I got my car back yesterday, finally.
It still needs a wheel alignment and that makes it noisy at highway speeds, but overall, I am very happy to have it back.
I’m running the department this week since my coworker’s still on vacation. How do I feel about it? It kind of sucks, but it’s about the same amount of “way more busy than I anticipated when taking this job” that I have with her there. The phone has stopped ringing off the hook in the middle of the night, too, so that has helped.
Speaking of “in the middle of the night”, I received a call from Dante at 12:30 in the morning. I remember waking up, chucking the phone at the wall, and going back to sleep.
I am up very early right now, contemplating a quick workout and some Bible reading. Hopefully today will be a good day.
Plans for the next few weeks:
IT ENDED BAD, BUT I LOVE WHAT WE STARTED;
The last of something is never quite when you expect.
I resolved in my heart that today was going to be the end.
Dante told me about a month ago I was going to see him this weekend at the convention. He was one of the first men I saw ambling towards me Friday morning. He was wearing a three piece grey suit and had a soft look in his eye.
“Hey.” we breathed, as he extended his arms and enveloped me in them.
1. sun-soaked, quiet office; phone calls and form letters; lunch at the cafe where they serve the best curry
2. greetings and clingy hugs from the kids when I return home
3. Sportscenter with the rents and too much food for dinner
4. Walks during sunset, neighbors with dream-catcher tattoos
5. Crying, laughing, dancing to music
6. Studying The Good Word in the wee hours of the am
Day two of this (marvelous!) trip
Everybody that I have met is terrific. This hotel is terrific. I’ve had more than enough to eat, and I’ve only received two or three phone calls from home. Washington D.C. is a nice town.
We went to lots of monuments and parks today. Each monument was in a park lush with trees. I took many pictures.
We went to Union Station to eat. I ate pizza, made small talk with strangers and went to the bookstore. I met a handsome man who had “Tank!” from Cowboy Bebop as his ringtone. He was tall, slim and of Indian heritage. His hair was thick and beautiful. He had an enormous smile. We had a fine 15 minute conversation about anime and jazz before he departed for Miami. I read Psychology Today and Women’s Health in the bookstore while waiting for others to finish eating.
Our last stop was the Holocaust Memorial Museum. I was moved to tears by what I saw there. It is an exhaustive monument to the indomitable human spirit. I hope to return and see everything again, even with swollen eyes and a swollen heart.
Dante has proven to be a very fine companion these two days… but he’s single-yet-unavailable, just like every other man I’m (desperately!) attracted to. We will not be a couple by the end of this journey. Considering how much fun I’m having sight-seeing, meeting new people and not cleaning up after myself, I’m okay with that. It is nice to have some company and see a familiar face in this vast sea of strangers.
I just wish that holding hands with an unavailable man didn’t feel as good as it does.
Tomorrow morning we leave for New York City. I’m really, really looking forward to that! Tonight, I’m going to get a quick workout in and go to bed.
Yesterday was very odd.
After two nights of almost no sleep, I slept away Wednesday morning. I woke up with a start in the middle of the afternoon with a runny nose and a headache. I took a quick shower, ate a light breakfast and left the house after finding the internet wasn’t working properly.
I went to Barnes and Noble to get work done, but I found I still couldn’t focus on anything. After an hour of Facebook and fidgeting, I bought a large tea and tried to make plans for the night. Not one of my single friends were free today, and hanging out with married people… well, it’s more complicated. With married people, I hardly ever like both halves of a couple. I either like the wife or the husband. Hanging out with someone else’s husband is not appropriate. Hanging out with a wife usually ends up with her telling me about having to ask her husband. I understand why other single people don’t bother with it.
By three o’clock, I knew that this would be another night where I’d be drinking alone.
As I walking back to my car, a man in a souped-up sedan stopped his car and rolled down his window.
“Excuse me, ma’am.”
“Yes?” The tone of his voice made me think he was going to ask me for directions. Instead, he offered me this sweet appeal:
“If I gave you my number, would you call me, please?” He said this with a soft voice and with soft eyes. He had olive skin, a shaved head and a nice smile. “I saw you walking a couple of blocks away.” , he added bashfully.
