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Nice Dream

14 Jan

rememberThese carrots just make me want to throw things.

I was talking to New York Friend about all the unwritten pages between January 1 and today and I’ll say this: every single start has an untimely finish. Not a goddamn one thing will follow the path I prescribe for it. Surprise. I can’t control the thoughts and actions of others.

First I want to tell you about the triumph. My hiatus from romantic pain resulted in a brief euphoria of independence from any expectation of validation from external souls. Outside me, there was no person who could determine my worth. By giving myself the final 22 days of 2012 off from wondering what any boy thought of me, I unknowingly formed a new habit.

That’s what they’ve been saying on the radio lately anyway, what with countless authors promoting the spate of self-help books published just after the new year, when we think we might actually do something different.

It only takes 21 days to form a new habit.

Well, 21 to 28 days, they amend.

Oh, so should the extra week be applied?

Well, just in case, I gave myself the first week of January off as well. Between New Year’s and my birthday seven days later, I lingered in this wonderful limbo of not ever caring who or what would ever love me again. The foxtail fern on my kitchen window withered a bit in the winter sun of my ambivalence, but I poured a little water on him and he’s perked up a bit.

[Insert dramatic chord.]

“Feel the icy chill of my disdain,” I seethed to New York Friend.

Knowing I was directing this statement at a recently discarded prospect rather than his own self, NYF responded, “If he can’t handle your enthusiasm, wait’ll he sees your loathing!”

Damn straight.

Somewhere in these last 36 hours, I mistakenly abandoned my new habit. Like a careless jogger who overdid his stomping the first week of the year and now lies collapsed on a sofa with a bowl of ice cream, I found myself tying my future happiness to some guy’s appreciation for me. Again.

I will say this, though. My time to recovery is improving. Unlike that jogger, I have some endurance and stamina when it comes to matters of romantic debacle. So I am able to sprint through these phases: attraction, common things finding, plan-making, anticipation, a perfectly constructed picture of our next forty years together, actual date, and ultimate despair when no immediate further plans are made.

When you choose the unattainable, they will never be available. It’s a very reliable equation and one that provides me with much solace in a world gone mad with spontaneous outcomes. “You can’t control relationships,” every genius intones, but I sure as hell can. I can determine that a gentleman has far too much preventing him from ever wanting to get serious with me and then make him the target of my affections. This guarantees a tremendous flame out which incapacitates me for days on end. Which is convenient when you edit a magazine with unending deadlines.

Oops, validation not received. You do not advance into spectacular humanhood. You will remain a crumbling mass of despair. Well at least you know how to do this. It comes easily to you.

And now, like that sofa-bound jogger, I will recommit to my new habit-forming regimen. Romantic moratorium returns. No one, and I mean no one, gets any attention from me unless he sends a telegram with an invitation for an evening out.

I could throw this sliding laptop across the room with all the kinetic energy tamped down in my soul right now. With no direction to aim my affections, I may be forced to turn a bit of that kindness inward, and rather than do that, I’d prefer to shatter every ceramic and glass object in my apartment. But maybe I’ll just start with these carrots.

Harsh Landscape

14 Jan

harsh_landscapeAn edge. They say she has an edge to her, and it means that jagged lines set her apart from an otherwise smooth encounter.

There in the dark, his jaw was set in attendant pause. She’s five-foot-five, she told him. Then, polite, he reassured her. She needs smaller wheels attached to her frame. Her height was not the problem.

So what was it then? The compliment composite seemed to sketch out an ideal figure. She’s got such a cool job, she’s so good at it, she knows her stuff, she’s hilarious, she looks young for her age, she has a great duvet cover, she eats organic, she has clever friends, she knows about art and music and architecture, she reads fine literature, she travels the world, she wears an interesting digital watch, she does yoga, she sleeps with a small fuzzy bunny every night, she loves scotch and appreciates cynicism. But the wheels don’t fit.

Go away and don’t you ever come back.

His glance lowered at a slight angle to find her eyes. Sodium street lights tinted sepia the parking lot backdrop, shading his glance darker than its daylight blue. Colors once distinctive were made mush. The words were jumbled together in a little crumpled paper she had to untangle before hearing, “I’m glad you’re in town.”

By the time she deciphered the missive, plaid-shirt shoulders carried him away and she was talking to a departing back. “Oh yeah. Yeah.” But this triggered more confusion as she spoke over what she thought was a “Let’s hang out again soon.” And she had to say to the back, “We’ll hang out again soon. We’ll find an excuse.” She actually had to raise her voice for this last part, as his long stride already had him across a prairie and indecipherable.

Jaw line square and jackrabbit pace. Her favorite kind.

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