Saturday, July 31, 2010


My youngest sister is in labor -- I am going NUTS wishing I was with my family right now!  This is the first time I haven't been at the hospital with my sisters as each of them were in labor. 

I am driving to Kentucky next weekend, come hell or high water....

Keep her in your thoughts.  She's got a big, big baby boy to birth and she's trying to do it all natural :)   One of the 30000000 reasons I love her.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One Year Ago

I feel as though life reached out, grabbed me by the arm, and dragged me at warp speed through the last year. 

And I sit here rubbing my muscles from the impact; cozy at a small table at my new-old coffee shop that I used to frequent years ago, and now haunt again, on Sunday mornings.  I have an omelet and cold iced tea, and am sitting with hipsters and the the hippies of the neighborhood, and there are magazines on the shelves with titles like "Queer DC" and "Saving Sudan."  An Elvis poster is on the wall.  It's terribly overpriced, and terribly delicious.

Last year, I remember the summer was unseasonably cool.  This year, today, there is a heat index of 108.  Ah yah, as Ms Moon says...everything changes, babies. 

This blog title is from a Counting Crows song, from an album called "August and Everything After."  I explained this last year, and I also talked about the yearning and restless in my soul, the knowing that life was about to change for me --I  knew it deep down and I knew it so clearly that by the time opportunity knocked that September, I reached out and locked on with both hands. 

I remember writing these words, on my couch (that later sold for $35 at my local Goodwill).  I'm sure I had the TV on, only on mute.  It was nighttime and my screen door was open and my cat was climbing the screen (with claws he'd lose in a few months) to bat at moths by the porch light.  I felt frantically at peace.  I wrote "It's time.  It's time for August.  And it's time for everything after."

And wham bam, damn, if August isn't already upon us again. 

This is going to be a very, very difficult month for me.  I have to travel for work nearly all of it, and I'm not sure if this is going to impact my very new relationship.  My boss is making me conduct one of the meetings by myself, and this is incredibly intimidating to me, and then the week later I fly to Kentucky to be in a wedding of my old roommate, to whom I've barely spoken in the year since she asked me to be in the wedding.  So, I have no idea how this is going to go, as I spend hundreds of dollars on dress alterations and plane reservations...and the cynical but knowing side of me knows that I will barely talk to her again in my life after all this. 

Also, our contract at work (from which I am paid) is being hotly debated around the corridors, and I will know by Sept 15 if we will be renewed.  We will, I am confident, but in the meantime, there will be meetings and discussions and endless whispered conspiracy theories and....well.  None of it will be pleasant.

My family knows about my relationship, and they are pestering and poking me for information, for details, for pictures.  My friends know too, and one practically sobbed with relief when I talked about how much I liked him :)  She knows me, and knows that I am easily afraid of relationships and just frankly haven't had many (any, really, that were very serious.)   And when I said I was happy, and this one is different, she was over the moon for me.

I haven't seen him in a few days, and I'm just wondering if I made him up.

I feel anxiety creeping in as August approaches ---this is always my most hated month.  Having all these stressors that are going along with it doesn't help.

Sometimes I can't find anything good at all.
But hell.  It's time, I suppose, for August and everything after.  For fall to come, for cool air to remind me that everything changes and everything works together for a reason and that with every passing day, I am reminded of grace. 

Thank you for being a part of this journey, and the whiplash that comes with it sometimes. 

We can't blink.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


S is a military man --this is not uncommon for men around here.  In fact, a HUGE two year investigation by the Washington Post, released this week Top Secret America, outlines and details the thousands and thousands of people who work right beside me every day, but I don't know exactly who they are or what they do.

S is one of them.  He's not (as far as I know) a secret agent or anything like that.  He's a career military man though, working at the Pentagon.  I won't disclose more than that, and I don't KNOW much more than that. 

Life dating a military man is different than anything I've ever experienced.  In bed last night, I asked "what do you do all day?"  This is after I asked if he liked his new job (just started this week) and he said excitedly that he loved it. 

