I know it

Editing. Formatting. All that crazy shit a writer does that makes our eyes go wonky. Honestly, sometimes I think I stare so long at the computer screen my eyes dry up completely. It even hurts to blink.

All of that is good. Well, maybe not good as in good for me, but definitely good as in I’m on the right track. And way the hell ahead of my deadlines.

Had occasion to pause and bless my brother the other day. He’d met with R, his friend, in the morning. In the afternoon, he came home and told me: our appeal was rejected by immigration. Without skipping a beat, he informed me he’s already met with lawyers and accountants, and a clear plan of action has already been instigated, so, keep cool and relax. We are re-applying this year. Basically, starting our entire residency over again from day one. It’ll cost. Naturally. But our team has informed us it’s the way to move forward – and, apparently, a fool proof plan. There are no grounds to reject us if we re-apply.

I heard that, and the first thing I thought was ‘he doesn’t trust me with the news; he had to get everything settled before telling me’. Second thing was ‘Goddess, what other action could tell me how much he cares about me? He didn’t want to throw me or worry me or have me slip into a depression. He kept it from me until he had answers.’ My mind has settled on the second thought, and once again I find myself feeling small and petty for any and every argument I’ve ever brought up against him. Here I am, bitching because I think he doesn’t always listen to me or do the dishes in a timely manner, and there he is, dealing with extremely stressful questions about our future and not wanting to stress me out. And when I asked him why he didn’t tell me immediately, he simply answered: I knew you were upset about L, and I didn’t want to add to your worries.

Small. Teensy-tiny. Miniscule. Whip out your microscope and see me cringe.

Yesterday was a day out. (And here’s another thing about my bro, if you don’t already think he’s fabulous.) Every once in a while, my bro takes me out. Gets me out of the house, forces me to go downtown, eat a meal in public, walk around. We window shop, he encourages me to look at new clothes, once in a while we buy something. Yesterday we were on a mission for new headphones for both of us. Into Media Markt by Alexandrium. Wall of headphones. I chose a mid range set – not the cheapest, but not the most dear, either. Then an attempted casual ‘since we’re here, why don’t we look at entertainment?’ from my bro. Upstairs to DVD heaven. They were having a massive sale; found dozens of films for only five euro each. Walked out without spending too much, yet still have loads of hours of good watching. Then it was off to Papaya – literally, a little buffet type hole in the wall. But Goddess! THE best food ever. Came home to that companionable feeling we have after a fun day out. We laughed a little easier, talked a little more animated – all because we got out of the apartment for the afternoon.

And, I got a new hoodie. One that doesn’t look old or scruffy. One that hasn’t been washed a thousand times. Might go back and buy a nice blouse. Something that’s NOT a T-shirt. I’ve only got a few non-T-shirt shirts; I’d like some more.

Today I must tackle the housework. It’s piled up. I’ve managed to keep up on dishes and the big stuff, but the floor -! I can’t even consider getting down to do abdominal exercises with all that crap lying around. It’s too dirty. So I’ve lined up a day of hoovering a dusting, washing and ironing. Probably won’t get to the gym because of it.

Oh! And I have an answer. Anything I ever fantasized about my very cute physiotherapist was all one-sided. During my last appointment, we talked about the upcoming play – and I teased him that I have a whole two months to convince him to come to one of the performances. Hitch. I could feel it. His response: I’ll think about coming. Not sure, I’d love to come! So, now I know. Any interest on his part should have resulted in a bit more enthusiasm in his reply. I dithered on at the appointment. I said how I don’t know many people, how it would be good to have some support, etc. Tried to mitigate the disaster I just opened up. Oh, well. Can’t feel too bad about it. I am talking the production up, and I am inviting everyone I say more than two words to (other than shop workers; I often say five or six words to them, but I’m not inviting every cashier I meet). I tried, you know? Put it out there. I suppose it’s better to know for sure than to wonder forever if…. If. That wonderful two letter word! In my mind, it only becomes a curse if you put ‘only’ behind it: if only…. Do that, and you might as well shoot yourself in the foot. But if…Truly, that word sums up all that we can be.

I digress.

…I may sit at a unique crossroads in my life. Don’t know that I’ve ever received such not so good news yet still felt so okay about it. I mean…I’m not happy about the residency thing. The idea that we’ll need to cough up thousands yet again in order to stay here doesn’t sit well with me. But we will be able to stay. Right now, that’s everything. As for my fantasizing…A little bit of that, especially (ouch!) at my age probably isn’t such a bad thing. But I don’t necessarily want that to manifest into my reality. I’m too busy with my own life to share it with anyone else right now.

I’m 51. And selfish.

I know it.

In my mind

Opened up my outline and began writing in earnest this week. I feel almost as if I’m writing a term paper. My outline is so detailed I can’t stray far from it, so it’s just check the next line, think, and write it out. My biggest stumbling block right now is my determined decision to use zero contractions when my characters talk. It’s a little dialogue trick to emphasize the people are not native English speakers. But I don’t want to sound stilted or weird, so I must think from time to time and turn my phrases so they sound both foreign and natural (using Tolstoy as a big example). In other words, I must think more like a Russian in my dialogue. It’s a mind set I can use, but it’s like anything else: once my head is there, it’s difficult to pull out. My inner dialogue has shifted to a bad Russian accent (much like Moose and Squirrel), and I find myself giggling over idioms and sayings running thru my brain.