“Oh, you are so sweet!” I said to him. Suddenly I found myself on the verge of tears. “But…but I can’t. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay, ma’am.” he said, a bit taken aback by the sadness in my voice. “Have a good day.”
I felt sad because he accosted me while I was thinking about how shy and awkward I felt with men. It reminded me of a conversation Abigail and I had before I had left the office.
“I’ve got it.” she said suddenly, while we were taking a break.
“Why you feel so shy with men, even that Sal guy that you told me about.”
“Well, what you do think?”
“You don’t think you’re beautiful, do you?”
I was a bit struck by this. I don’t discuss it, but that’s basically how I feel. I don’t think I’m hideous…just unremarkable. I never discuss how I look at my appearance through a disaffected lens, but apparently every one else can see it too.
“Well, no, not really.” I said this in a passive voice that infuriated me. I paused, trying to collect myself. “I try not to focus on what I look like. I try to look at the person I am within, and whether or not I’m proud of that.” I felt a sense of disgust with how trite the words sounded. Abigail didn’t seem to be buying it either.
I decided to drive around. I didn’t have any destination in mind. I just wanted to get some more air, and perhaps leave my sadness behind on the road.
After driving around Belle Isle and enjoying all of the greenery, I saw an old house with three signs that said “ROOMS FOR RENT”. They were not the kind of plastic signs one gets from the hardware store, either. They were handmade and seemed to be a permanent fixture of the house. One of the signs were fixed to the tree in the yard. I felt intruiged.
The owner of the tumbling mansion was a brown-skinned welterweight with about a month’s stubble, a runny nose and a permanent limp. A lit cigarette dangled out of his mouth. He opened the door and had me take a seat in the cluttered living room.
“I’ve been here 27 years.” he said, his voice scratchy from Newports and age. “I rent month-to-month.I’ve got four vacancies. I’ll charge you 325 for the room.”
“Can I see the room?”
“Yes. Follow me.” He shuffled up the narrow stairs. He noticed that I was watching him limp. “I had hip surgery a short while ago.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
The house is just like many of the houses in the West Village— sprawling, worn-out, sagging with age, but beautiful in its tumbling squalor. Both upstairs bathrooms were missing plaster in the ceiling but were bright with sunshine. The hallway was dark,and the kitchen in the middle of it was bare.
“That sink don’t work. Eventually I’ll fix it.” he murmured. ”Here’s the room.”
He opened the bright red door. Behind it was an airy bedroom with worn furniture— a loveseat, a chaise, a twin-size bed, a dressor. The floor was wooden and had not been sanded in many moons. The bed still had the previous tenant’s linens. There was a steam heat furnance in the left hand corner. The closet was large and cobwebby, with built in dressors, a shelf and a bare light bulb. All the room needed a was a typewriter and an ashtray, and it was a Bohemian’s dream. I’ve already imagined myself there.
“When are you looking to move?” he asked.
Yesterday, I thought to myself. “Within the next six weeks. I’m just looking around right now. Who else lives here, besides you?”
“Three women and an old man downstairs.”
“Can I have your phone number?”
He wrote down his name, address and telephone number in warbling but neat handwriting.
“Do you require a deposit?”
“No deposit. Rent’s due on the 1st.”
“I’ll call you soon.” I promised.
I love that monastic little room in that shopworn house. The only thing that would get me is the secondhand smoke. It seems like the perfect little place to hide out and write a novel until my train comes in.
I drove around a bit more and was accosted by a man looking for bus fare to get back home while in line at White Castle.
“I live in Clarkston.” he explained. “My granddad’s in the hospital down here with cancer. I came to see him.”
“I can take you to Clarkston.” I said, matter-of-factly. The lady running the drive-through seemed aghast. “Don’t do that.” she whispered to me. He seemed reluctant to get into my car. I showed him my ID and told him that I am a gypsy cab driver (I am) but that I’d take him for free. I had him show me his papers so I knew he wasn’t a serial killer.
