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I'm ok, really

Me & Lucian, back in the day

Okay, I'm convinced that the laptop computer was designed by a woman.... a woman like me, who loved to take long luxurious baths, and who liked to snuggle in soft flannel sheets and big fluffy feather duvets. Because here I am, sitting in bed propped up by four pillows, wearing my Warm Softies (clothing I would never, ever leave the house in -- someone else I know calls these "body slippers"), being serenaded by Slab, my faithful laptop who, like the best butler, can play me nice music (Baxter, at the moment) and still meticulously take notes; but who, in his single inch of titanium grooviness, sits rather unobtrusively on my thighs. Even the best butler would be a bit bulky, comparatively.

This particular chunk of time in SF has been somewhat more mellow than the last few. I flew back early to attend my grandfather's funeral, so it started off on a slightly somber note. I've been doing lots of design work, which is fun but very time consuming. I've had to cancel a number of fun plans with fun people to stay home and work. Ugh! That's so wrong.

This weird phenomenon has been happening since that one pathetic moaning undeserving of a title: not only have thoughtful people somewhat outside my normal circle contacted me to give me their support (which is kind of nice); but a more annoying phenomenon too - my own regular friends have been freaking out. I was saying how normally I don't really complain or talk about it much when there's something bothering me, because I don't like that pathetic feeling of weakness and self-loathing and I'd rather deal with it alone... and having an anonymous outlet (uh, that'll be this one) in which to express my frustrations has made it easier to be expressive when in pain.

And then people close to me started writing me these horrid emails aking me if I'm okay, with exaggerated concern like I'm going to kill myself or something. Did they miss my point? My point is, if I wanted to make a big deal and have you swoon over my well-being, I would have CALLED you and said, help me, I'm miserable. And the point is that even if I were that miserable I wouldn't call you and tell you. In fact, the more miserable I were, the less likely I would tell you about it.

So relax, okay? If you're worried about me, maybe ask me if I want to talk about it, because I really love feeling like there's someone who knows and loves me who is, you know, listening. Just hearing me, and feeling for me and not making judgments (I can do that myself).

And that's it. If you have the nerve to freak out that I Might Not Be Okay, and you wonder why I so seldom express my fears and insecurities to you - did it occur to you that you might not be a very good listener? If I feel I am not going to be "heard" -- like you're not really "there" outside your own head long enough to get what I'm talking about - I'm not gonna talk. I would rather be silent than misunderstood any day.

Feelings can be very complex. Sometimes something is sort of good and bad at the same time, or a situation is, you know, maybe not what you were expecting but not "bad" in itself. And to me, to share these things and feel like you know what I mean - you see all sides of it - to me, that is the greatest feeling in the world. To feel like somebody GETS me! Doesn't that sound good to you?

So no, I'm not holding a razor blade to my wrist; I'm not that type. But I may be wishing you, yes you!, would just shut up for a second and put your arms around me... tell me it's okay, and even if I screw up or feel like shit, that I'm the same person and you love me just the same. That's all I want to hear, really, because when I fuck up I tend to feel really disillusioned with myself. Like, "Wow, I really suck! How silly I was to think I was really kind of an okay person. Duped myself pretty good, didn't I?" (increasingly bitter banter in head.)

On this note, I did have a really fantastic conversation with Stefanie the other night; and I think that she's so sensible about emotions, and so able to see all the complexities, and so empathetic. Now I realize how much more of my time I should be giving her; for her excellent listening, I hope I am able to reciprocate.

I'm also excited that I'm going to be visiting Lucian next week. We were best friends for half our lives before a bit of a falling-out followed by my moving up here from L.A. A bit of time and perspective made it easier for me to sort of get to know her over again.

I think she and I had become sort of... I don't know, co-dependent? Is that a terrible thing to say? As time provides the perspective, I see more and more how I didn't really do the right thing with our relationship; yet, inevitably it was all I was capable of at the time. I loved her - but, like the guy says in the wonderful bittersweet movie "Torch Song Trilogy" - "but not enough." And that was the problem, and inside that are some other problems, because earlier on I had loved her plenty! It goes back to that need to be heard, to be "gotten"... and I guess there was a period, a very painful period of heartbreak for me when I needed so much to have someone just put their arms around me, and it was her I needed; but she didn't do it. Again, it's possible that I failed to communicate this to her, but knowing she certainly realized the situation, I thought she knew I needed her. Maybe it wasn't obvious? So when heartbreak came to her shortly thereafter, was I there for her? No I wasn't. I was far away, and I stayed there.

So, now we've broken each other's hearts, and we've let time pass, and we've learned a new sort of friendship, of almost 20 years of history with a big gap in a few of the years which we don't discuss because we've hurt each other enough. In my idealistic 20's I would have thought that gap was a Big Problem and a Very Bad Thing, which Should Be Dealt With; in my somewhat more judicious early 30's now I think, it is what it is... the relationship is different now, and that's okay. Relationships have lives of their own, they live and die and are reborn.

The best thing about being married is having a permanent ally. As single people we rely heavily on our friends as support systems, and sometimes they're there and sometimes they aren't. But Ashley is always there, always watching my back; and always forgives me when I screw up; and always hugs me and tells me, "I love you anyway."

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