Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pole-Dancing Coda

If I were to document all of the crazy things that happen in my life, the coincidences and incidences of serendipity and synchronicity I have no control over and yet have come to expect....if I were to document all of those, I wouldn't be able to write about anything else here. I said once to a friend, after a particularly strange encounter with someone else, "What the fuck? Why did that happen?" And he said, "Because it's your story and that's the kind of thing that always happens in your story. It had to happen that way." My story. Here's an example.

Remember the guy I was dancing with last Friday night at the club? Before the pole-dancing? I was sitting at a stop light downtown this morning, on my way to deliver my jars to Chicken Grrrl's house for our bi-weekly raw milk run. I felt someone watching me, so I looked to the right.....and there was Ron, the guy who thought I was at the club with my son that night, sitting in a new black Chevy pickup grinning and nodding his head at me. I smiled back and gave a little wave. He gave a big wave and wiggled his eyebrows at me. Then I just looked forward and felt kind of awkward. I could see out of the corner of my eye he was still looking.* The light turned green and we pulled forward a block to the next red light. It finally turned green and he gave a wave and turned right while I went straight.

What are the odds? I live in a smallish city, but not that small. Oh, I admit it is small enough to pinch sometimes, and more-so lately. It's great to run into people I want to see and not so great to run into people I don't, but the former far outweigh the latter....not in pounds of course, but in numbers. And then there's just ... awkward. Not my type, Ron. Probably too nice given my track record. Even with the shiny black pickup and the Harley my son is sure he rides, not my type. I swear the Universe fucks with me just so she can laugh at me at happy hour with her friends.

I'm preparing for a new quarter, which starts next Wednesday. I sat at my computer beating my head against assignments and lesson plans so long today I got a headache, so I took off on a solitary ride. I haven't ridden by myself in a while, but I like to do it now and then. I usually go faster when I'm alone, really push it, but tonight I was doggish. My body didn't want to fall into a rhythm, and a hot wind blew up in my face and sucked the moisture out of my mouth. I rode six miles and then turned around. I didn't hit my stride until about nine miles and then it was slower than usual.

Not many cyclists shared the path with me tonight, but there were other people. Lots of walkers, people with dogs. One woman on in-line skates who must have skated miles. I passed her coming and going. A skinny boy...young man?....with no shirt and his pants falling down past his butt over his boxers walked in the middle of the path, talking on his phone and carrying a crossbow in his right hand. Was I uncomfortable passing him and giving him my back? Indeed I was. A couple of miles later, a large doe ran across the path and disappeared into the woods. She looked so powerful as she ran.

The fountains were shooting over the river as I rode back. I noticed the guys ahead of me were all taking the ramp up to the top of the levy. I slowed down to decide whether to ride up or just ride through. In the photo you can just see the bike path in the left, bottom corner. It curves around under the fountain that shoots from the levy. I decided to lower my head to protect my glasses and ride through. On a 90-degree day, a little river water feels pretty refreshing. I was dry a mile down the path.

Twelve miles isn't bad, but it felt like twenty. It goes that way though. Sometimes twenty feels like ten.

Tomorrow's post will be about something scientists found on the female body. Something small and apparently elusive. Someday I swear I'm just going to open a sex blog. Would anybody read it?

*Those years of basketball developed my peripheral vision for life. My kids still think I have eyes in the back of my head.

Just a Tiny Rant About Liars

I hate liars so much I'm using clip art, which I also hate.

I hope you will all indulge me in a tiny, non-specific rant or better yet, just drink a cup of coffee and wait for the next funny or sexy post. Here's a break so you can do that if you want.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dancing on the Pole

And now the post about the pole-dancing. OK, so my kids--my son Drake, his girlfriend Montana, and their friends--really like it when I come out and party with them sometimes. I'm sure they wouldn't want me to join them every time, but once in a blue moon we get a little crazy. Last time I went out to their favorite club with them it was foam night, and it was wild. I wrote a snippet of conversation about that night and posted a photo of the foam fun here. The conversation on the phone with my son about our upcoming clubbing date went something like this:

Me: If I'm dancing with somebody this time, you're not to box block me. Just keep dancing as if it happens all the time.
Drake: If you're grinding with him I'll have to leave the room.
Me: Grinding? Grinding? I would never grind with a stranger on the dance floor right in front of you kids.
Drake: Pretty sure you were grinding last time. (Editorial note: He was kidding. He had better have been kidding.)
Me: I was not grinding with that man. That was just dancing. No box blocking.
Drake: Could have been grinding.
Me: You could go to hell for talking to your mother like that.
Drake: No grinding.
Me: Go to hell.

My babies. How I love them both....except when they act like their father.

Back to the club. Friday night was goth industrial night, which wasn't wild like foam night, but certainly took a turn I didn't expect. I looked through my closet and didn't see anything that even remotely shouted goth industrial, so I threw on one of my little black dresses and my tallest platforms and met the kids in the parking lot behind the club at about 12:30 so they could walk in with me because, you know, I was afraid I'd get hit on and grinded ground on by all those young goth industrialists.

The club looks like a 1950's-era diner from the outside, with a raised patio on the front, and industrial modern inside. Kind of retro futuristic. The bar is a big stainless steel rectangle that serves two rooms. The sunken dance floor has a wooden cage hanging from the ceiling in one corner. Girls get in the cage and dance, and they can rock it back and go go girls without the white boots. In spite of some encouragement, I have never danced in the cage. However, I admire the girls who do. Some of them strip down to black bras and boy shorts and dance with no apparent regard for the other dancers below. And nobody seems to pay much attention to them either. Hmmm. That doesn't sound like what I mean. I think I'll become clearer when I get to the pole.

After we got there I just followed the kids around like a puppy for a while hoping I wasn't the oldest person in the place we found a group of friends out on the patio and joined them. I only knew one of them*, but she was one I'd found crashed on my couch before back in my son's teen years, so we had some history. We shared a lovely reunion and a couple of drinks.

Then some of us girls couldn't resist the pound of the music and the fog and the lights, so we hit the dance floor. And I found out I wasn't the oldest person in the place because pretty soon I was dancing with the guy who was. I think we were making an attempt at disco dancing, but he had more enthusiasm than skill. Finally I'd had enough and I glanced at Montana as he spun me out. Within seconds she smoothly cut in and danced me back to our group. That girl is a keeper.

We danced for a while, drank and talked for a while, and then danced some more.  The same guy grabbed me again--he was nice, but I wasn't tapping that--and Montana did her thing again as soon as I mouthed "help me" to her. Finally we headed back to the bar again. As I stood there talking to Drake, the dancing guy came by to say goodbye.

