Saturday, March 13, 2010

Achy Brakey Heart

Though it's unfortunately rare, every once in a while, you talk to someone who makes you think. I got that opportunity this weekend.

This person, whom I'll call Gemini, is like no one I've perhaps ever spent time with. And since the conversation, I've had a hard time not thinking about it. And it's like this: I'm a ballsy broad half the time. The other half of the time, I'm a completely insecure mess. There. Cover blown. And here comes Gemini, who's got that fantastic screw-em-if-they-don't-like-me thing going. But the difference is that Gemini means it. I can say it, but comparatively, I don't think I mean it.

I'm challenged by Gemini's words. We both agree that talk is cheap. Actions speak volumes. However, we react very differently to Inaction. Gemini looks Inaction up and down and gets pissed and walks. I look at Inaction. And then I keep staring at Inaction. Then I tug on Inaction's sleeve and ask why. Then I brood over Inaction. I cry because Inaction doesn't comfort me. I hate myself for wasting time over Inaction. I sit under a tree close by and watch Inaction for a long, long time. Eventually, I walk away from Inaction, but it's with one eye looking back, wondering whether Inaction even notices. And while my wounds from Inaction leave me scarred like a strong warrior, I'm always just a little bit more broken.

Yeah, that's me. It took Gemini's daunting confidence to hold up a mirror that showed me completely naked and vulnerable. Pants down. Outside of work, I don't stand up for myself. Yeah, it's kind of that simple.

Years ago, way back in college, I pined after someone I'll call Local Yokel. Looking back, he was an indiot. Truly. Not bright. Liked country music, for chrissake. A 3 to my 6. But LY paid a little bit of attention to me. He didn't pursue me. We worked together and laughed a lot, and once in a while hooked up. And while I knew we'd never talk about anything that mattered to me (Emily Dicken-who?, Flaubert is not a dessert on fire?), I was, looking back, perfectly willing to put that aside for what love might feel like.

That's where I've gone wrong for a long time. I have been--I AM--constantly hoping to find love. At all costs. But costs only to me, I'm finding out. The world continues on. And I can imagine relatives who've passed away all in the room, watching with arms folded, tsk tsking my feeble walk through life. Ugh.

Gemini gave me quite a wake-up call. Gemini walks the talk. I kinda don't. Well, not in all aspects. So I'm dazed and inspired. If I'm a writer, I should be writing. If I don't like how my jeans [don't] fit, I should be exercising. Yes, my gentle audience of three, this is not a revalation. It's just that Gemini made it so obvious. So what am I going to do about it?

I turned the TV off. I'm writing. I have a book in front of me and the rest of a weekend to think about changes. I think Gemini was a good enounter for helping me with Kelly: Indecision 2010.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pioneer woman? Not so much.

Last week's storm was a good'un. Some people were annoyed that their cable was out for a day; others are still waiting for electricity and heat to resume after almost six days. I'm somewhere between the two.

Power went out Thursday. I decided to stay home Friday. I relished in the fact that I was sans technology. I cleaned (very unusual). I stitched. I read. I journaled. I was starting to feel pretty accomplished. Then I looked at the clock. Noon. Wow. A day without TV . . . is a much longer day. But I went with it. I stayed on the couch, by the window, and did all my favorite Kelly things.

Once in a while, I got up to see whether anything new had appeared in the fridge. And I had a bit of a duh moment while eating lunch: Eating isn't as interesting when the TV isn't on. Without the trance of that glowing box, suddently eating was something I was very aware of. I was aware that I wasn't hungry. And I felt a bit . . . limited in my actions, frankly, because I was eating. I didn't finish lunch. (This reminded me of when I briefly was a smoker in college. I resented the fact that I couldn't go inside a building until I was finished smoking. Cigarettes, to me, started to feel like a friend who wouldn't shut up. I had to finish my smoke before I could do anything else, leaving me practically tapping a toe and becoming impatient. Much the same, holding a bowl and fork meant I couldn't hold a book, so I lost interest.)

I read and wrote until the sun went down, holding my journal up to the window to capture the last minutes of light to finish an entry. I lit a few candles, sat back on the couch, and looked around. Now what? What the hell is a person going to do from 6-10ish alone in the dark? I read by candle light--but they were Yankee candles and gave me an awful headache. I played mah jong on my laptop until the battery died. I brushed Millie the cat. For the first time in a very long time, I was bored. I heard myself sigh. I listened to my neighbors bang around in the dead silence. I thought about stuff. I read some more. Eventually it was time to sleep.

Saturday was more of the same, but colder as the heat left the apartment. Millie was amused as I fumbled through my camp gear and announced a triumphant A-ha! when I got to my headlamp and wind-up radio. Wind wind wind wind wind. Static tsssssssssss.............NH doesn't offer much for radio stations. I listened to some lousy country music, some bad soft rock. I found myself singing along to Peter Cetera. Time? 6 a.m.

The cold and quiet were starting to bother me, so I took a whore's bath and got on the road to Mom's, knowing she'd have the generator going. The ride there was nifty. Durham later called the storm "Tree-mageddon" in the local paper, which was apt. Big pines were down everywhere, roots and all. I drove by a cemetary in which all the trees were broken in half or just ripped up out of the ground. A bleak site.

Exeter was underwater. Most roads had detours. Route 108 just south of town had a large amount of water running over it. I saw a couple pickups slowly drive across. I saw the DPW truck in my rearview, surely coming to close it down. I said fuck it why not and plunged forth. It was one of my blonder moments. I had visions of being that asshole on the news, sitting on her car, waving to the helicopter for help. I pictured my stepfather watching the news and saying to my mother, "Not very bright." before looking closer and realizing it was me. But I got across. Don't fuck with a determined girl in a Ford Focus.

Saturday night I got my power back. By Sunday much of the water had subsided and mostly what was in the road was brush left behind from tree removal. I put away my gear and enjoyed a long, hot shower. And while I consider myself something of a back-to-nature gal, I realize that I only like camping on my terms. And with someone.

Note: There are so many good pictures out there, but I am unable to attach them. has good photos such as this, and Foster's Daily Democrat published stories about each town in the area, along with photos. This was about Newmarket.