20 May 2016

California Trip; Series of Unfortunate Events

“Why don't you go on west to California? There's work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an orange. Why, there's always some kind of crop to work in. Why don't you go there?” ~ John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
So much has happened since my last entry.  The biggest event that happened was that G and I, along with my cousin, C, took a quick trip out west to California in April.  We went to visit my cousin, Ivy, and her three young sons. She was widowed last year when she came home from work one evening to find her husband dead in their bed.  It was tragic, and even more so as she was at that time twenty weeks pregnant with their third child.

She was featured on The Talk.  Her tragic story can be viewed here:



She has been extremely strong in the face of extreme loss and tragedy, and her faith in God has never wavered.  I salute her, as I have crumbled in lesser challenges.

Our main purpose for visiting California was of course to visit my cousin and offer whatever support we could give, even if just emotional, and despite the rather grey circumstances, we ended up having an amazing time.  It was nice to reconnect with my cousin, and it was nice for G to to spend some time with her cousins.

Ivy and her sons live in what I call Central California, somewhere in between Los Angeles and San Diego.  Although I lived in California when I was younger, I had never been to San Diego.  As such, we took a side trip to San Diego and met with some blog friends who I have "known" since 2003.  It was our first meeting.  I already love these friends, but it was so special to finally see them in person after over a decade of online friendship.

Here is a little video collage of our trip:



This month of May has been challenging.  Earlier in the month, I had made it my mission to take G to a particular park to get a view of the Manhattan skyline sunset.  While I was able to make it to that park, I was not able to leave in style.  My car got a flat tire as I was leaving the park, and it took over an hour to finally get the spare tire (donut) installed.  As I was driving home, wouldn't you believe it, but then the spare got a flat!  Unbelievable bad luck and timing.  Fortunately, I was able to catch the favor and grace of a friend who came to my rescue.

The following week, on Mother's Day actually, I started to feel very ill.  I was at the tire place getting my brand new tire installed and my wheels aligned when I felt as though I was going to faint.  I made it home just in time before I collapsed into my bed with a high-grade fever.

I was incapacitated and delirious for the next three days.  I was so weak, I could barely even sit up in my bed.  Poor G.  I couldn't even take her to school on that Monday.  I did not make it back into my office until that Thursday.

In the middle of all that chaos, I had a falling out with a friend.  Prior to my becoming ill, she had asked me to borrow some money for another crisis she was having with her family overseas.  She has a history of constantly borrowing money, and as usual, she promised to pay me back as soon as humanly possible.  I reluctantly agreed to lend her some money, but then I had become deathly ill, and so my promise to lend her money was soon forgotten.

I did not hear from her during the entire time I was sick, but I finally contacted her when I was recovered enough to make contact again with the public.  She responded with a text telling me that she was angry at me for not lending her the money when she needed it, and I told her that I had fallen very ill, and that I had totally forgotten about the issue.  She was still angry and she said that I was mean for saying yes but not following through with it.  I then reminded her that she in fact was still in debt to me for a few thousand dollars, and that she really had no right to be so angry with me.  She responded that she was tired of me hanging her debt over her head and that being my friend was "exhausting."

I was in no mood for her text rants and ended it by saying that I was done with her "friendship" as well, and that her conscience should tell her how much she should pay me back.  She owes me close to five thousand dollars.  I have a feeling I will never see that money ever again.

It is never a good feeling to end a "friendship" no matter how real or true it is, but I feel good that I am finally moving on from a relationship/friendship that was so toxic.