Dancing Guy: (holds out his hand to me for a shake.) Hi, I'm Ron.
Me: (smiling and shaking his hand.) Nice to meet you.
Dancing Guy: (to Drake) Thanks for letting me dance with your woman. She's a good dancer.
Drake: (raising one eyebrow) You're welcome, but she's my mom.
Dancing Guy: (recovering from the shock with remarkable aplomb) Your mom! Oh, well then I hope you bring her back soon. (to me) I've been coming here...blah blah blah back when it was blah blah blah. I hope you come back  some Friday night so we can dance again.
Me: (thinking, This always happens. I get too friendly with the natives and then I have to find a new place to have fun, like that time a woman was humping my leg at karaoke and we never went back to that bar....) Sure I'll probably come back sometime. Bye now.

He left and Montana ran up and grabbed my hand. "Come with me. I want to show you something."

We ran off to the last room, which is to the side of the dance floor. It has a second bar that I've never seen tended and a stripper pole on a stainless steel platform surrounded by comfy couches.

She positioned me in front of the pole, leaped up on the stage, pulled her tight t-shirt dress up to her waist and climbed to the top of the pole, about 12 feet up. I watched in amazement as she did what can best be described as a gymnastics routine along the entire pole--not really dancing but a series of moves that required incredible strength and focus. I probably looked as delighted as I felt, although when she did the splits and hung upside down, I wanted to run up and get underneath in case I needed to catch her. It was amazing. I clapped and gave her a big hug when she finished and leaped off the little stage. Next her best friend in her tiny little pleated plaid skirt got up and did her routine, followed by a third young woman who even has her own pole at her house. I just stood there and watched in wonder.

OK, it probably sounds like I'm watching my son's girlfriend and her friends do a stripper routine in a public bar, but that's far from what they were doing. Yes, they're sexy young women and they know it. Good for them! More important, they're strong, talented, athletic, confident women who...I'm not sure how to say it. They made me awfully proud of how they represent their generation. They own it all.

See it's a totally different culture there than it would be at a strip club. Yes, there are people sitting on the couches watching, but some are also not watching. One guy was sleeping; others talking and not paying much attention. Around the club, other people are dancing and walking around not paying any attention to the girl on the pole. Nobody was ogling like they would in a strip club. One of the guys even got up there and did a routine. In case you haven't seen what this looks like, here's a video that shows some of the moves I saw Friday night. In fact, they've learned most of what they do from videos and lots of practice.

Finally Montana grabbed my hand again and said, "C'mon. It's your turn on the pole." I, of course, resisted. I was pretty sure nobody needed to see Mom get up there and work the pole. "Just let me show you a couple of moves," she pleaded. Then the other girls joined in. How could I refuse?

"I should probably wear a helmet and pads on my knees and elbows," I said.
They laughed but I was kind of serious about the helmet part. I stepped up on the platform and Montana showed me how to wrap my leg around the pole and position my foot so I could climb up. I looked around with concern for young, tender eyes when she hiked my dress up so my bare leg was in contact with the pole, but nobody looked shocked. I finally hauled myself up the pole a couple of inches a few feet, clinging with all the strength I had in my arms, legs, feet....and then Montana gave me a push and I was spinning fast, head back, laughing. It hurt but it was exhilarating at the same time. They all clapped and cheered when I finally slowed down and stepped back on the ground, dizzy but triumphant. Montana showed me another move or two, and I "worked the pole" for about two more minutes until I ran out of strength. They all clapped and cheered for me some more....and one of them asked me not to tell her mother she does this. I felt sorry for her mom that she would probably never see what I was privileged to see that night.

I did basically nothing and it took all the strength I had, so I can't even imagine how they do what they do up there. If I were a bad guy, I wouldn't want to meet any of these girls in a dark alley. They could kick some ass. And they told me sometimes strippers from a local gentleman's club come in to dance, and they're better than the pros. The strippers try to get them to come and work at their club, but that's not why these girls do this. They're in it for themselves, for the challenge, and their boyfriends or husbands can love them for it, but it's not really to turn them on. (Sorry, guys.)

As I said above, the girls are super strong and fit. Not so much Mom. I was fine the next morning except for a big bruise on the top of my right foot, one the size of my hand on the back of my right thigh, and a few along my arms. But by the time I got home from porkfest that night, I could barely move. Every muscle in my arms and chest had tightened up in protest, as had my abs and the backs of my legs. This is not like riding a bike. Sunday morning I almost had to cancel my ride because I wasn't sure my arms could hold me on my bars. What a weenie.

I texted Montana to thank her for leaving me rum cake and to tell her I was hurting something awful. She said I just needed to spend more time dancing on the pole. I think probably not, but it was fun. And now I can say I've done that, although it's not the same as putting on a private show. Although for the right person ....well, that's probably another post.

Somebody once asked me what was on my bucket list and I really couldn't answer. I usually only know something was on the list after it happens--like flying an airplane or making milk licker or dancing the pole. One of my theater friends said I should put it on my next audition form as one of my skills: playing piano and guitar, singing, pole-dancing.....Coming soon to a theater or night club near you!

* I love the reaction when my son introduces me to his friends as his mom. Most of them can't imagine their parents clubbing with them, but that's a story I've heard from my kids' friends for years. Their parents don't talk to them or want to be involved in their lives other than to tell them how to do everything better. But that's a topic for another post. It's so rare for a mom to come there they go all out to show me a good time.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Filling the Bucket

I promised to write about dancing* on the pole Friday night and so I will, but I have to tell you, my ass is dragging tonight. I packed way more socializing into one weekend than a girl should and then some. So much that I turned down a dinner invitation tonight so I could come home and take a nap, and this is not normal behavior for me. Other people can't keep up with me, but I usually can. (Maybe I need to see a doctor. ) But I'm tired in a good way. Tired in a way that filled my bucket. Tired because my peeps surrounded me this weekend with love and support and food and dancing and laughter. So much that I couldn't do it all like I usually do. So much it was like  Woodstock, only without the mud. So if you're only interested in the pole, skip to the next post. I'm typing though and I want to say something about the rest of the weekend, about how very blessed I am by the people in my life, if only because the Universe gave me a great big old reminder that I probably needed as much as the next person does.

Example of a Vision Board
Friday night I spent a rare evening with one of my besties, The Hot Italian. We're in touch almost every day, but we're both too busy to get together in person very often. I had planned to go to an annual blues fest in Hippie Town, one that I haven't missed in years, but I took the opportunity to haul my guitar over to her house to jam and read tarot cards**. Only I forgot my cards, and we didn't get the guitars out to blend harmonies on even one Indigo Girls song. We just talked. We talked about dreams versus the illusion of security, taking leaps of faith, careers versus doing what we love, what we're missing versus what we have. She encouraged me to create a vision board and she'll be doing one too. I have to admit, I'm not a follower of the law of attraction movement, but I like cutting pictures out and gluing them on mat board, so I'll probably do one just to see if anything surprises me. Maybe I'll talk more about that in another post. I left her house about 11:00, but .... more on Friday night in the next post.

