Sunday, March 30, 2008

The universe may not always play fair...

but at least it's got a hell of a sense of of my favorite quotes from SATC.

It's no secret that I've been [creating for myself or simply] dueling an antagonist. The army is at times, an all-too-present obstacle with which I try to reckon. I want to become adjusted. I want to shrug my shoulders when minor details are suddenly altered. I want to be as strong as steel. When I'm not, when I do in fact prefer the idea of throwing myself in the floor to kick and scream in a rendition of some shakedown circa 1986, when I am tempted to stop trying, that's when I feel Shame ooze in around me, dense and foul. His accomplice, the voice of Failure, is the neighbor's yippy dog that I'd really like to poison for the mere sake of serenity. This garrulous duet has made a maddening noise in my thoughts, and so to you and my Staff Sergeant, I apologize for the gloomy tone.

Last night, my inner toddler could no longer be pacified. Our weekend was otherwise picture perfect, and then something triggered by something else unrelated, released the tantrum thrower's energy. There was thankfully a lack of flailing limbs and beastly cries, but in their place stood the silent letting of tears and his total confusion as to their origin. I tried to talk but feeling defeated and confused myself, I instead slipped into the shower to rinse away my inner turmoil.

The longer I lathered, the more flustered I became - I can't do this. I can't do this. I don't have what it takes. I turned off the water with a fluid rotation and pushed back the vinyl curtain. I reached for my towel and entered his room, now darker with unadjusted eyes. Blindly I felt for his chest of drawers and once my searching hands had found it, counted descending handles. Drawing open number three and groping the folded cotton t-shirts, I unearthed one softer than the others. I dragged it from beneath the stack, pulled it over my head and quietly padded back to the bathroom to finish undoing myself. Upon closing the door and flipping on the light, I turned to face my reflection in the foggy mirror. There across my chest was unquestionable clarity. In strong, black letters, "ARMY" clung to the worn gray threads.

Some true thing led me this far into his life, into his bathroom, in between the fabric of an old PT uniform. I could hear the echo of my Mother's voice bounce between the tiles, her warning of life's disregard for fairness, the status quo. And as though scripted by a rambling plot's need for irony, I realized that it wasn't a matter of can or cannot but rather that I am navigating this trying road. If learning something complex were easy, we'd surely all be doing the impossible.

Before closing my eyes he managed a smile out of me, then whispered words so modest that I should have already been privy to their brilliance.

You are not the first to be frustrated and I don't want you to change.

Friday, March 28, 2008

[an inner tantrum ensues]

To peel back the layers here would cause overexposure. To scratch the thoughts on paper would create too much tangibility, and yet to cage them makes my spirit fitful. I know not what to do with myself, not how to [re]act with any ounce agility.

How is this done? How is it fucking done!?

I wonder if I wiggle juuuust a little more to one side...maybe if I suck in what extra I can...if I contort myself in some oddly arranged shape, can I then find a way to fit the puzzle's space? There are so many things that I am not, so many shortcomings, so many failures in this adjustment. And guilt. There is a substantial amount of guilt and self-depreciation.

I never used to dream of emptiness and chaos.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Because I've been projecting the funk:

10 really great things that I love/am thankful for/just make me smile...

  • the care package that I assembled for The Staff Sergeant's next trip - care packaging is love.
  • I have the day off, it's sunny and 65 degrees and I'm spending the afternoon in a sweet, new coffee house downtown
  • 16 Military Wives - The Decemberists
  • reading Anne Lamott's hilarious quips on life and writing
  • pole dancing...and the next 6 weeks of it that await me :)
  • taking down the Martha empire one cookie at a time. I heart baking.
  • um...7 weeks till graduation
  • fitting once again in my "skinny" jeans
  • a brief series of date nights and date night dresses [trapeze, naturally]

Monday, March 24, 2008


We are all a part of some purpose. Mine tonight is to face the truth: I have not lost control, it was never mine.

It only takes one scalding burn to leave a lasting scar, just one clean break, one violent crash, one jolt to a system otherwise undisturbed. There is left a rosy raised area of tissue for fingers to trace and to trip the subconscious into recollection - the way it all unfolded and the immensity of its pain.

I gave all of myself to an undeserving thing. I fed the machine, and it swallowed me, blindly like quarters down the blackness of a vending slot. From here, I can look back and see the true worth of the endeavor. While I grew, I suffered. While I healed, I also scarred.