But I’m discouraged, even as I write. The Russian allegations, the hysteria, the hacking and propaganda accusations – Gods, I’d have to be Hemingway to get this play produced in today’s clime.

I’m still putting my all into it.

Realized more than ever that my first act must be both introduction to and education about these women. Too many people I speak to have never even heard of this regiment. So the first act may be the furthest from the ‘truth’. I have to explain the situation, their bad equipment, the sexism and opposition, and why the regiment was formed in the first place all thru dialogue. In real life, this was all known. In the script, we have to allow the audience to discover this – educate them. It’s a fine line, to give all that info without being heavy handed. But I think I’m managing to do it, through personal perspectives and stories.

Case in point: the soviet agent. Every soviet regiment had an agent, called the Politruk, attached to it. The Politruk was the long arm of communism. Often times, they were harsh and unforgiving – and just as suspicious of their troops as they were of the enemy. But how many Americans know that? How many would even recognize the word ‘Politruk’? Not many. So I introduce the term, but make it clear thru the dialogue exactly what this person’s role was in the military. A similar thing happened with the woman responsible for forming this regiment. No one in the US (or very, very few) will know who she is, even tho she’s a well known aviation star in Russia. So I have to give some background on her, explain why she’s a big deal – even tho she’s not even in the play. Her story is related thru another character’s personal history – this is the woman who inspired the character, who showed her that women can be more than just mothers and wives.

The entire first act will just be introducing all the characters, their relationships to one another, and enough historical information so the audience will understand the story. Like I said, I gotta stick to that outline. Eleven characters to give fully rounded roles to…that takes a lot of words.

Today’s a pimple on the ass of summer. We’ve had several cool days, back in the mid 20s. Today’s temp is shooting up to 30 or higher, out of the blue. And we’re supposed to pop with severe thunderstorms later on this evening. I sure hope so. My tiny bedroom always stays three to five degrees warmer than anywhere else in the house.

Off, soon, to the gym. Get my arse moving. Hopefully after that, I’ll still have a few hours to tinker with the script and get some more work done.

Heard from my acting partner, who is working as an extra in an upcoming film. Passed my head shot on to him, and he promised to pass it on to the casting director. Also heard from the director’s girlfriend, who put together the promo poster. While she wants to use photos of all of us in various promotional shots, they’ve decided to keep the photo with me and my partner as THE picture. Think I’ll get a large print out for my wall. I’m pleased she responded; never sure how that relationship is going. Doing my best to be warm, friendly, and non-threatening.

And I gotta ask a Dutch native about something. A Dutch guy, specifically. Some of the young men who work at the gym have a habit of winking at me every time I’m in there. I get winks when I check in, and winks when I leave. Honestly, I don’t know if that’s a ‘hey, you’re an older woman but you’re a tough broad, so I’ll give you a wink’ or a ‘hey, you’re an older woman and I’d like to do you’ thing. Or maybe it’s just a thing shop owners do. The Dutch say hello to me as I walk far more than other nationalities. So maybe winking at regular customers is just a friendly gesture. A ‘we’re all in this together’ thing. I don’t know. Wish I wasn’t so dumb about these things.

Very little thought to anything that frightens me. Too wrapped up in everything else. That’s good; saving me from needless anxiety. I worry sometimes that I use my work to distract me from all that. That all I’m really doing is pushing it away.

But, hey. A little distance from my fear isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a mental holiday from myself. Leave those doubts behind. Allow myself to feel powerful for a little bit. Sexy, even.

So in answer to the ever-present summer question are you going away on holiday?, the answer is I already am on holiday. In my mind.

Chicken Shit

I guess every generation has its stories. For my grandmother, it was the model T. For my mother, it was the death of Kennedy. I lived through it; I was there. And we each came away with our own perspective. One of my grandmother’s favorite quotes was ‘Men have a place; it’s six feet under’. My mother always harped at me ‘don’t become dependent on any man’. I have to deal with being tagged a cougar or a MILF.

And dare I say how completely disappointed I am in society today? How quickly women’s problems have been shoved to the background in the face of racial tensions, religious fighting, and every other issue de jour you can think of? Yeah, yeah, I’m told, but that’s yesterday’s problem. Today it’s police violence, terrorism, blah-de-blah. And somehow, it’s always from a man’s perspective…

Just another diss by our male dominated society. Because no matter what issue you want to bring up, women are on the bottom of the pile. Our concerns come last. Our voices are heard last (if at all).

And we’re supposed to feel good that there’s the occasional Angela Merkel out there. That every once in a while, one of us is allowed – let’s not mince words here – allowed to come to the forefront.

You wanna talk about silent majorities? Then you need to address the women on this planet.

Oh, I’m becoming militant in my feminism. The more I see and learn, the more militant I become. And nothing makes you aware of these subtle disses throughout history than writing historical based stories. I’ve found the words and set-ups I’m using in my upcoming script to be extremely current. Seventy bleeding years and not much has changed.