Saturday my soul sister, Colorado, came with her daughter to spend the day. We used to see each other almost every day, and we had some wild adventures....until she got married, moved 60 miles away, joined the corporate world and became domesticated. (OK, and really happy, but whatevs.) We don't see each other that often any more, so a visit is cause for celebration. Except, we didn't do anything exciting--drove around a neighborhood I'm thinking about moving to, shopped the downtown Goodwill, and ate lunch at a little deli. And talked a lot. It was wonderful. Even though she's just down the road, things have changed and I miss her. The first time we walked out of a grad school rhetoric class and introduced ourselves, we bonded forever, in spite of my extreme extroversion and her puzzling introversion. Somehow the mix made for some crazy adventures and stories. And somehow she showed up Saturday just when I needed to be reminded of who I am.

After Colorado left, I headed over to a porkfest in the backyard of some friends and spent the evening eating every kind of yummy food and getting many hugs and kisses and laughs and way too much talk about my sex life and....need I say it? Pork. Pork loin on the grill with apple BBQ sauce and smoked pork chops and tables loaded with sides and many desserts. And wonderful friends who are determined to get me laid properly and soon...and often. And who want to get out on the bike trail with me and sing karaoke and who praised my milk licker. Yes, I took a mason jar of milk licker and traded my host, Angry Badger, what remained in the jar for a leftover smoked pork chop. I planned so many adventures in those few hours, I'd be busy for the next five years if I did it all.

While I was there, my son's girlfriend texted me and said she'd left some rum cake on my front porch. Mmmm. It was delicious with a glass of cold, raw milk. She's the one who got me on the pole, so more about her later.

Today, Sunday, I changed plans I'd made weeks ago and still had a great day. I signed up for a historic three-hour bike ride around the city about two months ago. I was excited, and unfortunately I told someone I was close to at the time about it. But when I looked at the Facebook invitation to get the details and saw the RSVPs that had appeared after mine, I decided it wouldn't be much fun to go on that ride after all. I just don't dig mean people. So instead I agreed to be an extra in a movie. I hit a different bike trail with The Diplomat that ended  at a local theater (where I performed in my first play last fall) and did the movie shoot instead. Again, some good theater friends were there and I met some new people. I'm sure it was more fun than the other bike ride would have been, and I left with a tub of hummus. And got in a 13-mile ride.

And then this afternoon I went to a performance of Harvey. I haven't written here about my theater experiences this past year, but I will eventually. It's so much fun to go to plays and know several people in the cast. I have performed with three actors in today's play, been directed by the director, and performed on that stage. Again, it's like going home or to Cheers where everybody knows your name, and the people get to be like family. After the play though, I'd had enough and I begged off dinner and came home.....And finally I sat down to write. I started to write about dancing on the pole, but I wrote this instead.

I know this sounds like just another busy weekend, and so it was. I'm sorry I didn't make the blues fest, and I really wanted to go on that group bike ride, but I'm not complaining. When I look back at all the people who shared these two days with me, and I think about how much I love them and how much love I receive from them....I almost can't hold it all in my heart. My heart has broken in a couple of different ways this summer. The birth of my granddaughter broke it as it stretched to receive her and this new incarnation of my daughter as a mother. That kind of breaking, overwhelming as it is, brings unfathomable joy. And then there was other damage that is still healing, still raw no matter how ready I am to move on. And with both kinds of heart-break I know my peeps are there to hold me together and either celebrate with me or talk some shit in my defense...they've got my back and my front. Oh, but you wanted to read about the pole. Next post......with a photo. Tomorrow. I promise.

* I know how to dance, so trust me when I say I use the word "dancing" to describe something that doesn't look like me dancing.
** Yes, I do readings. So does she. It's not expensive and it's worth it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Light as the Breeze

Light as the Breeze

She stands before you naked
you can see it, you can taste it,
and she comes to you light as the breeze.
Now you can drink it or you can nurse it,
it don't matter how you worship
as long as you're
down on your knees.

So I knelt there at the delta,
at the alpha and the omega,
at the cradle of the river and the seas.
And like a blessing come from heaven
for something like a second
I was healed and my heart
was at ease.

~ ~ Leonard Cohen

This is my favorite poem. All time favorite. It even beats red wagons and snowy evenings and your one wild and precious life. And, yes, I do know it's a song, but the music is unnecessary and the words are instrumental.

Have you ever felt that feeling in the last three lines? What would you give to feel it again?


Coming Up

I looked just like this.
Went clubbing with the kids tonight and learned how to dance on a pole. Yeah, that kind of pole. It's never too late to learn a new skill, although I think I may have a few bruises. Photos and the story to follow tomorrow if I have time. If not.....soon. It's always a difficult decision: dance the stripper pole or write on my blog....I really don't want to miss doing either.

My wise words for the night? Simply this: Often what's missing in your life isn't what you wish you had, but what you've given up. Be careful out there.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tiny Spoons

Tiny Measuring Spoons
Are these the cutest, tiniest measuring spoons you've ever seen? They measure 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32 of a teaspoon, but the labels on the handles read tad, dash, pinch, and smidgen. Adorable!

I'm a good cook so I can measure a tad, a dash, a pinch, or a smidgen with my fingers. But Chicken Grrrl and I were making cheese last week--mozzarella and ricotta, OMG, you should taste it. so yummy--and I decided I needed a set just because they're so fucking cute for making cheese, because cheese recipes call for tiny amounts of things like cow stomach enzymes and....well, I don't even know what some of that other stuff is. It's only used in tiny amounts though.

I wasn't sure where to get them though so I told Chicken Grrrl I supposed when I got home I'd have to ask The Drug Dealer Down the Street. Some people use tiny spoons to snort tiny amounts of drugs into their noses. I've seen it in movies. I figured he'd know where to get those tiny spoons and maybe even some tiny vials to keep small amounts of cow gut juice.

I'm kind of annoyed at the drug dealer down the street, whom I call Snoop Dog, though. He's not always very polite. First, he has back-up beepers on his Suburban and he comes and goes at all hours
of the day and night. He always backs down the street from the corner, so he makes this annoying beep, beep, beep ....... at least 15 times a night. It's ridiculous how maddening that sound is, but I heard through the grapevine other neighbors complained about it at a neighborhood meeting.

He also likes to think that end of the street belongs to him, but since there's a gate across my end, I have to turn the corner at his end to get to my house. He hangs out in the street, which is wide enough for me to turn my van around in. In the evenings, he leads lots of prayer meetings people drive up and sit in their idling cars talking to him. Sometimes he and his friends just stand out there in the street and socialize. I don't mind that. I actually like people socializing in the street, and do it myself sometimes. What I do mind is that they don't like to get out of the way and let me go home.

