Archive for August, 2011


In the book, Eat Pray Love, Liz Gilbert tells us a city or a place has it´s own name.

At times her book was hard for me to read.  Parts of it I adored.   Parts of it I did not.

She loves Italy and gave it a name.

I concluded, on this point, she is right.

Cities do take on their own name.  They have their own personalities.  They take on their own particular characteristics.  (Like Vegas is an adult Disney World.  A sin city.)

But at this moment (and after a week of thinking about it) I cannot name the city I am now in.

I can only bring myself to try and describe it.

This city is Madrid.

I want to state that I have visited this city more times than Detroit.   This statement might be true.  I am not entirely sure of it   I crave Madrid.  I crave it like I crave Spanish wine, cafe con leche, Spanish tortilla, Picasso, Miro, Salvadore Dali, and paella.  I want to drench myself with sangria full of fresh cut lemons and oranges poured from those out-door cafes.  I have a deep want for a hard slice of bread with egg and raw salmon.

Madrid, like a cafe´ waiter, holds out sounds plucked from cellos and Spanish guitars.  The sound flows in and out of tabernas displaying tapas of jamon and queso.  He is standing there wanting me to attend Real Madrid´s futbol match or to take me to see his corrida.  He holds out his crystal place and the retiro full of ducks, swans and sunbathing turtles.

Madrid does not stop here.  He trays out crowds of people mingling in his streets. His men are often dressed in pressed buttoned shirts.  They have belted, sharp ironed pleats in their slacks.  Their dark hair nearly touches the top of their collars.  They have smooth olive skin smelling of man, sweat and musk.  The women are more beautiful than their men.  They have thick wavy hair and matching eyes. They wear heals higher than their skirts.  They smell of perfume and only the expensive kind.  The metro stations are littered with African vendors blacker than my morning coffee.  They sit next to their blankets full of sunglasses and knock off bags and purses.

There are your oddities too:  a midget selling lotto tickets, a man with cut off arms with a cup in his mouth nodding up and down to petition you to add more to his euro collection.  The rattle from this cup provokes a pair of men who kiss for a subway display.  A transvestite asks for change.  He (or maybe a she) wears bright neon socks with a splash of rouge and bright blue eye shadow.  A glitter handbag adorns a muscular arm. The streets are littered with tavern papers, discards of cigarettes, and petrolume fumes from taxis, motos and autobuses.

This city asks me about my tourist map.  He wants a light for his cigarette.  I want to know the time. His wrist holds a heavy metal watch with a big round face.  In this he lets me know I have the most beautiful and unusual color of eyes.  I wonder if his name is Miguel, David, Pablo, Jose or if he is a Daniel or an Alberto.

This is as far as the flirtation goes.  This is the beauty of Madrid.   A place where eyes meet and dart or they hold their gaze.  Where you find yourself invited to a party from a person on the metro you have never met.  In a unplanned evening you find yourself in a distant barrio sharing stories with actors, waiters, and educators from places you have never even visited.  They share their food and drink as if you are life long friends.  They kiss both of your cheeks and want to share their music and stories. They don´t want you to leave.  You find it´s four in the morning and the metro has stopped running.  A sidewalk and taxi carry you to your hotel after a night of merenge and flamenco.  They want you to sing and dance to their Elvis and their Beach Boys.

I crawl back to my hotel room like I crawled back to my U of M dorm when I was engaged.

There is no measure of time here.  It drags on.  It quickens.  At moments it completely stops.  A siesta in a king sized bed is nakedly waiting.  Before the warmth of the sun leaves your skin you realize it´s nearing  nine o´clock in the evening.  Time for a dinner in an open lighted restaurant in a Plaza near the Palacio.  The waiter brings foreign labeled bottles full water, beer and wine.  He brings gazpacho, arroz, langosta, and champioñes.  In the end I am aching for a cigarette.  Madrid´s open face watch is nearing upon midnight.  Families are still out taking an evening walk. Babies are asleep in their carriages.  Married couples loop arms and street music follows behind them.  People live and continually move in these streets.

The sidewalks are the same and have not changed since my last visit.  They lead to the same places. The smells and the sights are the same as remembered.  Madrid does not ask me why I left him.  He does not ask with whom I have been.  He does not care that I have been gone so long.  He is manly, assured and arrogant.  Of course, it was only a matter of time and I would come crawling back.  He assures me that his plazas and pigeons will always be here.  He adorns himself with granite and marble floors.   Water spurts from his fountains.  His guardia civil stands watch over his gardens full of sweet smelling roses and statues.  Gypsy guitar, accordian and violin tunes float up from the underground metro.  Madrid is as antigua as the marble statues and paintings displayed in it´s Prado.

