Come take a ride on the hormone coaster!!!

It’s week 3 of my little packet of birth control pills. Sometimes I’d like to think that I take BC to allow me to be kinda slutty, but it’s mostly because my periods have a mind of their own. (overshare…sue me!)

However, these tiny little pills have a strange effect over me for one week every four weeks. Week 3. Sometimes referred to as the “green m & m” week as I can tend to be hornier then a teenage boy. Sometimes I am all sad and dreary during week 3. Sometimes, like this week, I have such crazy mood swings that I think my hair gets blown into knots from all the ups and downs.  Of course, I’m a good mid-western girl who tries to hide these mood swings as much as possible, but inside my head is a mess.

Last night on the way home I went from feeling like I was totally alone in the world to being so thankful for my friends and back to being alone all in the time it took me to drive about 2 blocks.

I will admit that there are some things going on in my little world that aren’t helping to calm me down. For example, I’ve recently decided to buy a house. Well, I’ve decided that I want to buy a house. I have no savings and iffy credit, but am bound and determined to be a homeowner by the end of the year. I’d like to say it’s just because I want the $8000 first time home-buyers credit, but I know it’s more then that. I want roots. I want something to call my own. I have finally realized that thinking I will have a husband to buy a home with is holding me back from having things I really want and seems like something I can no longer chase, it just keeps running and I’m tired.

There’s the baby thing….but whatever, that will work out somehow. I truly believe that things work out as they should and am trying with all my might to let things happen instead of trying to make them something they are not and possibly never should be.

I have friends who are going through all kinds of things in their lives and I don’t know how to help. I don’t know what to do because so many things have to do with their relationships. I officially declare myself unable to be of any help in relationship issues because my lack of experience makes my opinions useless. I find myself thinking of what I should say to make the outcome what benefits me most, not what is necessarily best…and I hate that.

The grass is much greener wherever I am not these days. Making minor changes of my immediate surroundings helps for awhile, but then I start daydreaming of being somewhere else. Austin, Los Angeles, Michigan, places I associate with fun and being loved. But then again, I only go to these places long enough to have fun and be loved. It’s not that I don’t feel loved in Nashville, it’s home and it always will be, but it’s just different.  Again, it’s the difference between a date and a marriage…..but I’m not well experienced in either of those things, so I just want the easy thing. I want the long random conversations. I want to be able to talk about things to someone who knows little about them but is interested anyway. I want new experiences and random silliness.

But I also just want to be home. Snuggled with my furry friends and puttering around doing lots of nothing.

I guess I am mostly just ready for week 4 of the bc pills. Cramps I can handle, my crazy mind I cannot.

Austin: a week later

So, I’ve been home from Austin for a week now. But, for reasons unknown to me, I can’t seem to get over it.

Each time I go to Austin, it is harder to leave then the last time. I literally wept on the flight from Dallas to Nashville because it meant that I was leaving Texas. The only time I have cried on a plane simply because I was leaving a place was my first trip after moving to Nashville. I couldn’t figure out why I was leaving my new found home…and it felt just like that when I left Austin.

Why don’t I just move to Austin? Well, for whatever reason, I just don’t want to. I mean, I want to, but if I move there it will change. It will no longer be this oasis in the middle of a huge state. No longer will it be where I can go purely for fun. I wouldn’t be able to spend my days drinking frosty drinks and hanging at Barton Spring. I would probably tire of going to see music every night of the week (as I have in Nashville) and being around the people I know in Austin might lose some of the specialness that comes with seeing them so infrequently.

But still, my dreams are consumed with desolate landscapes and bbq smoke. I’ve written bits and pieces of countless stories since I got on the plane in Dallas and they all take place in Texas, they all deal with joy and heartache and they all make me want to jump in my car and find a abandoned house off 183 or some farm road and just move in and start a whole new life.

However, when I remove myself from fantasy land, I know that Nashville is my home. It just is. I feel more rooted here then I ever have anywhere else. My life here has been created (for better or worse) completely by me and I love it.

Nashville is my home. Austin is my haven.

austin

Baby fever……kind of.

Little Miss Jane is finally here and I cannot wait to meet her and kiss her chubby cheeks and play with her chubby feet and bask in the general glory that is new life.