His reply? "Stuff and things."  I smacked his arm and waited.  He goes "I can't really talk in much detail about it....." and trailed off and got quiet.  I hastily said I understood and we changed that subject very quick.

He has a desk job. 

So, I wonder why his forehead is sunburned tonight and run my hand across the back of his head, feeling the sharp bristles of a brand-new high-and-tight haircut and wonder what those baby blues of his see all day long.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Every headline I can think of is cheesy.  Every text message I send S, my new .....boyfriend?  Dare I say it? is mushy, gushy.  We say things like "Oh, I thought about you all day"  Gag.

We have conversations that already crack me up and make me know that this is someone I can get along with during a ten hour drive or a two hour wait in line.  After just a few days, I know this.

Me: (upon explaining that my neices were texting me from church camp).  "I dunno....I mean, it's good, I just don't want them to get too....churchy."

Him: "Yeah"

Me: (Pause) "I mean, I guess it's better than crack cocaine camp."

Him: "Well, you appear to have survived crack cocaine camp"

Me: "I know, but I was so popular there.  It was really a burden."

Him: "Is that why you still hide crack under the floor boards?  Don't lie.  I saw it."

Me: (After showing him where I spilled nail polish on the rug and then dumped water on it after the carpet cleaner) "Look what I did before you got here."

Him: "You threw up?"

Me: "No! Why would I SHOW you where I threw up?  Or TELL you?"

Him: "You tell every fucking thing else!"

Me: "I know. Just wait."

Me, feeding my cat Charlie. 

Him: "Hey Chuck.  Get a job and contribute around here if you want that food!"

Sigh.  I'm smitten.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


This week has truly been exceptional.  Badness and goodness wrapped into one and coming out in the form of sweetness, and delivering me into what is and what must be.

In that spirit, I will attempt to a Friday Fragments (on a Thursday night).  

**My best friend here was robbed on Tuesday night.  The same night as my flood--I walked in the door that night with Brian, a guy I had a date with, and we stepped directly into about two inches of standing water.  I wanted to cry, but didn't, and we just set to work throwing towels and blankets and basically anything around to get it stopped.  We did.  But it didnt stop me from crying on the couch later, with my head in my hands, wondering WHY things just seem to be so hard sometimes. 

I had strange, very vivid dreams all night.  Then, the next morning, I found out about Sarah's place as I hauled my fourth or fifth load of soaking wet laundry across my soaking wet floors.  But yet, anything that had happened to me in the past 24 hours flew out the window as I jumped in my car and went straight to her place.  I'd had such an odd dream about her the night before --it was like I knew.

We cleaned up. I brought her my spare laptop to use since hers is now taken, and another friend of ours sawed wood outside to fix the door.  We checked out the windows, secured all the locks.  At one point she layed down on the floor beside the dog.  I layed down beside them both and her roommate came in, and laid down too.  It was a sweet sort of moment, and then we got up and played Star Wars monopoly to keep our minds off the entire issue at hand :)

**I am sort of dating another guy, right now, although dating is too odd a word.  I dont know WHAT this is, other than he is new and he is there and sometimes I just need someone there.  I'm not sure what's going to happen.   Probably nothing, but hell, isn't this what dating is?  I truly don't know.  I suck at all of this.

**I know I'm a real, true DC resident tonight.  I was trying to find a parking space, when all of a sudden the police jumped in front of my car and the one beside me.  The motorcade went by with all its fanfare.  And my first thought was Come ON Barack!  Some people need to park and go home and eat spaghetti!

I have, um, arrived.

**I posted a depressing message on Facebook yesterday about how I was giving up.  This was shortly after the laying down in the dog bed with Sarah moment, and I announced to my best friend from home that I just wanted to lay down and never get back up. 

My phone didn't stop ringing all night.

