the family grillmaster.)

I'm very lucky that the last thing my father ever told me was "I love you" over the phone. That I won't ever forget, though the memories of him and what he used to do, and things that happened grow ever increasingly vague as I age. I'm the same age now as he was when he died, and it's a wonder.

I would've loved to have seen my dad try to text on a cell phone. First, he wouldn't understand the cell phone, then when he'd try to text me, he'd fuck it up immeasurably, get frustrated and throw the damn phone across the room, until I could calm him down. Same with the TV. He'd be calling me over every day to fix the television when it was probably something as simple as him having the cable on the wrong channel on the TV. And it's ok. I'd do it. 'Cause it's Dad. (If it was my mom, I'd probably let her sweat it out a little longer.)

I'd have loved to have had him walk me down the aisle towards my ultimately failed marriage, though he never would've let me marry Craig. He'd have told me to hold out for someone better, no matter how in love I thought I was at the time. I have little doubt that my parents would have been divorced by now, and, if given a choice of which parent whose whose house I had to share, it'd be his. I know he'd treat me with 100 times more respect than my mom does, and he was so easy going, he wouldn't freak out at every fucking thing that ever happens. He'd be chill...like me. It's safe to say I've walked away with both his good and bad characteristics, and my mother asks "who spawned me." I tell her, "YOU DID. But who am I like? DAD."

It's funny.....this morning, on Facebook, my dad's former secretary from his ill-fated attempt at owning a business, not only "liked" the photograph of myself with my dad, but she commented that it was exactly how she remembered him and she made it a point to remind me what a caring and funny person he was. She said she couldn't wait to go to work every day just to be around my dad's antics. That really, honestly warmed my heart.

I wish he knew his grandsons, who are amazing young men. I do wonder how he'd react to Jake being gay, but I should think he, like my brother, would accept him and love him regardless, because love means more. That doesn't mean he wouldn't be saying Hail Marys in Polish every time he saw him. My dad was pretty open-minded. He'd patiently watch Luke do dozens of card tricks and marvel at his creativity. He'd ask ME, "Who spawned LUKE?" I'd say, "ME!"

Seeing as we're both goofballs, I think we'd be pretty much best pals if he was alive. He'd agree with Luke that I shouldn't date and would scrutinize any potential mate even more ferociously than Luke does. I do see a lot of my dad's personality in Luke, but Luke's personality is a lot like mine. Luke's a lot book-smarter, but not half as street-smart. I just hope the mental illness and addiction skips at least one generation. That's what worries me.

If I was given a choice to take a walk and talk things over with either Jesus or my dad, it'd be my dad. I already know all I need to know from Jesus. My dad's another story.

I'm missing Luke today, not having seen him since very early Thursday morning. He's not coming home until late tomorrow afternoon, spending Father's Day with his dad. By the time he comes home tomorrow, I'll be at my interview at the other university, and then I'm going out for dinner with Meg. (Tots!) I'm at least happy that Luke has a dad who loves him and minds him (he took him shorts shopping for me this weekend since he's 2 months behind on his child support :( ) but I'm possessive about my kid. I have homework I should be doing, but I took another nap, got a haircut, took another nap, and will grab something to eat with my mother. I'm not exactly terribly motivated.

I wonder how Guy's doing. I don't think, I imagine, he saw any of his kids this Father's Day. I'm still in the grieving process of processing his abandonment.

So here's to you, Daniel George Miklasz Jr. You were the best Daddy ever, even during the short time I knew you. You exist now in my dreams and are my guardian angel, I'm sure.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

"Everyday I Write the Book"

Should Guy stumble in...




I don't think this was how you wanted it to end.