The first time it happened I was on my way home at about 2:30 am. I was feeling a nice, warm glow and I wasn't looking for trouble. As I turned the corner, I saw Snoop Dog standing in the middle of the street, facing the corner I'd just turned. Just standing there by himself in the middle of the street. He could barely lift his head--and it wasn't because he's got lots of braids and he's so thin I really doubt he eats enough--but when he did, his eyes glowed red like someone in a Stephen King novel who will die soon or a Halloween store novelty item. Not an attractive look.

I slowed down, but I didn't stop. I just crept toward him in my mini van, the epitome of cool, and he just stood there, his red eyes glaring at me. I kept creeping along, my house in sight on the other side of the crazy son of a bitch. Finally when I was about a yard from him, he moved off to the side and leaned against his truck, still staring with those fun red eyes. I drove on, turned around and parked in front of my house. I was a little scared to get out of my van because I couldn't see him, and I wished I still had a big dog waiting in my house for me. But I got out and quickly walked to my house and went in, locking up behind me.

It happened in minor ways a couple more times. And then it happened one night when I wasn't driving; my date was. One of his friends was parked in the middle of the street and Snoop Dog and 5-6 other guys were talking to him and leaning against other cars. We pulled around the corner. They looked up at us and then just ignored us. We sat there. They glanced over now and then, but the car didn't move. I said something like, "Don't worry. They're just posturing. They'll move." I was thinking, He'll probably never pick me up for a date again. Fucking drug dealers. Finally, just as I was about to get out of the car and tell Snoop Dog I really had to pee (which was true) so could he please let me through to my house have a stern talk with Snoop Dog,  he leaned in and said something to the driver of the car, who slowly pulled his car over to the side of the street. We passed and went on to my house.

I didn't go down and talk to Snoop Dog  but I did tell Melvin, the former drug dealer and active alcoholic who lives across the street and is in love with me, what had happened. I told him that shit had to stop because we really do live on a safe street and it gives an impression of our little neighborhood here we don't want to give. Because it really is a nice street, mostly families and a few singles like me. Hell, we even have a daycare and a resident gay couple. I think Melvin talked to Snoop Dog because he and his friends didn't get in front of me like that again....until the other night.

I was coming home from one of my adventures and turned the corner to find Snoop Dog talking to someone idling in a car in the middle of the street. I stopped and waited. The street was clear for the guy in the car to pull over and park on either side. Snoop Dog smacked the roof of the car and walked up to his house. The driver then did something totally illogical. He put the car into reverse and started to back up. He expected me to back around the corner and let him out. Not this time, asshole, I thought. I just sat there. He backed up some more. I sat. He backed up. I sat. He was about two feet from my front bumper. Finally he put his car in drive and pulled over to the side of the street like he should have in the first place. I drove on by, turned around and parked in front of my house. The guy in the car backed out to the corner, did a K turn, and sat there under the street light giving me the fish eye for a few seconds. Fuck him.

Oh yeah. Tiny spoons. I found some and ordered them from New England Cheesemaking. Aren't they adorable? I still don't know where junkies get theirs.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Getting Back in the Saddle

I thought I'd follow up on my post about my bike wreck. Because the headache has continued to linger, I went in yesterday and saw cute, young doctor--so young he's still a captain. As my MD Facebook friend already had, he diagnosed a mild concussion. He said there wasn't anything more I could do than what I had been, and that the headache should be gone in a week or so.

I said, "What I really want to know is if I can get back on my bike."
He said, "Yes, as long as your head just hurts and you're not feeling dizzy. Just don't hit your head again. And wear your helmet."
"I will. So, no restrictions?"
"You can do anything that's normal for you."
My internal editor went into overdrive. What could this youngster possibly know? "Did you just read something in my records that incriminated me?" I asked.
"Ha! No, nothing about what's normal for you in your records."
"That's a relief. Thanks, captain."
"Have fun."

So A Man Called Horse, who has been almost patiently waiting for my brain to heal, and I are going out on the bike path tonight. And....I'm feeling a little tentative. OK, I'm a little scared. I don't want to hurt my brain again, even though this time it was so minor I'm not sure why I'm even writing about it. I'm really not a big pussy, but I really value my brain. It's always been my best feature. I've never been pretty or nimble or physically impressive, but I have always been one of the smart kids.

I did buy a new helmet though, one just like my old one. It matches my bike perfectly. When I picked up my old helmet to throw it away today, I noticed what I hadn't seen that night I wrecked. My helmet was damaged after all. It's dented and ripply right where my head hit the ground. I guess maybe it did save me some trouble after all. I was more worried about my wrists.

The worst thing isn't the lingering headache though, and helmets don't cost that much. The worst thing is that I don't feel fearless about riding my bike any more. I don't feel like flying. Maybe once I get out there, I will. It's just like with so many things though: you can be going along all happy and strong and confident and even a little crazy....and then you hit a bump, get a whack up the side of the head, and those good feelings just fly away, leaving only reality behind.

Sometimes I can get back in the saddle after a fall (going metaphorical for two sentences here). Sometimes I can't. I paid too much for my bike--did I tell you I got a new bike?--to not get back on that saddle though. And I was loving riding it too much to not get back on the saddle again. And I'll give in to some things, but I don't like giving in to fear. More on that later.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Story I Decided Not to Tell

This past Saturday I was listening to a friend’s band play an outdoor concert. Another friend I hadn’t seen for a while stopped by to talk and asked about my bike wreck. I showed off my bruises, told her what happened. And then she said with a wiggle of her eyebrows, “So you were riding with that guy you wrote about on your blog, right? The one you went on your first ride with and then flew an airplane with?” It always takes me a few long seconds to answer that question; it has come up at least a dozen times in the last month in one form or another. “No,” I said, “We only rode together that one time. I don’t see him….well, I see him sometimes… but he refuses to speak to me and he literally turns his back on me and acts like I don’t exist when we’re in the same place…” I didn’t say the last part, even though it’s true and fresh and raw. I just shook my head instead. “Really? What happened?” she asked. My own damn fault. I wrote about him on my blog when I was happy and having fun with him. When I thought I wasn’t falling ... but I was. “He just…he doesn’t want to…Umm, you know I really don’t understand it myself, but he really doesn’t want to be around me anymore.” She nodded sympathetically and let me off the hook by changing the subject.

