Running to the Stadium

I ran over to the stadium to try and shed the stress from my confusing morning.  I walked in the large, black open gates, then ran all the way up the silver bleachers to the top, hoping I wouldn’t randomly faint and fall to my death. Then as I sat at the very top, completely alone in that enormous stadium, I clutched the silver bench and I decided not to be sad. I decided that I was going to make mistakes and be who I want to be. Perhaps I am wrong and perhaps I will have regrets, but these are my mistakes to make and at least I won’t be perfect, because being happy has nothing to do with being perfect.

I decided it would be OK to clear things up with Jake. He is like an ocean that washes away my grief. He is a distraction that keeps me from having to take addictive happy pills / beta blockers. I don’t want to loose that by trying to do the right thing. I want to enjoy him and let the fear go. I want to be the villain because it feels good.

As I ran back to the house I turned onto our street and there was Jake with his dog, Milo and his red-headed roommate. They were playing Frisbee in the road. Our neighborhood is so quiet in the summer. He caught my gaze as he tossed the frisbee to his roommate and I slowed to a walk and looked back at him. He looked concerned. My heart ached and even though I was drenched in sweat I wanted to go and see him and talk to him and tell him I felt awful about this morning. I stopped on the sidewalk in front of my house and he stopped playing frisbee and stared back at me. It made my heart flip in a good way. He wasn’t ignoring me. He was sad too. Then I heard Chris call from the house, “Odette? What are you doing?”

I just wanted to run to Jake but I opened the gate, walked down our path and into the front door and I shut it. The air conditioning felt good and the house smelled like dinner cooking.

“What were you doing out there?” Chris said as he drained the steaming, organic broccoli into the sink…the broccoli that I had bought earlier from the health food store along with almond milk and preservative-free lunch meat.

“I was looking at the pretty Golden lab.” I said.

“We are not getting a dog.” he said.

“I know.”

I Need This

I’m crying a lot recently, but about Jake, not Meliah. I prefer crying over deserved, ridiculous, unfounded heartache caused by Jake than the utter despair of loosing my older sister.

Jake is my distraction and my drug for curing my grief. I can’t let him go just yet. I need this.

The Sunny Side of the Street

Amazing news…it looks like a famous singer (shhhh) is going to cover Chris’s hit song from the good ol’ days when his band was super popular. The gears are in motion…his band is already talking about getting back together for some reunion shows around San Fran and Marin. We pretty much will always live off the money that comes in from that song. Chris is utterly sick of playing it and is hoping this new cover of his song will be a spring board to get people interested in some new stuff.  As soon as I get the “all clear” I will post the song. I’m wondering if this means we will start hearing some new music around the house again…fingers crossed.

Also today I got Zoe some cotton-candy-pink cleats and a ridiculously cute soccer skirt and shirt so she can start on her toddler soccer-team this Saturday. She looks so delightfully pink in everything. I made her wear the cleats to “break them in”,  so I could giggle at her clunking around the living room.

More good news…Chris and I are going to start a program called, “More than Words” which is basically where the parents learn how to be therapists for their kids. We both have to go to two meetings a week and also someone comes to our house once a week and video tapes us playing with Zoe. It is supposed to be an amazing program. We are are doing it through CARD.

But I couldn’t have been excited about any of this if it weren’t for this morning. After I dropped off Zoe, and after Chris got someone to come in for him at the music shop so he could go to his all day band meeting…I went out and sat on the sidewalk. I was hoping that Jake would come out there like he did a few days ago. He did. Right at 9:30 I heard a bark and Milo came running towards me. Then I saw Jake walking out of his house. I pet Milo and Jake smiled at me as he walked down the street. I grinned back. We were like two kids who were embarrassed about our dumb fight. He just came and sat down next to me. Then he took my hand and rubbed the back of it with his other hand. Then he suddenly got worried, like he didn’t know if he was allowed to touch me or not.

“Is this OK?” he said.

I nodded.

“I’m sorry I was a jerk” he said, looking embarrassed. I don’t know what the rules are with this thing we are doing. I get confused and it makes me act stupid. I want to help you with Zoe and I don’t care if it comes with benefits or not.”

I smiled, trying not to smile too big. He couldn’t have chosen the words better. My heart was doing flips and I could feel my face getting flushed with relief and happiness.

