Monday, February 20, 2012

Oh sweetheart, I lead a crazily compartmentalized life myself, in my own fashion. The stress-relieving part of my trifecta did not go well, I could not reach it, despite nearly an hour. Good thing I don't work for a living, that would be impossible. I once saw a HuffPo headline to the effect of a Brazilian woman who was granted daily time at work to attend to her need -- of course it was a racy, prurient tease, but at this point, boy do I relate. And so now I feel this uncomfortable sensation of it not having gotten out of the way. Gawd, who knew menopause was going to be like this? If that's what it is. Does it even get worse -- or not worse, as not to judge, but as severe -- because I saw, on one of my workouts last week, a black woman bus driver, age 59, seated in her bus, Dr. Oz boarding, ask him an "awkward question" -- why does she want it all the time, more than ever?

Oh sweetheart, are you in that boat too? I connected with someone nice today, he seems nice, we plan to meet for coffee next week, we'll see. If it actually happens (because I've had a few other plates spinning the air but none of them have -- landed? -- I may have the wrong analogy here) it will be my first date of any sort in some 26 years.

Oh so the latter was another "compartment" of mine. There was an ad today from a guy in his early 60s, but I think he's too old for me. I would like someone around my age, give or take, and I'd even take a bit younger, say late 40's. I mean, especially since men tend to predecease women -- do they still? I haven't looked into such statistics lately. But because I so love the loving company & companionship of a man whom I love, it makes no sense to me to go out of my way to answer the ad of someone 11 years older than myself, even if he does sound great, in a Jane Austen kind of way -- "mature, professional male returning to live in Albany area soon." On horseback! A truth universally acknowledged! Of course my antennae went up -- if for no more than literary reasons.

Another compartment is that I attended church yesterday, and had the brilliant idea on my vigorous walk along country roads beforehand (eight in the morning, cold air, bright sunshine), to take careful notes as to the timing & sequencing of the service, where I would be expected to come in with a hymn... I feel so much more relaxed on that score now that I have the general scheme on one sheet (even if, from Sunday to Sunday, the hymns vary -- no matter...)

The R and I had met last week in the church, and I played a few hymns on the ancient organ for her (oh what a magnificent instrument, those beautifully colored pipes -- I suppose I mean the paint colors, actually, all Olana tones of sage-green, apricot, turquoise, and gilt -- because sonically I really wish there were a way to modulate the volume -- that instrument is loud), and we had agreed that I'd start next Sunday, coincidentally [watch my adverbs - providentially? purposely?] for a service involving special guest clergyman...

and so I was a little surprised, as I sat back in a rear pew as the R, in a more informal segment of the service, engaged directly with the congregation and offered general announcements, as to the upcoming Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner (eggs are not needed, but milk is, posited one of the organizers -- but I thought, don't pancakes require eggs if for no other reason than as binding?), some study group here, prayer meeting there, etc., etc.

And I was a little surprised that she hadn't mentioned that I would officially be starting my service the following Sunday... and also the church bulletin indicated that next Sunday's music would be recorded. Had I disappointed the R in some way? Had she changed her mind about me? And decided to postpone my debut after all?

I tried not to take it personally, the way I try not to take it personally when a CL someone who expressed interest suddenly goes cold... do you know, that somehow those two types of things -- I suppose ego flicking -- touched the same nerve somehow (don't you like me?)

Well okay, I wasn't going to get too self-flagellating about it, the R had her reasons... and so even as the service continued, Hymn this & that followed by the Eucharist wait til all the parishioners have returned to their seats...

and then the service was just about over --
just about "class dismissed" time
oh dear -- I should really get the liturgical terminology down --
I think it was time for the Recessional Hymn
when the R - a very spirited, animated woman, with a great sense of occasion & flair
called a halt to the usual proceedings & stood at the front of the congregation
& quite charmingly & dramatically apologized that she had forgotten about a Very Important Announcement

and then she gestured towards me, sitting way back in the rear, and asked if I'd come up

I looked around -- you mean me? you want me to come up to the front of the church?

yes, she meant me

and as I approached -- no, not the bench, your Honor
as I approached the front of the church, where the R in her white vestments stood
she explained to the congregation that next Sunday would be my debut
and she made beautiful religious remarks about my "entering into my service to the Lord" or words to that effect, her arm around my shoulders
(wow, had I known that would happen maybe I would have rethunk my outfit for church that morning -- jeans, and my E.D. sparkly sequiny top, topped with staid black cashmere sweater (under which superwoman paisley top shines through))

I stood there at the front of the church, the R's arm around me
and faced the congregation
actually I looked down, I couldn't quite face them
I just listened to the R's words, and felt the feel of her arm around me
I felt quite called into service, at that time
it was a good feeling, I liked it, I feel up for it
as I stood there all I could absurdly think of was Ed Sullivan intoning, in grainy black & white, rubbing his hands together,
"It's going to be a Really Really Big Shew"
consider it an act of prudent restraint that standing up there I didn't quip as much

and so that's that darling, you're caught up on my compartmentalized life
will tweak, no doubt, in the morning
these posts - as is my life - are a work in progress

many kisses, dearest love
I hope you have someone who can give you tender kisses
& embraces
in private
the way you like
love you

P.S. another compartment - perhaps this should be another post

from my "dream journal" this morning, in which I record dreams that I manage to remember -- I think this one must be related to the "mantle" of sorts being placed on me...
Regina B. has handpicked me to be her successor as paralegal coordinator. It isn’t official, but clearly her blessing carries a lot of weight. I am very relieved and grateful and honored, especially that she even thought of me – still thinks of me as capable – since I haven’t worked in many years. I am relieved that it is a stable job, not overly stressful…

It’s premature to tell anyone, really, yet I am bursting with the momentousness. I go to Grand Central Terminal to buy a ticket home, and blurt out the news to the station clerks, who know me by name. One hands me a little envelope with my name scrawled on it. At first I think my name is misspelled (the handwriting is messy and uncertain) but it isn’t. I buy Dentyne and sticks of sugary Beechwood gum, and the ticket. And proceed outside to some remote track, out in the mud – with a creek – completely unpaved, undeveloped. Is this where the train is supposed to be? Others are there too. I don’t even know when the train is coming. I remark how it’s like the Mekong Delta, to which some guy takes slight umbrage, but I say, sorry, the way it looks here, so swampy, it reminds me of Cambodia.

I have on a beautiful outfit, maybe what helped win me the job (I’ll ruin my shoes in that mud, by the way, so I’m trying to step lightly out), and I’ll need more outfits of that caliber. I think that it would be nice to sit in an office and be on the phone all day.

Regina and I visit the place where my office is to be. It’s in a building, maybe a house, and my room is tiny, tucked upstairs, way way back behind other rooms and down long corridors – I’m at the very end of the house. The room is tiny, and neat & cozy – it reminds me of Emily Dickinson’s room, with its spare clean furnishings – a small desk, set by a window, at which I’ll sit, I look forward to sitting. Maybe I’ll be able to get some writing done here too, I think, in between phone calls regarding paralegal assignments. I learn that there is plenty of work for the paralegals, and that they are eager for the assignments.

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