Thursday, October 27, 2011


I sit at a little cafe table with my notebook, sipping on a cup of tea.  There are similar tables around me, occupied by people performing actions similar to my own, as would be expected within the assumed confines of this little outdoor cafe.  I take another sip of my mostly hot tea, containing the absolute perfect amount of milk within its depths. As I swallow, I close my eyes for a moment, feeling the warmth slide across my tongue and coat my throat in a soothing sense of rightness, eventually settling in my stomach and wrapping around my soul.  With a sigh, I settle the cup within its saucer and pick up my notebook and pen. 

Diligently, I write.  Pondering my decision to use a pen and paper for my work rather than typing on a laptop or even just transferring my thoughts to a recorder.  I shrug, not really caring.  After all, we are who we are, are we not?  My pen glides along the lines of the paper and I can hear it's point scratching the surface and I watch the ink form all of its curls and turns and angles, the sound broken occasionally for punctuation or for a thoughtful pause on my part.  I can feel my eyes adjusting to the pinpoint focus of the page, my ears closing at the same rate that my mind is opening.  This is it.  This is how I work.

There are a couple of larger groups at the cafe.  One of which has pushed a couple of the tiny tables together so they may all sit more comfortably while the other group has decided to just crowd around one teeny table, standing close and holding their cups.  There are mostly twosomes and threesomes here, which is not surprising based on the cafe's offerings when it comes to furniture.  Single tables, such as my own, are also common, with people working, reading or just observing.  I understand them best since we share that particular preference.  People walk by, some not really noticing the cafe at all, some glancing over, longing to stop for a moment, maybe for a much needed dose of caffeine.  As this little corner of the world rotates, I observe and I write.

I notice a young woman entering the courtyard, in search of a free table.  I look around and realize all of the tables are occupied.  As I prepare to wave her over to share mine, the woman is approached by a handsome young man carrying a table and chair.  With a flourish, he arranges the table and chair before her and motions for her to sit.  Even from my vantage point, I can see the pink tinging her cheeks as she smiles shyly and gestures for him to join her.  He quickly grabs a chair from the group he was previously with, the large group with the pushed together tables, and returns to the pretty girl.  I watch and I write, smiling even though the whole encounter has little potential.  They have no kindred threads at all.

Luckily for them, with no kindred threads there are no opposing ones either.  They were free to explore each other without harm coming to either.  Regardless, I could not interfere but at least I knew it was all harmless and for them, the mystery and discovery would be fun, brief as it would be.  A little memory that may someday combine with other moments so that upon reflection, down the road, a transformation may occur, like the growing of a new thread.  I knew that was wishful thinking, having still found no proof for my theory.  Ah well, back to work then.

My work focuses on the young since there is no other way to document the proof I require other than to witness the growth of a new thread.  I, myself, am still young.  Not to all of you but amongst my own kind, I am still within the realm of my educational years.  And I am enjoying my education immensely.  My youthful ego constantly wondering, if my discovery proves true, how will it affect the future?  Does it even truly matter anywhere else but here, in this moment, in this world? 
Within this unique place, where relationships begin blindly, not knowing when one might find a friend, a lover, even an enemy, I realize anything seems possible.  With my restless mind, I can certainly understand the allure of mystery and self discovery and find myself wondering if their way isn't better.  I tuck my pen into my notebook, leaving my teacup at the table, still partially full of cold tea and milk.  As I open the gate to take my leave, I happen to glance back at my table and my teacup, the vessel of such warmth and comfort less than an hour earlier.  A busboy approaches and I turn away as he quickly clears my table of the little cup and saucer, giving access to someone new in the continual stream of early morning patrons.

As I approach the building in which I currently reside, I see the older gentleman at his hot dog cart.  He smiles and nods his head slightly.  I respond with a tiny smile of my own as I feel the slight weight pulling at my heart.  I have spoken with him before.  I knew he was lonely, as unlucky in love as he is.  As I was turning towards my building, a gray haired lady rushes by the cart, coming very close to colliding with it .  In such a hurry, she didn't even look up.  Neither did the man as he busily stocks drinks in the cart's side compartment.  I bite down on my tongue, pressing my lips into a flat line.  Oh, how I want to say something but I can not interfere here.

As I set down my pen and notebook on the little desk in my room, I laugh at my foolish whimsy back at the cafe.  Mystery and adventure may be a fun notion, briefly, but is it worth the risk of a life untethered, a love or friendship never experienced?  To me, there is nothing worse.  I think back to that old man and woman, so oblivious, so separate.  If only they knew...they are kindred.

I got the idea for this story from this picture that a Facebook friend posted on her wall.  Thanks Amber for the inspiration!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Notes of Nostalgia

A certain talented blogger has decided to start posting about memories she has been transported to via the vehicle of songs from her past.  You can read about it here.  She asked her readers to share their own tales of music and memory with her and although I admire her writing and would love to do nothing more than impress her with a wonderfully endearing or clever memory linked to some poignant song, I confess that I can not.

Therefore to pacify my shrunken ego, I will share the types of things my odd little brain is able to conjure from the music of my past.  I don't have memories in my life that I connect with through specific songs.  Instead I connect to stages of my life in which certain styles of music have played a role.  Because of this, what I actually recall when hearing past songs are the sounds, smells and emotions evoked during that time.

My teen years were spent in a heavy metal world, with a little punk and new wave, even a small sprinkle of rap (mostly in the form of funny satire).  When I hear an old eighties metal song, I can feel high school.  I find myself walking the halls, my nose kind of sticky from inhaling all the hairspray (my generation, with their big hair and aerosol cans may carry the sole responsibility for the condition of the ozone) and of course, the underlying scent of tobacco that seeped out of our lockers and our purses and clung to our clothing.  After all, our school had a quad between the cafeteria and the gym so we could have a smoke between classes.

