My landlord painted the balcony and stairs last week. He had moved the large-ish pot of roses that someone had given me as a housewarmer. Except, he placed it upon my desk. My desk is a door on top of two filing cabinets, shimmed with one volume (there are 2) of the 1979 Compact OED. (Garage sale find for $2. This is the edition I got for myself upon graduation from UCLA.) Anyway. The desk is at a bit of a slant now.
He said I needed to get a dish for under the roses. I tried to source on craigslist and freecycle but not with overmuch gusto because I would have to go collect it from wherever (nearest & best bet was Calabassas, and I’m tired. It didn’t work out anyway). A week went by and the roses that were in thick and in bloom had turned crunchy within my place. It’s not usually sunny in my front room (I put them on the floor after a few days) and I wasn’t watering them.
Sweetbest told me on 14 Feb that she didn’t really want and/or need me in her life any longer. She hadn’t answered much (in months) in any of my attempts at outreach, and I feel rather sure she accepted my offer to visit her (that day) whilst I was in the OC on other business just as a way to break up with me in person.
While she shared intimately with me during the few hours we got to spend together, the ultimate message was that she had no time and no inclination to pursue any relationship with me.
I mentioned it to a mutual friend who suggested the three of us hang out, but I may have been half drunk (and I was certainly nearly asleep when I answered the text). I haven’t said much of this to anyone else.
When she and I had dinner on January 9, 2012, she reached across the table, extending her little finger. “Pinky power, Weenie [her nick for me]. It will never happen again. Never apart. Never again.” I teared up and linked my pinky with hers. She was fucking radiant. Her wide, beautiful, unforgettable smile was for me. My hope exceeded any limits at that point. The world was ours. I could do anything.
It is probably childish to believe that people mean what they say; and even more so this vow taken in the most solemn oath of our adolescence. There we were, women of 37 & 36 years, chatting over wine and Italian food, swearing by our little fingers.
The pot of roses were among the items (tokens) she brought one Saturday last March. I don’t know what to do with the other things she gave/left. Some seem trivial (pile of hangers). Some seem positively looming (a gorgeous duvet cover I would have wanted my whole life and never gotten around to getting, bowls and plates and all the flatware I use now, a blown-glass lamp from one of the nurseries).
It is her way to attach significance to material items that may otherwise be overlooked. (Previously discussed, but I’m not going to bother with the link. Short version: she is avian (nest) and I am serpentine (shed skin, regenerate).) I doubt I’ll toss most of this, but I’m leaning towards acquiring some kind of trunk, tucking the things she haunts into, locking it and forgetting where I leave the key.
I have learned that most people’s shit isn’t mine to manage. I don’t take things personally the way I did once (read: was nearly everything). Admittedly, of late I’m quite tender because I have erupting 3rd molars (YAY June 19th for insurance!), constant headaches, achy-sore muscles, rapid weight loss and stretchiness. I’ve been hungry a lot. Or not at all hungry and consequently not eating, I’ve been inconsolably insomniac; I’m all too aware. If something rankles me particularly, I may take a very deep breath and walk away so I can try to sort (the usually nonexistent) reasons I have taken offense into some reasonable order. (Some of you have patiently counselled me when I’m completely at sea.) Frequently, I can talk myself out feeling maligned, generally fairly quickly. I don’t demand of myself that this roll-with-it is immediate. I may get there, but I’m pretty well triangular and I’m good at not giving much of a fuck.
I crack the following joke with my boss – about things like ugly spreadsheets, questionable statistics, invisible project planning, or poorly done powerpoint slides: “Oh, fuck, man, that hurts my feelings.” It’s not for serious. He appreciates this quirky levity. (When he yells for me or approaches my desk, I have been known to reply and/or greet him by bawling “O Captain, My Captain!”)
The aforementioned bon mot may go like this:
Bossman: So, H, I wanted to share a document I got this morning to do with [TrainWreckProject] …
Me: [Maybe cringing] Shit, Captain, are you about to hurt my feelings?
Bossman: [Nodding, smiling like a grave] Yes, H. This will totally hurt your feelings.
SEE? IT’S FUNNY. Really.
But I’ve sat with her rejection for two months. I don’t care to pursue her, begging for her affection or attention or kinship. She simply doesn’t have this to give me, or has no desire to draw it forth. I know I’m tired tonight, but it’s been around that long. And while I don’t dwell so much, (sometimes only grasping at huge, blinking question marks), I cannot fathom what math to employ to figure this one. I don’t know how to run this analysis. The formulae are always slightly beyond my comprehension.
And that’s Wednesday.