“I guess I haven’t been too clear about my intentions,” I said. “And I suppose they do change daily. I don’t think there are any rules. I don’t know what I want. Actually, I do. I do know what I want.”

I looked at my shoes.

“We don’t have to have rules. We could just make this up as we go along.” he said.

I smiled and nodded. He gently tickled the back of my hand as we spoke and I just wanted to kiss him so badly. I couldn’t do that out on the street though, and I didn’t want to bring him inside my house.

“I wish we could spend some real time together. Just me and you without any distraction.” He said.

I nodded again. Why did what I want seem like it was so doomed?

He saw that I was getting a bit miserable again. “Hey, it’s like you are the Bachelortte but you get to keep the winner and the runner up!”

“Oh shut up!!” I gasped. “That is horrible!”

He laughed loudly at his joke and rolled back on the sidewalk, his head in the grass and Milo ran up to lick his face. “Dog, get away from me!” he was still laughing.

I shook my head. “The Bachelorette. I sure wouldn’t mind going out on one of those dates,” I said. “Lets fly around the city in a helicopter.”

“Give me a date and time and I can arrange that,” he said.

I looked at him. He wasn’t kidding. “I can’t give any dates and times” I said.

“We’ll figure it out” he said petting Milo’s ears. “I never shy away from a challenge.”

Nostalgia – by Astrid

I was walking by an old ice cream shop that night. Its crusty, washed-out character pulled me in. Blindly, I followed the call of nostalgia and ordered a cup of vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles.

An older couple sat beside me. Both the man and woman looked to be in their eighties. Oddly, they talked about their day as if the other one didn’t spend it with them. I listened closer and the man asked the woman a question that I didn’t expect.

“Did you get my text message this morning?” he asked.

“Yes I did,” she answered. “It was nice. Thank you.”

He explained to her that he spent the majority of his day rolling cigarettes. He rolled two packs for himself and six for her.

I’m lost by this. I couldn’t help but invent a dreamy story of love lost, re-connections, and happiness ever after.

But then I observed a loneliness which made me think of Meliah and the senselessness of life’s directions. I managed a spoonful and the cold cream hurt the lump in my throat. I threw the rest away and walked out.

I’m gone until I feel my phone vibrate. It was a text message from Adam. He was in the city and wanted to visit.

It was really bad idea and I texted him back anyway.

Good to hear from u

I sent him the address to the bar. He said he’d be there in twenty minutes.

Hinted at Reversibility

Went to a DAN dr yesterday. She is also a pediatrician who is respected around town. The Dr. understood Zoe’s regression. I told her the sudden decline is like Charlie’s fall from genius in “Flowers For Algernon“. She had read that book and nodded sadly. I found my self trying not to cry when explaining the skills Zoe has lost over the past couple of weeks. She can’t operate the DVD player anymore that she used to amazingly navigate, and she stopped saying “yes” and “no”. We told her about how Zoe is clear as a bell when she has a fever and the doctor said that this hinted at reversibility. I’m not getting my hopes up too much but I feel like we are at the right place. So glad to have found someone to guide us through this medically. Tomorrow we bring Zoe back in for blood work…relieved to have help.

Naked Stranger

“So what is wrong with your husband?”

I was surprised, “What do you mean?”

“You wouldn’t be doing this with me if there wasn’t something wrong with him.”

“There’s nothing wrong with him,” I said. “I’m the problem.”

“Does he know anything is going on?”

“No.”

Jake picked up my hand and tickled the back of it. “How can he not know that something isn’t right?”

“I’m turning into a good liar these days.”

“Would you lie to me?” He looked in my eyes that were about 3 inches from his.

“Probably.”

“I don’t like that.” He frowned and looked at the back of my hand he was still tickling.

“Well I didn’t lie just then did I?” He sat up and looked down at my face as I rested my head on his pillow. I smirked at him.

“You are a piece of work,” he said.

I sat up and looked around for my shirt. He pulled it from under the covers and handed it to me. I held on to it and looked at him and smiled. “Tell me something about you, something I don’t know. I know you like movies I have never heard of and you don’t fuck girls who don’t have books.”

“What?! Oh, that picture-thing on my Facebook page.”