I like to think this affair is seeped with warmth and affection.  His hands are smooth and so very gentle.  He smells of pipe tobacco.  In this bed he cradles my face.  His hands are so strong and they move with confidence and they pull into my hair.  This movement is so flowing and patient.  As natural as Madrid´s language which is full of rhythm and expression. As refreshing as the trickle of water splashing from plaza fountains. The words and language flow as rich as the smell and taste of the cooking.  Madrid appears to want to hear what I have to say—-dime’ amor.  To the cabbie I am a guapa.  To a stranger I appear to be a preciosa and a maja.

I cannot get enough of these Iberian words which are seeped in olive oil, salt, onion, and green pepper.  In the end I am so full I cannot finish my raspberry dessert.

I want to explore and reconnect.  I want to touch this city like I want to explore and touch the back of a lover´s neck.  I want to run my fingers though the streets like his hair.  I want to try and capture it in my hands.  I want to smell it and taste it with my tongue.  I know I can´t possess it.  It will be fleeting these moments. There are gaps in sentences.  There are messages in what is left unsaid.  But I no longer fear any heartbreak.  Madrid is too daring and brave and he won’t allow it.

Perhaps this love affair won´t last. He too will tire of me.  When I close my eyes I feel this in the needed dinner flirtations.  He has an unflappable or perhaps un-fillable need. Maybe his need matches my own.  Maybe we are a perfect match.  Madrid is so charming.  Everyone wants to be his lover.

Madrid assures me he is timeless.  He moves right here in front of me.  He does not care that tomorrow I will have to leave.  This is the beauty and sweetness of this romancing and flirtation.

I cannot stay.  We both sense a raw and unyielding truth.

He will be here when I come back.  It will be as if I never left.  He won´t ask me where or with whom I have been.  He will be here to kiss both of my cheeks.  His mouth will cover mine.  He will pour out words more decadent and expressive than his music and pastries.  His art will still be in the Prado.  His other women will still wear heels higher than their skirts.  They will still smell wonderful.  He will continue to be drenched in his manliness and arrogance.  He will continue to smoke, drink his taberna beer and watch his Real Madrid play futbol.  He will ask me to the plaza to take in another cafe and to smell his roses.

It will be as if time stopped and I had never left.


Being Mad at Garth

Years ago Garth Brooks’ ex-wife was kidnapped and held hostage by a man she briefly dated after her divorce.  I remember thinking “She must have been so mad at Garth” when I first heard the story.  If he had just been faithful and stayed married she wouldn’t have been out dating in the first place.


This weekend the guy I have been seeing told me he didn’t want to continue dating.  Given my many reservations about how young he seems for his already younger-than-me age, this isn’t earth shattering.  He definitely lives like a frat boy, and I figured the scheduling “difficulties” we were having were either youth and inconsiderateness or a passive break up.  I wasn’t even sure it was worth a conversation.  I debated initiating either my own passive break up or an actual break up.


In the end, though, I thought about how rarely I meet someone I actually want to connect with over meals and quiet moments, and I decided that it was worth a conversation.  I even mentally came to the conclusion that if he just needed some time to get used to the idea of dating – something he’s never really done before – I was okay with that.  He has the bones of a good man, and I have proven time and again that I can give a guy plenty of time to fill them in with muscle and flesh.


One of the things I had to come to terms with to make my decision was that I won’t force him (or anyone) to change.  If we dated for a while and he became more comfortable with dating and showed an interest in the things I was interested in, great.  If not, I would have had to end things anyway.


So I wasn’t envisioning happily ever after.  I was envisioning getting to know him better so I could decide how much potential we had for dating seriously.  But that was still serious enough to trigger monogamy and respect for his time and all of the things that go along with that whole state of being.


But he wasn’t.  His only explanation – and I didn’t push him for one – was that it was more than he wanted right now.  When he asked me if I wanted a serious relationship I said yes.  Because what I want at this stage in my life is to find someone I can be serious about.  Maybe it would have been more honest to give him the lengthy explanation, but it didn’t seem worth the effort.  We parted on a good note.