That’s my fucking point.

Take away the historical setting, the Russian names, and you have a story that fits today’s attitudes towards women. The same struggles. The same blame. The same unspoken need to be twice as good as any man in order to earn half the respect.

This is the whole underlying reason for the script. To really show it. These women were pushing through the glass ceiling LONG before the equivalent shake up happened in the West, and here we are, SSDD (which in this case, should be read as same shit different decade).

But I digress…

Asked my bro, who’s ex-military, quite a few questions about some of the day to day stuff of military life. Like, do majors run around saluting each other, or do they use first names because they’re the same rank? Is it unreasonable for me to think a group of soldiers might sneak off for a little party in the middle of this war? I got a load of good info, including some really strong ideas for what might be stolen from the men’s regiment. The general story proved believable, even to a military person. So far, so good.

Hit the gym hard yesterday. So hard I was falling asleep around 9:30 last night. My arms are fucking killing me. Moved up on the free weight exercises, and ho-ly hell! Can I feel it!

Today was my last Thursday language lesson before the summer break. We had a few visitors and spent our time walking through the local parks, talking about the artwork scattered here and there. It was a pleasant change. There’s a language course over the summer, but it’s €50, and I just don’t see being able to cough that up right now. Things are too tight.

One look at my hair should tell anyone that.

Have to call my dermatologist for a refill on a prescription. Ugh. Dutch, Dutch, Dutch. You’d think I’d be able to get over this, but it seems no matter who I talk to, they end up using new words I’ve never heard before. Then I get flustered, and anxious, and the existing Dutch in my head goes out the window. Doesn’t help that I just don’t like phones.

Tomorrow is my last Friday language lesson before the break. Then I’m back to drop off my stuff and head out to theatre rehearsal – so my day on, day off exercise thing has a snag this week. Thought I might head over today, but…I’m still tired, it’s hot and humid, and I can’t imagine pushing myself after walking all morning.

Ah, well. If I’m that concerned I can get my fat ass down on the floor and do some abdominal exercises. Any takers? (Obviously not, as I continue to sit here in front of my computer and contemplate getting up to only (1) pee, or (2) grab a sugary cola from the ‘fridge.)

My brain is rebelling, and daydreaming over my very cute physiotherapist. Thought I’d trained myself out of that. It’s so easy to slip back into it, though. Now I ponder asking him to this theatre production. One of those I wanna ask you out but I’m too chicken so I’ll do it this way things. Push the comedy, the fun, tell him I don’t know many people and it would be good to bring a few audience members in with my first role (always add in the sympathy vote), it would make a great date for him and his girlfriend (a fish to find out if he’s still dating someone), and that it would be great to buy him a beer afterwards (a fish for time, and to see if I pick up any signals outside his office). And, honestly, doing it this way, if he says no or doesn’t show up, he’s rejecting the idea of sitting through an amateur theatre production, not me, right? Or, at least, that’s a foothold I can build for myself.

Gods, I’m chicken shit.

Yes Women

Ah! The words every back pain sufferer wants to hear from her physiotherapist were uttered to me yesterday – your back is in really good condition. Yippee! It’s been 5 weeks since my last appointment and I feel I’ve been a good girl with exercising and all that, so no real big surprise. After all, I wasn’t screaming with pain while he was gone. Still, always good to hear it from an expert.

A really, really cute expert.

Honestly, I’m once again left wondering about this man. He went on holiday to Thailand for three weeks. An observer might have assumed an entirely different relationship than the one we have; sure, he showed me into the examination room (as usual), but then it was almost ten minutes of showing me pictures and video from his trip, telling me about the people he met and the scuba diving he did. We had that fast exchange two people who’ve been apart for a while but really like each other do: rapid speech, lots of laughs, and an excitement to share everything the other’s missed in our absence.

Gods, and his eyes! I swear they twinkle.

*lovesick sigh*

Been having trouble finding the information I want/need for my script. Amazing (not) how completely censored the internet is. All I can find is repeated info; the same blurbs a thousand times over, masquerading as new articles and stories while offering the same pat. Wondering if I should even consider contacting the Russian embassy to ask for information. In these days and times, just the act of asking could be construed as ‘wrong’.

Determined to get to the gym today despite the forecast high temp and humidity. I’m strong enough to have doubled my speed on the cross trainer. Still not that fast, mind you. I only cover slightly over 2 miles in half an hour. I hope to increase that speed a bit more before turning up the resistance again. And the only way to increase my speed is to keep doing it. This day on, day off timing is working exceptionally well for me. I don’t get into a two day endorphin roll, then jones out on my off days. My workouts still drain me, and every time I think I’ll do a double day I wake up on the second day sore, stiff, and bone tired. So I’ll stick with the day on, day off thing. I AM over 50, after all.

Running the lines for the last half of my scene. Gotta roll my eyes again at the writer: typical male written dialogue, with a lot of support language for the female characters. Oh! Um – yes. That’s it for at least 50% of the play. I like the physical challenge, being asked to stand silent on stage for long, long moments. But don’t ever try to tell me this writer knows anything about women. He doesn’t, and it’s obvious in the dialogue, stage directions, and underlying messages in his work. We’re silly little add ons, desperately clinging to the men in the scene. Fluffy headed reasons to put a joke in somewhere. He’s left every woman in this play stuck in the fifties, which only emphasizes it’s he who’s stuck.