It has dawned on me that the true heroes in this world are mothers. I know my mom is my hero and a lot of my friends would say the same about their moms. Seriously, you bring a life into this world, love it, take care of it, deal with it being a little asshole….all the while thinking it’s the most perfect thing ever. That is some heroic stuff right there.

For the early part of my life I never doubted I would have kids. At least a couple (only children are weird–I can say that, I’m an only child). After some dubious years in my early twenties, I then started wondering if I really wanted kids. I knew that if I wasn’t sure, I shouldn’t have kids. For the ten years since I decided that it would be ok if I didn’t want kids, I vascilated between never wanting kids and wanting nothing more then kids. Yes, it can be exhausting being me.

After a surgery a few years ago that took an ovary and a fallopian tube, I started facing the fact that having a child might be more difficult (although Jane is proof that one ovary is all you need) and I thought more about whether I wanted to have a baby or be a mother. Most people would think that these things go hand in hand, but I disagree. I don’t think that not actually “birthing” a child makes the act of being a mother any less heroic. Plus, I’m single (oh so single), have that one ovary and know that there are lots of kids out there who just want/need to be loved.

I often feel like I have to much love to give, or not enough people to give it to (again, it’s exhausting being me!) and while no one grows up playing “Adoptive Single Mother House”….the idea keeps churning around my head. I mean, there is no way I would think of adopting a child right now….but perhaps in the not too distant future? I’d like to think that I would be willing to adopt an older child, and maybe I would. But if I had my way, I would get a baby. Some new litle person who I could use to prove that nurture can beat out nature from time to time. A little person who knows me as mom, not because I carried them for 9 months inside of me, but because I love them unconditionally and forever.

Of course, I type all of this while really looking forward to having alcholic beverages on a patio this evening, then sleeping a good portion of tomorrow and taking Noodle to the dog park. What am I thinking? I mean really, what kind of fool am I to think that my selfish lifestyle could go away just because I feel like my life will mean nothing if I’m not a mother?

Have I mentioned it’s exhausting being me?

Lone Star state of mind

Texas, you big beautiful state you!

Texas has been a part of my life since before I was born. It’s part of family lore that my paternal grandparents missed my birth because my grandpa was afraid they would hit freezing rain in Missouri on their way to their winter home in South Padre Island Texas. I would bet that they day she died, my grandmother was still pissed about that. I would also guarantee that if he had it to do over again, my grandfather would not have risked freezing rain in Missouri.

Shortly after I was born my grandparents moved to Padre permanently. Sure, I never knew what it was like to have grandparents live in the same town as me, but they lived on a freakin’ island!! How cool is that.  Back in the day there wasn’t much to do at Padre, but I never noticed.  They lived less then a block from the beach and when I was there…which was often…the vast majority of my time was spent on the beach, in the gulf or in the swimming pools at the small condo buildings that lined the beach. Seriously, it was an idyllic experience.

Around the age of 6 I started spending long summers in Padre. Sometimes I flew, by myself–such a big girl, but more often then not I was driven down. My dad and I would hop in whatever vehicle he had at the time and set out for a two day trip that only went through two states. Usually we would stop in Dallas and see a family friend who lived there. I’d swim in the pool or we’d go to another friend’s house for brisket or some other such Texas fare. Then early the next day we would take the long drive to the Island.

I love all the small towns in Texas. They are all so different but are all so similar and are all so….Texas. There was a Dairy Queen we would stop at in some tiny town.  There I would just sit and people watch, even at six, and wonder what it was like to live in such a small town. Sure, Edmond Oklahoma is hardly a booming metropolis, but our streets were streets, not farm roads.  We would drive through King Ranch….which takes forever….and then soon we were in the Rio Grande Valley. So many little random business and so much agriculture. I’ve been a lot of places in this country and none are anything like the RGV. Once I started seeing seashell shops, I knew we were close. We would take that drive along the super tall causeway and I was once again home, or at least in my home away from home. My grandparents and parents would talk shit about Texans and how they acted like Texas was the be all end all, but secretly I think they sort of agreed.  My grandma had a decorative plate that had two angels on it and one of them had a speech bubble over it’s head that said, “And if we are very good, we will go to Texas!”  I have all of her plates…but that one is missing. I so wish I had that plate.

