Archive for the 'Friends' Category

When Reality Hits….

A lamppost on Railroad Square.

For the last four years, at least, I have been corresponding with a beautiful, talented, hilarious young lady from England.  For me, this is a big deal, because I can’t even keep in contact with someone who lives the next street over, let alone someone who lives on a different continent.  But for some reason, I have managed to stay in contact with this girl, exchanging emails, Facebook messages, whatever, almost every day for over four years.  For privacy reasons, I’m going to give her the name “Belle”.

I meet Belle through my ex-boyfriend on AllPoetry.com.  No, my ex was a real person, but he was friends with her on this website, so I was too.  I loved Belle immediately, but then, I am always one to trust sooner than I ought.  Her poetry was always full of passion, which is how poetry should be.  She was a quirky, interesting individual with a bad home life (her mother is unstable, and her parents kept getting divorced and remarried, one moving back and forth from South Africa to England) who was afraid of geese and loved to run.

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out where the downhill run started.  Only about a year ago, everything was still wonderful and normal.  She had a friend die… maybe it was there that the problems began.  She met her fiance shortly after that incident, and everything seemed okay, still.  But then the next thing I know, she is complaining about how she can’t even finish a yogurt because it makes her feel fat, and the doctors are putting her on special diets, and her mum is force-feeding her.  Then she goes to University, and suddenly she pretends to be taking a lot of showers, just so the sound masks her purging.

A few weeks ago, she was eating better.  I thought maybe, after working for so many months, she had conquered bulimia.  She was running again, and was living in a new flat, and seemed to be generally enjoying life.

About a week ago, I get a simple three-sentence email.  It basically said that she hadn’t had time to write because she was in the hospital, but she would soon.  Cryptic much?  I waited and worried.

This morning, I got another email.  Belle thoroughly believed (and still believes) that her skin isn’t her own, and was trying to scratch it off.  But it hurt, so she took a painkiller.  And another.  And eventually eleven, and nearly killed herself.  And here I am, knowing that she’s in the hospital, or was, for delusion-driven attempted suicide… a thousand or so miles away with no way to get there… and I’m at a loss.

What do you say to something like that?  How do you make it better?  How can you save a life, and convince the owner it’s worth saving?

Writers live so often in their imaginations that they become absorbed in their fabricated worlds.  Then reality hits, like a brick to the head.  And I stand here, helpless.

All’s Quiet on the Eastern Front

Sunset in Albany

The weekend is winding down to an end.  Out my window, I can see the golden clouds of Sunday’s sunset.  Still beautiful, touched by the magic in this world that all too often we forget exists.  It’s so easy to run about busy when we should stop every once and a while to look at the sky, trace leaves as they sit on the trees, and to pet the friendly dog that it pattering by.  These last few hours I have been breathing softly and still, living and relishing in this beautiful world and being grateful for the moments in my life that allow my to kick my shoes off and lean back and try to guess what shapes the clouds are taking.  What a wonderful weekend!

I rarely have the opportunity to relax.  Even when I have time off, I have projects.  Some projects are self-inflicted.  Others are assigned.  One way or the other, even in my “free time,” I am occupied (or at least I am supposed to be) and so I spend my free time procrastinating and begging my overheating computer for another excuse to put off the inevitable.  But not this weekend.  When you’re separated from your resources, you have no choice but to sit back, relax, and be grateful.  On Friday, I saw Despicable Me and it made me smile from it’s cuteness and creativity.  The characters were round (unusually so for a children’s film) and it was a movie equally enjoyable for adults and children.  It was cool to see the threate filled with all ages- you don’t get that a lot.  And I also spent the last couple days at Bryan’s house.  No internet, no phone calls… I didn’t even bring a book (pure accident, I assure you.  I was frantically digging through my purse this morning, seeking Scarlet.)

It was really nice to have the house to ourselves.  Nowhere to go, nowhere to be… nobody demanding our attention (except a kitten, who was mostly a pleasure to play with anyway).  We were able to curl up, talk about whatever we wanted, do whatever we wanted.  Bryan made a scrumptious steak that was marinated for a week (yes, I know, it sounds like overkill, but if you had tasted it, you wouldn’t think so) and we started watching this really awful movie called “Vegas in Space”.  We got about five minutes in to this ridiculous, B-rated, 1980s (at the latest) sci-fi murder mystery before it stopped being funny and started being painful.  It was still a lot of fun, though.  And it’s nice to be able to escape and burrow away with someone who loves you even when you look like Medusa when you wake up in the morning.

The clouds in the eastern sky are bright pink now, and the neighbors on the lake are starting to shoot off fireworks.  I think it’s time for me to bury my head into my writing and lose the rest of my weekend to comfort.

If only every weekend could be so simple and welcoming.

Tastes Like Melting Plastic

The lake at Robin Hood Park

Very impromtu last night, I went to a co-worker’s house for a bonfire.  I’ve never spontaneous, but it was fun.  We got marshmallows and graham crackers and Hersey Bars and made s’mores.  Well, sort of.  It was mostly people from work, but they’re all nice people.  Parker played his music and even though he’s big into rap and hip-hop and I’m not… it wasn’t that bad.  Zachary, our host, was a terrible host in the sense that he’s just not experienced at it.  He provided the bonfire pit, but couldn’t find matches or a lighter to start it.  Luckily, someone else had a lighter.  He also offered us “lemonade” which was really Arizona iced tea.  He’s a good kid, but a little flighty sometimes.

He didn’t like getting too close to the fire because it was too hot, so his marshmallows either took forever to roast, or burnt to a crisp, which was kind of funny.  We all showed him the proper way to make marshmallows.  I’m a pushover and it pains me to watch someone do something wrong, so I made him a bunch of marshmallows.  See, I enjoy making them, but not eating them.  I’m weird.

Zach found this old-school retro chair-thing.  You know.  The lawn chairs with the plastic weave and metal frames?  The first time someone tried to sit in it, it broke right through.  Teehee, whoops!  We ended up throwing it in the fire later that night.  The plastic arms were interesting to watch cook, because they melted slowly so it dripped down and stretched out like bubblegum or melted marshmallows.  We just threw it on the fire because it was something to throw on the fire.  It was fun, and I wish I had my camera with me.

It was supposed to rain last night, but it didn’t, and it looks like it’s going to now!  Yikes.  Hope I get to work before it starts!  Still, the bonfire was a nice chance to see people I like at work in an outside-of-work setting.  Besides Zachary and Parker, Kate and Ben were there.  I work with Kate later this afternoon, actually.  Bryan was there too, of course (can I go anywhere without him?  Rarely), but he spent a great deal of his time and energy making fun of Zach.  …  I think all him tormenting is one of the reasons I feel the need to be so nice to him.  I mean, I tease him too, sometimes, but not over the top.  I just feel kinda guilty.  Everybody jabs at him a little (he jabs back, too) but none as hard as Bryan.  …  It’s sad.

Anyhoodle.  I had a lot of fun last night and I needed it after some of my customers, but you will hear more about the rude people of the world in tomorrow evening’s update!

Until then… ciao!


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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