Pitiful.

Yeah, I know what I sound like.

It does make me determined to write better roles for women. I won’t skew something I see as male just to be a feminist. If the story presents itself to me as a male thing, I’ll write it that way. But no female role I ever write will be some side salad, nothing with any meat in it. Even if they’re not central characters, they’ll be interesting. More than yes women.

I so bloody hate yes women roles. Real life, and scripted.

Digging Up Little Treasures

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I’ve got bad timing. I’m the type of person you tell “I need to be right where you’re standing” ten times a day. My bladder is perfectly fine until someone ties up the toilet; then I’ve got to cross my legs to not wee on myself. It’s something I’ve come to expect.

So no big surprise on Wednesday, when I walked into my physio appointment, to find out that yes, he’s got a girlfriend and no, the crush was probably all my side. Oh, I didn’t need to ask outright to find that out! What, do you think I have no subtlety? No, no, no, grasshopper! I used the holidays (as you do) to get the info out of him. What plans do you have for the holidays? It’s such a perfect undercover question, it’s a pity we don’t have more holidays like it to use. Ask a person what they have planned for holidays, and you can learn a lot about them. I heard about his dad, not his mom (dead? divorced? definitely out of the picture; he didn’t mention her once). His friends. Then the word came from his mouth, a little reluctantly: girlfriend. I’m guessing she’s new in his life. Obviously she found him while he was dithering over not having a girlfriend and I was too insecure to speak up and ask him out. There’s my bad timing again. My question about the holidays was actually a warm up query that was going to lead to a suggestion we get together for a holiday drink – right up to the G word, of course. Then I just lay on that table as he worked on my back and talked about his plans for the next two weeks. I thought of course someone snatched him up, why wouldn’t they, he’s a great guy, now he’s seeing someone, I missed my chance, and why would he even want to go out with ME, an old woman? I watched his pupil dilation when I could. They weren’t tiny dots of hate and disgust, but they also weren’t large pools of desire. Now it’s all back off, back off, stop daydreaming and fantasizing.

Of course I’m ambivalent about it. I’m disappointed I blew my chance, but I’m happy it’s over with so I can get back to my ‘normal’ routine. I can drop all those feelings and put my mind back to work: writing. Dutch. Being happy. Somehow most things have lost a little sparkle along the way, though. I still find it all interesting, I still want to get back to writing, but…and….*sigh* Life is just a bit dull.

Oh, and I finally asked. He’s 28. A very cute 28.

Can I add one more thing here, then I’ll drop the subject? He body checked me. He’s never done that before. Don’t know why. The part of me that wants to keep fantasizing tells me it’s because yes, he really does like me and he was comparing me to the new G.

I’m telling that part of me to shut the fuck up.

Now. I stand on the brink of my holiday vacation. One more Friday language lesson to go today, then a blessed two weeks off. I’m looking forward to it, and plan to make good use of my time. I know putting that down in writing increases my chances of everything going to hell and not getting one word written, but I am gonna try. Sometimes I need to just say ‘Hey! I planned it different. Things didn’t work out’ to explain my apparent sloth. I’ll get it in ahead of time this once. Maybe that’ll make a difference. There’s not much scheduled in my life over the next two weeks. Exercise, when the gym is open. Eat well, but not too much. Write, or try to, every day. My bro’s been doing a home corning treatment on a roast, and plans to cook it up for the New Year. I promised him I’d make my Marzipan Creme Bars. New Years has already begun; every evening fireworks get set off in the neighborhood. Strictly speaking, it’s illegal. No one is supposed to set off fireworks before the 31st. But it happens. How could it not? Every household here gets three ads for fireworks suppliers delivered four times a week to their postbox. My bro and I discussed buying some this year, but it seems silly to spend €50 on something you’ll literally let go up in smoke for a single burst of light. Besides, something makes me think that there may be extra fireworks this year. Last year was a bit light: the city designated quiet areas where no fireworks could be shot off. In theory, it was done for the wildlife. Under the cover of the law, everyone talked about how New Years must be traumatic for some of the immigrants coming in. The celebrations sound like a war. But now there’s Trump, and Geert Wilders. Now I think a few more big boomers may be set off locally as a little protest against all the immigrants. I’ll do what I always do: head out on the balcony to safely watch the madness. There are a few neighbors that always splash out on big fireworks, and the balcony faces them. We can also see three neighborhood fireworks shows from there. Not a bad spot at all.

…Last cup of coffee, last paragraph before I start my routine for class. Wish this year I could gather up all my friends from around the planet and bring them here to celebrate. I miss them, one and all, whether we’ve met in person or not. lol! It would still be a small gathering. Even in cyber space, I don’t have that many friends. But they always respond when I need to talk. My timing doesn’t matter with them. Correspond every day or once a year; either way, they’re there. I look at them all as little treasures: my hidden caches of caring hidden here and there on the globe. Time to dig some up.