Once I moved to California in 1985, trips to Texas became fewer and further between. Plus I was a teenager and let’s face it, teenagers suck and don’t appreciate anything at the time.  When my grandparents moved to Florida around 1994, my trips to Texas ended. I didn’t even knew I missed them until…

September 2005.  While the gulf coast was still reeling from Hurricane Katrina and anticipating Hurricane Rita, I was on my way to the Austin City Limits festival. When I stepped off the plane in Austin, my love for Texas came flooding back. The smell of breakfast tacos, the live music, sharing a plane with Ray Benson and wishing him luck on getting to the festival on time for his slot. It all was perfect. I dropped my stuff off at the hotel, grabbed a cab to Zilker park and I was off. The natural beauty in Texas isn’t easy for some to appreciate. I, however, am truly enchanted by it.  The scrubby mesquite just standing there against the heat and wind. The long stretches of land untouched by “civilization.” All of it resonates inside of me like few other places I’ve ever been. Austin has the lovely Town Lake, the refreshing Barton Springs and so many trails and byways that it’s easy to forget you are in a city. I spent the next three days sweating and breathing dirt and loving my life more then I knew I could. I didn’t eat, I drank water. I took long showers in the evening to remove the mass quantities of soil that seemed embedded in my flesh. I loved it all. It probably didn’t hurt that the first night we were there my favorite band, Reckless Kelly, was playing at Threadgill’s across the street from my hotel.  I’m not usually one to go solo to a show, but I couldn’t miss it and my traveling companion thought slee sounded like a better option. Then I remembered, you’re never alone at a Reckless Kelly show because RK fans are all friends you just haven’t met yet. Sure, the members of the band aren’t FROM Texas, but the heart of the band is from Texas and that all worked out well in my mind.  The next night I had, what I consider, the ultimate Texas evening. Drove down to New Braunfels in the darkest of nights, ate dinner overlooking the Guadalupe river and saw Reckless Kelly at Gruene Hall. Sweet Jesus, I’ve never been a churchgoer, but if church made me feel like that night did, I would be up bright and early every Sunday morning. Of course, Reckless Kelly doesn’t see many early Sunday mornings, so I think I can keep sleeping in.

My next trio to Texas was for SXSW. Lifechanging trip. Ate the best BBQ of my life at Kreuz’s. Had more fun then should be allowed by law. It was confirmed on this trip that Texas had played and continued to play a huge role in my life.

I’ve only been back once since SXSW in 2006 and that was for a Reckless Kelly live cd recording, obsessed? me? surely you jest!  I was there for 16 hours, but what I 16 hours it was. I made friends that night that I still keep in touch with. We were all part of something super special that night…and I don’t think it could have happened anywhere but Texas.

Lately I’ve been NEEDING to go back. Sure, my best friend since first grade had a baby 8 months ago that I haven’t seen in Chicago. Sure, I never visit my family in Florida. But dammit all to hell I need to go to Texas.  I need to breathe that thick air. I need to shop for random things, and cowboy boots!, in Austin.  I need to drink crappy beer and good liquor with some of the most fun people on the planet.  I need to sit in Zilker park and just think. I need to sit on Town Lake  and drink coffee at Mozarts. I need to roam the stacks in Waterloo. I need some Lone Star time.

I guess I’m kind of a lone star myself. But I hope that, much like Texas, with it’s quiet strength, that there is a nobility with me being a lone star. Texas isn’t about the jerks who act like when you cross out of the state line you lose any reason for living.  Texas is about knowing that when you cross into Texas, you are crossing into a special, stark, beautiful, lush and dry land that has endless opportunities and room for endless heartache.

Don’t mess with Texas! 🙂

Abandonment Issues

I’m sure that this here blog is thinking I don’t love it anymore. That it’s no longer the cute, fluffy blog it was when I first got it and the new has worn off.

However, I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth.  I have written dozens of little notes of ideas about what to write. Things that make me happy. Things that stress me out. Random thoughts. Dozens I tell you. But I can’t seem to make it all come together.

