Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Jumping with a bungee cord

There are people who walk cautiously through life. They take a step, pause, contemplate the possible consequences, retreat, move to the side, resume even more slowly and eventually they make progress. Really they do.

I am not like that. In all matters relating to my personal life, I plunged. Friends became intensely close, boyfriends were instantly candidates for soulmate status. I reeled in a world of dizzying love for people, for events, for activities that I discovered afresh each year.

My little one and I were talking earlier today. She remarked how I never just connected to a person, I super charged the connection and with excitement and found all the nuance and beauty that made a person completely stellar. Best of breed, so to speak. Best of the best.

At 52, as I now proceed to distance myself from a significant chunk of my past, I think, I really think this – I think I was wrong to be so headstrong.

To all you blog readers who are younger than me, take heed. The world does not belong to the bold, it does not reward you for your efforts, it will not smile kindly at your generosities.

Forget the visions of eternal love, of eternal friendship; not even that: forget the belief in a solid strong anything. It’s fleeting – all of it, it’s fleeting and mostly terribly unkind.

I took a stack of old books to a used book place tonight. Books, just books, useless books, books that I had no room for in the new loft. Before handing them over, I flipped through some of them. I came across an inscription, written by someone who, some years back, promised undying friendship and eternal devotion. I pulled the book out of the reject pile, as a reminder of how completely ridiculous the idea was.

trippin' up at the finish line

I held it together when the house was not selling and, for legal reasons, it needed to sell or else.

I held it together when changes were taking place in my life, changes that would rock even the most solid, stoic of characters.

I held it together when moving everything everywhere wrenched my back, and the holding it together was not tarnished by the fact that I still have a vast amount of moving ahead of me.

I held it together when I found that I needed to buy new furniture for the new apartment -- great fun! great expense!

I held it together when the very same van that I was treating with kid gloves started flashing "low oil" lights today, even though I had just changed the oil last month and had put on perhaps 55 miles since.

I held it together when my robust exercise schedule faltered -- the first major casualty of a hell schedule.

I held it together as I sat on the landing steps of my loft at the wee hours of the morning today, looked outside and noticed a solitary person walking, one prong at a time, on the railroad tracks. He looked lonely and sad.

I held it together through sadnesses and worries of others, which make me sad and worried for them in addition to making it absolutely impossible to look up with pleading eyes and ask for much hand-holding.

I held it together when my daughters were shaken out of bed because, unexpectedly, the realtor with the new buyers and their little children showed up at our doorstep and informed me that they expected to spend the morning here, overseeing the engineering inspection, giving me five minutes, FIVE FREAGIN' MINUTES to get the place in order for their peering eyes (and I don't care if they read my blog, so there!) and leave them to their devices.

I held it together when I came back well into the afternoon, loaded down with groceries and who knows what and they were all still there, discussing why the outside door downstairs was sticking and why the furnace was rattling. I have a furnace that was purchased within our tenure here, damn it, go pick on somebody else's furnace!

I even held it together when the purchasing wife said she would be back this Thursday along with the engineering crew, because they still needed to pry open the crawlspace and had no time to do it today.

But when I got a call saying that they were sending out a roofing contractor who would do an inch-by-inch analysis of the roof and would I mind? -- I sat down on the kitchen floor and cried.

...and the day ran away with the spoon

...and the knife and fork and a bunch of kitchen-ey items, as I got the loft ready for a small group of evening visitors.

Or, maybe I shouldn't call them mere visitors. My recollections this morning are foggy, but I distinctly remember looking toward the loft windows and seeing two chairs positioned in front. On those two charis were not exactly nine ladies dancing, but definitely at least two. Through the windows, the dome of the Capitol looked on. As did I.

It began as an evening of celebration. A daughter with a job offer was reason enough to go order some rainbow drinks along with the much beloved Ahi tuna, downtown, at the Crave.

Madison Aug 05 310

Madison Aug 05 319

Back at the loft, food was not the centerpiece. Or was it? I once said that if I had only a handful of foods available to me and I could pick my handful, it would include bread, cheese and chocolate.

Madison Aug 05 309

At midnight, someone who does not stop just because it is midnight, proposed more revelry and music. Truth is, no one could keep up with her. I vaguely remember thinking I should stay up and post. I fell asleep thinking I should post.