He didn’t get in, but ended up taking the stash of pennies I had.
“Be careful out here.” he said, surprised at my willingness to take in a hitchhiker. But crazier things have happened to me than taking in hitch hikers. I’ve tasted homelessness, lack of transportation and have hitchhiked in this wild town myself. I’ve lived in cheap motels, tumbling houses, with mice and roaches and biting flies. I’ve slept in cars. Poverty and trouble and risk is what I do. This is how I live. I carry an axe underneath my driver’s seat.
I’m not afraid of anything anymore.
I bought a bottle of wine and a shot of jagermeister on the way in. Iris bought pizza when I came home. So that’s how I spent the night—pizza, jager and punk rock music. The other guests at the party were missing, but that’s how it is
sometimes a lot of the time. This time last week I thought I was going to be on the road with my bosses on my way down to Atlanta. Instead I drank and now I am waiting for tomorrow. I hope that tomorrow is less solitary.
estoy lista para seguir adelante
1. I’ve been working on a lot of projects lately. These include learning Hindi, cosmology, running, difficult pilates moves, life insurance, psychology, nutrition, sustainable living and being more open with people. This has made it easier to not think about him.
2. It’s been almost two months since I last saw Sal Paradise face-to-face. He’s been updating his Facebook page a lot this month, and so I’ve seen a lot of him in the virtual world. It’s not quite soccer season yet, so our paths have yet to cross again. I’ve been just fine with that. His mum and grandma moved away from my Hall and serve with his older brother now. I miss seeing and talking to them, but I do not miss feeling the shadow of Sal in the room whenever I’m at the meeting. This month is the first month in a long time (if ever) I feel settled in my heart about singleness. Although I’m still open to a relationship, this is the first time in my life I do not mind not being in one.
3. I’ve got four or five trips scheduled within in the next three months. There’s the trip I’m supposed to take with my bosses to Atlanta late April. In May, they may take Abigail and I down to North Carolina with them as well. I’d like to visit Chicago and Toronto via Amtrak before the summer is over. Brianna and I are supposed to drive to New York for three or four days in May. And, if the “I sell insurance” thing goes super well, I want to take a cross-country roadtrip that circles both coasts. I have not a scrap of ennui or angst left. The spaces inside usually reserved for these things are filled up with anticipation instead.
4. Exercising has been my joy. I go lift weights 5 days a week, and I will start running every day as well. I want to be ready for a marathon that takes place here in October. I do a lot of pilates now, and I’m still dancing (I cannot bear not one more night on the elliptical). Diet has been hit-or-miss, but it’s still getting better. I’ve been sleeping enough for the first time in ages. I feel great.
5. I’ve been enjoying spending my days off out in field service with the friends too. We’re inviting people to commerate Jesus’ death with us 5 April, so I’ve been out preaching more often. Tonight the meeting was about time-management and learning how to “make sure of the more important things” (Philippians 1:10) in our lives. Considering how packed my days and nights are, I needed that talk so desperately. Tonight they announced also that they’re forming a new Mandarin Chinese congregation, and they’d like volunteers to learn the language. I might do it, if I don’t end up at Spanish first. I find spring rejuvenating spiritually. We contemplate what Jesus’ death meant for mankind, go out and meet people who are also thinking about Jesus, and realign ourselves spiritually for the year. As you can see, I’ve got a very full plate. Why? Because I’m learning the fine balancing act of “moving on”.
I know that I constantly talk about my introverted disposition, but I’ve been out and about with people very much lately.
At my job, for the first time, I am friends with my co-workers. I actually would not mind doing something after-hours with them. My bosses have decided to take me and Abigail, my co-worker, to Atlanta for a work conference.
I have been procrastinating when it comes to getting my insurance license. I’ve been having a case of cold feet. Being an INFJ and a saleswoman seems mutually exclusive. The traveling aspect also vaguely reminds of Gregor Samsa, and that’s terrifying. I’m trying really hard to overcome the natural Bohemian aversion to 9-5 but it’s not working very well.