Do I write about how I have self diagnosed Social Anxiety Disorder? I mean, sure, I tend to turn down or flake out on more plans then average. Sure, I’m paranoid that no one likes me, but even more freaked out if it seems like they do like me. But really, who wants to get inside that messed up of a mind?

Do I write about my job? My job that I truly love and cherish, particularly in these trying times? Who wants to hear about a business that is well run, that has a contingency plan, that is turning down business that isn’t “worth it’s time?” That kind of talk gets no attention these days. It’s almost a fairytale.

Do I write about my new car? I love it. It’s a 2007 Nissan Versa  hatchback. I’ve named it Earl. (it’s grey, get it, Earl Grey?!?!)  It reminds me of a baby elephant. It has all sorts of fun bells and whistles, including a sunroof. Sunroofs are cool.

How about boys? Let’s see what I have to say about them these days. Love them. The fuzzier the better. Silly? Sign me up. Possibility of stunted maturity…WOO HOO! Completely uninterested in me….YES! So, basically same ‘ol same ‘ol in the world of boys.

Politics? Always a good subject. Obama’s in. Life is good. I’m proud of our president and have to punch myself every once in awhile when I hear “President Obama.”

Fear? My fears are random and somewhat debilitating. I fear I will never find true love. I fear that I am too OK with being alone. I fear that my parents will die suddenly and I won’t know how to go on. I fear that my hair never looks good. I fear being depressed, again. I fear that my outfits are too “matchy-matchy.” I fear I will never be a parent. I fear that if I were to become a parent, I wouldn’t be a good one. I fear that my cats feel neglected. I fear that I love my dog WAY too much.

My dog…that’s a good one. I love him. Possibly too much (see above) but he is a companion to me in ways I have never known. He got to go to California with me at Christmas and was a camp on the plane. We took him to the beach and that little furry face smelling all the wondrous smells of the ocean was one of the most joyous things I have ever witnessed.

Wii fit? Love it. Haven’t been on it for a week (thanks virus!) but it makes me actually enjoy exercising. I can actually tell that I’m becoming more flexible, etc…..Bravo Nintendo!

I could probably go on and on. Typing lots, saying little. Basically I just want my blog to know that I still love it. Hopefully, one day soon, I can sit down and write a thorough, possibly interesting and informative post.  But not today dear blog, mommy’s got a headache.

An edit to a previous post

When I mentioned people having “too much” I misspoke (man, I could be a policitian!). I was quite upset when I wrote that as I had just been told that my lack of ownership somehow made me less worthy by someone who said they didn’t care about education because they didn’t have kids.

I don’t really believe that people have “too much.” I do, however, feel there is a responsibility that comes with success, any level of success. In general, folks should do the right thing. Many wealthy would pay someone copious amounts of money to avoid taxes. When my father was in the oil business he had a business acquaintance who figured he paid an accountant $100,000 a year (this was in the 80’s) to avoid about $100,000 in taxes.  His reasoning was he would be mad if the government was going to get his money. I never understood that.

We are so fortunate to live in this country, every damn one of us, whether rich or poor. But there is responsibility associated with this good fortune also, and that is taxes. If 95% of the nation are going to see tax cuts,  isn’t that what a democracy is about? The greatest good for the greatest amount of people?

I hope like hell to one day be part of the top 5% of the economy in the United States and if I am and seriously believe that by bringing home only $162,500 of my $250,000 salary makes me feel that I am poor, please someone smack me!

First Day of Fall Brain Cleansing

Lots of things are rolling around in this noggin of mine. Sounds like a bulleted list is in order.