“You like bands I have never heard of and books I have never read. The only thing I think we have in common is that based on your Darth Vader Alarm clock, I think we both really like Star Wars.”

“I have pretty specific tastes,” he said. “I’m a pretty complicated guy.”

“How so?” I was fascinated.

“Well I like my beer cold and my girls hot.”

I rolled my eyes and pulled my shirt on over my head. “Just tell me something, anything about you, you as a person.”

“I don’t know. I used to skateboard as a kid until I got into football. I was the quarterback in my high school. We won State Champs my senior year. It was a pretty big fuckin deal.” He laughed, almost cynically.

“Do you play football here?”

“No,” he pushed the covers away from his leg and showed me a scarred up knee. My knee injury finished me.”

“Can you still skateboard?”

“I don’t know,” he smiled. “I haven’t tried in a while.”

I sat there feeling odd. I was in bed with a quarterback. A lot of girls probably liked that, or at least used to like that. “I always dated artsy guys,” I said.

“A bunch of pussies,” he said, then laughed. Actually, look at this. Maybe it will help me fit in with your requirements.”

He hopped off the bed onto the floor then reached under it and took out a piece of paper. He handed it to me and I said, “She’s naked.”

“She was the model in my art class yesterday.”

I looked at his stunningly fluid lines. The neatness and perfection of each stroke of the pencil. “This is amazing.” I said, feeling a pang of jealousy in my gut, and an awe at what some lucky girl was going to have someday with Jake.

“You can have it if you want.”

I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, I’m going to take home to my husband, a picture of a naked girl, that was drawn by the kid I am sleeping with.’

“I don’t know,” I said, looking at the picture. He shrugged, looking oddly dejected.

“Ok,” I said. “Thank you.” I kissed him sweetly as I could and when I drew away he still had his eyes closed. It made my heart flutter and I warned myself to try and not feel that. I got my stuff together, including my picture of the naked stranger, and headed out. As I walked out in to the bright sunlight and home down the middle of our quiet road, I concocted stories in my head about where the heck I could say this picture came from.

Worryin ’bout that Girl

“I’m just worried about you.”

Again, Chris was worried about me. It was annoying.

“I’m fine.” I said.

“You just stay up late and then are unreachable all morning. You are behind on your marketing work and I just don’t know if I need to do anything to help you. Maybe you need to go back on your medication.”

“You really don’t need to be concerned about me. Don’t you have band practice to go to?”

Chris put his guitar down on the couch and sat down. I sighed and put my hands on my hips.

He looked up at me and said, “I know that it has been difficult with Zoe’s evaluation, and I know you are upset that I am going on tour when I was supposed to be doing the “More than Words” classes with you. But can’t we just try?”

“Try to what?”

“I don’t know,” he said picking up his guitar and starting to strum. He started playing the Kink’s song, “Nothin in the World

I listened to his beautiful playing and smarted as he sang the words,

Met a girl, fell in love,
glad as I can be…
Met a girl, fell in love,
glad as I can be…
But I think all the time, “Is she true to me?”
‘Cause there’s nothin’ in this world
Stop me worryin’ ’bout that girl…

I found out I was wrong,
she was just two-timin’…
I found out I was wrong,
But she just kept on lyin’.
Now she tries t’tell the truth,
I just can’t believe –
‘Cause there’s nothin’ in this world
Stop me worryin’ ’bout that girl…

Tell me, who can I turn to,
just who can I believe?
Try to put her outta my mind,
sh’only cause me grief
I love that girl, whatever she’s done –
Y’know it hurts me deeply
‘Cause there’s nothin’ in this world
Stop me worryin’ ’bout that girl…

I know she’s been with other fellows,
Why’s she keep on lyin’?
Hurts me so when she says nothin’,
I really feel like dyin’.
I ache inside everytime I think;
I know it’s just my pride.
‘Cause there’s nothin’ in this world
Stop me worryin’ ’bout that girl…

‘Cause there’s nothin’ in this world…
C’n stop me worryin’ ’bout that girl.

He looked up at me when he was finished and I was fighting  back tears. He stood up and kissed me on the lips. “Bye” he said and brushed out of the door with his guitar in hand, the screen door banging behind him.