And then I got mad.  But not at him.  I got mad at my personal Garth Brooks.  If things had worked out with him I wouldn’t have to be dating right now.  I wouldn’t have to be going through all of this getting-to-know-you crap.  I wouldn’t still be looking for someone who lights me up the way he used to light me up.  I know how rarely I even come close to sparking with someone.  Tonight, for the first time, it occurred to me I might not ever find someone else.


It sucks.  And I am so mad at a guy who barely did anything wrong and so sad about a boy I barely know.



Fences Made of Facts

Sadness keeps creeping up on me.  In the middle of my day at work I am confronted by a heartbreaking story in the pages of a report from a caseworker.  A child is grateful for the free secondhand shoes he received, and even more excited about the free alarm clock.  This is a child who has suffered monumental loss, and his joy in these possessions is evident from the slightly less terse than normal tones of the caseworker.


I can’t stop crying about it.  I want to buy this child shoes and alarm clocks and all of the other odds and ends I take for granted every day.


Two nights ago I wanted to watch BBC’s Pride & Prejudice; the viewing used to be an annual event, but now I can’t even seem to find the time once a year.


Tonight I am drinking wine and waiting to turn the pages of a novel that beckons to me like a worn flannel.


I want to text the guy I am seeing even though I know he is busy.


I am flipping through Facebook profiles.


I stop and think about all of these little pieces.  I feel disconnected from the people in my life.  These little actions are my way of connecting with them.  And the boy I have never met is the one I connect with the most.  I don’t need many of his story’s details; the plot is as easy to follow as a Disney cartoon.  There are highs, lows, and a happy-ish ending.


But my friends and my life, they are easiest left in the broad strokes that paint facts.  Emotions.  Those are harder.  The answers are neither wrong nor right; they just are.  They become incomprehensible facts.  They raise more questions.  The emotional details are the ones that bind you together.


I want to reach out and say something.  I hold my tongue.  If I say the words that are about to roll out of my mouth I can’t take them back.  They are said, and they will provoke a response I might not like.  They might even lead to a question I don’t want to answer.


I watch my movie and read my book instead.  Here the emotions are one-sided.  These characters don’t care how I feel.  They are there whenever I want, waiting to entertain me.  They demand nothing.


I give nothing except facts.


And then I am alone, and I’m crying over a boy I don’t know.

The world behind reasons.

I am a believer that everyone has secrets.  These can be dark, cold and cavernous pools.  The walls in my office have contained thousands of these confessions.  I believe that behind the thousands whispered and stored here there are thousands that are kept buried that I haven’t found.  I learn to listen closely.  Look for clues or hand gestures.  A story does not make sense.  A story appears odd.  I ask the same question, three different times, in different ways.

I know something lurks.

Thousands upon thousands lurk. 

We all contain evil.  A strand or code burned into our DNA.  There are different layers.  There are different extremes.  We all are witnesses to broken humanity.  I wonder constantly about those that find themselves in that direct path.  The direct victims. 

Some disclose what they have endured freely to others.  I am a keeper of secrets.  I understand those that do not freely want to share what they have witnessed, endured, or exposed. 

I believe there is redeemption for the cruel who feel a shame.  Somehow maybe they can learn and make things right.

I believe others are more apt to explain or justify their horrible behavior.  Some have a situational melt down and go on killing sprees. 

The truly broken shell out blame.  It’s candy given at Halloween.

Victims don’t want to remember.  Some do.  Others want to forget.  A person close to them could be so monstrous or ugly. 

Most ingest themselves with self-blame.  They sit in that chair and recount how it just was all their fault.  If they had done a this or a that. 

Marks on their souls.

I believe an outward scar is easier to identify and explain.  It really is quite simple:   I fell off a ladder.  I tore my ACL in a pick-up game.  I slipped on some ice and broke a bone.

Scars on the inside don’t show.  You don’t point to them or say:   My lover punched me in the face.  My father molested me.  My mother burned me with a hot plate.  I was raped by my step-brother.  

Lines get crossed.  Lines are blurred and fuzzy.  There can also be so much grey.  Your evil might not be evil for me.  My evil might not be evil for you.

A white lie here.  A flirtation there.  A hand ventures to brush against a female breast.  Money borrowed from the cash fund will be paid back.  It is only one snort and one drink I am O.K. to drive.     

Even in the most sunny of behaviors I find wrinkles in the cloth.  I try and smooth them out with my hands.  The crease is stubborn.

