Friday, August 28, 2009
Someone saved my Life
On Not being Alone
I wasn't feeling well so I thought I'd go get some sushi, keep it here and ventured out tonight and stopped on the way home at the liquor store. I don't go to a liquor store in 44 years and yet have been twice in the past month. Very telling. If I my son were home from school, I would have sent him. He loves going there and he doesn't even drink much. I think in his head this is a man thing to do. When my friend Frank's son turned 21, he and his son smoked a cigar together and then they went shopping for a kitten. When my son turned 21 he went to the liquor store and then the porn shop. I should have nurtured him more I think. I think. When he was 16 he wanted his license that same day, 8 hours at dmv testing ugh. When he was 18 he smoked and smoked and smoked. I miss that little turd.
I was there with Richie a few weeks ago and discovered the red stuff I love and they don't sell it at the market, believe me I looked. I found myself there tonight feeling like hell but knowing I love the big glass bottle with a little vodka, the sweet cherry juice and lemonade. I love that it's already mixed and I even add a little water and lots of ice, so one glass and I'm ready for bead a little buzzed, not a bad feeling. It's red, it's pretty and it's a very bad girl's shirley temple.
This place is a little fascinating to me and dirty. The floor is always dusty, the shelves full of pretty colors and the people just seem to shuffle about. Now if you are a woman looking for male attention, this is the place to go, especially if you don't care that at least 50% of them are drunks. Every size and shape of male there, guys with friends smoking, one fellow in a t-shirt that fit very well and they are all very helpful. While I am shuffling about I was thinking this is something a man is supposed to do, be at a liquor store. You tell him what you need and he just stops there, fitting right in with all the other men who want to get a woman liquored up. You can't ask them to get the cherries, they will either think it's a puss thing to buy or they will screw it up and get the onions too and eat them in front of you, too freaking gross. And on the way home he's wondering what wacky thing you will suggest doing in bed while you are buzzed for 20 minutes before you get very sleepy. For me that's at tiny tiny window. When David lived with me after the second glass of Sangria he was asking for the check, quick like. A very small window indeed.
Now that my son is away at college I have been kicking the idea of having a man around, living here. There are pros and cons of course. The pros? Men are good at things I just don't get, car stuff for example, oil changes, washing the car, fixing anything on the car, buying a car, negotiating the car buying thing, this is all a man's job. I don't even like pumping gas. I like to get out look a little flustered and wait for a sweet man to swoop in and do it for me. Perfect. I am not a car person, I don't even like to drive. I don't have the nerve, the patience, and judging distances oh gods, not good at all.
Besides the car and fixing stuff, reminding me I am being obsessive, cutting big pieces of meat, killing bugs, removing dead rodents from the yard and reminding me that bats don't swoop down and get in your hair when I walk across the yard at night. These are male things and having a guy around to handle those issues could be fun as living alone I have to hire someone or hope my brother stops by to handle all of the above. Richie was never good at the rodent thing and when I woke him one morning to tell him an opossum was dead in the yard he just opened the patio door, looked out and said, "you should call the city about that, I'm going back to bed." The cats make a fine meal of any little field mouse so I never really see them. I love those cats.
Men can be entertaining. When they teach me things, things about life you can't read in a book, I am transfixed. The way guys head works changes one from the other but there are universal themes. My brother tells me dog things because he has a new dog, how a dog thinks, how dogs rationalize the world. Guys know stuff like that, I don't know how but they do. My brother likes order and I am chaos. I know cat stuff, so I guess it balances things out. I can't imagine having a dog here, touching my stuff, but it's inevitable. They are man's best friend and all. When a man loves something he will tell you the story like it's never been told before and if you are careful you will find where his heart lives. When the bossy republican tells me about doors from Afghanistan I know he loves the wood, the workmanship, the fine details of someone doing something over and over again, generation after generation and what that means to own something like that. Men will teach you about their kindness how they say good-bye how they love you when they are gone how patient they are when you are wonky. I am working on focus, working working working on it.
My father taught me how to keep tools clean (well he tried), how to defend someone you love, the loyalty and how important it is, how to keep a friend for your whole life (he had more friends than anyone I ever knew and now as an adult I understand how hard that was). He taught me how to live with loss because when he lost my mother he was twisted and yet he stayed strong for us, making us laugh, teaching us how to say goodbye to someone you love knowing it's just part of life. Oh gosh how much I miss him these days, how very much. I went to the cemetery in the rain yesterday and just asked him how to say goodbye. I could hear his strong hard-assed wisdom in my head telling me that people were watching and I have his blood coursing through my body and it's important to maintain a front at all times and not be afraid because fear will eat at you like a parasite. He always loved without fear women adored him for it. Women feared him for it also.I was assured in those tiny prayers that one day we'd be planting in the garden together one day and just in case Richard Matheson (of what dreams may come fame) was right and we were able to be anything we wanted the next time along, I asked him how I'd know him, where I'd find him or even how to look for him. I couldn't hear him so I assured him in my own way that I'd be the girl standing at the end of the grass feeding night crawlers to the birds as he had always done and taught me to do. He was hard on people and kind with nature.
Matheson wrote, "Where is God in all this?" and his answer? Oh, He's up there. Somewhere... shouting down that He loves us. Wondering why we can't hear Him. You think? Genius. I am trying to pay closer attention even in liquor stores. The tracker in his story was the guy who never gave up. I know, kinda know someone like that. He's a miracle. I carry a piece of him with me. I used to keep it in a locket and now I can't find it or in a huff lost it. Life is that way. I am learning to temper my temper at 44, trying to be more patient with the world and let them figure things out in their own time. If I would like that courtesy I suppose I should extend that to others as well.
