Arg

Right now, I wish I could say to someone “pay attention! Things are so close to being good.”  But I can’t.  They’re wrapped in their own stuff.

So I can say it to you, my FreakinUniverse friends, my ever-growing circle o’ friends.

I wish I could say something like “think about how awesome that was, let’s do that 5 times a year! And you can do your thing over there, and I’ll do mine over here, and let’s negotiate the details another time.”  But I can’t say that either.  I hate keeping quiet.

And I’d say something like, “I know you’re hurting.  Tell me what I can do!”  But I’m not sure there’s anything I can do, so I’m keeping quiet.  And not liking it, but staying out of it.

It’s not my place to say a word in this instance.  It’s my place to wait for one.  Arg.

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Today’s been much better, thanks

Wow.  Today was much better than yesterday.  Actually, by late last night, all was better in the world, most everything back in balance and harmony.

But yesterday was rough…I guess it was rough because it can be tough to really feel anything, like get down in the feeling  and wallow, immerse yourself in the moment.   And it was very necessary to go that deep, and by midnight, things were better.

We spend our days skimming the surface, don’t we?  We are never truly happy–“oh, I’m happy, sure, but I’d be happier if…”  We never let ourselves be lost in love–“he’s super but I’d like him more if…”  Hell, we never even really let ourselves be sad–“my friend of 20 years just died, but I need to get back to work…”  In hindsight, I think yesterday was a good day of sorts in getting real, feeling, being.

 All is well. Really.

I am not having any post-Warren Wilson College acid flashbacks, I’m not going all hippie dippy trippy on you, friends, just trying to share what I know to be true from experience in the Things That Matter (the capital letters in that phrase aren’t mine, I’m borrowing them from a friend).  Step away from your computer and feel something, feel anything, all the way through to your soul.  It’s time we stop skimming the surface.

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Darn you, Diggity–random Suburbia ranting

Ok, I had to watch Suburbia tonight.  It’s been nagging at me since we got on the subject of TSOL and the Vandals and me swapping spit with Bruce when I was 15.  Darn you, Diggity, you brought this whole thing up.

If you haven’t watched Suburbia before, well, I would say it might be too late for you.  Maybe if you grew up as a teen in a trench coat and a tshirt held together with safety pins, you could watch it and get it.  Otherwise, I think it might be lost on you.

I’d forgotten how bad ass hot the character Jack is in that movie!  And how STUPID all the female characters are, oh my god, stupid.  The male characters and the concerts remind me so much of growing up in Asheville and throwing ourselves around the loading dock of the Chesterfield Mill or the Spider’s Web or Squashpile to our favorite bands, and how music and friendship was absolutely everything in that moment.

And crap! I’d forgotten how horribly the movie ends!  Geez.  But at least it’s out of my system for the moment–the movie, not the music.

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Sigh.

So the Kat Box has been a source of refuge for years now for me, a place to go and hide and vent and wail and cry when I can’t go anywhere else, when I’m afraid to go anywhere else.

And so it is again today.

I am a tired Kat, tired of giving only to be smacked by so many issues, so many boundaries.  I am a forgiving person, accepting of so much.  And those who know me best would say I am a kind person, I think, beyond the prickly facade.  I think I’m often taken advantage of because I want to see the best in people, I want to help them be their best, and when they’ve grown enough, taken enough, made some realizations, they just walk away. 

But I suppose I’m as much to blame as anyone because I give of my time, my energy, so freely these days.  When Chris died earlier this year, it was such a blow, such a reality check, a resounding “what am I waiting for?” I stopped minding my words and editing my emotions so much, and I’ve tried to live with honesty and integrity and passion and enthusiasm.  And generally, that’s good, that’s really really good.  There’s a lot to experience when you try to live fully, and I’m trying.

And then there are days like today, where I’ve made a special effort to really reach out, an effort that humbled me and really made my stomach turn because it was so beyond my norm, but I did it.  The proverbial door that was slammed in my face surprised the hell out of me.  It didn’t just hurt my feelings, it hurt somewhere deeper, a queasy, keening ache that tears don’t even touch.  I didn’t see it coming…to use the door metaphor a little more, I thought the door might only open part way, inquisitively, just a smidgen, but I never imagined it to be closed and locked, throw away the key.

So. Ouch.  I hurt from my brain to my toes like I’ve been kicked, I’m so very tired.  But at the end of the day, I can say I tried.  I did my best today, I tried.  I was honest, I was human, I tried.

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People are mean…

So I was at a local gas station, snagging a quick bottle o’ caffeinated joy on the go.  There was a woman at the front of the line, counting out change, much to the obvious annoyance of the cashier and other folks in line.  I wasn’t sure what was going on exactly, I was too far back in line.

Once I got closer to the front, the cashier and others were still talking about it.  The woman was pre-paying for gas (most places now force you to pay your cash up front or swipe a card, pretty much the norm).  She bought 78 cents worth.  By the time I understood this, she was driving away… I would’ve filled her tank had I known what was going on.

What struck me most was how mean and nasty everyone in the store was being.  “She paid mostly in pennies, can you believe it?”  Ummm, last I heard, pennies were still legal tender in our country.  “Where does she think she’s going to go with 78 cents worth of gas?”  Home would be my guess, or off to work at some piss-poor paying job in our generous town.