14

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Busy, busy, busy! Not too busy to smoke too much, mind you. I’ve found the time to do THAT. But I’ve been exercising, going back to language lessons, doing errands, and even baking up a batch of my blueberry muffins. I made a dozen for my bro’s comic book friends, but first my bro had to test one to make sure they were okay, then I tried one, then he tried another one just to make sure the first one wasn’t a fluke. Ah! Good to know I can still bake up one of my specialities and not make a mess of it.

I’ve been vacillating on this whole dating my physiotherapist idea. I need to do the whole pros and cons thing or I’m gonna lose it:

Pros:

  1. I’m very attracted to him. Very, very attracted.
  2. He’s already seen me with my shirt off, so we’re halfway through the body embarrassment thing.
  3. So far, we converse very easily over a wide variety of topics.

Cons:

  1. While we can talk freely, we don’t seem to have common interests.
  2. The sex list: grey pubes, dry vag, old case of herpes that I’d have to be honest about.
  3. The age thing.
  4. I’m really afraid of getting hurt.
  5. I don’t see it going anywhere long term.
  6. The natural conflict that arises between the time I need to create art and the time needed to create a relationship.
  7. My smoking. He’s a sport geek. That’s gonna be an issue at some point.

I did my best, and the cons still outweigh the pros 2 to 1. And I’m still tempted to throw caution to the wind regardless of how long the list of cons is on this one. That’s how strong my number one pro is.

Yeah, I’ve got an appointment coming up on Wednesday, so I’m thinking about this stuff again. Been trying (if I’m honest) to find some way of getting around outright asking him. Finding a way to prompt him to ask me. In my head, that takes away the responsibility for anything that happens. Not true, of course. I still hold the power of yes or no. Still, it would be easier for me to give in to my desire if I was positive it was reciprocated. Yeesh! Listen to me! Do I want it to be easy for me to give in on this?

I guess the real answer is…yes.

Just makes me wonder if behind this isn’t some part of me flailing around, looking for something to take me away from my work (because I know when I’m finished, it goes out, and once it’s out, I’m open to rejection again).

Interesting. It’s pretty close to the mark, because a lot of tension eased out of me. It’s also interesting to think my mind has judged the situation and finds less chance of rejection by a young, attractive man than by theatre aficionados. Gods, is that my ego talking? Thinking I can still pull a guy like that? Or is it my insecurities over my work speaking up, echoing all I’ve heard before? Or (because there’s always a third option; I’m just not the best at seeing it), is it a mix of reading the non-verbal cues he’s given me with the long experience of the hardships in the artistic world? Does my subconscious say Hey, kid! This guy is obviously interested in you! You know how writing goes – you put your heart into it and then spend the next five years trying to find someone who thinks as much of it as you do. Why toss five years away when there’s someone right in front of you that you might find great pleasure with? 

What to do? What to do….

The answer is obvious: speak the truth. The truth is, I don’t have many friends and most of my friends are cyber-friends – wonderful, supportive, loving friends, to be sure, but none are here in the flesh with me. He’s said he’s often lonely, sitting in the evening at home with his cat. If nothing else, we could both use a friend. Maybe a friend with benefits; maybe not – I’m not ready to answer that. But I’ve talked over the past few months about reaching out and trying to make friends here. Shouldn’t I be doing that now? I’ve traipsed across a good portion of this planet and let me tell you: you can meet millions of people, but it’s rare to find someone you just click with instantaneously. I don’t know if that’s what this is, or if I’m trying to make it into that because I’m attracted to him. He may be feigning an increased interest in things I mention because he’s attracted to me. If he’s attracted to me.

Jangled fucking mess! Honesty is still the best way forward. It should help me avoid most of the razor wire and land mines.

Now all I need is a bit of courage. That’s a tall order.

Meanwhile….Dare I say it? Two weeks. It’s become a running gag in my life, ever since Arnie’s version of Total Recall. You know the scene: he’s going thru customs and wearing the woman-masque. The masque gets stuck on the ‘two weeks’ reply. My bro and I stoned very hard and MisTee’d (MST3000; look it up) the film one night, and that scene sent us into spasms of laughter. Ever since then, two weeks has haunted me. It crops up so often I’ve begun to think there’s something behind it in numerology. This time, two weeks is a good thing. I’ve two weeks off for the holidays. That means (barring any dates I get may or may not get myself into), I’ve plenty of time to finish my script. I’m thrilled. So happy, as a matter of fact, that I don’t regret (much) giving up my day today to head down to the comic book shop with my bro. Maybe I should whip up another batch of muffins. Fill up the spaces my brother and I created.

😀 Might as well make it 14.

Carnal Desire

It’s official. I’m mooning over my physiotherapist. Completely gone, daddy-o. Went so far as to find him on FB. I didn’t hit friend request, just looked at his page. Six out of his nine profile pictures are of him on the field with his football team. Somehow none of those pictures quite captures him; the flatness of the picture doesn’t do his smile justice at all. But for all and any interested, here’s the object of my obsession:

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And as I said to a friend this morning, the dude holding him is pretty damned cute, too.