At times like that I could lie, but I don’t. I don’t like or respect liars and, even to save my dignity, I don’t want to be one. And yet, a good lie could sure help a girl save face in situations like this. I could say those posts were just for entertainment, but he was never really significant to me. I could say he fell madly in love with me so I had to tell him goodbye because I’m a free spirited hippie and I don’t roll like that. I could say he always wanted to hold my hand while we walked and to make out shamelessly in pool bars and he'd cry over movies, and I don't like that kind of romantic bullshit. Or that he had to leave the country on a secret mission and if I told you about it, he’d have to kill you. Or that I was going to meet him after the concert at my place for hot, kinky sex, but he was “tied up” at the moment. Or I could say he’s an asshole and I kicked his fucked up ass to the curb and to please never to bring him up again because he’s dead to me, but….no, that’s not what happened with him. The truth is I don’t really know. Silence leaves a void for only imagination to speak, but it doesn’t bring resolution, peace or clarity.

What happened Saturday has happened so often I feel compelled to write about it so I don’t feel like I’m leaving the lie of that relationship hanging out here on my blog, this place where I try to be as honest and authentic as I can. And I guess I hope something will happen… maybe writing about it, telling the condensed version of a long story, will help me get some clarity, let go, stop trying to figure out how someone I loved turned into someone I don’t even know. So far nothing else has worked. And I also can’t say I’m writing an honest version of my life here unless I do include the end of the story here. He surely has another story, probably unrecognizable in comparison, but this one is mine; it’s my story to tell. So tell my story I will……

…Except after writing the long story that came after those introductory paragraphs, I didn’t hit the publish button. I realized this time writing isn’t going to help me, isn’t going to change what’s happened and will happen. As for clarity, I just look like an idiot in this story, all the way to the end and beyond. In a story about romance and perplexities, trust and manipulation, I came out the dupe. I stayed in a situation that I predicted could only end up the way it did: one person's heart broken, another person confused and maybe angry or hurt, and somebody else perfectly content and purring. Guess which one I am.

So I don’t think I’m going to post that story, even though it would be riveting to anyone who relishes my humiliation and heartbreak. I’ll just return you to your regularly scheduled programming and write posts about sex and recipes and other funny things that happen in my life. I’ll try to come up with something like that tomorrow or the next day. Maybe something funny will happen at karaoke tonight or tomorrow night when I go for my first bike ride since my little tumble. I’ll let you know. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An Aside

In my last post I mentioned that I'd read Whip Smart: The True Story of a Secret Life by Melissa Febos after I heard an interview with her on NPR. It sounded intriguing and I needed to order some stuff from Amazon anyway, so I ordered it as well. Hard cover! And then as I always do, I forgot about it within three minutes.

About a week later I saw a big white SUV swerve into my driveway a little sideways and stop behind my van. I thought it might be a turn-around, but a slim, dark-haired woman in her 40's got out. She looked like three-fourths of the women in my fancy suburban neighborhood, but I didn't recognize her truck or her. Leaving the door open and the SUV running, she hurried across the yard holding a cardboard box in her hands. She was holding it out in front of herself as if it contained a bomb or a dead mouse or the head of John the Baptist. The flaps were up on the box, so I could see it had been opened. Interesting. I waited for her to ring the bell, which is only polite, and then answered the door. Here's how the conversation went.

Me: (smiling, I open the screen door) Hi.
Suburbanite: (frowning, she pushes the box to her arms' length toward me) This isn't mine. It's yours. It was delivered to me by mistake and I opened it. But I didn't look at it.
Me: (curious now, but not smiling so much) O....K?
Suburbanite: (shoving the box into my hands  and then backing up a step or two) Just take it. I promise I didn't look.
Me: (taking the box and looking inside  I see a book. On top are two packages of black nylon ukulele strings. I read the title of the book and the label on the strings and start to laugh.) So you didn't open it, but yet it's open?
Suburbanite: I opened the box. I didn't look at anything in it.
Me: (laughing harder) Oh, you opened the box but you didn't look in it?
Suburbanite: That's right. Obviously that is yours, not mine. That is not.....mine. That is yours.
Me: (still laughing) Yes, these are definitely mine. (I look straight into her eyes and smile. I probably look like a crocodile to her.)
Suburbanite: (seeming a bit flustered for some reason) I'm sorry I opened your box. I have to go.
Me: (still laughing) I'll bet you are. Thanks for dropping it by.
Suburbanite: (lowering her eyes, she mumbles something and hurries back to her shiny, white SUV. She bumps out of the driveway without looking both ways and speeds down the street.)

I was still laughing as I let the door close and pulled the book and the strings out of the box. I really had forgotten I'd ordered this memoir about the heroin-addicted dominatrix who put herself through Sarah Lawrence by working in a dungeon. I'd been eagerly waiting for the ukulele strings because Chicken Grrrl and I were playing a paying gig the next week. Paying gigs require more than just showing up with a guitar and some lead sheets. People expect extras like ukuleles and melodicas and shiny black electric guitars when they pay money for tickets. I'd bought a ukulele for just one song we were doing, and I really needed to change the crappy strings that came on it so I could keep it in tune long enough to learn to play it. The ukulele, I mean. I'd never played one before.

But every time I thought about the look on that woman's face when she handed me the box holding the BDSM book with the black nylon strings on top, I started laughing again. I wondered how often she drove by my house after that and imagined what I was doing in there--or tried to. I wondered if she told her husband and he suggested they try something kinky. I wondered if he drove by and wondered what I did in there. I wondered if she might have read just a little bit of the book, just the first few pages. Or the whole thing. I thought the story from her perspective would make a great short story if I just added in my imagination.

And I was glad living in that neighborhood hadn't turned me into such a tight-ass that I couldn't find humor in accidentally opening a box that contained a book about a dominatrix along with two packages of black nylon instrument strings. If I'd had to deliver that box to someone, I probably would have introduced myself and asked if I could read the book when she was done. And I certainly wouldn't have left until I found out what she was going to do with those nylon strings. I would have left with her story.

Oh, the suburbs. I miss my house, but I do not miss those suburbs one tiny bit.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Keyword Monday: The Dungeon

I’m so intrigued by some of the keywords people follow to arrive at my blog, I’ve decided to write a weekly post based on the most interesting keyword(s) from the past week. I figure a Google search is a plea for help, and if a googler is sent to my blog, I would be serving a worthy educational purpose if I had written something relevant about the subject. It’s a public service of sorts, and given some of the topics I’ve written about this summer, I think I owe it to the googlers to give them their money’s worth.

The long list of choices included the following possibilities: bike shorts 'position junk,' cheesecake dildo riding, frosting vagina, virgin tries sybian saddle, and cow butt. But the lucky winner found my blog this week by googling the these keywords: “what is going to happen to me when i go to the torture dungeon.”