To shine a light and dispel the darkness.  They don’t want to travel here.  It’s cave diving and no one wants to go.

They don’t want to figure it out right now.  I don’t want to figure it out right now.

My Sarah tells me something odd.  She doesn’t want to play soccer anymore.

This child loves soccer.  It’s her senior year.  We have a big old soccer ball hammered to our front yard tree.

She explains it away easy.  Slicing butter.  I forget about it.  I think about it.

Something is off.  Something is odd.

I shrug.  I have things to do, dinners to cook, a job to tend too.

Then a late night confession in our car.

It’s just something on the fringes near the edge.  It is creeping closer.

I am suddenly tired. 

I am in Cabo.  I watch new born baby sea turtles crawl though sand headed into a vast Pacific Ocean.  They are protected by the Mexican DNR.  The sea gulls circle above.

It is beyond me how any of them make it.  They are so very very tiny.  This moment is amazing.

There are huge crashing waves.  I know somewhere blue whales, sharks and sea lions lurk.



It is very late.  I am outside drinking my whiskey and coke.  I light up the tea lights.  I am smoking a cigarette.

I welcome the scar on my face.  It matches the scar on my soul.  

I know I can’t keep my girls from going into this ocean.



The tree frogs burp an odd chirpy cadence.  My cigarette smolders out an acid-sour stench. 

Both invade the night.  A delivering to the cosmos. 

What is destined to be delivered. 

Completely random, string theory, fates…………

Whatever it is just keep it at bay.  Keep it away from my sea turtles.


Piling on the Health

This week I am focusing on eating better and working out more.  The summer off from carb counts, cardio machines, and Olympic level guilt trips was delightful until I tried to put on pants instead of capris.  When they wouldn’t button I knew I had to take drastic action.


I can’t go to the bar three nights a week for bar food and a couple beers.  I can’t wander up the street from the office to grab an ice cream every other day.  The candy jar on the front counter? No more swiping Milky Ways throughout the day.


I will return to the gym and get back to 6-8 hours every week, mixing up my cardio with my weights.  I will cajole myself into downward facing dogs even though I hate every second of them just because it feels so good when I am done.


But I have to start somewhere.  I used the weekend to say good bye to my favorite foods.  I ate more fruits and vegetables, but I also savored the majority of a pack of double stuf Oreos.  They were delicious.


And today I packed extra food for work.  We usually eat a healthy breakfast and lunch (unless I decide I’ve earned tacos or something else guaranteed to fluff my muffin top).  But when I get hungry or bored I snack, and the snacks haven’t been the healthiest.


So today I made sure I had healthy snacks, including an oatmeal-almond-honey-yogurt-berry parfait.  I ate every bite.  I made it through my day without eating any junk.  I know my body well enough to know that starving it will get me nowhere.  I need to stuff it with celery sticks and peaches until the sweets and fried foods stop calling my name.  After a week or two the cravings stop and eating healthy is the only thing that makes sense.


I thought about how I “trick” my body into changing the way it eats, and I started thinking that maybe I have to “trick” my body into changing the way it thinks.  Maybe if I let myself go crazy with healthy decisions – time with supportive friends, more books, random solitary evenings, frequent resume send outs – the unhealthy things will just get crowded out, and after a while I’ll stop giving in to the thoughts that pull me under.


I’m going to give it a try.  How bad can it be?  The only question is which bad decisions I will say goodbye to this weekend.

All in one day.

I am amazed at what a day can bring.  I wake up thinking it will be mundane or the same.  My morning sheets twist and pull.  The office phone rings.  My private phone vibrates.  I receive numerous random texts.  My office and private e-mails are full of messages.  I find it becomes a constant addiction.  I am snorting in all of these messages, pokes, voice mails and white lines shoved in my in-box. 

It’s communication overload.  I love it.  I hate it.  I am addicted to it.

By 11:00 I get a naked man’s picture in my in-box.  Everything but the head (O.K. you know what I mean—you can’t see his face).  This is thanks to an ex-client wanting me to take a look at something for some confidential reason or another.

Really?  A piece of me becomes suddenly tired.  They call this practicing law.

Later on in my morning I get into arguments with clients.  They all know what they are supposed to do because I tell them what to do.  I send out letters explaining it to them in simple terms.  They don’t listen.  They just are not capable of coloring inside the lines.  Then for some reason this becomes my fault.  They want me to glue it all back together. 

On this day my hot glue gun is out of glue stick. 