  • I have a little under a half a tank of gas, but refuse to go “top off” and be a part of the insanity that has made gas almost impossible to come by in Nashville.
  • The people who talk about driving around for two to three hours looking for gas make me crazy–if you have enough gas to drive around that long, you didn’t need gas!
  • Noodle and I participated in the Mutt Strutt this Saturday and then went to the Dog Day Festival. It was a GLORIOUS time. The highlight had to be Noodle “cheering” for his girlfriend Macy in the Fetching Contest. He loves him some Macy!
  • Terrified isn’t even a strong enough word for my feelings about the upcoming election. The idea of John McCain (or worse, Sarah Palin)  having any power over the United States makes my blood run cold.
  • I wish people would understand that there is no one who is “Pro-abortion”, well, there may be some that are, but the fringe sick-o’s don’t count. The word “choice” is the important word in the phrase “Pro-choice.” It has become abortion specific, but it need not be. It’s about being able to do whatever one wants with their body without fear of legislative interference. “Pro-life” ticks me off too, most people walking around are pro-life, meaning that they are all for being alive. Again, there are the fringe sick-o’s who think death is the way, but that has nothing to to with abortion.
  • I recently learned how to do ghetto silk screening and have perhaps become obsessed. Prepare yourselves for silkscreened items for gifts 🙂
  • The love of cooking has been rearing it’s head lately. The hatred of cleaning up, however, dominates the love for cooking in almost all cases.
  • I am so ready for Fall I can’t stand it. I’ve been keeping my place cooler then need be so I can bundle up. Sweater weather is the best!
  • I’m growing my hair out for Locks of Love and it’s about the make me crazy. I asked a friend of mine if he thought it was ten inches from my shoulder and he said “Way more then ten inches” but then I remembered that men can’t be trusted on judging the length of anything.
  • My work load has slowed to a crawl, but I’m not complaining. I think it is the calm before the storm.
  • I love my Dyson vaccuum cleaner too much.
  • I just openend up my iTunes to sharing at work…and am scared at the judgement that may result from my random music choices.
  • If Reckless Kelly don’t come to Nashville soon….someone is going to get hurt.

I want to cry

I want to sit in the middle of the floor and cry and scream like a little kid.

I want to tear things up, throw things around, wring someones neck, shoot a gun, drink a fifth of whiskey. Something, anything to change the path of things the last few weeks, or at least become numb.

My biggest client at work has been running us all ragged. The creative team came up with all these weird promotions for an event at the zoo and even though I said that some of these would be next to impossible to achieve, I was told to make it happen. I have driven nearly 300 miles hunting down and delivering 600 boxes of animal crackers (that I spent 4 hours Friday night stickering–who would think having no social life would come in so handy!). I have bought 4 different things to try to put a logo on a yoga ball. None of which have worked. I have ordered and paid for 25 yoga balls, 10 of which were what I actually ordered. These are for elephants to play with. I went to college so I can figure out a way to create balls for elephants to play with that are branded with a sub-prime car insurance brand logo!

I have been so physically and emotionally spent that when I get home I just sit on the couch and watch tv or sit at the computer and read people’s MySpace and Facebook pages to try and remember what it was like to have a life.

I want to cry so much that it physically hurts me. But I think the pharmacueticals prevent that these days. Although I am able to cry with joy, as I did when I found out that a dear friend heard the heartbeat of her baby that she has waited so long for.

I want to chop all my hair off and dye it purple. I want to skip paying my rent and buy a bunch of clothes. I want to buy a car I don’t need and can’t afford. I want to do something, anything to shake things up. This brickwall I keep running into is getting tired of the abuse.

I really, just want to cry.

Chemistry.com: The Truth

This is not some expose on a online dating site. This is, rather, a more truthful response to the extensive profile I filled out on the aforementioned dating site earlier today.

Who I am and who I am looking for:

I am borderline neurotic. I have a vivid imagination and a tendency to over-share. I can tend to be clingy, but need my space. I feel alone in crowds. I love my dog too much. Sometimes I forget to brush my teeth. I never put away my clean laundry. I like the idea of eating healthy, but eat crap out of convenience. I have pretty blue eyes, and I know it. There is no way for me to have cleavage. I fall down a lot. I laugh way too loud. Sometimes I hold in my sneezes in some weak attempt at femininity.  I enjoy museums and such, but spend large amounts of time watching random reality shows.  I sometimes think people are looking at me in admiration, but in my heart know it’s not true. I relate very well to gay men. Gay men love me. Straight men are much less interested. I sometimes have a horrible time holding up my end of a conversation. I try to be a people pleaser to the point that I either come across as super boring or eventually freak out and spill all the dissenting opinions I’ve been holding in. I was once a registered Republican, but currently am terrified by Republicans in general. I believe in God and think Jesus was probably a cool dude, but, in general, Christians scare the hell out of me. I don’t care what anyone does as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Stealing is bad. I drive too fast. I sleep too much. Sometimes I take 3 showers a day. Sometimes I don’t shower for 3 days. I have 2 cats, and am ashamed of that sometimes.  I’ve kissed a girl. I can’t understand why people like me but am crushed if they don’t. I have a philanthropic heart, but a lazy ass. I love gossip. I may want to have children, but probably for all the wrong reasons.  I’m loyal to a fault. I’m nosy. I’m mostly a mess, the wants to be loved.

