waiting…

…when i think about waiting my mind always goes to my childhood reference…sam’s butcher shop on, the brady bunch television show

of course, it was that way in real life, too…but, i think that i’ve spent a lot of time at sam’s marvelling at the 1970’s-wholesomeness of it all. it makes me be okay with waiting. it gives me patience. it reinforces my gratitude. it makes me feel safe. it gives me hope that when it is finally my turn, that there will be something really fucking wonderful…for me.

you see everyone at sam’s is pleasant and friendly. sam tells stories and chats everybody up. everybody is waiting, but they’re quite happy and content…because they all know that sam has exactly what they need and he’s procured and saved it, just for them.

so, just like everybody in line ahead of me and behind me…i’m waiting. today, i’m waiting for answers. yesterday, i was waiting for a check. tomorrow, i’m going to wake up at six am needing to use the bathroom and sure, as shit…i’ll be waiting for the bathroom, too.

when i wait in sam’s line, i matter…people notice me and treat me with kindness and respect. i can and will wait for all that i want and all that i want to accomplish, but i choose to wait at sam’s.

i know that when sam greets me with his smiling face and gregarious spirit, he’ll nod and flash me a knowing wink, and say, “i’ve waited a long time for you!! i’ll be right back.” he’ll go to his office and open the door…and beckon me back, once and for all to explore.

up…

i could get used to this…

it’s quiet, like it’s never been before.

i love the dead of night…

or is it, the butt-crack of early morning?

i just know that it was 1:57…

and, now the clock says 2:03.

i realize that i’ve lost six minutes…

that i’m never going to get back again.

i can see the future clearly…

without the extraneous sound.

i know that it’s full of coffee…

and then perhaps, a deep sleep.

i know that i’m restless and ready to roam…

to go back to that place, my heart calls home.

from the patio…

wind blowing. 

my hair unruly.

sitting outside.

wearing a thermal.

it fit at christmas.

now it’s too big.

jet roaring.

over my head it flies.

neighbor says, “hello.”

children are yelling.

songbirds singing.

buggs sees me.

he licks the door.

sky hanging.

clouds billowing. 

trees dance in the breeze.

here i am now.

time’s a-wasting.

daylight’s going fast.

hand’s empty. 

heart’s full.

hurry please.

i’m a-waiting.

dealing…

today, i went out for just a little bit. bugg’s reminded me that he needed some dog food and i just needed something. i looked and i looked, but just couldn’t find anything that i absolutely needed.

i saw and passed up; donuts, chips, cookies, candy, beef jerky, slurpees, coke, brownies, muffins, hot dogs, taquitos, and cigarettes. in the past, i would have easily caved and filled my cart, in the attempt to fill whatever hole that i happened to have in my life.

but, i take great pride in knowing that i have been using my time wisely. i am living proof of the fact that if you want to bad enough, you can change. you can become whatever and whomever, you want to be. you can set goals, work toward them, and achieve them…all on your own.

what i realized when i was looking for what i “needed,” was that what i needed once again, couldn’t be found anywhere or in anything, or in anyone else. what i need is already inside of me. what i need is actually in there…self-forgiveness, self-kindness, and self-love. it’s in there and it exists in bucket fulls. it was there last time. it’s there this time, too.

i know that there is no cure in the world. i know that there is no quick fix. i know that right now, i have to sit with this confusion and frustration, these nagging questions, and deep-aching hurt. it’s disconcerting. it’s uncomfortable as all hell. and, it’s disabling from time to time. hurt just fucking hurts, until it doesn’t anymore, and unfortunately, hurt has no timetable.

but, i know that i will get through this. i remind myself that i am all that i need…me and bugg’s. that is something that i know and believe fully. i have always freely chosen to love a person, because i wanted to…i always made absolutely sure that it was want…and never need…or codependency. that fact, i am proud of, as i have always been self-aware enough to ask myself that question and to know the difference.

i didn’t go to bed until three am last night/this morning. i go into my bedroom and i grieve, as i try to be kind to myself. i hate the silence of my phone. i fill every moment of my time in there, with self-care. i exercise and listen to music. i meditate. i try to wear my mind and body out completely, while repeating affirmations and working on stems.

