Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hello darling. Feeling physically off today, mystery aches & pains. My right foot hurts, as though I'd misstepped hard on something which I don't believe I have. (I have been wearing new shoes for walking - but I thought they were fine.) I think it's inflamed, and now my whole body is feeling vaguely inflamed. Like a hot dry fever. And yet I can ignore it, sort of. I never, or almost never, feel entirely 100 percent. I've gotten used to it. When I was youthful (20s and 30s) and began hearing about chronic fatigue syndrome, and had a friend who believed she had it - I felt intolerant. I lacked empathy for anyone else's vague debilitating condition. I didn't have a context for it. My friend looked fine - in every sense of the word - a lithe looker. Anyway - my lack of understanding or empathy - that's all gone. I used to have so much energy, and I think it's more than just age. Something's off. I keep thinking it might be fibromyalgia, a sort of chronic bodily inflammation related to responses to stress over time having run amok. And maybe today it flared up.

But still I went for my walk, though my foot hurt, but I really wanted to persevere and so simply treaded lightly and didn't work out so much with the handweights. It was beautiful there as always, a crystalline day, and the usual cast of individual wanderers was there, at various moments or another. Including a guy who, about a year and a half ago, was very friendly to me. You and I had stopped corresponding, it seemed completely over, it was the dead of winter, the guy was extremely outgoing ("you're here for the sunset?" "yeah," "cool,"), for about a two week period or so we would in an unspoken way meet up around the same time at the park and took several walks, along with his peaceful dog, together. He told me he was gay and in a committed relationship - but he also complained to me about his old girlfriend. Maybe I was a little too much Miss Lonelyhearts but when in the darkness - that is, 5:30 p.m. in bleak January - back at the parking lot after one of our walks he said to me "sleep tight" - well, that's a pretty sweet, intimate thing to say, I believe. We took a few more walks, and had a great time talking - on a whole range of subjects, very easygoing, the guy is very intelligent. I had one of my poetic epiphanies based on one of our walks, and out erupted a little short story - very imperfect and yet it had a spark I think. (I know it did.) Oh anyway, I guess like a Charyn E.D. I came on too strong and scared the poor man right off.

It wasn't that he was being a "player" who got cold feet. He was going through a lot of stuff. Walks were a refuge, or helped. Yeah, I relate.

Anyway these days (these days = past year-and-a-half) he shows up at the conservation area and can't even bear to look at me. But it seems that it's beyond just mere awkwardness. (Yeah - I with a little too much wine in me at moments in my life have felt a little too enthused over a new acquaintance only to feel utterly "WTF was I thinking" towards the person afterward (usually a perfectly nice middle-aged woman who thought we might become best friends). But with him, it's more as though I'm some sort of Jezebel. Is that who I mean? There's a KZE song about a Jezebel. As though I'm some sort of temptress, the fact of me. No - I'm just me - complicated.

Back that January he suddenly disappeared. I would show up before sunset for a walk, and he wasn't there. He hadn't said that he was leaving. He just vanished. A week or two went by and of course in the meantime I googled him and found his phone number - and left an exceedingly awkward message on his answering machine.

Then one day he returned. Late January in the snow, early February maybe. And he was very cold and distant. We walked together. But it was weird. It was bitter cold. He was underdressed. The light was crepuscular. He wasn't adequately dressed, not a good winter jacket, just a shirt or sweater and a sleeveless ski vest. We set down the path together and for warmth he thrust either arm through the armholes of his vest for warmth. He looked like a six-foot-tall armless bullet. We took our (formerly) customary walk around the park, and he's so strange with his arms completely out of commission, lumbering along beside me. (His dog, walking ahead of us pooped - and this guy is the committed scooper and then some and we just stopped on the path and I wasn't about to pick up after it and my friend was armless so he couldn't - so we let it go.)

Where were you?, I asked him. He described a last-minute opportunity for a vacation. I had surmised that he had been in a northwest coast city, based on stories he'd told me about himself, and even as he talked about spending time being on a beach drinking coffee and staring at boys I still thought that's what he was talking about. I said, you know, I'm a little embarrassed and I shouldn't have done it but I left a message on your answering machine, wondering where you were. (Oh yeah - it's all coming back now - I had polished the short story I'd written, printed it out, put it in an envelope and mailed it to his address in downtown in the river city.)

Anyway, Dear Reader(s), is it any wonder that there's no end of awkwardness? Except for me - seriously, it's June 2010 and the Events of Which I Speak transpired in Jan.-Feb. 2009, I have a statute of limitations. It's over.

Yeah, but who would believe that I have a statute of limitations? At the time (as I told him) I thought you and I were completely over (yet again). Which not that I'm such a wanton flirt but that's where my head was absolutely at at that moment. I had made a New Years Resolution to end it. Full stop. Cliff. Cold, darkness, and nothing to replace. The whole - I'm going to put it out of my mind forever thing - it stopped working. Because stuff had been woken in me - libido, creativity, an engagement (as opposed to disconnect) with my own body - which I have kept up ever since.

So I was in the mood to meet someone new. Absolutely I was. Sleep tight.

Ah, a trip down memory lane. Trying to write something. What will I do while you're gone? Not sure.

I want to hug you, kiss you... a blues song is on KZE now. Not to be overly self-referential but my own writing (riffs) reminds me of jazz piano, the blues, whatever; Chopin, via New Orleans. Darling, I love you so.


Baked blueberry coffee cake and for dinner tonight a pan of broccoli rabe pasta is sitting on the stove.

Sleep tight.

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