I am on the brink of asking this very cute, much younger man out on a date. Honestly, he’s been intruding on my thoughts so much I think it might be better if I just bit the bullet and found out one way or another how he feels about me. My head is throwing up all sorts of walls. I mean, look at him. As far as I can tell, other than his game-time obsession with winning, he’s as clean-cut as he looks. Very sporty. Obviously very fit. Probably never smoked even once in his life.

I want to lick him from head to toe, then eat him up bite by bite.

Now, that’s been a surprise: how much he’s awakened my sexuality. I thought that part of me was long dead. It’s been 10 years since I’ve met someone I’m this attracted to. I wish it was someone I didn’t have a complicated relationship with. After all, he’s my physiotherapist. I’m pretty sure protocol would prohibit him asking me out, so it’s all on me. The prospect of hearing no, I don’t feel that way about you is really flipping scary. I used to be fearless. Wouldn’t bat an eye. But those were the days I could get four phone numbers in one night. Now, after a ten year dry spell, it feels like there’s a lot more riding on the answer than there used to be.

And damn it!! I’m bleeding well aware that at the moment we have very little in common. He’s a sport geek. I don’t even understand his chosen sport. I mentioned I was reading Anna Karenina; he didn’t know the book, much less Tolstoy. There are some very deep seated foundational differences between us, and that more than anything is putting me off. I know – and have experienced – that some differences can enrich us: as one partner learns about another, their own world expands. It’s not like the two of us can’t talk! That’s all we do during my appointments, other than his manipulations of my body.

But I know all too well what this is: carnal desire. At the end of the day, that’s it. I’d be far more put off if we couldn’t even talk to each other, but I’d be kidding myself and everyone else if I said what I’m feeling is more than that. Don’t know how time outside the bedroom might go. Don’t know that I’d want to spend a lot of time outside the bedroom with him.

If I choose to start riding this roller coaster, will I be able to get off? Could I even say no to those eyes?

Would I even want to?

I am a Vengeful Person

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I have looked strange the past 24 hours. I know it. Because every time I remind myself to think success without revenge, I’ve stopped. Frozen completely – even mid-stride. It’s difficult to remember to change my thinking habits, and even harder to do. Each time I have to build it up from the ground – calm, no family, see it, hear it – bit by bit I construct it, view it dispassionately, then I remember I’m mid-stride or mid whatever and I come back to myself with a ‘huh!’. The things I’ve found in my brain have been small. Simple. And success has lost its frenetic energy; it’s become a calm and measured thing. Most measures of success I have for myself as an artist are things I can already lay claim to: having someone moved to tears by my performance, hearing that something I did changed someone’s life. The only thing I’m missing is being able to cover my expenses by my art.

I think you are too hard on yourself. That’s a quote from my very cute physiotherapist, tho I can’t write in his adorable bleeding Dutch accent. He made me laugh. Obviously, I have been myself with him. And obviously, he’s too hard on himself in some ways since he saw it so readily in me. I got him to really open up and talk about football (soccer, if you’re in the states). He’s on a semi-pro team as goalie and admitted that he’s a hard ass when it comes to winning on the field, which is completely counter to the person he presents to the rest of the world. It gave me a good insight to him that he hadn’t let me see before, and honestly, I feel I can relate to him even more now that his veneer of perfection has a dent in it.

Picked up Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. Man, I love Russian writers! I admit it’s difficult to get past the names, but the writing -! Often I have to pause and consider the perfection of the thought presented to me. This book got me from the start, with the first sentence:

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

That’s a sentence I want tattooed on my bleeding forehead. It’s got to be the single most gorgeous line I’ve ever read, truly yummy in my brain and my soul. Ah! To write like a Russian! Tolstoy just gets me right down to the core.

Went to my language lesson this morning, which more and more often is a one-on-one thing since the other student rarely shows up. I had quite a bit of apprehension: my sick time didn’t include one moment of Dutch, and I felt pretty rusty and out of it. But we kept on, and props to my teacher who found a simpler text for me to read out of. I’m going paragraph by paragraph, getting pronunciation correction when I need it and switching to English when I don’t understand something. Simple things blow me away. In Dutch, you stop something in your mouth rather than put something in your mouth. That kind of stuff trips me up every damned time. Or remembering what lays or what stands on a table. Ach! But I don’t feel so bad about language at the moment, and that’s a new and different (and very welcome) feeling. I’ve been laughing at the irony of reading Tolstoy in English while struggling with Dutch text meant for a nine year old. It’s a perfect example of why I’m frustrated. I enjoy Tolstoy. Really enjoy it. I really enjoy a lot of traditionally ‘hard’ reads. So trust me, struggling to understand simple text is just freaking difficult and to have even the slightest relaxation of that frustration is a cool blessing on my brain.

Tomorrow, of course, I have to deal with a teacher who isn’t so nice to me. But that’s tomorrow, and I refuse to borrow any trouble right now.

What with getting out of the house for hair appointments (yes, it’s done), physiotherapy, and language lessons, I’ve had more fresh air and exercise in the past 24 hours than I’ve had in weeks. It’s served to underscore the fact that I’m not really well yet – I’m damned tired by the end of the day and back to falling asleep in front of the tv. Which is a good reminder, because naturally I’m feeling more and more antsy and a trip to the gym has been crossing my mind with regularity. Not ready for it yet. Maybe next week.