They need a wizard and a magic wand.

Then an opposing counsel has to call.  We fight with words.  It’s heated and mean.  I don’t like to be mean.  It really is not my nature.  I have these moments where I threaten to light a car on fire or use my gun. 

It is a repeated beating I take until I am in a corner.  Then I just have to hit back.  He is skilled at twisting words and trying to fork them back into my mouth. 

I spit them back out.  My spit hits his shoes.

It’s all about $3,000.00 a month in child support.  A win. 

I know he really wanted to say all women are bitches. 
I know he wanted to call me a bitch.
On my way home I get an invite from my girlfriend to go and pick blueberries.

In my mind I am trying to figure out my next explanation and move.  I haven’t called Porsche man back in over two weeks.  He has left a few messages. This has weighed on me.  Makes my eyes tired.

I have been a coward.  But I am not a coward. 

I cannot even be honest with him because I don’t really understand how to articulate it myself. 

I find it disturbing I like spending more time with his best friends than I do with him.  When we are alone I get that feeling of dread and familiar fear.  

I think that there has to be a lot of lazy and manipulative women who would love this man and everything he has to offer.  They have sat in my office. 

But this woman can’t stand in any sexy lingerie holding glass of wine oooing and ahhing over how he puts in a sink. 

(He has told me directly that under these circumstances he wouldn’t mind being my best friend and wouldn’t mind putting in that sink) 

I know in the end he would be my worst enemy.  

Then I see it:  He has this vision of me—and it’s not me, at all, that he sees.

He doesn’t like my second job.  He seems embarrassed by it.  It appears I am not successful in my legal career and need to take on this position.  I tell him I choose this route because it is my route.  I don’t have to explain it to him.  It’s really none of his business.  I am hoeing my own row.  I choose not to smoke that cigarette.  I just need to do something with my hands.

He is fixated on money.  I don’t think he will ever have enough of it.  He doesn’t really like to read.  The conversation topics all turn and are all about him.  What he is doing, where he is going, what he would like to accomplish. 

His stories really don’t even interest me. 
I don’t want his hands to touch mine.

I am being harsh.  If he read these words I would hurt him.  I don’t want to hurt him because I do think that he appears to be good and kind.  He is a good looking man.  He comes from a great powerful political family.  He could do wonders for my career.  He really really likes me.  He has been so respectful in that regard.  I should be grateful and thankful and happy and………


I close my eyes.  I feel he just is not good for me.  There is something on the fringes and I can’t put my finger on it.  It’s enough to concern me.

I need to be honest and blurt out this truth.  Or do I? 

No, tonight I am going blueberry picking with my daughter and friends. I am ignoring that message.  I choose to go to the middle of the field in Kent City.  I am in Newayo County–Judge Dimkoff’s region.  Here there are no texts or phones.  We are laughing and eating as many berries as we want to.  It starts to rain and I like the feel of my jeans and the dirt under my flip flops.  I am a kid with my grandmother in South Haven.  We are having a blueberry fight with my handsome cousin Corey.  I am in the open field on the farm again.  Birds chirp and dart in and out of the bushes.  I like the banter we share.  I like how Donna’s John is willing to pop up the hood of my car and take a look at what is making that funny noise.  I don’t have to put on any lingerie.  He does it because he likes me for me and we are all friends.  I like that we share stories of ding dong ditching.  I like my Sarah sitting next to me thanking me for the wonderful evening.  I like this time with her.  She is so beautiful, fun and smart.

This night is natural, free, spontaneous and genuine. 

I couldn’t re-create it if I tried.

It’s like movie night at Amy’s house.  Five young children running loose and neighbors just keep rolling in.  The house is cluttered and crowded.  We drink wine out of plastic cups and watch The Big Lebowski.  Her nieces help me sort though clothes.

Jeff Bridges is bowling in his robe, flip flops, and boxer pants.  He is always smoking his pot.  You can’t get more comfortable or casual than that.

And here it is midnight and I am writing this post because I don’t want this day (that started out all tense and shitty) to end.  

I am going to go home and down a bowl of fresh blueberries. I am going to light some more candles and work on more projects.

I like that I have a Thursday night I am really looking forward to. 

Maybe this person might really see me for me.

But who knows.  It could be another one of my delusions.

I don’t know.  I am still figuring any and all of it out and wondering if that is even possible.

But tonight, I do know, I will be eating fresh blueberries.