I said I'd never love again, not because opportunity was lost, but because the thought of breaking [again] sent chills of terror through my veins. I reasoned with the notion that whomever said it was better to love and lose, was full of shit or had never in fact loved, much less lost. I told myself to keep distant. I reminded the healing heart to wall in itself, to remain too weak to become breakable. We needed to sustain and protect, not to improve or strengthen.

I totaled a car once after hitting gravel at 70 mph, over-correcting into a spin then launching said car into an airborne dive, and finally landing in a ditch. It was well over a year before I was comfortable again. Every inch closer to the outer line of road increased my heart rate exponentially. The association of car and wreck was overwhelming, as was the lasting fear of a crumpled demise met beneath a tangle of charcoal Camry.

Just as wrecks become brazen reminders of the road, a heart's past can leave one discomposed as nature coaxes a gift of self and history sounds the roar of a shattering loss. I am pushed and pulled more so presently.

He was altogether unintentional, not a part of the [failed] single-for-a-year campaign. He wasn't what I was looking for at the time [he was more]. He was in The Army, one of those characters that totes guns in CNN footage [a bit frightening for my plans].

"...if you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans." There was surely laughter.

I think the first date was afforded by The Universe, each of the tiniest details aligning with the perfection of fated stars. He was breathtaking, literally. As long as I'm able to tell the tale, I'll swear I almost fell from my seat when he turned the corner. Over the next months he awakened the numb and hesitant parts of me. He hushed my unspoken fears with an honesty in his eyes and a genuine sense of self. I couldn't help falling in love.

"A big heart is both a chunky and a delicate thing; it doesn't protect itself and it doesn't hide. It stands out, like a baby's fontanel, where you can see the soul pulse through."

Certain forces have led me here and have made me very aware of the vulnerable visibility of my soul. I've set my heart waaaaaay out on the edge. I've long since given it fully to him. Recently I've begun dreaming little shorts that shake me into panic, and yesterday, a morning spent extraordinarily, summoned a nauseating and morbid thought. I fear not only the remaining scars of loss, but new more violent and substantial ones. It isn't him so much that scares me, but the beast of war. She is something for which I never readied and with my tiny hands, I could never tame.

The Army is something removed from negotiation. He will leave. He will leave when The Army says. Schedules will be rescheduled. Wars will invite him and he will attend. I've started trying to control the parts of my life that I can [because of the parts that I absolutely cannot]. The compulsive need to do so is reminiscent of days I'd like to avoid repeating.

Training is a reminder to me of their purpose, in the same way that tires nearing the road's edge used to make me instinctively hold my breath. I am frustrated with my inabilities to find comfort in the ride, but hopeful nonetheless that it will come back to me. Each time I look in his eyes and feel my heart spill over, the more aware I am of what's at stake. I've never been good with the gamble of relationships, yet I bet like I can predict unwavering success. It is true that you can only lose what you put on the table, but I imagine winning the full pot. I have no way of scripting the other players. I have no way to treat the war animal so that she learns to sit and stay. He may always lust for the scenery of my nightmares, and I can't change that either. was never mine.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

don't get me wrong, dear, in general I'm doing quite fine

I can remember when it was all about MoonPies and doll babies, when entire chapters of time were measured by hours sold to that blue-rimmed trampoline, and being completely barefooted. That was before I knew of the intoxicating relief that would later make sense of my gagging confusion. It came long after I had washed the black from my soles and the idea of MoonPies had become something far more sinister.

The eighteenth summer changed it all. It altered the seasonal orbit of my center, yet kept me in rhythm with my alternative manner. Perhaps everything I knew had always been working toward the speed that defies gravity, that broken centrifugal force. If I had only known what clues to look for maybe I could have beaten the surprise, or at least been prepared. I wasn't, and so instead my methods fell into the palms of instinctive of reaction. Prideful highs became trend and trends turned to habit. The more I tried to push all of the pieces back into place, the further they fell away from assignment. The rest is unnerving and I'd rather not wander into those depths tonight.

It's coming. I can smell it and I feel its lightness breaching winter's stale death. It lifts the cold fingers of its foe one by one until it eventually has no grip left by which to linger.

Bikini Season. Unraveling. Restless Nights Hot With Familiar Fury.

[I'm not yet ready.]

Today, standing between two customers I felt the crawling twitch of contorting muscles. Like an old break now healed that aches when a storm is near, there it was. I felt the anxious pang for the first time in months, synonymous with the bursting blooms of overachieving buttercups.