You know…I really don’t know what I’m building here. With the crush on my physiotherapist and my language attempts and all this non-revenge visualization. Not a bleeding clue. I don’t know if I’d go out with my physiotherapist even if he asked me, and believe me, I’ve thought about that one a lot. I don’t know if I’ll ever really feel comfortable with Dutch. Even Dutch people have told me it’s a dull language and English offers so much more expression. And the non-revenge stuff…I’m ashamed to admit to how deep revenge goes in me. How much of a hole is left in my life when I take that out of the equation. Gah! What the hell does that say about me? I don’t like the message. I don’t like what I see.

Maybe that’s my lesson. Maybe it’s been the vengeful part of me I’ve never really liked. Never thought about it that way before. And I know, like an alcoholic, I’ve got to admit it before I can move on.

Hi, I’m Beeps, and I’m a vengeful person.

Birthday Blog: Hands on Acceptance

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Happy b-day to me, happy b-day to me…

My very cute physiotherapist who I’m really trying to not think about kissing told me I should throw a little party. I said there’s nothing sadder than a birthday party that no one comes to, and since I don’t know many people and those I do know I don’t know well, I’m scared that’s exactly what would happen. Birthday parties don’t go that well for me. I’m better with the ‘it’s Friday night so I’m having a party’ type of things. Those parties are legendary. Well, if I’m honest, my 21st was a legendary party. The first, last and only legendary b-day party. Huge house party, cops came three times, I never saw them because I was playing ditzy party girl and indulging in lines of cocaine upstairs. Legendary. But since then, b-days fall kind of flat for me. Sometimes downright disappointing. Which is why my birthday became my birthweek during my thirties – because time after time the actual day sucked, so my brother kept suggesting do-overs. It got so sucky around my birthday that I needed that entire week to be Queen and Do As I Pleased.

I’m living in a better place now  – yeesh! just made it sound like I died! But there’s far less to annoy me, far more to do and see, and I find having one (or two) birthdays a year works just fine.

The weather is supposed to cooperate; that’s always a good start. I’m pretty certain I’ll be blowing off my language lesson this morning. It’s not that learning the language isn’t important. It is. It’s very important. But today is my day, and I may no longer be Queen for a Week but I sure as hell am Queen for Today (at least in my little life circle), so Queenie says we’re not working today at all, just playing and having fun, and I say ‘yes, ma’am’ and jump to it. My brother suggested we go out for something to eat. That way I have fabulous food and he’s not slaving away in the kitchen to make it. We can both have fun. Queenie has declared we’re having Greek today, down at Markt Hall. It’s a good choice. For less than thirty euro, the two of us will get plied with incredible fresh Greek delicacies and feel more than satisfied. Plus, there’s no clean up tomorrow. What could be better? From there, it’s a delightful short jaunt to shopping supreme street. Shop after shop. What do you want to look at? It’s there. I want to get into the cheap shops. The bargain shops. Walk out with an armful (or two armfuls) of brightly coloured fun things for a tenner. Be silly. Buy a silly toy or two. Buy something that makes me smile. Doesn’t have to cost much. I just want a little frivolity today. Then maybe stop for a joint in the cool place around the corner from the library. They’ve got the inside done up like you’re underwater. Another wander around in fresh air, and take the metro back home. Cut into my b-day cake, which I baked and frosted yesterday. I finally went with a confetti cake, like my mom made for me when I was very small. What can I say? The age thing has been bothering me, so I’m giving myself a little bit of nostalgia today, too. Then it’s camp down for another night of Gotham, one of the two b-day gifts I’ve received from my bro. The other is a set of books telling Dutch history in Dutch – and in comic book form. Fun and educational. I got ALL my bases covered this year!

I think, too, I’ve come to some sort of acceptance with my age. Can’t say I’m thrilled about it, but I do think I can live with it.

….Because I was right when I said judgement comes from outside. Leave a person alone and they don’t deride themselves for their weight, the way they dress, their hairstyle (or lack of). But put that same person in a room full of other people and suddenly all that becomes important – or, at least, it can become important. I’m not saying everyone does that. I’m just saying it happens. Quite a bit.

And maybe I’m mistaken here; maybe I’m way off the mark. But I feel like I’ve found at least one person who’s accepted me fully. One person I haven’t hidden parts of myself from, one person I’ve been blatantly honest and forthright with. The strange thing is, it’s my physiotherapist. Something about taking my shirt off in front of a guy (and with all the lights on) within 30 seconds of meeting him just disarms me from any subterfuge. What’s there to hide? All the flab I disparage, all the wrinkles and sagging that make me feel old are out in the open before the first minute has passed. There’s nothing left to hide. So I am myself with him, fully. He’s seen me sad, angry, jovial, thoughtful. He’s heard my life views, my political views, even some of my spiritual views. I’ve heard him laugh at my jokes. He’s remembered our conversations visit to visit, and asked follow up questions. He’s revealed quite a bit about himself, too. In short, I feel I can say anything to him. Complete honesty at a level I’d never even contemplate with a sit-behind-the-desk therapist.

