Monday, February 21, 2005

winter returns

only the neighbor's dog barking out beyond the old barn and the snow coming down in slants. it must have started late last night after i went to bed, after i had dinner with my father at Bittersweet where Jeffrey sat with his his back to us like a slammed-shut door, after lunch with JG in providence which was what i expected it to be--another very needy and wounded man who i was pleasantly surprised by as i saw him from a distance but then got up close and tried not to see the uneven shave, the rumpled clothing, the bits of white on the shoulders of his sport coat, all a disapointment foretold and made fact, after my drunken saturday night at the Pawkachuck party and finding myself in EM's big white truck, his kisses too hard and his hand too fast down my shirt as if he were grabbing the gearshift and trying to go from neutral straight into fifth, after driving away and leaving a message on Jeffrey's cell --i'll leave the backdoor open if you need place to crash--and believing that my little message in a bottle would find the shore.

and so now it is snowing again and i am back to where i was before, my bravado and self-assurance of the past few days tattered, lost in a forest of my own circling, exposed, cold and looking for a way home.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

why again the why

tired, too many indulgences, can't settle. world is scrambled by the weird confluence of seeing Jeffrey several times in public over the past few weeks and feeling unalterably sad that he doesn't appear on my doorstep, despite all the door-slamming i've done. throw into the mix a nice guy who i met 'virutally' who has all the right pedigrees --ivy league, tenured, learned, articulate--i was totally infatuated on email, loved his picture, but when i talked to him last night felt wayyy too in control, detected more than a little wounded bird, a little too needy, a little too nice.....but which is worse? neediness covered-up with a thick veneer of nastiness and alcohol or one that is right out there?

why is 'nice' not something i am drawn to? why does 'nice' make me want to run as fast as i can towards every guy who ever treated me badly?

i don't know. just want to crawl back into my hole. tried to move a bureau from one room to another, thinking some sort of productivity would make me feel better. but, wouldn't ya know it, it's now stuck between rooms and god knows who i will have to invite over to help me.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

so many words

...and so it comes to this: it is not, i'm afraid, enough to be your own best friend.

at least not today, on my birthday, when i feel so alone and so sad, empty and hopeless. the calls from my kids this morning, their loving and dutiful voices music on the other end of the phone, dinner with my parents last night, but more of a celebration of my mother being upright than anything else. she was uncomfortable and ansy before the main course was finished, so i was left to wait for the bill alone. i bought a neighborhood-sized bag of chocolate covered raisins at the convenience store, and ate that as my birthday cake, in front of re-runs of Law & Order. I have tried, all day, to not fall through the floor as I always do on my birthday, running just ahead of the cloud of despair, waiting for something unexpected to happen, which it never does. yesterday, i saw J driving in the bright sunlight, his top down, sunglasses on. he gave me a little, almost imperceptible 3-finger wave, his hand hardly moving from the steering wheel and roared-off. all day i missed him, all day i was off my game, willing him to come by, willing him to stay the night, hating him and wanting him at the same time.

my age hits me harder than ever before. i am not just an adult, which i've just barely come to terms with, but i am an aging adult and this fact is tough. i am still struggling, still working everything out as if i were an adolescent, still living in split worlds, split minds, not knowing who i am or how i want to spend the change in my pocket.

i don't want to be married, but i wonder why i am not? why has everyone else that i know managed to negotiate this terrain? why do i feel like a fragile vessel that leaks all of the water that is poured into it?

faith is the evidence of things unseen, but i am so very tired of not seeing.

Monday, January 31, 2005

The glass-blue days are those
when every color glows,
each shape and shadow shows.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

the pieces

"I am not sick, just broken." My mother says this to me over the phone yesterday. It is late afternoon and she is calling because my father has gotten the car stuck in a snowbank and is trying to shovel his way out. "You've got to come over and stop him." I hear her crying. "I have to remember, I am not sick, just broken, " she says again, and in her voice I hear the first timbre of emotional honesty that I have heard in a long time, the bald, raw admission of her state of being, of the rocks that she finds herself shipwrecked on. "I don't want to talk anymore. I just want to make a cup of tea. I'll see you soon."

By the time I get there, she is up and in the kitchen, fixing supper for my father and me again, not ordering us around or groaning, but pushing herself along the counters to get the napkins or the pepper herself. We sit at the table. She eats everything on her plate, swallowing it all. She tells us stories about Duxbury when she was growing up. She laughs, we laugh, and then she goes back to her room to eat her Jello and go to bed.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

oh, pink and frozen earth

The Dog gets me up and out onto the brittle snowpack, my steps and his echoing in the thick and twinkling black of an almost-dawn. I'm limping on a twisted knee and my arm hurts from being pulled too hard too many times by his leash as we make our way back into house under the stars. The coffee is waiting and hot. I start a day again.

The Boy called yesterday bursting with proud news of call-backs from his first auditions. I call his sister but only get her voicemail. I struggle with the enveloping loneliness of deepest winter, becoming a hermit in my house but unable to use this gift of time and health effectively. Waking up with the excitement of all the things I will tackle and accomplish, running out of mental gas by mid-afternoon.

Yesterday, primary care for my mother. My father went to New York for a couple of days. I am claustrophobic there, and guilty because of it. I want to flee the moment I arrive and am impatient both when she sleeps too much and when she wants to talk. I am impatient with the groaning, impatient with the slowness with which she moves, impatient that she can't remember what pills she is supposed to take when. Like gas poured in a line, the anger burns straight ahead, all around me, follows me back home and consumes the night into wasteful, surrendering ash.

Monday, January 24, 2005


my back porch this morning.....

the plow and the stars

the wind and snow have abated although occasional roars can still be heard from the northeast. the snow is up to the windows on the back porch and still no plow for the driveway. did not leave the house yesterday and fought my own anciness, as well as the demons by midday -- be productive, they screamed, this house is falling down around you. work on your novel. you've got a whole day with nowhere to go. do something. i shut them up with a nap, and by then it was time to cook a small dinner,watch the football game (which i don't understand or much like) and knit, which i am uniquely bad at, ripping out hours of work twice in order to get it right. poor Jack -- he was inside all day. we ventured out 2 or 3 times, but the wind was too strong for much of anything, so he hunkered down with me, waiting for the plow which never came. awake an hour or so ago, still not plowed-out. i will work from here for the morning and then head home.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


sunday 1-23-05

blizzard of 05

and so the winds roar out of the northeast at 60+ mph, and the snow keeps on coming, starting yesterday as i left hartford after dropping the Girl back at college after a long break, sorry to say good-bye all over again as our companionable weeks together came to an end. we decorated her room with a new quilt and rug, rearranged the furniture somewhat, stockpiled food on her shelves, and went out for subs before i dropped her off, into the waiting arms of friends as they arrived back, too. i headed towards the Farm, a very long two hours traversing secondary roads, just in line with the gathering storm. bone tired when i got here, but headed out to D's for a warm supper before the roads became impassable. it was a good time, one of the best that we have had together. a chicken. some pan fried potatoes. beans. an agreement as he poured his sambuca that if we were both alone when we were 75 that we would be together, take care of each other, and not die alone.