Well, now. I don’t really remember writing anything that would bring a tenderfoot subbie here to Reticulated Writer. I mean nipples and pasties and vaginas, sure, but torture dungeons? I think I’d remember that. I followed the trail back to learn that Google pulled words from two of my posts, one about getting a mammogram and the other about a little boy whose daddy told him he was a bad boy, and sent the poor, anxious subbie to my blog. Probably not the information she* was looking for. Nothing about nipple clamps or Boy Scout knots or even whips....yet.

I’m hardly an expert on torture dungeons, but after listening to an interview on NPR with Melissa Febos, I did read her memoir Whipsmart to learn how she put herself through Sarah Lawrence and supported a heroin habit by working in a NYC dungeon as a dominatrix. Since I somehow combined words that led a neophyte submissive to my blog, I feel a certain responsibility to respond with whatever bullshit wisdom I can about how the submissive dungeon experience might compare more favorably to situations that cause real-life pain and humiliation, an encouraging and uplifting post to ease those torture dungeon anxieties. Here is my answer to the googler’s question: “what is going to happen to me when i go to the torture dungeon.”

First, take all necessary precautions** to ensure your personal safety in the dungeon. Seriously. I’ve heard people can get hurt in places like that, so listen to the professionals. My advice focuses more on the emotional and social aspects of the dungeon experience and how it compares to real life. This is important so pay attention. You may answer, “Yes, ma’am” …. That wasn’t good enough. Try it again. Better. Lower your eyes…..As soon as you are on your knees, we can continue.

What happens in the dungeon is a game. It’s theater. You know someone is going to humiliate you, order you around, cause you physical pain, maybe all three if you’re lucky, but your dom doesn’t really mean any of it. It's not about you personally, but about your experience there. In fact, your dom  gets paid enough cares enough about you to provide this piece of theater to serve your needs, and will maybe even wear sexy black leather while doing it. This game, this play, is all for you. For example, you might want to lick your dom’s boots, but they aren’t really that dirty. Nevertheless, your dom will act like they are filthy…may in fact accuse you of getting them dirty and will then order you to lick them clean. That’s acting, and you will be happy because you want to lick her shiny boots and she lets makes you do it. Or you may want to be tied up tight with ropes and nipple clamps and a ball gag and….well, use your imagination. Whatever you want, your dom will do it only to the point that you don’t sustain permanent damage. You control the play. Listen, you may even be the type who wants to wear diapers. I can assure you nobody really wants so see you in diapers. Anybody who acts like you’re really a baby is….well, acting. You’re being quite silly and we all know it, but sometimes theater is silly. If that’s what you want, that’s what you get. You are the beloved of the dungeon, contrary to all outward appearances.

Real life isn’t a game nor does it take place on a stage. In real life, people who humiliate, manipulate, hurt and use you don’t let you know they’re coming. They may act like nice people at first or at times, but nobody, especially self-centered, selfish users, can keep that up forever. Once you’ve been played into their scam, you’re trapped, and it’s not for your pleasure. You aren’t walking into the situation willingly, and you won’t know the real person is only acting like she or he cares, so you won’t take the necessary precautions to protect yourself—like running as fast and as far as you can. Unfortunately, if you get caught in this play that’s not play, you probably won’t realize it’s happening until you’re trapped in a relationship that requires your continued humiliation and pain to continue. The stakes will be emotionally high, but only for you.

In real life, although there are people who might play with you because you’re so fun to play with and maybe you have cool toys or friends, and they might even act like they care about you just enough to keep you sufficiently happy, it’s not theater. You’ve got on a collar and leash sure, just like you might choose to in the dungeon, but it’s metaphorical and it’s staying on whether you like it or not. This is not about you at all. It’s about someone else’s selfish motivations and desires. You might be emotionally tied up for years—for life-- without even a “get out of jail free” card to end the game. Believe it or not, you are less likely to get hurt in the dungeon than you are in real life.

Because unlike real life, in the dungeon you will choose a safe word. You may use your safe word any time you don’t feel safe or you just want whatever is happening to end or change. As soon as you utter the word, the game will stop, and you can renegotiate or move on to something you’re more comfortable doing. For example, let’s say your bum is getting sore from so much spanking. Utter your safe word and the spanking will stop. Or let’s say your circulation is cut off from tight bindings. Ouch! Say your safe word and your dom will take care of you. It’s that simple. You are in control.

In real life, you don’t get a safe word. People, even those who act like they care about you, might be mean to you, and nothing you say or do will make them stop. You might use many safe, or even kind and conciliatory words, words that work with other people but mean people will continue to be cruel and unforgiving, often humiliating you in public and in private. Personally, I think a safe word for real life would be useful, but those who would use one probably aren’t suffering at the hands of those who would honor one. You’re safer in the dungeon. Don’t forget your safe word and you’ll have fun.

And finally, still on the topic of words, in the dungeon you can expect to hear words that are intended to humiliate you and shove you into your lowly place on the bottom. You may be told you’re worthless in many ways, unlovable, failing at being a human. You will have to work hard to earn praise from your dom. You might be sent to time out away from your dom as a punishment, to teach you a lesson. Your dom may also call you by possessive names that start with “my,” and pet names, like toy, pet, little boy or little girl or little friend, or any number of diminutive names that are intended to humiliate and control you, but your dom doesn’t really feel contempt for you. You have chosen to play this game.

In real life, people should not humiliate the people they claim to care about. They should not put other people in time out by being emotionally unavailable or withholding love to get their way or keep someone else under control. If they aren’t capable of love, I assure you they are capable of humiliation—yours. In real life, people should not use diminutive names as terms of endearment I have to say it? Those funny little nicknames are intended to debase and belittle you. They aren’t cute or endearing; they show contempt. If you didn’t sign on for that, a trip to the dungeon would be less humiliating because you know it’s play there. A dom doesn’t mean it; people who do it in real life really do feel disdain for you--if they feel anything for you at all. Again, in the dungeon these issues are negotiated, expected, and stay in the dungeon when you leave. In real life….well, if you’re being subjected to these things in real life, you don’t need a dungeon. You’re already in one that goes everywhere you go, my little friend.

So there you have it: a short primer on what you can expect in the dungeon compared to something similar, but oh so wrong, you might experience in real life. When you realize how many sociopaths amateur doms there are out there playing games with nice, innocent people, the dungeon almost seems like a safer place to be, doesn’t it?

Go forth to the dungeon and have fun, little subbie. I wish you could report back and let us know how it all turns out....once you can sit comfortably at your computer again. 