I am looking for a man. I like dark hair and beards. I want someone who listens to the minutia of my day and can tell which of my two friends named Erin I am talking about without clarification. I like boys who drive trucks. I like smart boys, who aren’t too smart to act stupid.  I want a boy who is more attractive then me, but doesn’t know it. I want a boy who will hold my hand. I want a boy with a healthy sexual appetite. I want a boy who understands the ridiculous nature of porn, but isn’t too “high brow” to enjoy it. I want a boy who cooks, or at least will eat my cooking. I want a boy who loves Nashville, but wants to travel. I want a boy who can hold his liquor….but doesn’t hold on to it too tight or all the time.I want a boy who will get pleasure out of seeing how excited I get at a Reckless Kelly show. I want a boy who thinks it’s great when I want to hang with “my girls” or even better, when I want to hang with “my boys.” I want a boy who knows more about me then anyone else, but still wants to know more.

I’m pretty sure that even if I had forked up the $50 to get an actual subscription to this dating site, had I filled out the form honestly, it would have been $50 down the drain. I’m all for online dating for others, but it just ain’t my thing. I lack the self confidence to open myself up like that and would much rather spend that $50 on shoes.

So there.

Whitewashed Memories

The human mind is a funny thing. It files things away in a seemingly random way and brings memories up out of nowhere. It also seems to have a great editing feature as it will often change the memories to only show the good (or sometimes bad) in a person or situation.

This past weekend, the “good” edits have been in full force for my subconscious and particularly in my dreams. For four nights in a row I have had the strangest dreams about a former “flame.” The dreams have been more memories then the fantasy situations that normally entertain my sleeping mind. However, these memories have been edited, some quite drastically, to only recall the good. They have been so well edited that I have been anxious to go to sleep in hopes the dreams would be there waiting. I’ve been fighting waking up because I knew, once I did, the dreams, like the person they were about, would be gone.

We first met in the spring of 2007. At a Marine base. The day after he got out of the brig. Dubious timing is a forte of mine. A friend had been dating a Marine for awhile and she thought it would be great if we all dated Marines. I reluctantly agreed to go with her, and one of our other friends, to Camp Pendleton for the evening. I didn’t dress up. I didn’t “do” my hair. I just went because I had nothing better to do.

If you’ve never been on a military base, as was the case with me at the time (for the record, I had dated military before, but they were on ships) it is a foreign place. I used to joke that there was a different climate at Camp Pendleton because of all the testosterone, but seriously, it’s different there. It is strange because all of the places are familiar (buildings, fast food places, etc) but when all combined and placed on this area that is dominated by males, it makes for an odd mix. Once we cleared the gates, I was sure there was nothing there for me.

It is a well known fact that I am bad at noticing people flirting with me and that I tend to “try” to flirt with people who have no interest in me. This used to bug me. I’ve learned to deal with it. My first (and only) night at the ‘E Club’ (enlisted men’s club) was no different. I don’t remember any details about the boy who had my attention that night, but I do recall that I didn’t have his attention. I’m pretty sure, in my mind, that confirmed my suspicions that there was no one there I would have anything in common with. I had been ignoring the boy, all dark eyed and charming, who was buying me drinks and asking me questions all evening. It wasn’t until we went back to my friend’s boyfriend’s barracks and this fella joined us that I even acknowledged his existence. My other friend had met someone and had disappeared, promising to pick us up in the morning (as she was our ride) so it was just the four of us, hanging out, being silly, doing nothing.