I can do nothing to prolong the inevitable[s].

"Nothing is certain except everything you know can change."

I have found my way back to that eighteenth spring and again I realize that I could have chosen to follow a different fork - and that I can now. But naturally, I'm roping in a tighter grip on the untamable, working to misguide the unchangable. With each forward step it seems that I slide a little closer to that alluring place hidden among damnation...

...and I really don't know how to do it differently.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

If it gets any sweeter than this, I don't want to know.

[where to begin...?]

I've been lost in all of the hours made-up. I've been busy falling [again, again]. I've been submerged in his return, a glutton for each second shared, each sweet moment to see him and touch his skin and to be able to watch his lips form words and kisses and smiles.

[god, I love his smile]

At night I listen as each inhale and exhale makes proof of his existence. I will away the memory of mornings' harsh clarity and the betrayal of dreams, only to welcome the comfort of adjacent ones blooming side by side with him near. When I finally do wake there he lies, less than arm's distance away, all familiar and reluctant to crawl out of bed, heavy eyes and the relief of Home. Just when I think he can't be any more, he is.

My heart is so full.

Friday, March 14, 2008

it's a lot like Christmas [circa 1980-something]

He's home.

[the radiant smile accenting that rare one dimple doesn't very well convey.]

Thursday, March 13, 2008

a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form

I call my mother to tell her how well the classes are going. Grinning, I boast of my successes that somehow seem to exceed most others in the class [mom's are really good at also bragging on the accomplishments of their offspring]. Unbeknown to me, she has been drinking and proves the point with the confession that she now lays in the floor as she chats on the phone. By now, I can hear the inconsistency of her speech. No less, I ignorantly continue to drivel on about my pride, as I have never been a star student [especially at anything requiring athletic propensity], when suddenly her agreeing tone turns bitter:

Well, I'm just soooo sorry you got that from me. I'm real fucking sorry that all of your good qualities came from your father.

Soon after the rant's beginning, I tell her I have to wrenches my interior with a choking fury.

Following the snide drama of last night's episode, I receive an email from my father. He has most certainly misspelled my name, which I received as a shortened version of his own...

[like all the others, these get filed away under "funny family stories," the ones I lean so heavily on to stave off tears and failure.]

The beginning [of something bigger?]

I was little more than a bystander, just another leggy girl dancing drunk in the southern heat. If I recall correctly, and it's possible that I won't, my evening's accomplice and I were "bringing sexy back", playing off one another's staged advances. I think it was the beading sweat on our brows that eventually broke the rhythm, and we tore ourselves away from the nucleus of the crowd. She and I stood for a moment at the outskirts of the bar's back patio, fluttering our flashy tops to circulate air beneath them, our conversation revolving around another drink and the inconvenience of July's inferno.

I never saw them coming, the two casual fellows who lumbered up from behind. I couldn't see the one-of-them's face who asked if we were models until, stunned at the lunacy in the question, I turned to face the mad man. He was the tall, dark-haired talker who prompted my stifled guffaw. The adamant "out-of-work writer" who both enticed and repelled me. The subject who, in my inebriated state, I demanded would take my number as she peeled me away from my over zealous midnight oration. It was too hot to care that the conversation was brief, and the prognosis of unemployment was all too familiar a disappointment. As Mid-Summer closed in like a plastic bag around the head of an unknowing child, we shed what articles could be spared and then faded from the festivities earlier than usual, having found no night's relief.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

my midnight epiphany:

At only 100 calories per cup, I can eat applesauce out of the jar!

[Hooray! for another of life's small victories...]

Monday, March 10, 2008

A life less ordinary

Dear Carrollton, TX:

This is not the first time my blog has been summoned at the request of such a search. I'm new in the game, but the quickness both in falling and in the current of the waters, has made it hard to postpone learning. My heart sinks every time I see the search criteria that brought you here and then left you with little more than shallow anecdotes and the obvious struggle. While I have no concrete method to offer you or any of the others, and I can say with certainty that it won't be easy unless you are part stoic machine, I can tell you that there are others hanging on with white knuckles as the rapids approach and then finally subside.

It's probably true that no little girl lays back to welcome day dreams of separation and that helpless pang of wanting her prince charming back home more than anything else in the wide world. She probably doesn't fantasize about inevitable deployments and war and worry. But little girls grow up and see what kind of people the world is made of. They live and learn, they give their hearts away and receive them back in pieces; and in doing so, they realize what it is that is most important. Usually it's more than the little pink threads that held together childhood dreams and the castles and white horses.