Anyway, I am EXTREMELY excited about the road trip we’re going to take, mostly because my bosses are paying for it. They were debating about whether or not we would fly, but they seem to enjoy driving. They said I could ride in the car with them, but I am unprepared to spend 12 hours in a car with their four year old son. I usually like children, but this kid has a mild case of “little emperor” syndrome. I’m looking forward to meeting all of their friends down south, and making this “insurance agent” thing official.
I just invested the last three weeks into learning how to drive and manage my car. It has finally payed off. Today was the first day I spent on the highway, and I loved it. There is something so soothing, so… hypnotic… about driving on the freeway. It almost holds a mystic appeal to me.
This car has a sunroof, a fine stereo and a responsive (now that I know how to use it) clutch, but the best thing about this car on the freeway was the fact that it does not shake. My first car was horrible on the freeway. It shook violently, as if it were to come apart at any moment. I actually would get carsick from time-to-time. The tires were always weak and gimpy, and the steering column would shake so much my arms would be sore once I got home. The speakers in the old car were the only thing that is superior. Everybody who knows me remembers my old car, and has been celebrating with me.
Driving a stick is actually a lot of fun on the freeway. I cruised down I-75 at 85 mph, and came to the realization that it felt slowin this car. The speedometer in the old one was dead, which means I must have been going 100+ this whole time. In any case, I spent an hour or two driving to nowhere in particular, enjoying the warm day. It’s been almost eerily warm here in Michigan. Today it was at least 75 degrees. It was beautiful, but it feels like the calm before the storm. This must be what they’re talking about when it comes to climate change.
Lonie and I spent the afternoon together watching one of our favourite silent films— The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.Because it was at the DFT, there was actual live accompaniment, and for some reason seeing it on the big screen gave me an understanding I didn’t have previously. We walked around Wayne State’s campus before coming back to her house and having drinks with her sister Heath.
I haven’t mentioned yet Heath, have I? I like her. She’s different now than she was when we first met. I think that she’s found herself in a way that she couldn’t have in high school. She’s more individualistic now than ever. When I first met Lonie, she was so blindingly unique that Heath looked plain in comparison. Now she’s owns herself, and that means that we now get on swimmingly. We both share a love of medicine, fitness and dub-step. It’s rare that I get to be friends with an entire family; I end up only being close to one or two people.
I am still feeling very, very poor, but also happy. Maybe it’s because winter is finally over and I’m doing more things that I love, but life feels very sweet right now. Today I was taken back to that beautiful place I was my freshman year of college- inhibitions gone, smile plastered on my face, lots of days with friends.
The sun is shining, I’ve gotten a lot of my work done, and I’m learning how to drive my car, one day at a time. I’m almost enjoying it. Work is going okay. Working out has been a delight. I’m looking forward to going preaching this Saturday. I’m hoping to lose at least 10 pounds before March is over. March Madness starting tonight. My hair is finally growing out of that awful haircut last year, and it’s healthy. My diet has most definitely improved. I’m at the library, where the Internet access is strong and the hallways are quiet. I’m making it a goal to discover at least 3 news bands I like every day. I’m going to practise the piano tonight and retune my guitar. I’m looking at an old set of drums at a flea market to get me started. I’m reading books again. My brother and my sisters are the silliest, most intelligent, most wry, most hilarious kids I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. My parents are both working out now (WORKING OUT. THIS IS A HUGE FREAKING DEAL). My friends and I are spending more time together. I’ve spoken with my usually absent uncle this week and he seems to be doing okay. The apartment/ flat search isn’t as dire as it had once been. I feel very close to Jehovah this week. I’m not allowing any negative comments to slow me down.
I feel happy today.
Not just okay. Not just contented. Happy.
I can so get used to this…
I think that if I didn’t feel so rushed on work mornings, I’d enjoy them more.
I’m working from home today.
A leisurely breakfast, good music, long phone calls, a comfy robe and sunlight = a perfect morning