I watched him go and Zoe ran in the room with a book and slammed it on my legs. I sat down on the couch and slowly began to read to her,

“Once upon a time there lived a beautiful young girl who lived in a small house near a castle. She was a brave and strong little girl, but most of all, she was honest.”

I put the book down for a second and took a deep breath. Then picked it back up again to finish the story.

 

Phone Call

“Hello?”

“Hey.”

“Who’s this?”

“It’s Jake.”

“How on earth did you get my number?”

“I just looked at your phone the other day when you were over here.”

“I told you I didn’t want to do the phone thing. It is too risky. Look at what happened to Tiger Woods!” I thought he would laugh but he didn’t.

“I know, but I haven’t heard from you in 3 days and I was wondering if you want to come over again?”

“Things are a little crazy here” I said, thinking about how Chris and I had been spending time together with Zoe and I didn’t want to stray from him.

“Well, do you know when things are going to, um, calm down?”

“I don’t know,” I said.

Silence.

Then he said, “I have some more ideas about ways to help Zoe.”

“Like what? She has an autism doctor now. The doctor is pretty good at answering my nutrition questions.”

“Well, I have some friends in town who are starting an organic basket program where you get seasonal organic food each week and it is pretty cheap. I’m going to do it and I could pick a basket up for you tomorrow if you want. You don’t have to pay for it since I have connections.”

I thought for a second. That would be so great to just have a basket of veggies each week just delivered. “Sure, OK,” I said. “I don’t mind paying though.”

“I’ve got it,” he said. “Do you want me to bring it over tomorrow morning?”

“Yes, that sounds good. See you then.”

“See you then he said,” and the word, END came up on my phone, surrounded by red.

Negative

I just saw something kind of weird outside of my window. I was sitting on the couch where I can see everyone walking down the street as they head over to the University on their way to class. I saw Jake walking with a girl. That is fine. But I recognized her. She was at his house, on her way out of the door a week or so ago when I sporadically went to visit him. She had smiled at me so I thought that she must not be a girlfriend. I also realized, from all they way over here on my couch, that she looks a lot like the naked girl in the picture that Jake drew, then gave me. Could she be the “model in his art class” or did he lie and actually give me a naked picture of his girlfriend? That would be completely and utterly sick. I hopped off the couch and ran to pull his drawing out of the book I had it folded up in and thought that yes, it was probably that girl. But when I really think about it I wonder if I’m just starting to get weirdly paranoid. If he would do something like that, then he is a lot darker than I ever gave him credit for. That would be such a twisted thing to do. Don’t you think? It makes me want to stay away from him. But maybe I am just being super paranoid and seeing things that aren’t really there. I’m so confused. I don’t think I mentioned our soccer debacle from last Saturday did I? I dressed Zoe up in her super cute outfit and everyone oohd and aahhd at her as she stumbled onto the soccer field. She did a little bit of running up and down the field when we begged her to but there was a butterfly that was much more interesting than the ball and she spent most of the practice time following the butterfly. I don’t know if we are going to bother this Saturday. I don’t think she is a soccer kind of girl anymore. When she was 18 months she was amazing at kicking the ball and running after it. I’m so angry that her regression would even take her soccer ability away from her. I can’t even think about it. I know it is the afternoon but since Zoe is sleeping, I’m going to take a nap too. Maybe when I wake up things will look brighter. The unexpected twists and turns of life make me tired. I never feel sorry for myself though. I deserve any negative stuff that happens to me, and worse.

Beach Lightening

We’re at the beach. It is storming and Chis and Zoe are in the car in the beach parking lot. There is no safer place to be during lightening than in the car. The rubber tires protect you. I saw it once on myth busters. I am on the sand. The rain is washing the salt out of my hair and into my mouth. It is lovely. The thunder is crashing so loud that it drowns out all of my fear. The lightening is brighter than the sunset, crackling down around the semi circle of white capped ocean. I’m alone here. This is what life is all about.
Chris got me out if bed this morning. He left work early at 10 am and dragged me out of bed and into the car where he had Zoe all strapped in. He said maybe if he took me to my favorite place on earth it would get me out if my funk.
Meliah used to surf these waves. If I look hard enough into the waves, maybe the lighting will light her up somewhere. But the rain is too thick. I’ll never find her. Maybe I should join Chris and Zoe in the Car. Sigh. He’s going to be so mad at me.

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