Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Maybe Later

Today was not a day to expect much from, but I was given so little to go on that for the entire day I felt hollow and empty so that if someone had rapped me sharply on my head, I'm pretty sure it would have *DOING*-ed like a church bell.
Every bite I ate did nothing to fill my stomach. I could sense the hunger behind my eyes, and people walking by regarded me warily, like one does a wolf.
Not that I see many wolves around here, but you know. They could be there.
And it was cold, and grey, and I didn't venture outside once between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., which is basically from dawn to very very dark..
And I said things too harshly to my friends and my sister, and now everyone is mad at me but I don't have the brain space to worry about it right now, just like I don't have the time to do my laundry or clean my bathroom or finish my painting or put away my clean dishes or go Christmas shopping or even be nice to my parents. I don't have the energy to look the cute guy in the eye because I feel greasy and sad and too thin and I can't bring myself to pull up some confidence and smile. Not now. Maybe next week.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rough Travelling in Cyprus

 the three of us, after hitching a ride with some university professors to the tip of Cyprus
 the lawn chair that we used as a wind breaker in our cave on the beach
 the really quite cool old people on the tour we first hitched a ride from
the last little town before there were no more towns or villages

This is me, who after hibernating for weeks and letting my brain turn into mush from too much school and not enough dreaming, this is me remembering the second time I ever hitchhiked and how absolutely terrified I was to stick my thumb out, to open myself to the world and the road and every single car going past. I don't like to draw attention to myself like that. I feel it is invoking attention that is not positive, or negative, it is just a split second discernment by the drivers going by of who you are, where you are from, where you are going, and why.
The three of us caught a bus as far North as we could, and then started walking on the  main road out of town. I knew that we wanted to head North, North East-ish, and there was a sign eventually that pointed to a monastery and so we followed that road. We walked through a quiet neighbourhood, all little run down huts with yards with chickens and pigs and goats in them, and then we came upon a little grocery store so we bought a loaf of bread, some chocolate spread, a pack of biscuits, and three bananas. And then we kept on walking.
C had done the most hiking before, and he calculated that if we didn't find a ride it would take us around 10 hours to walk with our packs. It was a mild day, almost too warm, and it felt like limbo to not know exactly where we were or where we were going. We had a vague destination (Golden Beach) but other than that we had no guide books or maps or even sleeping bags. Looking back, it was quite foolish of us to just march off along this highway into a National Park with no supplies.
Luckily, we had walked for about 20 minutes before a large bus drove past us, and D stuck out her thumb. To our surprise, it actually stopped for us, and we ran to catch up to it, and hopped on to find it was a tour bus from a fancy hotel full of old English and German tourists going to see the Park and the monastery (the same one we had seen the sign for) for the day. The tour guide welcomed us, asked where we were headed, and said that they could drop us off at Golden Beach on their way back from the monastery. So we stowed our packs, and sat at the very back with an elderly couple from Cambridge. They were cool, obviously, since they had chosen to sit at the very back.

We chatted with them, and they asked us where we were from and why we were in the deepest backwaters of Cyprus, and I think they felt a little parently towards us. Which was OK, because it was sort of nice to have someone know where we were and to worry about us. None of our real parents had any idea, nor had they heard from us in a week.

After we saw the monastery, we said goodbye to the old tourists and the tour guide gave us a little map and his phone number in case we ran into trouble before dropping us off at Golden Beach. It was late afternoon by then, and we had had a long day and were looking for a sort of "free shelter". We found a bunch of bungalows and a reception hut that all looked deserted, and we tried the locks on the doors and found them all open but unfurnished. Then someone had the brilliant idea of trying the windows on the reception building, through which we could see had a couple of couch type structures, and voila! The windows were open. So we had shelter for the night. We sat at the picnic tables there on the beach and ate our bread, chocolate, bananas, and most of the biscuits. We were very hungry. Then we wandered the sand and explored the dunes until sunset, and then came back to the shelter area. We sat at the picnic table again and played cards and talked with our flashlights, and I had the brilliant idea of starting a story telling thing, that could be continued for weeks if we chose to write them down and then share them. Around 9 o'clock p.m. we crept through the open window of the reception building, put on all our layers of clothing, and wrapped ourselves in our towels. We were very afraid that someone would come out of the darkness and demand what we were doing, and kick us out into the night. There were a couple of strange lights we saw, and we sent C to investigate while D and I clutched each other tightly and tried not to scream. It was very cold that night, and none of us slept well.