Maybe he doesn't trot in to trumpet calls, maybe his silver armor looks more like fatigues, maybe he's the single most incredible person you've ever met no matter what his profession. That's where the answers lie, my unexpected Texas friend. There is no manual I've found that will spell out the step-by-step guide to survival. Frankly, there isn't much advice I've gotten either. I had an aunt tell me once that she thought a relationship's success was 90% commitment. I think in this instance, it's true. Search your soul to see what you're made of and search your heart. The ingredients for endurance will fall into place.

Good luck, be strong, and as my soldier's mom just wrote to me, "hang in there."


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Other girls were never quite like this

Yesterday I didn't sit down to write an introspective reflection on life as I thought I might. The snow melted by mid-day and I was able to run some errands that needed my attention. Because of the schedule alteration, I couldn't shake the feeling that it was already Sunday. It was disappointing until I woke up this morning able to do it all again.

Today was likewise relaxing. I slept in late, finished last night's cleaning spree, tagged along with a friend to a flea market, and enjoyed an hour of yoga at the pole studio. This wasn't just "an hour of yoga," friends, pole classes have left every muscle I never knew I had wracked with pain. It's fabulous to know that they're gaining tone, but holy ouch! The yoga class this afternoon was like a miraculous elixir. After stretching and lengthening and breathing, my shoulders and back feel relief and elasticity once again. On the way out, I stopped to chat with the receptionist guy like I always do, to share a tidbit about The Staff Sergeant and how the classes keep me busy while he's away, to schedule another yoga session and to ask about the next round of pole lessons. We're talking and scheduling and flipping through date books, and I'm rambling on about how much I love the class and can't wait to continue it, and he looks up at me and asks, "have you thought about becoming an instructor?" "" was something of the response I gave, but inside I leaped with excitement. Eventually I mustered a casual, "yeah, I mean, maybe..." and he said he'd talk to my instructor before the next class.

It may absolutely be nothing, nothing at all. He may talk to her and she may laugh at the thought of it, thus halting any further developments. But it's something fun to think about for a side gig to a day job as I plan to enter a slowing job market and for the cost of graduate school.

I'm honestly a little surprised and flattered. I could totally be a teacher...


Saturday, March 8, 2008

a baby of the south, I'm twenty years of clean

By Nashville standards, this is a blizzard...4 inches of powdery winter glory! Last night the snow rolled in and fell all through the dark hours. I awoke to a text: We are closed today! Have fun! Interpreted: NO WORK ON ACCOUNT OF SNOW! I GET TO SLEEP IN [AND STILL GET PAID]!

Now having the whole day to seize in whatever capacity I choose, I'll probably sit down and write something that has meaning and weight. Until then, I'm gonna keep sitting here in my favorite hoodie and messy sleep-hair simply because I can.

Might I suggest...

...a myriad of songs I have deemed well suited for the company of lengthy treks home to one's lovely girlfriend after weeks and weeks of separation.

With him I sent a box filled with Valentine themed packages, one for every week he would be gone [so he couldn't forget]. They contained homemade treats and store bought candies, each one stuffed with a little note to say I love you. I know, I know, I'm sure you're all becoming nauseated at the thought, at the cheese-factor of my antics.

Deal with it.

A glitch in [his] calculation of weeks, however left him one short for the duration of his stay. In those first off-balance moments of disappointment I resorted to my mental care-package haven of calm. How could I perfectly capture the essence of the last week...the drive home? It took some thought, and some initial deep breathing, but I managed to find a silver lining.

To him I sent:
  • Redbulls for when the drive becomes inevitably tiresome.
  • a McDonald's giftcard because ironically they have them, and the Golden Arches are plentiful at every edge of every interstate on the North American continent.
  • a 30 song compilation entitled, Hurry Home, Love. [the double disc edition - see above.]

I'd like to say with pride that it's possible I am up for The Best Girlfriend on Earth nomination...just so you know, all of you other wonderful women, you've got heavy competition.

...but please enjoy the music mix anyway.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

love and some verses

And if it was spray painted across the bridges of the information superhighway, I miss you.

We're in the homestretch.

Hang in there.

I am, reading and rereading.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Are we theeeere yet?