This whole scenario bothered me so much that I jotted down what I saw of her car’s tag in hopes that maybe someday soon when I hit the lottery, I can find her and fill her tank with gas and her cabinets with food for a year, ease her burdens.  I’ve been there.  I’ve been the person who has paid for gas with a handful of change just to get to my crappy job waiting tables, so maybe on the way home from the crappy job I could go nuts and put a whopping $2 worth of gas in the car.

I have had no place to live at a point in my adult life.  I have slept on the floor of the place where I worked, leaving like everyone else at quitting time, only to sneak back a few hours later and sleep on the cold tile floor.  I have rationed out slices of bread until payday, and even let go of being a vegetarian at my poorest because bologna was almost always ‘buy one get one free’ at the local supermarket, and two packages of bologna would go a lot further than the broccoli I could buy for the same amount of money.  I remember when a dog bit through my hand, leaving a hole that required an emergency room visit, I had to negotiate and wheel and deal with the pharmacy to get them to let me split my prescription for antibiotics into small doses so I could pay for them every couple days.

It doesn’t matter why she could only pay for gas with the change clutched in her fist.  It doesn’t matter if she’s on drugs or her husband drank their paycheck or she’s lost her job or her child had a medical emergency and they spent all their money at the pharmacy.  What matters is that she’s another person, someone with a story, someone’s child, possibly even someone’s mother.  How dare another human being look at her and mock her for doing the very best she could at that moment in time. 

People disappoint me in their meanness, their callousness.  Maybe I’m too sensitive, I dunno, but the ugliness of the human heart frightens me.

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That absolutely made me think of being 15…

Reading through another blog here in the FreakinUniverse (check it out!), I was taken back to being 15…I had to be 15 because I didn’t have my driver’s license.

Sharon and I had met some guys at the movies.  James and Bruce.    James and Bruce were causing drama in the lobby of the movies with their yo-yos, doing silly tricks.  James was older than us, and if I remember right, Bruce was a few months younger than me.  MAN, was I into Bruce immediately.  It was a defining pheromone moment in my memory, just being near him made me crazy.  Sharon was digging James, and that was good, because I was oblivious to anything but Bruce and his…yoyo.

So somehow a week later, we all ended up in James’ car going to someone’s birthday party.  There was going to be a band, I’m sure there was going to be booze in the punch.  I was in the backseat with Bruce and T.S.O.L. was blaring out of the tape player (no CD players in cars just yet) and I remember wearing black, all black, and Bruce and I had on the same black Chucks.  There was a whole lotta kissin’ going on in the backseat, innocent, no wild raunchy behavior, just that I’m so into you feeling that washes over your brain and makes you feel drugged.  Sharon and James, I think, were annoyed by our happiness.

At the party, I never saw the band.  Bruce and I ran away, hid in a storage building and talked and kissed and made goofy plans.  Sharon was furious, because she’d found out James had a girlfriend and she’d apparently been looking for me for hours.  Ooops.

I don’t think I ever saw Bruce again.  Neither one of us could drive, and with the whole James/Sharon thing not panning out, we had no way to hang out.  But every time I hear T.S.O.L. or “Pat Brown” by the Vandals, I think of Bruce for just a second.  And yoyo-ing at Beaucatcher Cinemas.

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In Praise of the Wingman

Chiquita, as many of you know, has been my wingman for more than a decade now.   Traditionally, the wingman flies the support plane when you’re in dangerous territory.  There is also your dating wingman who helps you in the search and destroy scene that is modern romance; your dating wingman will talk you up, make you the center of attention.  Last but not least, your social wingman is there to support your wildest schemes, keep the mingling going at your parties and, to blatantly steal a line, help you be all that you can be.  Chiquita and I have never flown in a war zone, but she has certainly been my wingman in every other situation you can think of over the years, and a darn fine one at that.

 At my social functions, Chiquita runs an awesome backup to my somewhat rude social graces.  She’ll keep an eye on the music, keep a lookout on the food and keep the conversation going, having memorized a tidbit or two about all my guests.  At a bar, if I’ve thrown myself into some dancing, flailing frenzy, Chiquita is at the ready with water so I don’t dehydrate and die.  In day to day life, she nudges and nags so that I’m not letting opportunities pass me by.  She is the Gayle to my Oprah, the Cal Naughton to my Ricky Bobby.

Right now, there’s something on my mind that I need to do.  Chiquita is aware of the situation and has called and emailed me a variety of options to help me with the outcome.  Hell, if I’d let her, she’d do this one thing for me just to get it over with so we could move on to actually coordinating the end result.  In the meantime, Chiquita’s got my back.  She’s talking me up.  She has me convinced I can conquer the world, and with a good wingman, I believe I can.

 So raise a glass, friends…I shall raise my iced green tea with honey and a dash o’ mint…and we will toast our wingmen.  Cheers!

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I hate waiting for other people

You ever feel like you’re in a huge holding pattern, just waiting for someone to do something, say something, so you can move on to the next thing?  You’re waiting for that affirmative or that negative response, one way or the other, so you can move forward.

And sometimes, it seems like you’re waiting, waiting forever, so you nudge the other person a little, “hey, uhhh, whatcha think?” and usually they’re all annoyed that you’re rushing them…

 Egads, when I rule the world, people will just blurt things out, wild with enthusiasm so there’s no waiting, waiting, waiting…

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