*sigh* No wonder I’m crushing so hard.

But crush aside, I do have a strange easiness with him I rarely experience. Maybe it’s all his professionalism. Maybe he’s just a nice guy. Maybe he treats all his patients this way. I don’t know. What I do know is I can stand in front of him next to naked, look him straight in the eye, and not feel one bit of discomfort or embarrassment. I like to make him laugh. I like to discuss world views with him.

And boy, do I like the feel of his hands on my body.

Industrial Me

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Not. quite. right.

Well, here we are. On the eve of my b-day. The ‘big’ one, as they say. I’ve got no b-day cake; trying to slim down, remember? I DO think I’ll head out today to a couple of bakers and see what nice little munchies they may have available. Keep it small. I don’t want to feel like I have to spend extra hours in the pool for ten minutes of sweet in my mouth. *sigh* I just want the sweet. So any one of those little pre-made fabo desserts here in NL will work; a small bit of cake, a mound of creme, some fruit, a bit of shaved chocolate. You know: something simple. 😉 I kid. The desserts here are anything but simple, which is why I can go out and buy something super tasty as a treat and not feel cheated on a birthday cake. My day of choice will go like this: up for my water aerobics class and swim, back home to change up and head to the IMAX to see the new Hunger Games film in 3D, then off to my favorite Indian Restaurant for fresh biryani and chai tea. Before heading home, I’ll pop across the street at Pluto Coffeeshop and pick some more smoke up. Splurge on a high THC joint. Along the way, I’ll enjoy things. Window shop. Go into shops if I really see something I like. Smile at people. Just try to have a day that’s not sucking shit from the tailpipe of the Shit-ola Express.

I’m ‘behind’ in my head again; haven’t done much with language or cleaning or writing or anything else that I talk about needing to do. Hate that.

Expecting another call from Addiction Central. Probably on Wednesday (must be the day they call; Wednesday is the day my bro always gets called, too) during class. Since returning calls does jack shit, I’ll have to keep my phone out and my head alert. Pick the fucker up next time and not assume it’s someone else’s phone ringing and ringing and why don’t they just answer it? Yeah. That was this last week. The damn thing must have rung 20 times and I just sat there thinking ‘man! answer your damn phone!’ while all the time it was mine. Really on top of things that day.

Today I’m out hunting for George. It’s supposed to be our one clear day with no rain for another 10 days. I really hope it was him in that other canal. I really hope I’ll head over there and get my bread out and all the ducks will come in around me and I’ll say ‘George?’ and then there he’ll be, jumping up at me to grab bread out of my hand with that twinkle in his eye. If it isn’t George…and that thought alone makes me feel bummed out…well, there’s a lot of canals around. Maybe he did fly south; it’s hard to tell with so many geese and ducks and water birds everywhere. Maybe I’ll make a video: Searching for George the Duck. Just me at canals with bread, calling George’s name. Maybe a few close ups for good effect. Or maybe I’ll write a song for him. My cat, Sable, whom I lost before we moved here, is immortalized in three songs I wrote. George deserves at least one lyric.

Friday is open mic night. Been thinking about it with a bit of dread. As stated yesterday, chances are high that Ben will be there. I’m a bit worried he’ll try to cause a public spectacle, that he’ll feel the need to confront me or something while there since I haven’t responded to his last baiting statement. My head is in half and half mode: half of me wants to handle that possibility with maturity and calmly state exactly why I reacted the way I did. The other half of me wants to shout it out, loud enough to attract everyone’s attention. After all, if he’s gonna pull anything on me, I kind of feel like I SHOULD just state (very loudly):

After that date, I had nightmares about being raped. Being held down and choking. Bad fucking memories, and THAT’S what you brought out in me. So back the fuck off, motherfucker, or I’ll have you fucking arrested.

Embarrass the FUCK out of him. Make sure a few guys nearby come to stand a bit closer because they hear the word ‘rape’ and get into that protective mode. It’s not a mature way to handle things, but I’m not sure I’m so ready to be mature about this. I have a hard time saying ‘no’. I always feel pressured. Always. So maybe I need to blast him. Maybe I need to shout it out. I’d prefer to do it in a safe environment, in counseling. If I HAVE to do it in public because I’m feeling pressured, I will. But it won’t be pretty.

Then again, none of this is pretty. None of the shit in my head is nice to look at or smell or taste or feel….I’m getting as antsy as anyone else to get INTO counseling so I can start to get some of this OUT of me. Even tho it’s gonna be tough. I’d like to stop being a slave to my emotions. Stop being a bitch and throwing shit at the world when I get upset. Stop crying ceaselessly when I’m down. Stop my delusions of grandeur and just live on an even keel. I’ve done a bit already, but there’s still a long way to go.

I feel like an IKEA piece of furniture that came with no instructions. And a missing bolt or two. I did the best I could, all things considered. But my life isn’t quite balanced. It wobbles too much and spills everything. My quick fixes have worn thin; even that doubled up drinks coaster under the leg isn’t working so well anymore. Time to go back to shop class and build a new me. Industrial me.

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