sometimes, i get comfortable, hold my river rock between the thumb and palm of my right hand, and i utilize the butterfly tap, to take me into an emdr state. once i am in my state, i allow my mind to take me home. the state of being home is very healing for me. home is washington. home is a forested beach hollow. home is sitting on a fallen log, on the beach, surrounded by trees

when i arrive home, i sit down on the log. i smell and taste the salty air. i feel the breeze on my face. i hear the screeching seagulls. i open my eyes and i see my boys playing. (my boys dieter a german shepherd/great dane mix, samson a border colllie/samoyed mix, gunther a boxer, and bugg’s my chihuahua/miniature pinscher mix). they’re running around jumping and rolling in the sand, chasing each other, and bugg’s is barking at them.

when i’m home, i can stay there for as long as i want and i can interact with my boys however i choose. i can run with them. i can chase them. i can the throw the frisbee for dieter. i can dance with sammy. i can paint with gunther. i can bark back at bugg’s. we can all lie down in the warm sand, cuddle, and take a nap. we can share a picnic lunch. or maybe, we can watch the stars at night.

when i am home, i am free. i am free from hurt. i am free from the desert. i am free from physical, mental, and emotional impairments. i am surrounded by beauty. i am surrounded by peace and tranquility. i am surrounded by pure, unadulterated love. i am safe at home. i am cared for at home. i am very wanted and very loved at home. quite honestly, there is no place like home.

when it comes time for me to leave the comforts and love of home, i do so slowly. it’s so hard to leave all that i love behind, but i am comforted in knowing that i can return whenever i want or need to. my home belongs to me and me only. it is my special healing place, where i can go for comfort, without ever bothering anyone else. my boys never get tired of me and they are always happy to see me.

 

 

breaking the ice…

it had been a very long time, since i’d been in this position…the position of just meeting someone for the first time. someone, whom i talked to for hours and started getting to know in depth, over the phone. someone, whom i recently met in person and spent time with over christmas. someone, whom i’m attempting to date and get to know better slowly, from a distance. 

so, here i’m in the position of choosing to try to date again and be with someone that i’m still getting to know. usually, i walk around on pins and needles, worrying about breaking the ice, for one thing or another…especially, in someone else’s house. i’m usually uptight and uncomfortable, wound very tightly, and unable to relax. however, in this particular position, with this particular person, i felt completely comfortable and she indicated the same.

now when i say, “breaking the ice,” i’m referring to something happening for the first time. when dating, keeping track of ice breaking…who did what first, whose body betrayed them first, who made the biggest faux pas, etc…is endlessly entertaining and can always be used as a reason for healthy teasing later.

the person that i’m trying to get to know better, had a king-sized, extra tall, sleigh bed…and, i’m a person, with short little legs, an extremely long torso, and unnaturally long arms. each night that i was there, my person had absolutely no problem crawling into bed, scooting over, and scurrying under the covers. she was a pro!! 

however, when it came to my turn each night, it was an all out fight to get me into bed and keep me there. it was quite literally, a two person job. first of all, i must also interject, that the scene would not be complete, without me mentioning that it wasn’t just the two of us in the bed. it was the two of us, her dog (a 120 pound great dane/standard poodle mix), and my dog (a 12 pound chihuahua/miniature pinscher mix). 

after brushing my teeth each night, i’d sidle up to the side of the bed, bargain with the dogs to scoot over, and then, attempt to propel myself up and onto the bed, around the dogs…and, try to hang on with my arms, as i’d begin to slide off. my person would always reach over and grab a flailing arm, and pull me up, or hold me there, until i could reposition. the whole thing ended up being quite a production. 

one night, we had been bantering back and forth. we were being playful and both laughing, but our conversation turned into something more serious. i gave my person a kiss before taking on the responsibility of trying to put myself into bed. it was nice and i decided that i was going to be really cool and try a different “smooth” way to jump up and roll toward her. so, there i was, feeling really confident and competent. i had a big smile on my face. i thought to myself, “oh, i’ve got this!!”

i was ready. i couldn’t get myself up there quickly enough. as i set myself up to make my extra, super-fancy, ultra-sexy-suave move…i was in all my glory, very self-assured, and very certain of the outcome. i propelled, scooted, and turned toward her..all in one agile move. i absolutely nailed it. as i was floating in mid-air, before making my descent…i heard my mind say with a chuckle, “…perfection…” 

i saw my person as i prepared to land, she smiled at me, and we maintained eye contact as i hit the bed with the expected thud…and, something extra. i was absolutely mortified when i heard what sounded like a big, loud raspberry or a whoopee cushion. and, there was no trying to blame it on one of the dogs. we all heard it and knew where it came from. i was so embarrassed, but neither of us could stop laughing. 