Luckily the sun encouraged us to get up soon enough, and we packed our bags and dragged them down to the beach and hid them in some bushes right before the owners of the place came driving up the road, but they caught C leaving the reception hut. He told them some story about how we was just wondering how much it cost a night to sleep there, and they didn't question him further. He met us back on the beach, and we decided to try sleeping in the cave we had found the day before while exploring the dunes. It was a little sandy cave on the side of the dune, hidden by some bushes, with a shallow rock formation as the roof, but there wasn't much shelter from the wind, and we were afraid of the cold. So I tried dragging a broken lawn chair we found back to the cave as a sort of wind breaker, but we could tell that without a fire we would still freeze.  It was warm during the days, but since it was still only early April, at night the temperature dropped and the strong wind was cool.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Letter to K and S, in our Old Age

When all is said and done, my friends, this is where I want to be:
sitting on a shady porch in the summer time, on a squeaky rocking chair dressed in a long silk dress that feels like cool water on my skin, with a cardigan. There you are, Sab, and Kirsten, old and wrinkled and falling to bits, hardly recognizable from the young things we are today. But we wouldn’t see that, because we see each other almost every day and have seen each other our whole lives. Through getting jobs and moving away, when emails and messages and phone calls are enough because we are pursuing our dreams, to getting married (Kirsten’s will be very cool, hip, expensive, and surprisingly traditional. Sab’s will be colourful and full of loud music and a dance party and unconventional twists. Andrea’s will most likely be something hippy, with bare feet and a BBQ and an outdoor ceremony.) and having our husbands be friends who roll their eyes at us when we gossip and drink too much wine and are silly, to having hordes of children run around Kirsten’s backyard, Sab telling hers to be extra nice to Andrea’s bookish, shy ones, while Kirsten’s are bossy and well mannered. 
Even when our children grow up and move out, and we search for new meaning to fill our days, and our husbands aren’t as sexy as they used to be, and we aren’t either with our grey hair and saggy boobs, we will still hang out and support one another through our parents dying and through big life changes. And little ones too, like changing the colour of the living room to an awful colour and being so embarrassed. Kirsten will pray and then help you move furniture, Sab will tell you what you need to hear even when no one else wants to tell you, and Andrea will listen and write. All are needed to get the most out of life. 
And then, in very twilight years of life, when our friends have been put into homes and our husbands have passed on, when you almost welcome death because you are afraid to be the last one standing, the one who has to suffer through seeing them all go before you, we will sit on creaky rocking chairs and sip on iced Tea. We will cackle at stupid jokes, and make vixen eyes at old men, and whistle at the hot young things. Kirsten will be constantly knitting something for the poor, or her great grandchildren, Sab will be adjusting her earpiece because she is so deaf from listening to loud music when she was young, and Andrea will be secretly adding something alcoholic to their iced Tea. This kind of Love, this decade transcending Love, is what will be waiting for us on that porch. It’s not the same kind of love we will have for our spouses, but it is just as powerful, if not more so. This kind of Love is what guarantees that we will not die alone, but rather slip gracefully away in the night with your two best friends holding your hands, saying, see you in a while, it won’t be long now, they could never separate us for long. 
And that, my friends, is why we should never be afraid of what is ahead, because at the end of it all, and through the middle and the beginning and the thick and the thin, we are there for one another. Love is the most important thing, and we are rich in it. 
I like writing secrets and truthful tough things on paper, rather then the computer. Paper can be burnt, ripped into a thousand pieces, dissolved in water or the toilet, eaten by my dog, buried in the bottom of a box of junk on its way to Value Village, whereas once it's typed, it's permanent. It feels cathartic to put the worst thoughts and stories imaginable on something so full of possibilites.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

He makes me upset. He has the capacity to ruin my entire day, make me shake and feel dizzy and pale and short of breath and like I want to cry. Why can't he leave me alone? Why can't I leave him alone either? He has made it very clear that he doesn't want to be friends, doesn't want to be anything but lovers, and I don't agree.
But he told Robyn that we had a chemistry that he couldn't ignore, that I was purposely avoiding but that existed more strongly then he had ever felt before, and that that was the reason why, after 4 years, he gambled everything he had and lost.
I don't agree, I don't agree, I don't agree. His telling me he wants to be with me in only a sexual way makes me feel like a slut, a whore, used and hurt and bruised. AND YET- I loved him once. We did have a bond between us. I feel like this isn't the boy I know, he would never act like this, and that's why it hurts.
And the reason I shake and go pale and feel dizzy every time I see him, or hear from him, is because once I thought I did know him, and the him I once knew would never lie, and so maybe- just maybe- he is right about this too. Maybe we do belong together, and I am blind. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Most of the time I feel apart. Once in a while I’ll get this feeling of belonging, of being not whole and separate and contained but joined with others in a strange way. But most of the time it’s individual. 
I like it. Not all the time of course, but usually I like being on my own planet. It’s protective, because you can stare out all you want and they can stare in, but no one can touch you. 
Once in a while, I’ve had people join me. For instance there was Ivan, for years and years we were on the same plane of existence without actually ever touching. And there was Jill, for a time, and Scott before he went away, and maybe someday I’ll meet someone who isn’t like me, exactly, but complimentary to me, and it will work out to benefit the world beautifully. 
For now though I want to be true and brave and keep my head above the water. I want to be settled in my skin, to feel my bones are my bones, my sinews are my sinews, my blood is my blood. That my eyes aren’t just eyes, but a way of exploration. To feel, really feel, the clothing against my skin and your skin on my skin and the world on my skin.