Thursday, May 27, 2010

This Is A Post I Like To Read

"Walking up sun-dappled Joralemon Street this morning after a long swim in the floating pool, I was hit by a cold breeze and then a pang of nostalgia so sharp it took my breath away. In the pool, I’d swum a few laps and then abandoned myself to the kind of mermaid games I used to entertain myself with for hours as a child, after swim team season was over and I was finally allowed to wear a two-piece suit, my brown legs and arms contrasting oddly with the vulnerable white of my stomach. I flipped and dove and sunk to the bottom to look up at the bubbles I made and the blindingly blue sky above me, the sky the same color as the cool blue water, and I could have been any age, fifteen again, milking the last weekend of summer at West Hillandale Swim Club (go Dolphins!). Back then, I would linger in the pool every day because every day felt like the last, and I wanted to memorize the feel of the water and the sun on my skin to keep it with me through the chilly fall and the cold winter, when I’d be slicing laps through the murky, tepid water of indoor pools, their blue a blurry imitation blue.

I knew I couldn’t actually make the feeling last, that I would forget about it as soon as it was gone and not remember again until the next summer, but I always tried. And though this summer has been scary and unfamiliar and wrenching and sad at times, I miss it already, I think because despite the sadness, there was real happiness too.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying with a degree of success that’s surprised me not to think of Jake at all. And when I do, I usually make myself think of negative things. There certainly are plenty to choose from: the pathetic, cowardly way he broke it off with me, the charming words that, in retrospect, echo as lies. The enduring suspicion that he never really cared for me at all.

But as I was walking home from the pool today, in the blinding sun with just a hint of chill in the air, I let myself remember the innocence and happiness of our first kisses, him ardent as a teenager, me trembling with uncertainty and excitement. And then the stolen kisses in alleyways, the thrill of those furtive weeks. And then the fulfilled promise of his charm, that handful of charming evenings: the night we ate like animals at a restaurant, staring at each other constantly, laughing hard every few minutes, taking a cab ten blocks afterwards because we couldn’t have waited any longer.

It was so good when it was good, and the reasons why it was good, while more apparent now, don’t matter so much. Who cares that his appeal was artificially enhanced, the same way a stale Balthazar croissant becomes the world’s most delicious treat if you eat it after a morning of hard swimming? The satisfaction, in the moment, is the same.

And though I wish I could have that satisfaction now, I know I’ll never be able to have it again, at least, not with him. It’s like (Susan, I know, I’m beating this one into the ground) right now, I’m very hungry, but not for just anything, just for this one specific food. But now I know it to be poison. And even if the poison food was available to me now, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy eating it, knowing it was poison. So I’ll starve, I suppose, at least for a while, and the discomfort of starving will teach me to be hungry for something more wholesome. Something that will give me satisfaction that lasts."

Sometimes Emily Gould just nails it, doesn't she?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Catastrophic Date #1

A Scene in Texts...

Me: Want to still have dinner tonight?

Him: Yes, I really want to. But I can't. Family emergency. My uncle died.

Me: Oh My God! I'm so sorry. I hope you and your family are doing as well as can possibly be expected during this truly tough time. Please, if there is anything that a stranger like me can do, let me do it.

Him: Sorry to be a buzzkill.

Me: No! Please! Not at all. If you want to get together, whenever that may be, I'd like to. Or not. Whatever you are feeling.

Him: No, I'm being a buzzkill.

Me: Er, okay, well again, I'm really sorry about your uncle.

Him: It's OK. I'll be seeing him again real soon.


Me: Aaaaaah! What! Dude!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Man-Snatching Etiquette

TK for now, just in case big brother is watching...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I've Made A Decision

I deferred the Cali schools; I'm taking chances on the NY waitlists, I'm working on my books (in theory), I am painting (in practice), I have a good paying job and I am working on being happy.

It feels good. It feels right.

And you know what? My apartment, which I love, which is warm and cool all at once, and in a garden and feels like a nice house? It's all mine right now. Which means I work when I want, I play when I want, and I sleep in my bed alone. I take up all the covers, I sleep askew, I wake when I want to, when I'm supposed to, and while I don't yet know how to dream, maybe I know a little bit more how to be.

It's Tuesday, and it's raining but lovely, and I'm no longer counting the days, I guess I'm just living them.

It may not be a corner turned, but it's a pretty good start.

Also, lots and lots of Crystal Light Lemonade and bare feet and brunches have helped. That and I stopped going on all dates that I thought I should.

Well one guy had a five year old child and works at the airport. I think the airport was worse than the rest.

I don't know how long I will be alone, but there is something to be said for being alone, and not having to reason why. No one demands my time, except me. It's kind of wonderful.

There's oil paint on my clothes and no one is complaining. When you're alone, no one complains at all. That, I think, is a plus.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Adventures in Singlehood

Things I heard myself saying while interacting with those of the opposite sex:

"Wait, you're an art-school dropout who lives in Williamsburg? Wait, hold on, let me get my camera, my grandkids are never gonna believe this."

Waits a beat as would-be suitor stomps off.

"So you don't want to buy me a drink anymore?"

I am good at dating, people. Really good. One of these days I'm going to do it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Friday

Things are looking up...

Have an amazing one and I will do the same.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Joy of Work

On vacation I had time to think. Too much time. I thought myself into all sorts of stress. Why was a certain thing happening? Why wasn't something else happening? Why did they need me at work so much that they had to interrupt me? Why did others need me so little in my personal life did no one miss me? Why was I obsessed with everyone else in the world?

I took a long bike ride. The winding kind. The lake was blue and the trees were green. It was hot and my bike bumped over broken asphalt on the edge of town, all the roads were white and they went on a long time, up into hills and around slivers of water. It wasn't an hour of the day, it was sun or it was rain, I was hungry or I was asleep, I was running, I was always early and quiet, quiet, quiet.

People talked to me, I talked back. People didn't talk to me, and I didn't say anything either. I read very much. I wrote very little. I thought about what I wanted in this life and I wished it. If it didn't come true right away, I kept wishing.

I'm back at work today and things feel safe. Everything is gray and it goes on a long time. I miss certain people in my life, I miss certain things. But I can't wait for them to miss me, because I have a long way to go, and I have to keep going.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I Am Going On Vacation Alone

This is frightening. No?

I have never gone on vacation without a friend or boyfriend. I can make fake friends easily, if this were a hostel situation, or a beach situation, but this is truly a no-alcohol, cell-phone-free, limited contact with the outside world vacation.

I hope to write around 30 pages of the new book. I also hope to get a massage every day. I think all they feed us is gruel. Gruel and barley. I will not obsess about work, school or my ex while I am gone. I will kiss no one. I will not stay up all night long watching "Breaking Bad." I will not bum cigarettes, I will not eat beef, I will not wear heels, I will not wear makeup, I will swim in the pool and I will read literature and I will go to sleep by ten PM.

I will paint in my mind, I will not read Gawker, I will not text rando people, I will not do what I will not do.

I will be me, I will be alone. I hope. I make it. I will be here. Wish me luck.