Monday, May 31, 2010

Elope with Me

It became too much, then, and the air was full of ribbons of emotion and alcohol and regret and thankfulness. I had known, deep down, that I would see him again before I left. It was fate.
And so I let it slide, or I tried to, but the bitter and immature feelings that rose up manifested themselves in the form of grabbing Matt's leg as he sat beside me in the booth, and he understood perfectly without any words passed between us and he slung his arm around my shoulders and pretended to by my boyfriend for the night.
K let the cat out of the bag by revealing that I was leaving, and I was glad she did because I wanted him to know without my having to say anything.
But I recovered fast this time, you know? No major wishes for the ground to swallow me up, and it didn't feel like a thunderbolt.
I believe that one day it won't effect me in the slightest.
And that my polite and friendly act will be sincere.

And the next evening after all my goodbyes, I drove to the top of the cliff and sat on a wet bench and cried. And watched the storm clouds roll over the city, and watched the car lights grow brighter and the river valley grow darker as if to mimic my mood: less and less shades of grey, more and more complete highlights and intense darkness. I didn't cry over what I had lost; I cried selfishly out of fear for what lay ahead, cried because I loved le Terrible but not in the right way, cried for delicately built friendships that I took for granted, cried because I was tired of being brave and strong and independent when I just wanted to curl into a ball and have someone take care of me. I didn't weep. A couple of tears escaped, but that's all. I shivered in the damp wind, and thought how strange it was to have snow in what was practically June.

I think I'm half way gone already. I've cut the ties, burnt my bridges, packed my bags. You can see right through me, vaguely, if you look hard enough.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I feel ill today. But I will probably just suck it up, go to work with a smile, and win a million hearts. My friend S wanted me to have a good-bye blog post, but the truth is that I will probably keep this, up-date it once a week when we get a chance to have internet, and share some of my adventures. If I don't get a chance to do so, then I will definitely be back in September.

I remember... I remember so little these days. I try to focus in on a memory but it eludes me, the sights and smells and sounds evade my thinking. I need a strong memory to pull me back in, but today those strong memories are just not appropriate to share.

I remember... I came back from 6 months of being away. It was the end of August, and I didn't want to meet up with friends desperate to get me back in the loop. I wanted to recover from jet-lag, and my own house was full of renter's for the summer, so I stayed with family friends. I slept badly for the first few nights, it being so hot and dry, and I spent my days wandering around their garden and drinking tea on their veranda. I felt discombobulated and thin, but then they took me with them when they went out to the "Honey House", a bee farm in the middle of the country owned by their relatives. The lawns out there were green, surrounded on all sides by rolling brown prairie and farm-land. There was a forest, and a pond or two, and a huge house with many windows and many rooms, full to the brim with friends and family. It was so hot and still, and during the day I helped out in the spinning room, loading trays of honey comb into a round metal drum which spun fast until the honey dripped out the bottom. I also de-capped the combs with a scrapper, and that was fun because the honey got everywhere in your hair, your skin, your clothes, and you chewed on pieces of waxy comb until every last drop of honey was gone, and then you spat out balls of beeswax.
Once I even got suited up, and drove in the back of the truck with them down to the hives, which were in a small warm clearing in the forest. I am not afraid of insects, of spiders, of bugs, but wasps and even bees sometimes terrify the hell out of me. I was irrationally afraid, but not allowed to show that fear. The humming, the swarming, the noise and the sugar smell of honey and smoke caused me to sweat and tremble but I helped them take out the trays, brush off the bees, and load them in boxes in the back of the truck. Sweet relief when I was done and walked a bit away from the hives and took off my suit and net! Careful not to squish any clingers, I folded it under my arm and ran in my borrowed rain boots back along the grass road which led to the house.
In the afternoons we would sleep, or play games or read, or pick buckets of raspberries from the garden.
And after dinner was fun. Bonfires and walking in the dark to catch frogs near the pond.

But of course I couldn't evade real life forever. And so I came back to the city, and one dusty and hot white-skyed day I met up with le Terrible after months of writing letters, and we walked to the government buildings with little to say. After all, most of what we could have said had already been done so, and what we wanted to say couldn't even be thought of. So we lay in the damp cool grass beneath a huge tree and just breathed together. We had spent more time apart then together, and maybe that's why our relationship is so unique. Why I know that we understand each other often better without saying things, and why I have no fear of losing his friendship if I disappear for the summer, for a year, or even for many years.
I also got my wisdom teeth out a few days later, then started university. I'm surprised that I made as many new friends as I did, looking so chipmunky, and being strange and vague on pain-killers.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


New Norway, AB (during brother J's volleyball game this Sunday. Gotta love the knobbly knee look)

So I guess I lost a little of my grip on true perspective last week, and got dragged into a whirling vortex of self-pity and confusion and tears and uncertainty.
But then the sun appeared, literally.
And everything turned out alright.

With a wonderful weekend under my belt filled chock to the brim with hot days, trees in bloom, long bike rides to work, beers on the Black Dog patio, eating in biker bars in dusty small towns, I gathered ammunition and energy to face things more clearly.

There is two weeks before I leave for Athens. Tuesday June 1 I am gone. I have never seen a riot it terrible that I am tempted to go and see whats up? No, I don't think so. I got a postcard from A yesterday, and she poetically listed all the highlights of her trip so far, a.k.a. the beautiful, lovely, exciting boys she had met. It was a good postcard. I got in trouble at work today for my skirt being too short. It's the same skirt I wore all last summer, and for the past week, so they must have just worked up the courage to tell me. I wasn't upset, more amused than anything.
When I can embarrass adults, make them slightly awkward, often I laugh inside. They aren't so different than me.