and then came the chanting, “kw broke the fart ice. kw broke the fart ice. kw broke the fart ice.” and the fact that she did that, immediately released me from feeling anything other than amused. she really helped me off of the hot seat. we had a great laugh and then she looked at me, and said, “you should write about breaking the “fart ice.”

i feel an early graduation coming on…

when i first started therapy with my current therapist, she told me that our goal was an eventual graduation. it would be at a point in time, when i felt that i had the tools, knowledge, and understanding that i needed to move confidently forward by myself.

i really like my therapist!! she’s cool. she’s funny. she’s intelligent. she’s hip. she’s been really understanding and helpful. she has provoked many breakthroughs in me. she is my trusted emdr sherpa. her office is decorated so comfortably, it reminds me of an opium den and i could easily sleep there. i like it there, it feels like a warm inviting womb to me.

i like her husband, the office manager. he orders awesome treats for her clients to munch on like garlic broad beans, wasabi peas, and charcoal peanuts. he’s such a cute, little guy and they compliment one another perfectly. the whole office is just damn delightful, a wonderful place to go. and, it has been…

last tuesday, i had a wonderful session. she was really excited for me and she told me that we were doing the right thing, by going slow and spending time getting to know each other better. she gave me the tattoo researching analogy, that i wrote the post, “when a prospect could be forever” about. she built me up and told me absolutely why, i/we were doing right thing. when i left there last tuesday, i was confident and i felt good about everything. 

well, then last thursday rolled around. as i arrived for my appointment, i felt a bit edgy from quitting smoking. i noticed that my irritation level kept going up and up, as i felt my body temperature get hotter and hotter. i was very uncomfortable. i was very unsettled. and, i was just antsy and restless.

i arrived five minutes before my scheduled appointment, as always. i entered the waiting room and greeted her husband, who was eating chili and guarding a wendy’s bag. the room smelled vaguely like lingering man farts. i sat down and looked at my phone. 

i noticed that my feet and legs were vibrating from all of my nervous energy and looming anxiety. i looked at my phone and it was 11:11 am…eleven minutes past my appointment time. i tried to hide my frustration, but her husband picked up on it and said, “she should be out any minute.” i nodded my head and continued to wait, until the door opened at 11:19 am.

my therapist came out apologizing. then, she told me that she would need to use the bathroom at some point during our session. i just sat down, opened my phone, and dismissed her with a wave to the bathroom. while she was gone, i took a photo of her empty chair and captioned it, “where my therapist is supposed to be sitting,”and sent it to my friend. 

my therapist came back with her lunch and asked if i minded, if she ate. still looking at my phone, i waved her on…knowing full well, that she still had to rummage around for my file in her desk. i was really annoyed and was determined to use my time to look at my phone, until she had her shit together. it was 11:32 am, when she asked me what exactly i was doing. i continued looking at my phone and said, “i’m just waiting for you.” then, i closed my phone, set it beside me, looked at her and smiled.

we began the session with about twenty minutes left. at which point, i felt my mind begin to wander. i was upset and i just didn’t want to be there. she asked me if i had any concerns. i told her that i had concerns about my personal life and tried to talk about them, but she shut me down. 

and then, she sat down beside me and started talking to me about thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and consequences…in other words cognitive behavioral therapy. she had a tablet and started to draw out a flow chart using an example that didn’t relate to me. i was irritated. i participated marginally until the exercise was over. 

and then, i tried to use my last seven minutes to talk about something that really mattered to me. i wanted and needed to talk to someone who could help me to figure things out. and instead of the glorious, supportive answer from two days before, my therapist said, “maybe it’s over.”

i walked back to the car beside myself, with my head spinning. it was a very far cry from what she had said two days earlier. i thought about it over and over again. i couldn’t figure out if she was just telling me exactly what she believed to be the truth, or if she just wanted to get my attention. 

anyway, i have thought about it all repeatedly until i decided that maybe i feel an early graduation coming on. i was dreading going to therapy yesterday and was very relieved when she cancelled due to illness. i am dreading going tomorrow. 

maybe it wasn’t all as bad as i remember it being. maybe i was just reacting with frustration. at this point, i’ve confused myself and i don’t know.

