Archive for January, 2006

To Robert

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

My Boy in Chicago – one of the best writers I know loves this poet and this poem reminds me of his writing:


There is a girl you like so you tell her
your penis is big, but that you cannot get yourself
to use it. Its demands are ridiculous, you say,
even self-defeating, but to be honored, somehow,
briefly, inconspicuously in the dark.

When she closes her eyes in horror,
you take it all back. You tell her you’re almost
a girl yourself and can understand why she is shocked.
When she is about to walk away, you tell her
you have no penis, that you don’t

know what got into you. You get on your knees.
She suddenly bends down to kiss your shoulder and you know
you’re on the right track. You tell her you want
to bear children and that is why you seem confused.
You wrinkle your brow and curse the day you were born.

She tries to calm you, but you lose control.
You reach for her panties and beg forgiveness as you do.
She squirms and you howl like a wolf. Your craving
seems monumental. You know you will have her.
Taken by storm, she is the girl you will marry.

Mark Strand

Shit Fire Flat TIre

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

When Blue didn’t make the turn this time and had the tire blow out I just though of N saying you need air in this and that tire and how good grief I do not take the turns well. But a flat tire it was but luckily in front of Parkway and AAA came sooner than expected and the spare is a full size and now I will deal with this on return. But everthing else from the evening doesn’t have a AAA rep to deal with it as speedily and friendly as Greg. So we despair and we wonder and we just try to deal. Do we miss? Yes. We do. Are we strong and doing what is right? Yes we are. But it is hard. So hard. And there it is.

Plan B

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Another outstanding day here in the Crescent City – walked around the bayou with N and Renny this morning and we talked about plans for Mardi Gras – what parades are definite and where to see them. We’ll probably head to our usual spot, which happens to be too close to where I don’t want to be but I’m going to just ignore that presence over there and enjoy myself. In the meantime, passing by the LaLa is now starting to make me feel more endeared to it. Only I try to keep my distance as we are still months away from completion and god knows dollars over what the original cost was supposed to be. The pool has been put on hold or value engineered for the time being – but there has to be a pool – with lots of splashing around – one day.

P is coming in for Mardi Gras and may stay with me – I am perfecting my Electric Slide so I can show him the steps. N is going to work with me on it as she used to be a dance instructor and also has an inherent ability to follow these sorts of structured dances better than me who is free form, wild form, all the way.

L called from California to catch up, said she hasn’t had a chance to read the blog (ha) even though she said she knows a lot of people who do read it – hoping she can visit soon but trying to hold out until I am actually in the LaLa so that we can break the house in together. We spoke girl to girl about the goings on with S and with N and with life in general. She lent a good ear and agreed that all my choices these days are pretty much in line with clear thinking and things just are what they are.

L called from school since I didn’t see him at playdate this morning cause P has the dogs – to ask how I am doing with my withdrawal from N and I told him I am actually quite fine, and kind of calm being divorced from his confusion and L said, wow, sounds like you mean it this time. What? He thought I was going to stay perpetually hinged to a man who is uncertain about his feelings for me – after all we’ve been through? Let’s refer back to the quote Sandee gave me a while ago – I am able to let go of things that don’t serve me and move on rather quickly. I didn’t walk away from a 15-year marriage quickly – but after 15 years I felt like I wasn’t getting what I wanted/needed and was able to make the call to leave even if it was and still is sad. The time invested in N is relatively shorter if not more intense but the past 40+ days have been so fraught with confusion and waves of here it comes again that I wasn’t quite sure on any given morning when I looked out the window if the surf was up or down, and each day became more precarious in its waxing and waning.

Spent some nice chat time with mom who seems to have pulled out of this ludicrous commitment to work the graveyard shift – now she is perpetually tired – falling asleep at the dinner table most every night – it will take a while to get her clock back to normal. The home is using agency nurses to infill and that’s better than a 70 year old woman. I still need to get her out of her apartment but right now trying to deal with my matters first and then hope to be able to address hers in the near future. A small cottage came up for sale around the corner from LaLa but what was going for $170K is now asking $225K in these pre-Katrina ridiculous times where value is meaningless.