It soon went from a foursome to two duos as he and I were no longer aware of anyone else in the small, sparse room. He asked if I wanted to go for a drive. I did. We drove and drove and talked and talked. We went back to his room and talked some more. He’d lived an interesting life. He explained why he had gone to the brig. He talked about what he wanted to do in the future. We finally had talked so much that we couldn’t talk anymore and well, we made out. I remember details about that night like they were yesterday. 

He asked for my number, promised to call. I gave it to him and didn’t have any expectations of him calling. He called later that day. He explained that he was on this ridiculous 24 hours on 24 hours off schedule. He wanted to see me as soon as possible, but didn’t know when he would be able to make the 82 mile trip North to take me out. I told him I’d figure something out. I did.

So it began, 6 months of requesting work schedules around his days off.  Driving up and down the 405 countless times. Late night calls from him to help him make it through those last few hours of his 24 hour shift. Getting up at 5 am to get to base by 7 am when he would be getting off work. Waking up in his room at 6 am so he could get back to work and so that I could get out of there before the Commanding Officer caught me. (He did catch me once, we had a nice talk. He like Michael a lot and thought he just wasn’t made for the Marines. He said I wasn’t like the normal “barracks bunny” and said he’d turn a blind eye to my presence, as long as I kept a low profile) It was, in many ways, an exciting time. 

These are the memories that are popping up in my dreams. The look on his face when I would walk up the long sidewalk to the barracks. The serenade he coordinated for me one day, with 10 Marines singing “Pretty Woman” to me from the catwalk. The picnics we would take on the beach. Picking strawberries. The way his skin tasted like cantaloupe. The way his big dark eyes could see right into my heart. The way that his touch sent shivers through every cell of my body. The physical attraction that we had that almost scared me, it was so strong. Talking about our dreams and our future and feeling that those dreams and futures would be achievable as long as we were in each other’s lives. We talked about me going home with him to Louisiana once his discharge was final. He talked about me to his mom. He met my mom. He would switch days so he could have 2 days off in a row and come up and see me. We played house at my Dad’s place when he was out of town. He cooked me gumbo.

What doesn’t seem to pop up in my dreams is his random tantrums. Never would these be directed at me, but his fiery temper was terrifying to witness. He once found out that a friend of his had hung out with me alone in his room and beat the crap out of the guy, in front of me. He found out that his discharge was going to take a lot longer then he had been told and he punched a hole in the wall. He would disappear for a few days here and there and no one really knew where he went. Since he didn’t have much interaction with others in his job, the only thing that anyone could ever confirm was that he had gone to work, which meant he was alive, but no one knew where he was other then that. His roommate would call me asking where he was. I would call his roommate asking where he was. No one knew. He wouldn’t talk about where he had been, but he was always slightly different when he re-appeared. As time progressed he went from accusing me of smothering him to accusing me of not caring enough about him. His drinking increased. The good times became fewer and farther between, but when times were good, they were SO good. These, apparently, are the memories that I am really holding on to. In a lot of ways, I find no reason to remember the bad. I remember the things I learned from those bad times, but I think it would be fine to forget the details.

Michael and I saw each other from time to time after I moved to Nashville. He was on the road a lot and when he came through town we would see each other. We rarely spoke of the past. We never talked of a future. It was all about the present when we were together because we, or at least me, understood that the present was the only guarantee there was for the two of us.

A couple of years ago he showed up at my place unannounced, as he normally would. He was going to be in town for a month or so for some training. We saw each other pretty regularly. We never went out. I never introduced him to my friends. I never even told them he was here. An opportunity for him to move to Nashville had arisen. The discussion about that was not a pleasant one. The actions that followed that talk made me fully aware that I no longer wanted him in my life, for any reason, for any time.

So here I am, two years since I have laid eyes on him. I have moved and he doesn’t know where I live now. I got rid of my land line so he has no way to call me. Yet, I have these dreams. These wondrous dreams. Dreams filled with good times, and sweet gestures and a certainty about the world. I guess I’ll keep the dreams and these whitewashed memories. There’s enough negative things in the world that I don’t need to hold on to more that has no effect on my current life. So, Michael Andrew Gonzales, wherever you may be, we’re cool. I don’t want to ever see you in my awake life, but if the visits to my sleeping life stay the way they have been, you’re welcome any time.