*Or he. Pronouns are such an issue. Now I use she. Later I use he. Blogger’s choice. It’s up to you to keep up.
** I’m not an expert on torture dungeon preparedness. Lots of different games are played in a dungeon, so I recommend reading everything ever written by Dan Savage and following his advice to the letter.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Late Night Phone Call

Most people know I'm a night person and I don't mind late phone calls although I might cut a bitch who calls me early in the morning I prefer not to get early morning calls. But people rarely call after midnight unless there's a crisis. Or unless somebody wants some food delivered. There used to be, in our fair city, a service that would pick up orders from a limited list of restaurants and deliver to private homes for a small fee. I tried to use them a couple of times and they were always backed up for hours. Kind of defeated the purpose. Here's a sample of one of my late night delivery calls, which happened to take place tonight.

Phone rings. Number is a cell phone that isn't in my phone memory, but my kids sometimes call me on borrowed phones so I answer.*

Me: Hello?
Guy: Hello?
Me: Hey, that's what I said.
Guy: Huh?
Me: That's what I just said too.
Guy: Huh?
Me: I said "Hello" and then you said "Hello" too.
Guy: Oh....uh....yeah. I did. Is this the delivery service?
Me: No, it is not.
Guy: Oh....uh....I must have dialed the wrong number. I got it off the internet.
Me: No, it's the right number. They went out of business years ago.
Guy: they went out of business and you got their number?
Me: Yes.
Guy:  Oh, so people get your number off the internet and call you late at night and ask you to deliver food to them?
Me: And other times of the day.
Guy: Wow. Dude, that sucks. I'm really sorry. Uh....yeah. I'm sorry I called you so late.
Me: It's OK. It happens fairly often.
Guy:  Wow. OK, I won't call again.
Me: OK, that works for me.
Guy: Have a good one then.
Me: Thank you. You have a good one too.
Guy: Bye now.
Me: Bye......sigh.

Remember, dear readers, the Internet is a permanent record.

* OK, I confess. I would answer anyway because have you noticed people don't make obscene phone calls any more? They don't! I miss the entertainment value of obscene phone calls. I guess caller ID and readily available internet porn have taken the fun out of random stranger harassment porn calls. I'm waiting in vain for a nostalgic heavy breather.....

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Believe in Baseball

 I went to my first minor league baseball game last night, and had a lot of fun in spite of a lingering headache.* When the city built a new stadium some years ago, people said it was a waste of taxpayers' money, it would sit empty, people would never come downtown because it's too scary and there's not enough parking....blah blah blah. The more they build, the more people come downtown. In fact, sometimes I wish some of them would stay in the suburbs. But, no, they just keep coming and the the stadium set a record this summer for the most consecutive sold-out home games. Something like 815, and that's all of them. About time I went to a game, huh? Given it's a 7-minute bike-ride from my house? (No, I didn't ride there last night, damn it.)

So the stadium was crowded with people eating and drinking: beer, nachos, dippin' dots in plastic helmets, beer, suitcase-size bags of popcorn, beer. I didn't see a single hot dog nor Cracker Jacks, but there was a lot of eating going on. Not so much cheering, which puzzled me. We cheered sometimes just to let the team know somebody was watching. People laughed at the silly games the mascots played between innings, and one of my friends was part of a skit to surprise a guy who had won $10,000. Yeah, count the zeros.

It was a laid-back, slow summer night....although I kept feeling like something was missing. I just couldn't put my finger on what it was....We swatted bugs and laughed about getting swamp ass from the plastic seats. One young mom sitting in front of us started hitting her two-year-old, and I almost went over the seat but she stopped, and so I just kept an eye on her. I was going to smack  her a good one to show her how it feels and then blame it on the brain damage when the police came, but she settled down.

The crowd got more involved toward the end, in the ninth and tenth innings, when the score was tied up and more of the balls were flying off the bats into the field than back into the stands. They must have given up three dozen foul balls to the crowd, and I was certain one would clonk me on my poor head. But as the game got tense, the team stepped up and started getting some exciting hits: a textbook line bunt and even a home run. The wall displays and the big screen urged us to cheer and stomp and clap and so we finally did. But something..... hmmmm ....what was missing?

Finally I realized what it was: I was missing Kevin.....Kevin Costner in Bull Durham. Mmmmm. Crash Davis. What a man! Maybe it's because it was my first game, but I missed the team playing to the crowd. They all went out there and did their job and they WON! But they didn't make any connection with their crowd, their audience. I wanted to fall in love with them, like fans fell in love with Crash and Nuke. Like Annie fell in love with Nuke...and Crash.

Well, life isn't a romantic comedy and Kevin Costner might not be the everyday hero he plays in so many of his movies. He probably gets puddle butt on plastic chairs like the rest of us. I enjoyed the game even though it wasn't like the movie because I was there with good friends on a hot summer night and we were sitting on our swamp asses cheering on our home team.

I leave you with the second best scene from Bull Durham, but one of the very best short monologues ever. I fall in love with this guy every time I hear it. Mmmm. I need to find me a Crash Davis.

*I'm only going to be able to claim brain damage for a few days, but I'm going to milk it for all it's worth.

A Silly Questionnaire

I'm having some problems with Blogger today, so I'm posting this silly questionnaire in order to run some tests. And besides, I think every blog should have at least one silly questionnaire post, don't you? How else would you get to know and love me--other than by my silhouette up there? Feel free to post your own.

ABC's about Me
A - available:  Yes, but certain restrictions apply.
B- birthday:  July 19
C- candy:  Dove darks
D- drink you last had: water
F- favorite song: “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
E - easiest person to talk to:  myself
G - gummy bears or gummy worms: They both taste the same to me, but worms are ickier, so I’ll guess worms.
H - happy: I’ll know it if I clap my hands.
I - in love with: someone I made up
J - juggle: constantly
K - killed someone: tempted
L  - longest car ride:  three days…and nights
M- milkshake flavor: chocolate/marshmallow
N - number of siblings: 4 (+ one I don’t know)
O - one wish: see H—for everybody I love
P - person you called last: Kate
R  - reason to smile: my progeny
S - song you last sang: “Everybody Wants You”
T - time you woke up: Yes, it’s definitely time I woke up.
U  - underwear color: black
V - vegetable(s): yes?
W - worst habit: trusting
X - X-rays you've had: back, mouth/face
Y  - yoyos are: Tommy Smothers
Z - zodiac sign: Cancer