Seeing E early evening, then cocktails with S, and then sushi with L. After playdate tomorrow morning the Bean will go on with N and I’ll head out to SF for meetings/dinner, meetings/dinner, meetings/dinner – and so on. The solace of traveling alone for business is sometimes a good place to hide – along with a good book recommended by my buddy B in Boston in tow.

And at the end of the day, you throw yourself into what’s there and hope you find the comfort and joy you seek. And failure we all know is a way of the world telling you you are on the wrong path. Some of us – dumb beasts of burden like myself – take a lot of pounding on the head before the light bulb goes off over our head – but it’s the ones that never get it that are to be pitied, not the slow sick fks like myself.

The Mother Lode

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Sunny day again here – N called this morning to talk about UNO and the rearrangement of offices etc – it’s all a constant shifting universe around here – the new normal. She and the Snake have decided to paint the tub red – and so I look forward to my first bath at the camp when the addition is done.

S came by last night for dinner and we had a long heart to heart about our life – our good marriage that fell off a cliff – and why – he called this morning and told me something that I waited fifteen years to hear. And again I believe that through chaos comes clarity. And right now I’m thankful to have had those 15 years. He said he found a chart I put together for our 10th wedding anniversary = the milestones of our life together. I remember the chart and what became readily apparent is for two people who love travel as much as we do, we travelled little for personal pleasure and a lot for work – having made our careers priorities. After a time it would be good to do another milestone chart and see if in connecting the dots things are lining up as I would like them to do.

Leaving for San Francisco Wednesday for meetings and some personal business to take care of – it will be go go go but surrounded again by people I want to see even if I am not thrilled to be in SF nor care if I ever went there again. But I’ll bring my running shoes and run along the Embarcadero and steal from it the good things and forget about the bad. I just hope their weather is equal to this wonderful weather we’ve been having here.

Went by the LaLa to leave copies of the drawings for K – opened the shutters in the kitchen and saw light streaming in and felt as if perhaps when it is all done, it will be a home, and I will be happy there. When the plywood comes off the front windows and the front doors are back on – it will be a portal to the bayou that has become a symbol of renewal and hope with the return of the pelicans, herons, egrets and even the stubborn nutria that paddles around. I spied small fish jumping out of the water last night – wonder where all the fat old timers have gone?

A writer for the Picayune who comes to play date said there are several agencies addressing the Katrina dogs and he is writing an article about it soon. The SPCA has still not reopened here but apparently the one on the west bank is fully functioning. If I can build some cages in the back of Blue I will happily take a bunch with me when we have to evacuate again.

L has been busy lately with all sorts of goings on. K called out of the blue with loving words. He doesn’t have the dogs and so I felt okay missing playdate this morning. Too tired to go anyway after two sleepless nights.

The Deal Breaker

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Another beautiful day here – a long conversation with N that kept hinging on one thing that is the deal breaker with me – the one thing I refuse to compromise on – and so it is and so we are and so are done.

Steve sees ashes, I see a Phoenix.


No Warning No Reason

Because he left her, she must make him
someone she doesn’t love, rescripting as
deception their hand-clasped walks at dusk
when she felt his was the hand of God
linking her to him because she was
so blessed to be given this love
this late in life. It must have been lies:
each touching word, all thoughtfulness,
his shows of pleasure putting her first,
his endearing sex talk that first
amused her then got to her
(his hot moist breath the poison in her ear)
as he learned with seemingly selfless patience
how to move inside her as no one ever had before.
How can she change memories like these?
He must have been lying
because the man who did these things
could not leave her with no warning or reason.
But she knows he wasn’t,
and, because she knows he wasn’t,
she is stuck. No one can help her.
No one can enter the sacred circle they made together
she now wears as a necklace of fire.
How can she obliterate the person he is?
What is she to do? She has to live.

Michael Ryan

Let’s Not and Say We Did

Friday, January 27th, 2006

The big old sun just set directly out of my window – helps me figure out east from west at least. But it’s Friday night and well – the agenda is loose and must the IPOD be playing – “If loving you is wrong?” Good lord it’s like some comedy show around here.