The dazed sleepiness of school with its fluorescent lights, windowless rooms and constantly blowing air conditioning surrounds me.  I can even hear the occasional buzz of a pager going off and thinking it must be a drug dealer because who else would have a pager?  The sound of my pumps (worn with lacy bobby socks, of course) clicking across the linoleum floor.  The feel of my plastic geometric earrings, swinging back and forth, tickling the sides of my neck, my eyelids heavy with the weight of the blue mascara caked onto my lashes.

If the song happens to be just right, school thoughts vanish like smoke and are replaced by summer vacation.  Living in Vegas, the nights were never very dark due to the ever present glow of the strip.  Summer nights were always hot, the air dry and stifling.  There would be loud music, cigarettes, wine coolers and an occasional joint.  The alcohol would always be too warm and we would always be a little sick to our stomachs.
I remember feeling my own potential, possibilities laid out at my feet stretching to infinity, and I remember feeling free.  Those feelings were so rare.  As a matter of fact, as a teenager, I recall feeling caged in and powerless most of the time.  But...just in those moments, during random hot summer nights, surrounded by friends I thought I would know forever, I felt free and fearless. It was a freedom that came with youth, with the safety net of parents, and the financial independence that comes from having no job but also having no bills.  Feeling powerful, beautiful, unattainable. 

This isn't a memory but a feeling.  Something that happened when the night was hot enough that even a hot breeze felt like a blessing, and the amount of alcohol consumed was just enough to feel slightly removed from reality but not enough to feel sick.  During those moments, when just the right song would was freedom.

And even now, if I hear the right song at the right moment, I'm there once again.  I am free.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dating in 2011: a third party observation

 I didn't know what to write about but thought I should post something today, so while speaking with some of my friends, I came up with the idea to write down some of my observations on the current dating climate.  As the title states, this is a third party observation as I have not been on a date since the last millennium.

 A lot of today's relationships, whether platonic or romantic, tend to be electronic.  I'm sure most of us can relate to that.  Without a social network, would you really have 659 friends right now?  Really?  In case you're confused, the answer to that question is...NO.  Still, I'll bet there are people on that list, people you've never even met, that you consider some of your dearest friends.

Our definition of friendship has definitely changed so...what about romantic relationships?  Can you fall in love and maintain a relationship with someone you've never met?  I know people who do just that but I can't seem to grasp the concept.

If your, hmmm...E-lover?, gets a computer virus (STD) or his Internet connection keeps failing (erectile dysfunction), could this put a strain on the relationship?  Can you get counseling for that?  Is someone with a faster Internet connection, better typing skills and a bigger hard drive more appealing?

Will romance novels change in the future...?

What would constitute, know...relations?  I've been told men have to do it regularly or they'll die...

Sorry, my mind tends to wander.  Let's get back to Dating 2011.

According to my single friends, other than changes in mode and method, dating is still similar in a lot of ways.  There's still that search going on for Mr. or Ms. Right.  Looking for that spark, that connection...

Unfortunately, it's kind of difficult to differentiate between one spark and another.  Which has left a lot of people suspicious (thus, the invention of the pre-nup) or jaded...

Some of us have been lucky, finding the right kind of spark.  A true love story set in real life.  Some haven't had that luck yet but someday they will.  I know it for a fact because since the dawn of time, there have been men searching with their brains and their libidos and women searching with their faith and their hearts.

Eventually, they will find each other...

 ...because somebody's gotta kill that damn spider!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm Okay

My family and friends are concerned about me.  I understand why but I don't know what to do to reassure them.  When asked, "How are you doing?"  I answer as honestly as I can, "I'm doing okay."  It doesn't seem to be enough and everyone seems to feel as though I'm either brushing over things for their benefit or for my own.

The truth is, I'm okay.  I'm not good, I'm not fine, I'm just okay.

Am I sad?  You bet I'm sad.  I'm lonely and I mourn the loss of my Hubby every single day.  I find myself having a hard time catching my breath.  I take a lot of deep breaths but I don't seem to ever get enough air.  After work, I rush home as fast as I can.  I feel a mild flutter of panic as I drive and as soon as I open the door and come inside, I am overcome with a huge sense of emptiness that falls over me like a thick blanket that was left out in the rain overnight.  I shiver and I can't breathe.

Am I functioning?  I am.  I go to work.  I go shopping.  I spend time with my Girls.  I visit my mother.  I occasionally go out with friends.  I pay my bills.  I eat.  I sleep.  I read.  I cry.  I even laugh.  I think I'm functioning quite well.

There are times when I am so overcome with grief that I feel as though I'll crumble to dust under the weight.  There are times when I am so angry at the senselessness of it all that my nerves practically hum with the tension of my fury.  There are times when I encounter a scent or a sound that surrounds me with a sense of peace or happiness so beautiful that I want to laugh and cry at the same time.

I don't think about my future but I do still look forward to my children's futures.  I've lost a lot of my inspiration and desire to write but I still love to read anything and everything I can get my hands on.  I am having a hard time adjusting to not being able to share the mundane moments of each day with my best friend but I still enjoy catching up with my girlfriends when we find the time to get together.

I miss him but I was lucky to have loved him.  His death has given me a lot of tears but his life gave me a lot of laughter.

Well, that's enough of that.  I just wanted to let everyone know that when I say, "I'm okay", this is what I'm saying.

Thank you for caring and checking in on me.