The Path

Often I muse about my “path.”  That glorious road I am destined to take.  I can hear it calling for me, but somehow, in the midst of all the shrubbery, I can’t see it.  Maybe it isn’t my path that’s calling for me, I think; maybe it is the collective voice of everyone else pushing me along in their clumsily supportive sort of way.  But I think it is mine.  I think each of us has a path, and it waits for us until we are ready.


Mostly, I am ready.  I am bored with the day-to-day.   How much can I accomplish doing the same things I began doing over a decade ago?  How many more wants do I have to identify before I go charging after them?


But the search for my path is limited by the cloying fingers of contentment and fear.  It is easy to let their noise become louder than the voice in my head that asks for something more.  It is so effortless to say this job is good enough.  The progress I am making on my bills is enough to justify staying.  The friends I have made are living full lives that I can bear witness to, so I do not need one of my own.  I might fail if I venture forth again, and then where would I be?  All of it is true, and all of it is untrue.


I am focusing on the trees instead of looking for a way through them.  I need hedge clippers; something to clear the view and eliminate the distractions.


But in the absence of a mental weed whacker, I find myself clinging to the branches I can feel.  Those limbs double as solid ground, even though I am just grabbing them tightly while I swing over a ravine.   It is so easy, in the neverland of the mind, to create and ignore danger.  Nothing is wrong with my life, but it feels so broken.  I need to move forward, but it is so simple to stand still.


How fast and far do I have to move to feel like I am moving forward?  How long of a rest can I take before I am giving up?  Do I start by turning left or by turning right?  Do I look for a new job or put my head down until I have reached my next financial benchmark?  This city is growing on me, but there are others that call.

All of these questions!  They ricochet in my head then split apart before bouncing around some more.


My day-to-day life has become much better than it was a couple of years ago.  I am “happy-ish” most of the time, which is far superior to “sad-ish” most of the time.  But I am torn between settling into this valley of quasi-peace and pushing forward to the next accomplishment, with all of the mountain climbing that will entail.


So here I have sat, with leaves and vines filling the spaces while I cling to the status quo.  But the world is pushing me along now.  My job is becoming less bearable.  My friends are following their own twisting paths, in directions I can’t follow.


It is time for me to force decisions, instead of waiting for them to grow on me.  I have begun by setting resume quotas.  I am making mental lists of all the things I must do to move again.  I am not letting myself become too attached to the people around me.  I will cut a path through the brush.


I have this need to write about him.  I knew I eventually would.  He didn’t appear too thrilled with being my future blog topic.  He knew I was going to write about him because I said I would.

E.K., to me, is impish, immature, and the only grown child I have met with bat like ears.   For the record, I haven’t seen nor talked to him in almost a year.  He made me laugh when at times all I could do was cry.

Laughing is always good.

I liked that he has many female friends.

E.K. for me became a distraction when I needed one.  He is younger than I am.  He is an attorney. He asked me to dinner.  I said yes. 

This is after I vowed never to date another attorney.

I learned to never say never—-once again.

It helped that he looked like a miniature form of Jason Bateman.  It helped he had a cool car. 

I learned he likes expensive watches, cigars and restaurants.  He looks like a man who drinks cognac.   I learned he has an affinity for hot tubs, boobies and loose women. 

There are reasons he is single with no children.   He says he is perfectly happy.  That is the beauty of it.  That is the beauty of being E.K.

He has such a beautiful huge home.  I think it is wasted just on him. 
I think it should have a beautiful wife.  I think it should have children running though it.

E.K. has a maid that comes once a week to clean this empty house.  I really don’t see how echos of a surround sound stereo and T.V create dust.  He chooses to work from his home.  No co-workers to laugh or word spar with.

This is all O.K.  Apparently he makes lots and lots of money.  This makes up for it.

I see him as scared, alone, and trapped.  I see a grown frat boy with a thick head of hair.  It’s all about him, the loud music and that weekend party.  I know he likes to fly different places to check out the girl action, the music, and the beer.  E.K. likes to gamble and to watch strippers.  He likes Jimmy Buffet and on occasion to smoke pot.  He talks smart and fast.  I liked his manly giggle.

E.K. in the public view is not cheap.  He is high class.  He always opens that car door.  He always leaves big tips.  He always pays. 

After a few weeks of time spent I see polish wear off.  I decide I don’t really care for his shortness.  I don’t feel free to wear my heels.  I find that he stocks cheap beer.  I find the cool car is really only a dog and pony show.  He has this incessant worry someone is conspiring to key it.