Random Questions about You
  • Spell your name without vowels: Rtcl
  • Your favorite number: 11
  • What color do you wear most? black
  •   Least favorite colors: yellow, especially on backbones
  • What are you listening to?  insects
  • Are you happy with your life right now? parts of it; not so much others
  • What is your favorite class in school? English
  • When do you start back at school/college? after Labor Day
  • Are you outgoing? intensely
  • Favorite pair of shoes: prefer bare feet
  •   Can you tie a cherry stem with your mouth? No, I usually tell other people to do that for me. I am always impressed and then want to immediately engage in sexual activity with the knot-tier. 
  • Can you whistle? Put your lips together and blow, right?
  • Cross your eyes?  Yes, and then uncross.
  • Walk with your toes curled?  Why would I do that? I like to be on my back when my toes curl.
  • Do you believe there is life on other planets? The evidence is not conclusive for or against at this time. We really can’t see past our noses when it comes to the universe….or this planet for that matter.
  • Do you believe in miracles? I believe things happen that I don’t understand. Lots of things.
  • Do you believe in magic? In a young girl’s heart….
  • Love at first sight? I don’t even believe in love after months or years, much less first sight.
  • Do you believe in Santa? I’m here, aren’t I? Who do you think stays up all night Christmas Eve?
  •   Do you know how to swim? Yes, but sometimes I still go under and flounder.
  • Do you like roller coasters? They terrify me…..oh, that’s the point, isn’t it? No, my life is roller coaster enough for me. And don't fucking judge me. I take other risks just as big that people think are crazy.
  • Do you think you could handle the stuff they eat on those reality shows? Hellz, yeah. You wouldn’t believe some of the “food” I’ve already eaten.
  •   Have you ever been on a plane? I even flew one once.
  • Have you ever asked someone out? yes
  • Have you ever been asked out by someone? yes
 The Whats
  • What is the temperature outside? 70
  •  What radio station do you listen to? Whichever one is playing a song I like
  • What was the last restaurant you ate at? Olive: an urban dive
  • What was the last thing you bought? cheesemaking supplies
  • What was the last thing on TV you watched? Web Therapy
  •  Who was the last person you took a picture of? my daughter and granddaughter
  • Who did you last webcam with? Oh, I can’t really talk about that in public.
  •  Who was the last person you said I love you to? my daughter
  •  Ever really cried your heart out? Tried to; it keeps coming back. Maybe this time it’s gone though. Crossing fingers.
  •   Ever cried yourself to sleep? yes
  • Ever cried on your friend's shoulder? yes, and soaked it through
  • Ever cried over the opposite sex? Like, standing over him with a knife in my hand and shed tears? No. Had my heart broken? Yes.
  • Do you cry when you get an injury? Physical? rarely  Emotional? often
  •  Do certain songs make you cry? yes, and poems and movies and Hallmark commercials and heroic deeds and cruelty and sometimes honesty and even silence….

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It had to happen eventually

Yes, I did promise a post yesterday about what happens in the dungeon, but I didn't get a chance to finish it. I will. Maybe tonight. Maybe tomorrow.....I'm supposed to be taking it easy, which isn't my usual speed. I'm usually fifteen miles over the limit with squishy brakes and no tail lights. But I wrecked my bike for the first time last night and my brain is a little slow and sore.....along with my right shoulder and my knees and the front of my left thigh. I'm not sure how I hit that combination of body parts in one fall, but I did protect my wrists and that's all a musician can ask of a random flight off a bike.

I've written before about my falling phobia. This fall wasn't so bad--I didn't die--so I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about it. It's definitely a good thing I landed on dirt and grass and not on the concrete. Maybe it's not a bad thing I got through a tumble off my bike with only some wrenching, bruising, and maybe a mild concussion.  It wasn't that bad, although a doctor friend diagnosed me on Facebook and gave me an Rx for vegging out in front of the TV tonight. Even if I die, I know he can mix me up a beaker of one of his killer  kick-ass corpse raisers* and I'll be good as new. A Facebook diagnosis is much more restful than sitting in an ER for hours watching CNN amongst the sick people.

The fall wasn't spectacular. It could have been a lot more dramatic if I'd fallen into traffic earlier when we were riding on a busy street or even the river. But it wasn't dramatic at all. A Man Called Horse** and I rode until almost dark....not that the city ever gets dark. As we headed up the levy from the river path on a steepish ramp, I geared down and came up behind him going faster than he was. I thought I'd run past him on his left, but I misjudged the space there and had to jackknife my front wheel to avoid hitting his back tire when I couldn't get past. I flew sideways off my bike  and skidded along the ground on my knees and thigh until my shoulder and head whacked the ground and stopped me.  A Man Called Horse might have continued on up the ramp if I hadn't yelled, "Oh, shit" as I was going down. I'm sure the whole thing looked awkward and ridiculous as hell, and my dignity suffered a worse concussion than my brain.

We weren't far from A Man Called Horse's car, so we sat in the grass by the path for a while and then walked our bikes to the street. He drove me home and stayed for a while to make sure I didn't start frothing at the mouth and twitching uncontrollably for pizza and beer on the front porch. I haven't been back on my bike yet to see if it suffered any damage, but it looked OK once we picked the grass and dirt out of the right shifter.

It does piss me off that I have to buy a new helmet, because mine matches my bike perfectly and it didn't seem to work that well anyway. When my head smacked the ground and my brain exploded, all I could do was lie there stunned and think, What the fuck? I thought this damn helmet was supposed to protect my head! This fucking hurts! So maybe I do need a new helmet after all. This time I'm getting one with a king-size mattress and box springs in it.

So I'm feeling a little too slow in the noggin to write anything clever or medieval  or even anything with hidden metaphorical meaning. I've been catching up in The Big C, which inspired me to start planning Thanksgiving dinner, and now I'm going to start on Weeds. Who knows what that might inspire.

And tomorrow I'm going to feel fine enough to ride my bike to the baseball stadium and go to my first minor league baseball game.*** I'm excited....or I will be when my head stops hurting.

* I don't ask what he puts in the corpse raisers. I just admire the pretty colors of the liquid in the beakers, drink it down like a good girl and ask for more, please.
** A post on the men I ride with is coming up soon. There are lots of good men out there on the bike path....and some who aren't so nice too.
*** I think the only league baseball game I've ever been to was Little League.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Wish I'd Said...

I don't tend to post poems by other poets very often; maybe I've done it once before. But the poem below spoke so closely to where I've been this summer, I think I might have dreamed these words into being on my screen. It's one of those poems I wish I'd written, I wish I'd said this in exactly these words, but David Whyte got to this particular combination  first. Damn the man.

Self Portrait
It doesn't interest me if there is one God or many gods,
I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned,
If you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you.
If you can look back with firm eyes saying this is where I stand.
I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living falling toward the center of your longing.
I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God.

David Whyte from Fire in the Earth
© 1992 Many Rivers Press

I can't write here about why this poem touched me in just the right places, but maybe you will have your own reaction to it. Maybe you too have lived with "the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat." I have. I might again.

I'm working on several posts right now, some I promised weeks ago, and then allowed myself to be distracted from even though they were half written, a list poem of my own, and one on what's it's like in the dungeon that I'll post later today. And I've got a series of posts coming up about my summer study topic: psycho/sociopaths. They're closer to you than you think!