Meanwhile, mom and the spa – what can I say – she got a manicure and pedicure yesterday in preparation for going to our mother and daughter spa day – shaking my head right now. She’s very worried about S and now she’s very worried about me. Best to relieve her of at least one of these worries. We went across the street and sat in the courtyard and had a nice lunch. And I on my new program, went by the store on the way home and bought some seasoning to put on a pot of red beans. I put half a cow in the pot with the beans and now the smell is yummy.

The verdict came in yesterday as I tallied up the emails and voicemails that I am a nutball. So I attempted to address the issue but don’t know if there is any escaping the nuttiness. It might be permanent. IM from R in Chicago – said he reads my blog and thinks it’s all sad. Easy for him who writes humor so fluidly – I always wrote tragedy and he knows that having read enough of my writing through the years. My own mother chimed in saying I can’t tell you anything because you’re my daughter and I love you and I said well act like I’m not your daughter and without skipping a beat she said you are acting like a nut. I mean when your own mother speaks up it gives a girl pause. At lunch she got all teary eyed about S and I realized how much of a strain on her both of her daughters are right now when we should have outgrown burdening her.

Spoke with N who is back at the camp trying to decide what to paint the claws foot tub – yellow or blue – hard to say – I suggested red. She said that UNO is still trying to figure out the way and still struggling to figure that out. The guy who massaged me today said that when he first came back it took him two months to figure out how to give a massage because everything was different – the aches his customers complained of – his ability to identify problems in their bodies – he too is trying to renovate a house and wants to beat his head against a wall. Sheetrock double the price. Subs impossible to get and hold onto. Just unadulterated nuttiness.

So we’re all in this swirling pot together. Smell the red beans on the stove so have to get going.

A grey horse

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

This contractor seems to be just what the doctored ordered. In 3 weeks they are going to start framing up the addition and then we should start seeing progress. In the meantime, the city is readying itself for Mardi Gras and you look around and sometimes think there has been little progress. But today I walked into my apartment at the Can to find two men under my desk – hello? – they were connecting my internet which is about the second best thing that has happened this week – contractor – internet – Thunderbirds Are Go!

Driving home this afternoon I took the corner of the bayou only to see a large pelican perched on the edge looking out towards Cabrini. Beautiful creatures. I read somewhere that there are less of them this year, but having never seen so many of them around myself, I enjoy even a solitary one.

Reminded mom of our spa treatment and she said she already had a pedicure and manicure so didn’t need one – good grief, what goes on?

Lots of restructuring to do with work over the next couple of weeks to try to find the best balance there between the groups that merged. Feel grateful the internet is on here finally so I can bite into this with more gusto. Had a nice talk with J about what I am doing, what we are doing, etc. and there was a sense of purpose that came out of that conversation – this is working, this isn’t – all things that can be addressed with some attention given to it.

L and I were testy this morning walking around the bayou with the dogs – think after a while things just start grinding and I know what he wants right now and K is being so aloof and everything else has been grinding at him. We’re all just trying to get into our routines but he and N have been dealing with UNO and the mess of that trying to work from remote places and figuring out how to deal when the life of a professor is supposed to be about re-reading and calm not juggling place and people to such a large degree. P will have the dogs all next week and she is back in the picture with joint custody, which should give L some relief with his three dogs but it will be lonely for him when they’re gone.

L in California called and it was so good hearing her voice. She was in the midst of two kids in the car and taking Bruno to the vet so we’ll catch up later tonight. IM with A tonight thinking about the future and whether it is bright or not – consensus, yes.

When did the internet become like running hot water? It feels like someone has restored a missing piece of the puzzle here.

Katrina Dogs

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Driving home last night through the darkness of Broad and Louisana and across Jeff Davis – you see the shadowy figures of stray dogs that have lost their homes since Katrina. There are a bunch of good looking dogs out there but they all look scared. People leave food along the bayou for them, but I wonder if there is some other effort going on to try to shelter these dogs. Note to self to check into this.