12 April 2016

Slow Dance

“Nick stands up and offers his hand to me.  I have no idea what he wants, but what the hell, I take his hand anyway, and he pulls me up on my feet then presses against me for a slow dance and it's like we're in a dream where he's Christopher Plummer and I'm Julie Andrews and we're dancing on the marble floor of an Austrian terrace garden.  Somehow my head presses Nick's t-shirt and in this moment I am forgetting about time and Tal because maybe my life isn't over.  Maybe it's only beginning.” ~ Rachel Cohn, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
On my fifteenth birthday, my parents let me host my first real teen party.  I invited a few friends over to my parent's basement, and in lieu of gifts, I had them bring an unknown guest to the party.  My decorating options were limited as I was a poor teenager with restricted funds and who had parents who, well into Spring, still had not taken down the Christmas lights.  As such, I made the best of it and used the colorful Christmas lights and disco ball strobe lights to decorate my birthday party.  As the party got underway and the guests were starting to arrive, I locked my target onto an unknown guest whom my friend Ruth had brought to my party.  The dark basement, illuminated only by the tacky colorful lights, seemed to somehow frame the stranger's tall and lean silhouette in such a way that I felt the first stirrings of teenage lust.

Ruth introduced me to the stranger.  Nick.  He had a nice smile that made his eyelids crinkle upwards.  He wished me a happy birthday and we started to dance.  Other guests started to arrive, but I was not interested.  I just wanted to be around Nick.  Pet Shop Boys was in the background.
"You've got a heart of glass or a heart of stone
Just you wait 'til I get you home
We've got no future, we've got no past...
"   
Then, the mother of all slow songs started playing.  Almost as if on cue, he and I move slowly towards each other.  He takes my hand, and we are standing close to each other, his breath warm on my cheek.
"Swaying room as the music starts
Strangers making the most of the dark
Two by two their bodies become one
I see you through the smokey air
Can't you feel the weight of my stare
You're so close but still a world away
What I'm dying to say, is that I'm crazy for you
Touch me once and you'll know it's true
I never wanted anyone like this
It's all brand new, you'll feel it in my kiss
I'm crazy for you, crazy for you..."
His hand is on my back, and I feel him pulling me towards him.  Our mouths are so close that our lips softly touch.  I feel the room spinning.  Or is it I that is spinning?  I feel the warmth of his body against mine and I feel so comfortable, almost as if I could sleep.  I close my eyes and I feel as though I am floating.  I don't want the song to end.  I don't want the dance to end.  I want to be in this moment forever, just me and Nick slow dancing for all eternity.

That dance, that moment, is all I can remember about that night.

Yesterday, I turned forty-five --- thirty long years after that first slow dance.

All I wanted for my birthday this year: to slow dance with a man and feel the way that I felt that night, so long ago.

04 April 2016

Vision

"Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It's like the tide going out, revealing whatever's been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future. The ruin you've made.” ~ Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye
I've been dreaming about sight lately.  I know that most of you do not believe that dreams mean anything, but there still must be some reason as to why there is a central theme to my dreams as of late.

The other night, I dreamt that I borrowed GP's car.  I was driving his car at night, and the roads were only dimly lit by the street lights.  I was driving on a curvy and winding road.  I had driven all night, and somehow made it my to destination by the morning.  As I pulled his car into the driveway, an unknown man yells from his car, "Hey, your lights are off.  You've been driving all night with no lights on."

GP was there to greet my arrival.  He promptly reprimanded me for driving his car with limited visibility.

♡♡♡

The following night I dreamt that I had taken out my contacts to clean them. When I put them back in, my left eye started to hurt, so I took it back out.  I look at my left contact, and it is clearly ripped.  I debate whether I should put it back in because I am nearly blind without contacts or if I should instead just take out both contacts and walk around blindly.  Wearing eyeglasses were not an option in my dream.  I finally opted to take out both contacts and walk around blindly.

♡♡♡

In both dreams, the theme is that I have limited visibility.  Although I am not a firm believer that dreams foretell the future or give us any real insight to our subconscious mind, I do believe that dreams may mirror some of the fears and worries that we carry in our minds during our waking moments. Apparently, I seem to fear that I am going through life blindly but am willing to endure pain just so I can get to my final destination, wherever that may be.