"What are you gonna do?," he teases.

"First," pushing the improbable growl through clenched teeth, "I'm gonna cover you in kisses!"  Seconds later her rigid farce to gives way to girlish giggles.

[soft and fragile.]

careful now.

Nekot cookies now finished, my apple slices abound. I swear today that each moment will not be strung along by the next handful of whatever little tasty my fingers can grasp. Stress eating, anxiety, whatever name it cowers beneath - the my apple wedges remain, and a Nalgene three-quarters full.


I am unsure of the roots of that lunar pull, the one that hurls my ravenous mind in one concise direction and later jerks it back again, why there are weeks when I have nothing to write and then minutes where it seems that to not [write] threatens my very survival. I am and then am not. Currently I am. Compulsively I sit before this little window with head dutifully bowed to the glowing screen. I don't much care about the quality of content...well, I do and don't. Some things are just too hairy to write, too vital to the core for removal.

Later, something positive...and perhaps a nap.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Writing like there's no tomorrow. [ex: 1]

Dearest friend,

Dreams are but sacred flames that ignite our motivation. To let one go is the saddest thought of which I can think. Do not worry that your words lack meaning or power. They are the manifestations of soul and heart. Sometimes it’s okay, necessary even to be selfish. In these moments allow yourself to live only for you, to block out every obligatory distraction in order to feed your center. The rest of the world can be momentarily paused without loss or effect. We all have a story to tell whether or not we know it, whether or not the verses are clearly laced inside our minds. Writing loosens them from the crevices that pin them deep within our dark subconscious. Never let anyone say that your voice is unworthy of speaking. It is yours and holy it that right. Though fame and fortune may not follow the words and phrases you spin together, one person at the very least will be moved having related to your message. Please never give up on dreams. If writing is the rev of energy sparking your motions, write. If writing keeps your tears from drowning your interior, write. If writing is the one thing that gnaws at the stem of every other thought, write. Allowing fear to win is giving up. Life is simply too short not to honor one’s passion, and a truly driven specimen stops at nothing when trying to reach a goal. If you do decide that writing will not sustain you, if necessity beckons over art, don’t give up writing for you. One day someone, somewhere will stumble upon the albums of your life in words and they will be a gift, a legacy. If nothing else, write for you - for sanity’s sake, because life without it would be incomplete.

Good luck in your quest. Be inspired. [Write.]

In reverence,


Sunday, March 2, 2008


Hmm. I kinda feel like the yahoo! horoscope writers might be sitting outside my window voyeuristically watching and effectively writing for me alone...

Naked in Baghdad


I finished my first book of the year! This afternoon's irresistible spring-time highs coaxed the masses from inside, even me. I milled around the apartment for most of the day, but after the third load of dirty laundry was loaded I couldn't ignore the temptation of sunny skies. I packed my current read-in-progress and some homework, and sped off to the haven of Starbucks' patio. I ordered my tall-iced-skinny-caramel-macchiato and planted myself in the iron chair with the full intent of devouring the final page.

Naked in Baghdad is the 2003 journalistic compilation of Anne Garrels. Working as an NPR foreign correspondent, she finds herself in Iraq's capital just as talks of war and WMD's are being volleyed. By the time the bombs begin raining, she remains one of only 16 American journalists surviving either deportation or personal fear. In spite of being a woman of fifty-something years with a loving hubby at home, she stations herself on the other side of the world to contribute her observations through daily audio reports.

She's basically my new hero.

I'm not sure if my somewhat compulsive interests in genocide [and now the war in Iraq] convey here. If you were to have a glimpse at my bookshelf, or possibly even a short conversation with the Princess herself, it would be clear. I always try to explain that it isn't the tactics of war that whet my mindful appetite or the politics either, rather it's the people - the sociocultural aspects of war, as I often entitle them. At the end of Garrels' book she states the same as her motivation. It's the people and how they fair conflict that drives her need to give them a voice. Her perspective was oh so intriguing, too. The entirety of her stay was made up of several trips back and forth on account of visa restrictions, and never was there left out a single complicated hoop through which she jumped to get back into Baghdad. I loved that she avoided the fantasy of battle, that she covered the monotony and fear, and mostly that she did so without apparent agenda.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

throw me a rope.

This morning, a text finally lured me from my sheets:

Good morning beautiful, I hope this morning finds you feeling better. I'm so lucky to have you.

...and it suddenly seems regretful to have ever questioned Love.