I find my questions of what he is doing, going or thinking bounce off a rim. 

I discover his master bath could bathe a baby elephant. His secret confession (one of many) is that he never filled up that tub.

It should of at least bathed (at one time or another) a beautiful naked woman.  They should have splashed in that tub and made a huge soap and water mess. 

I feel sorry for the tub.  

He would send me texts late at night when his other Bond girls were not available or busy.  I would be in writer’s mode.  It would be late. 

Sometimes I would say yes. 

Sometimes I would say no. 

Sometimes I just ignore his texts. 

Maybe I amused him with my thinking and odd topics.  I am not really sure what he found so attractive.  It was so apparent he wasn’t interested in a relationship.  It was so apparent I was so very heart broke.

So this idea of “us” not being an “us” is becoming a whole new concept—I churn it over in my brain.  I see it’s advantages.  I recognize the disadvantages. 

I discuss all of this with Amy. 

I have visions of moving in his king size bed. 

I think maybe we should make it move across his oak wood floor.

I don’t really understand this world folding out before me.  This logic is new to my brain.   It’s like hiking the grand canyon for the very first time.

I determine I might be up for an E.K. break.  This is after an episode of weeks of the professor gang. This group of highly intelligent men who discuss cave diving, spiders, corpses, and anything dealing with life science.  One fancied the thought of me.  I liked his mind and his books.  Upon my refusal to even submit to a kiss—I was kicked out of the book club.

The book title that week is so fitting and ironic:  The Winter of Our Discontent.

(I love Steinbeck)

I framed the book cover and it hangs on my wall.

I refuse to return this professor’s book— like I refused his kiss.


This is a point where I really am getting tired of men.  The concept of them.  What they want.  What they don’t want.  Their words don’t match their actions.  Their actions don’t match their words.



Then I meet E.K.  Or did E.K. meet me?

This man-boy who makes it clear he hates to read for fun.  This younger boy toy who only wants to take me out.  He likes the concept of a red-headed Bond girl. 

He wants to take me to a strip club. 

There is not going to be any permanence.  We know this.  I am too heartbroken to offer anything but.  He has no interest in linking himself to me for any long haul.

I like riding in the car.
So after my past experience of a hopeful something— I was considering taking this nothing and just running with it.   It is Pamplona and I have this opportunity to run with the bulls.  I want to wave a red scarf.   I want to see where this small passage it going to take me.

E.K.’s honesty is like rain.  I love it.  I love the smell of it.  

I love our random topics of conversations that flow like sangrias.  I really do enjoy this nothingness.  This slice of his company.

E.K. is a master litigator.  He has this way of interrogation where you just start divulging and he knows if you give him bullshit answers.  He is funny and so very non judgmental.  He shows me pieces of his personality with no hesitation.  I see all of his ugly parts. 

He shows me deal breakers—because there is never going to be any deal.

We didn’t have a relationship.  We did have a relationship.

In an evening it sours.  I see him snotty mad.  I am late (I am always usually late) for a date.  He was waiting for me.  This thought I wasn’t coming.   Forty-five minutes is disrespectful.  Even for a nothing.

This miniature good-looking man shows a crack in his sidewalk.  E.K., true to his form,  is a complete ass.

He blurts out: “I thought you stood me up!”

He scrapes his plate during dinner. 

I really wonder if I should get up and leave.
I do that mental check: keys, wallet, money, cell phone

Then days later:  I have a white line in my in-box.   The attorney talk maybe?  I have this feeling they know. I sense they have crossed paths.  There is water cooler talk.  This white line in my in-box.  I forget exactly what it was for.

I am cut raw.  I can’t help but respond. 

I let E.K. know that this man, for me right now, is a something. 
I don’t want to be just an E.K. Bond girl. There still is a possibility I might be this other man’s something.


I too am like rain. 
I can’t keep these things deep in my pocket. 
I can’t play two on one. 
I want to sleep at night. 
I don’t want to mistreat anyone.

Even if I am an E.K. nothing.

His reaction confuses me. 

I can never talk to him or communicate with him ever again. 

I give out that old Charlie Brown <sigh>
I am getting re-kicked out of another book club

Only I don’t have anything to keep or frame

What difference does this make.  I don’t miss him.  I do miss him.

There is really nothing to miss.

But I know, at times, I think about him.