**I had a conference call today with my old job.  It was the same committee I used to run.  I got so homesick all of a sudden.  And at the same time, watching my new boss speak on the call (she was the 'featured guest'), I felt pride again for where I work and what I do.  These days, that is no small thing.

**The following initials to the people who care and get me through my days sometimes --KJ, EHL, and AA.  Thank you for being a part of my day to day messes.

So there is me.  Dating and loving and living and walking the streets in the heat and finding out what love means and cooking spaghetti sauce for the men in my life, and for my lunches. 

Sweetness remains, even if sometimes I can only see it without feeling.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My apartment is flooded.  I had a shitty date.  Work is killing me.  My friends house was robbed last night.

(My dispatches from the week so far.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm Alive

And here. 

I have been reading, not so great at commenting.  I had a "secret" weekend where I went to Kentucky solely to visit a friend and didn't mention to anyone in my family.  I've had so much time at home, with them, but not at all enough time with friends since I left.  In fact, no one else even knew I was there except my sister, and I was able to sneak over to surprise my nephew for a few hours.  It was heavenly to get that boy into my arms for a little while, and to rub my sisters pregnant belly and feel a baby kick that will kick me in person next time I am near him.

But mostly -I relaxed.  I went to a baseball game.  I laid on the couch with my friends' arms wrapped around me and we ate pizza and watched movies. 

We had big talks.  Talks about our futures, and about things that are happening for us both.  Her life is complicated, and her story is not mine to tell.  We have been ingrained in each others lives for a few years now, and good god, have we been through some stormy times --affair(s), divorce, a move, a family fallout.  Everyday tragedies --keys locked in the car (twice), snowstorms, sicknesses.

Things on both our ends that we can't even discuss with anyone else and we press our secrets into each others hands with an urgency as we lay there, and with it passes an understanding that we are that safe place for one another.

But, safe harbors even have waves, and we've had a few of those lately.  We are entering a time period in which both our lives are set to change again, and our stories are way too deep to get into tonight.  I am pulling away while she grabs me back and reminds me that yes, things change, but they don't change love and when you have a safe place, you don't leave it that easily. 

We whisper reminders in the dark.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Grace and Peace

I'm listening now to the sounds of party revelers outside, and I've no desire to join them :)

I watched DC's fireworks through the back window of a cab tonight, as Sarah and I squeaked back into town JUST in time to get home before fireworks ended and the thousands that descend upon our fair city each fourth of July try to get OUT of it and traffic becomes mayhem and drunken craziness abounds. 

I had a weekend full of exactly what I needed: sleep, a lake, a float with a cup holder with a cold beer, a great friend and a family so like my own that it was eerie.  My friend invited me to her parents' lake home in southwest Virginia and as we neared the house and the roads began to twist and turn, and the landscape turned to haybales and barns and mountains in the distant, I was reminded so forcibly of Kentucky that it startled me. 

Somehow, I thought only these things belonged to Kentucky, but no, red dirt roads are everywhere.  From sea to shining sea -some may say.

Her mother and father, both adorable and have been married to each other and only each other, were refreshing in themselves.  Southern accents.  Babies.  Lake and mountains.  Several times, as I floated along in the water, I closed my eyes and soaked it all in. 

We caught lightning bugs.

This morning, I slept until almost ten.  I wandered sleepily upstairs to be greeted with sausage and biscuits, and then we had a birthday party for a two year old. 

(I think if I have kids, they won't be allowed to have birthday parties until they are old enough to be interested in opening their presents.  The end.)

This two year old is a special boy though, and so loved that it made me so happy to see this boy, born with special needs and still smart as a whip, so loved up on.  Around 5 today, Sarah and I decided to head back to the city.

Four hours and discussions about everything later, we are back.  I am relaxed.  I am happy. 

Max (Sarah's dog) was accidentally locked in the garage for a few minutes today and everyone was frantically looking for him.  When he was finally discovered, I grabbed his head and gave him a kiss and said "well, look who was lost but now is found!" 

Me, too.