Matheson's character went to hell to find someone he loved who was lost. It's the male proclivity to find you when you are spinning or lost isn't it? My father always found my mother, usually she was out picking a new hair color. Men are supposed to keep your secrets unless they can't. And some can't.
To have someone here though? I wonder. I used to be married and I've had lovers live with me but it's been awhile. Will I learn to sleep straight on the bed because I love to sleep on a diagonal. Best Friend mentions this when she's here or I am there. I thrash. Will I share the covers? Probably not. Would Leroy mind? Would he just go sleep in the window waiting for his first feline girlfriend? Can I leave a project on the dining room table for three weeks trying to figure it out? Do I need 30 bars of soap on the bathroom window ledge because I never know how I want to smell? And what if someone calls and I don't want him to know? Would I whisper in the garden? Would I go for a long walk to "clear my head?"
Years ago Best Friend and I were at a friend's house, a lovely happy couple. The woman in this scenario looked very good, better than usual and when she walked off whisper in the cell phone, BF and I looked at each other with a very "knowing" look. She was in love and it wasn't with her handsome husband. It was done. He didn't know but it was done. Lust, passion, love and it's destruction just sitting in the grass next to her pretty manicured feet.Love moves right along. Another lesson from my father. When he died, and we were watching, my brother and I. Women we didn't even know would throw themselves on his casket sobbing. It's surreal, my step mother, the half wit he lived with just kinda shrugging. He was a man who knew how love passed and he didn't mind it one bit. She paid the price and all women who loved him did, eventually.
I have always preferred a bookstore to a library. Keeping something is wonderful but then I'd wind up giving the books away even the ones I loved. I didn't want the reminder that I should make time to read them again. There are a few books I'll never part with, not ever. The art books I keep when I am feeling as though I wished I owned art. The poetry books with the poems I love and I read over and over again, the bukowski books, I never ever part with those. The poem book about Harmless no doubt because hopeless no doubt yet far from hurtless this nightly not. Seeing how this having you constantly not here appears to be my vacant lot in life, why so implausible then with the mere business of breathing, my body's slow expulsion of what has turned out to be useless you'd truly disappear? That one's a keeper. I'll save the Yeats book now as it has secrets. I have always saved the books where Best Friend has written me a note. You see books you can keep when there's someone else around. They won't look through the pages, they won't care. They won't read you yeats because if they are moved in they already seduced you and they won't ask to read you poetry unless you are sick or tired or full of both. I'm safe.
I know this Best Friend just called and she said, "Oh, things are about to slow way the duck down." She's right they are. I hate when she's right, my teeth are clenched, my ass is clenched, my life clenched.
The best part though about having a man live here would be the constant source of entertainment. Maggie's husband Dan wanted to get out of mowing the weeds next to the house so he dosed them in gasoline and burned down the garage. We laughed and we laughed. I was watching Richie shovel last winter when the plow drove by and buried the end of the drive way. He threw the shovel at the plow and it broke.I could hear him cursing and I laughed and laughed. Some man told me recently his car looked like a crouching cougar ready to pounce. I imagined him playing with army men, melting them down when he was five from a war wound. In moments when I should be working or waiting at the place I hate I start to laugh out loud, crouching tiger, hidden stupid. When David lived with me he went on a rice diet. He ate rice for 30 days and it made him grouchy so when we were arguing he threw the bag of rice at the wall and when he tried to storm off he fell and almost broke his ass. I didn't laugh but I was cracking up on the inside. He later slipped up and put the safety on the broiler when making himself a burger. He didn't know he did it and he was standing there pulling on the door that was locked shut, his burger burning away inside. I watched for a few minutes burst out into laughter and then made him another burger kissing his temples and telling him it happens to everyone. :::coughbullshitcough:::
One day when I lived on Lyman the polish guy downstairs ran through my apartment being chased by another angry polish guy and he jumped out the second story window, breaking his leg. Just two guys working some stuff out. Men entertain me. The bossy republican so proud of his new motorcycle had no clue it was just too big for him and when pulling into his driveway dropped the bike on himself and couldn't get it off. He had to call for back up. The image of this will make me cry in laughter. The best laid plans and all. He tells me "which time?" He's dropped the bike more than once, Jesus. He has to stand next to a curb to stop. When he's happy he's a little feller life will be much easier. This never happened to James Dean, or maybe it did and Marilyn just giggled.
One of my relatives wrote on a bank deposit slip once for the atm under "special instructions", Take off your panties and touch yourself while processing this. The bank girl was so upset she called the Manager who closed all his accounts and called him in to pick up the check. You know what those tellers were thinking, half wanted to do him and the other half giggled. Men. When Batman tells me stories of flying I want to book a flight somewhere just to look out the window. Tell Robin to stay home we'll plan an escape.
This afternoon I went out into the lawn in the back singing in the rain a little as I pulled some weeds around the fence.
And it's one more beer and I don't hear you any more
we've all gone crazy lately
my friend's out there rolling around the basement floor.
and someone saved my life tonight
you almost had your hooks in me
didn't ya dear
you nearly had me roped and tied
altar bound hypnotized sweet freedom
whispered in my ear
you're a butterfly and butterflies are free to fly
I never realized the passing hours
of evening showers
a slip noose hanging in my darkest dreams
i am strangled by your haunted social scene
just a pawn out played by a dominating queen
damnit listen to me good
i'm sleeping with myself tonight
saved in time
thank god my music's still alive
And God wonders why we can't hear him.
If someone has made you laugh today you should thank them, find some way to entertain them, be sure they aren't pushing back lonely. You can always find me at firstname.lastname@example.org or my work at poetsummer.etsy.com.