Dum-de-dum-dum DUM!

27 08 2011

I am an idiot.

No, not for riding to Brighton Beach with C. to check out the storm. It didn’t rain and then it rained a little and then a lot and then it stopped and, anyway, this is what we saw:

We did see some waves:

What, you couldn’t see it? Here, this might help:

Yep. That was it, as of 3:00 Saturday afternoon.

There were some number of us behind the yellow tape (keeping us off the boardwalk), and nobody seemed particularly panicked.

Or disappointed that there was nothing much to see. Yeah, C. and I wanted crashing waves and, y’know, something interesting, but we agreed that we had to look, and if nothing else, we got in a wee workout on our bike down.

This is where the I-am-an-idiot piece comes in:

Can I blame this on the storm?

Yes, I got a flat.

That’s not the idiot-making part, however. No, it was my EXPLICIT decision to bring NEITHER my patch kit NOR my pump on the ride.

Oh, hey, it’s just down to Brighton. Not that far. I just fixed a flat; what are the chances I’d get another? Anyway, it’s not like we’re going to the Rockaways.

Dumb dumb dumb.

C. was great. I checked with one SUV cab for a ride back home, but he declined. At her suggestion, we decided to walk while looking for another SUV cab, and ended up walking the whole way back.

It was raining, but not too hard and it wasn’t windy, so we just chatted. About her novel. About the point of education. About homeschooling. About whatever. It took awhile, but it didn’t feel like it took long at all.

I don’t know if I’d have bothered to go without C.’s enthusiastic decision to accompany me, and it would have been a fucking miserable walk back alone.

With her, it was all good.

(Okay, I got a coupla’ blisters, but, really, I can get those wearing the wrong shoes to my local take-out joint.)

Anyway, mindful of  how my disregard for the “better-safe-than-sorry” adage screwed me over, I decided to be proactive for the rest of the weekend:

Honestly, not really hungry for either (and the Oreos really do need to be frozen), but, again, “be prepared”. . . .

As for other essentials, well, I already had those:

Trickster agrees!





Why don’t you kill me?

19 06 2011

I am so tired of being a loser.

C. and I were at the end of our leisurely Red Hook/Gowanus ride and finishing our equally leisurely conversation in—yes—a leisurely manner. We had been discussing her novel* and her job and taking classes and the trail detoured into my life.

Which is when I burst out the above statement, along with complaints about being an underachieving dilettante and not extending myself or diving into anything which would  pull something out of me or committing myself, really, to anything.

And it’s so goddamned irritating, I ranted, that I make the same diagnosis over and over and over and still, here I am, grumpy and underachieving and uncommitted.

No, I’m not going to continue the rant, here; besides, you’ve heard it all before: I was stuck for twenty years between suicide and living and now I’m stuck in the not-knowing of living blah blah.

C. suggested that I just get out there and try different things, volunteer, anything to get myself moving and maybe, just maybe, involved. Sound advice, certainly, and nothing I haven’t told myself in previous go-arounds.

But it did occur to me, after we finally split, that I’ve got a real issue with trying to hoard time, so much so it interferes with the just-get-out-there approach: I don’t want to commit because what if I can’t follow through? I don’t want to be inconstant, so better not to be anything at all. What if I run out of time?

Nonsense, I know, at least in prosaic terms. I live in time and can no more grab hold of it than a fish can water. I can control my movements in time, but time itself? Nuh-uh.

Whether I can do anything with this elementary law of physics remains to be seen.

And there’s a flip side: Even as I am a physics-al being, I also know what it likes to live absent time. I’m not talking here of being ‘in the moment’ (although that’s nice when it happens, rare tho’ it is), but when I’m so involved in an activity that I have no consciousness of time.

Which brings me back to the beginning, and writing. C. mentioned that I seemed to be in a fictional frame of mind (oh, the meanings in that observation. . !), and I mentioned a story I had been turning over. I have characters, I said, but not much beyond that; I need to let this sit a bit, see what happens.

But then I noted that in between novel 1 and 2, I started another story, one which I might never get back to, and maybe this story is like that one: the one which prepares me for the next one.

And right then, I thought, Well, I’m not a loser dilettante when I’m writing; I just write.

Thus, that leisurely bike ride and leisurely conversation popped something loose: Start writing again, and the writing will come. Sketching out that story for C. helped me to see that that’s maybe all it will ever be, and that’s okay. Commit to the writing itself, just, just remember that I can commit to the work itself.

Something else will come; something else always comes.

~~~

*Hey, C. it occurred to me that you could work the slingshot into a joke: Your narrator could pick up a slingshot or having someone hand one to her and she could demur, muttering “Too Clan-of-the-Cave Bear.”

Anyway.





Don’t do this

2 06 2009

Or: how not to argue.

I did a little bit of drinking in high school. I mean, I didn’t drink EVERY day, and I was sober during school hours. And it wasn’t like I was hitting the bars every night—not when I didn’t have a decent fake ID. No, until I turned 18 (when I was only at the bar TWThF and Sat nights), I was forced to drink in cars and on country roads and in barns and friends’ basements and at the beach.

It was all very trying.

Anyway, one night my friends and I were at G.’s sister’s house, drinking and. . . I don’t know, playing cards or drinking games or something, when J. and I got into it.

J. was pro-life. Vehemently so. As was/am I, on the other side.

Why we thought it was a good idea to engage in this particular discussion at this particular time is beyond me. (I think I recall something about alcohol and impaired judgement.)

Anyway, I don’t (surprise!) remember exactly what was said, but I believe it ended with me pounding my fist on the table and shouting and her screaming at me and crying.

Helluva party.

A day or so later, sober, J. and I had a little sit-down and decided that, henceforth, we would not discuss abortion. Ever.

And that held, including the time our senior year when the sociology or world politics class we were taking screened an abortion (I think it was prolife) film. Other students were all ‘Ooo, J. & [yours truly] are really gonna go at it.’ Another teacher left his post to witness the fireworks.

J. looked at me and I looked at her and we both shrugged. Nope, we said. We don’t talk about this anymore.

We were such disappointments.

And that was it. We remained friends and drinking buddies throughout the rest of high school, and while we have long since lost touch with one another, I still remember what a truly good and funny friend she was.

There is an important epilogue to this story: At one point after our blow-out/armistice, I asked her if I could ask her some questions about abortion for a paper I was preparing. I don’t want to debate you, I said, or get into an argument. I just want to know.

She was wary, but she agreed. And in the library, just the two of us, I was able to ask her why she was pro-life, what she thought about the women, and what exceptions, if any, she would allow.

Her views, at least back then, were extreme: No exceptions. But she was calm in explaining her reasons why, and I was calm in my questions of her. There was no argument, and I learned something I wouldn’t have, otherwise.

We had re-established a kind of trust. Each knew where the other stood, and that was it. We could talk about it, carefully, without screaming about it.

So, J., wherever you are, thanks.