“but, i am from iowa…”

a lifetime ago, about nineteen-ninety-one, when i had my very first, tiny, studio apartment…wendy and i were sitting on the floor, watching my old, thirteen inch, color tv…while sweating, in front of our “makeshift air conditioner”…a block of ice, sitting in front of an ancient, rusting, metal, box fan…which blew the “cool” air directly on us.

we sat mesmerized watching a brand-new breed of television show, as it unfolded before our eyes. it was the nineteen-nineties, the show was “cutting edge,””raw,” and “graphic.” the show, a pioneer in reality television, was “cops.” the show portrayed the “real” lives of men and women, in law enforcement.

wendy and i, were just enthralled by the “crazy” people screaming at each other…the drunks who failed field sobriety tests…the gang bangers who ran from and were taken down by police dog’s…and, the prostitutes and john’s getting caught in the act. we had never seen anything like it before.

we happened to catch one particular episode, where a very intoxicated woman was sitting in some bushes, drinking and harassing passers-by. she was throwing bottles, cursing, spitting, and kicking at the officer’s, whenever they attempted to crawl in and drag her out.

finally, it took two officer’s, but they were able to drag her out of the bushes. they cuffed her hands, behind her back and made her sit down on a cement, parking pylon. one of the the officer’s asked her what she was doing and why. then, he read the irate woman her rights.

the woman began talking. she was very adamant and passionate, in her message. she looked at the officer and insisted, “but, i am from iowa. but, i am from iowa. but, i am from iowa.” the episode ended, when she was placed in the back of a squad car, still insisting, “but, i am from iowa…”

to this day, wendy and i still laugh about that episode. when one of us makes a mistake and are called out on it, the excuse…”but, i am from iowa.” 

it’s funny, but that was my very first impression of what, i thought a person from iowa, might be like. i made it through forty-eight years of life, without ever personally meeting anyone from iowa. i guess that the fact never occurred to me, until i actually met, an iowan.

the iowan that i became friends with, blew my simple, ridiculous, first impression out of the water. she was very educated, well-spoken, intelligent, funny, grounded, curious, full of wonder, intuitive, feeling, and multidimensional. 

my friend from iowa was pretty special. she sang and studied opera, was an ordained minister, an interior designer with a love of architecture, a social services advocate, a handywoman who remodeled her basement, a potter, a jewelry maker, an artist, a business owner, a fantastic mother, a great friend, a gourmand, an incredibly hard worker, a professional, a dreamer, a full time student, and a registered nurse.

i miss my friend and although we no longer talk, her stories and notions of iowa have stayed with me. at one point, i thought that, we might have lived in iowa, or at least visited together…it never happened, but iowa never entirely left my mind.

so here it is…monday, december twelfth, two-thousand-sixteen…at nine-thirty-nine pm. here i am…in henderson, nevada…the middle of the desert…during the late fall, early winter. 

my wardrobe consists of: twenty-three pairs of socks and underwear, seven bras, nine pairs of shorts, nine t-shirts, one polo shirt, one short-sleeved-button-up-shirt, one set of jammies, one long-sleeved-thermal-shirt, one baseball cap, one bathrobe, and two pairs of tennis shoes.

when i look down into my lap, i see a tiny bundle, a physical-mental-and-emotional blessing, my service and support buddy, buggs, who was recently placed with me. buggs now encourages me to keep going, doing, and moving on a daily basis. he can and does go with me everywhere, and keeps me on an exercise schedule and routine, each day. 

so here’s the ironic, missing piece of this peculiar, jigsaw story…on thursday, december fifteenth, two-thousand-sixteen…at three-oh-seven pm…buggs and i will be boarding allegiant air, flight four-ninety-six…headed to des moines, iowa.

once we arrive in des moines, we will pick-up our rental car and drive to a town called, greenfield. once in greenfield, buggs and i, will be spending the holiday with my friend and her family. 

this trip is something that i would’ve never even entertained eight months ago. i was nearly one hundred pounds heavier, severely out of shape, unable to breathe or catch my breath upon exertion. i had an extremely difficult time staying awake, staying asleep, and sometimes even sleeping. i was a complete and utter train wreck. i was sad, lonely, and felt very poorly about myself. 

i am very grateful for iowa, she spun my head around and got it on straight. now, i am better prepared and ready to be absolutely present, as buggs and i, embark on this exciting, new adventure to someplace that seems to hold some kind of significance for the two of us…whether it’s just because we’ve never been there before, or because we’ve always been meant to go…we will go and come back different.

and when wendy comes to pick us up, at the las vegas airport…i am going to greet my friend of nearly twenty-seven years, with a gigantic hug, and whisper, “but, i am from iowa…”