Two weeks... I need to pack them full of memories fit to last for the entire summer. More nights at the Black Dog, more days eating gelato at da Capo, more dates with terribly boring boys, more adventures in the river valley. Then- and only then- can I feel like I have given this city my best shot, and be prepared to move on out.

But to not look ahead, to focus on the present clear eyed and without judgement: it is that cliche fresh cut grass smell, it is the lilac bush in bloom, it is the soles of my feet black from being outside without shoes, it is my skin itching from a mosquito bite and stinging slightly from sunburnt shoulders, it is having dirty dusty windswept hair, it is hot nights that wake you up sticky with sweat.
This is it: to breathe deep lungfuls of air and feel the blood move fast, to be young and vitally alive. To be careless and thoughtful. To be full of passions and apathy. I love this. This is now.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mr. Tambourine Man

I don't have the time or the energy to spend on anything else but existing. I can't put it into words: it is like living in a constant state of hyper-awareness, which is impossible, so I try to keep busy so I can't think.
Spending too much time in my head.
Work is good for this, it pulls me out of myself and keeps me from thinking about more than my next task, and to keep straight the millions of details. And there is the social aspect as well, with my co-workers gathering around and laughs and jokes and stories.
Karaoke. Black Dog. Volunteering at races.
I want to fly to Vancouver and be there with them. I am their princess, their little princess, and I had always planned on taking care of them, of dropping everything and stopping everything and just giving everything to them. But I have this non-refundable plane ticket, and if only I had waited till next year... but who could have known?
And the phone is in constant use, with my mom in contact with her two brothers. It makes us anxious. Latest is that now they are both in the hospital.
So far we hold it together. Just a growing closer, a tightening of ranks, of shutting out outsiders. We present a brave, uniformed front.

And that is all I can manage to say for today.
It will be fine. We will all be fine. I promise.

"My weariness amazes me, I'm branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming....

Though you might hear laughin', spinnin', swingin' wildly across the sun
It's not aimed at anyone, it's just escapin' on the run,
And but for the sky there are no fences facin'...

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
I'm not sleepy, and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you."

(Bob Dylan, Mr. Tambourine Man)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I want rest, I need rest.
But there is none for the wicked.
none for the sick, the poor, the needy.
none for the restless.
Every night I lay my burdens down and sleep shallowly, skimming the surface of unconsciousness while vivid and fluttering dreams race through my mind.

And every morning I am awakened by a knock on the door, and my burdens are thrust upon me once more.

My very marrow aches, and I am tired of being a tragedy. I am tired of crying and aching and tired of tiredness. I need to find, no I will find, the strength necessary to continue. Is this what it means to be an adult? To carry these burdens, to long to cut off your own nose to find rest, with no end in sight?

There is no end in sight.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Today I made a comic for Drew, as a thank you gift for the mix CD's he made for me last week. I detoxed my ipod, cleared out all the old songs and playlists and just added these 6 new lists of songs he had put together.
They are pretty good. I needed some new music so badly.

dinner parties and museums

"You will have to come with us one summer," I told le Terrible, "and bring your guitar and let the Muses inspire you." We wandered around the museum, bored out of our skulls, and dodged screaming children and wondered what the hell we were doing. I have been dreaming of the lake consistently again, and even in waking it creeps into my talk and into my thoughts. It's constantly on the back of my eyeballs, superimposed upside down: the blue the grey the green the brown.
Maybe it's there because I'm not sure what to expect from this summer, and I don't want the expectations to ruin the experience itself.

The lake has totally awesome Muses, dude.

But Friday I had a dinner to meet the others going on the dig. I spent the evening going through people, one by one then in whole groups, scratching the surface of their personalities then discarding after discovering nothing worthwhile. Who says I can't be thorough and tough? The people I ended up talking to the most were the 2 T.A.'s, Christa and Tristan, the leader's (Margreeit) daughter, Zoe, and Margreeit's husband, Steven, who was my Classic's prof this semester. Christa was down-to-earth, funny, pretty. Tristan had red hair, a squint, and a soft spot for animals. Zoe was 13 and reminded me so much of myself at that age. And Steven has lived and taught all over the world with his family. We formed a fascinating group, the 5 of us. I wanted to be best friends with all of them.

I feel anxiety building over going. K is stressed; she says We have so much to do! I am so busy! We need to book flights; make a plan; get vaccinations and insurance and paperwork done!
I told her, hey. You think you are stressed? I only have a month left to do all this PLUS more because I have things before and after. Also I am working 6 days a week. So calm down. (I don't think it helped. She was still stressed, but now so was I.)

And then last night was The Green Dinner Party. Everything was green-themed, and there was this tornado made out of chicken wire and cloth coming out of the the table. The menu was:
Avocado soup, then

Fava bean, mint, fennel salad. Next was

Chicken with an almond/cilantro paste
Mushrooms stuffed with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, Asiago cheese
Asparagus marinated in a vinegarette and shallots. For dessert we had

Individual pistachio cheesecake, and
Jone's Apple Soda jello.

It was an interesting mix of people, most of them in their 30's and hilarious. Very artsy, laid-back, and fabulous food and wine. They had changed all the light-bulbs in the house to green. I love this idea of having/creating/hosting wonderful vibrant dinner parties. I think I will.

As excited as I am to be wandering once again, I am equally excited to come back in September and pilgrimage out to the lake by myself for a couple of weeks. It is my lodestone, and I need to touch it once a year to keep... sane? Alive? Centered? Happy? I like to share the lake with certain worthy people, but I'm just as happy when I keep it to myself.