Everything Spins

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

I looked for shooting stars last night but didn’t see a one. Then the spinning of the afternoon crescendo’d but fell away when the clock struck midnight – later, asleep, the soul fairies entered my dreams and took my soul – morning came with the emptiness – I thought about sending a cry for help – I lay there motionless until Arlene forced me to take her down to pee. Then those damn fairies were back and promptly returned my soul to me.

There was an 18-hour period of trying to right what is wrong and the wires were getting crossed and our minds were getting cross and we started spinning and then there was a tangle to untangle and so on until it finally righted itself.

Once I got through the waking up part of the day, I walked down to the LaLa with Arlene in tow and visited with B – there was something suddenly calming about sitting on the front porch talking to him. He said I love you Rachel but you are now in sink or swim mode and I looked at the bayou, that I know is deep in the middle and thought “stones in the pockets?” but it was such a beautiful day – the Lion sun was out, the water was sparkling like brilliant diamonds and the universe kept its spin while mine slowed.

Good news posted on the door at the Can – internet up this Friday or Saturday. Then a meeting set up with K – N’s contractor and so the day’s agenda started coming together. Got some work in, talked to some people in the group that I needed to catch up with – had a good call with O who threw her arms around me through the telephone wires and then actually late in the afternoon got in a disco nap that was delicious.

I walked up at 4 to K on the phone in front of the LaLa and had a feeling of control and no spin – instantly liked her and just hearing her talk about what could be done started feeling like maybe it was possible for LaLa to come together after all, albeit at a much higher cost than originally thought so a complete drain on assets but there it is. Felt comfortable with N there to guide the design issues as on that side I am generally clueless.

So now internet at the Can, LaLa maybe on go, soul back in its cage, and work easier to process and another January day that was incomparable in its beauty – the bayou just gorgeous. Sitting here in the courtyard, temperate evening with Besame Mucho playing in the background.

I made E laugh out loud with some of the goings on even though I walked in saying it had been a bad bad bad day yesterday afternoon. N had asked me to ask her a question that made her belly laugh – naturally it was linked to what started the spin so at first I was like okay, I’m crying here, do you mind? You got to like it when you can get your therapist going.

Now to start taking care of myself – go to the grocery and get food – important – cannot live on energy bars alone anymore despite having no appetite for much else – force it. And later this week mom and I will spend some time together for her belated birthday spa day. It’s all goody – it sometimes spins – but when you learn to recognize the signposts you can ride the tide up and down a lot smoother.

Ruminations and Ruination and Rage

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

I’d like to say that I am jumping up and down over getting the LaLa but as N says – it’s a mess. He estimates $200K + to finish – how could this job have been so underestimated? So now just trying to figure it all out and it doesn’t look pretty.

I spoke with J this morning about how to proceed with work in the meantime – the cafe for internet and scheduled land line days at my mom’s to call sources – back and forth, up and down, round and round it keeps going. I told him that C called yesterday to talk to me about a marketing bonus and said that I would have been exceptional last year had I not had personal problems so I was only just great.

Yesterday started slow – with a late sleep after not getting to bed till about 3AM. Then it was a pretty disheartening missive from N as she got angry at something L told her that was somewhat inocuous but who knows I wasn’t there and can’t get into the she said he said with them and then a day of conversations that started with “Well you’re still speaking to me so I guess that says something” from a missive sent late the night before – all the way to sadness and finally laughter. The hard part is harder than imagined but it is full of discovery which makes it up and down, started writing this this morning and with all the days that seem to stretch to this one, at first I would have said the discovery was leading to better awareness but today the awareness meant swallowing something I had tucked away in the recesses of my mind. My first reaction was like a kick in the stomach – the next was a loss of appetite and as I sat there trying to get back down on this planet and smile my way through lunch I thought this time I might not make it back and would surely go insane.

Still slightly ill and trying to lock these thoughts up again – no place to tuck them in.

I ran hard for one hour with my eyes closed and the music loud – and I figure there is only one way out of this funk right now – RAGE – so off to buy a pack of cigs and after meeting with E will find a hole to do that in and try to erase the place my mind is in because if it stays here I might conjure up that wild child inside of me and not put her back on the shelf when I’m done.

“Worried. Need Laughter” – well I think I need meds actually because I have no laughter to offer up.