Thursday, December 29, 2011
And I will do what I can to do those things
That will make me a better man.
I will stop talking about myself in gender-confusing ways
I'll eat only my prescribed 1200 calories a day and
waste away, mind first
I'll speak more and write
Even more than that
We have to keep the ratio right
I'll set aside my need for
snugly love and lean into
leather lashes, properly provided
Pretend harder that I wouldn't be
Equally confused and undecided
Even if I had a picket fence & puppy
I will make more effort to learn
the purpose and power, to yearn
for the rhyme. I'll own it.
I will tear down the paper thin walls
that looked like steel for years
I'll be consistent in my stanza
My love will always be consistent
Consistently there, waiting, wondering
Wandering, hopeless like a child
I'll stand as still as I need to and listen to the rush of wind. I will predict the acorn falling. I'll know what it's all for.
I'll finally get over the failure of my mother, although I'll never forgive her. I'll describe her deeds in detail and publish them all over the cloud.
I'll tell the story
of the mountain of me
and how I got to be
I'll own it
because I'm that strong.
I'll stand still
and let the children climb over me.
I will laugh
my signature hearty chuckle
and it will shake the trees
And I'll say, "I called that one."
And it won't matter at all.
And we'll smile all the same.
The pain is part of it. This we know.
But look! Look.
There it is.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Okay, I admit it, it's true: I have a new found *thing* for doctors. Or maybe I'm simply just now identifying my predilection for the highly educated, highly motivated young woman doctor. They're so freaking cute!
The ER doc defintely started this trend, though I've always had a crush on my GP. You could've knocked me over with a feather when I saw the vet this morning. Of course her giant wedding ring was a (fairly) clear indicator that I should just stand down, but I was already agog.
I'm fairly certain that even the most socially inept individual can read my face. I am only mysterious at an Aspberger conference. So I'm certain the animal doc read me right away, leading to our mutual stammering-stuttering-blushing-fest as we talked fungus and ringworm and fleas.
I try not to look like an idiot. It doesn't always work.
Friday, August 26, 2011
I know, I know. I should be writing. Snippy snazzy bits of sentences and half-baked ideas go flying through my head all the time. Usually when I'm driving.
For weeks I've been promisng myself to reconnect to Blogger via email so I could just whip out my smart phone and be pithy on the spot. Or, you know, pull over.
Some of my favorite bloggers have been really quiet for too long, also. And I'd like to harass them about writing more, but really couldn't with my own poor showing.
So let's get back to it, shall we? The world needs our snark and sarcasm. It's a dimmer place without excessive alliteration and our unique perspective. Not everybody can live upside-down, or inside-out, or... whatever the hell I'm doing.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Not sure which way to go right now.
I'll tell you honestly that I feel a strange kind of sad. It's strange because there's a stiff-upper-lip built into it, and I don't know why.
Maybe the crash started when I was coming down off the multi-day high of sexual tension building over e-media: photos and words exchanged, the former stolen and reblogged, the latter crafted by me. If crescendo doesn't mean crashing, it should.
This Saturday was full of wicked news: The untimely death of Amy Winehouse, crooner extraordinaire and a real hot mess. The massacre in Norway, by a man claiming to be a Christian, fighting for Israel. And the unrelenting heat wave, which wasn't really news, but continued to punish us across the country.
I feel guilt about Amy Winehouse -- probably not entirely because I feel that I should've done something more -- but more because her death is an echo of a work friend who died late last fall, also found dead in her bed, also who struggled with alcohol and a hard, complicated life. I didn't help her either, but rather kept her an arm's length away, not wanting the dark cloud of her defeating life to touch mine. I feel guilt about that, guilt that I didn't reach out, care more, fix more.
I am bitter about my inner desire to fix and heal. I see it as an illness that looks like graciousness but is probably rooted in something deeper, sicker, and certainly less desirable. I have already promised myself and announced that I am not going to be anybody's white knight anymore. Any potential partner will come with the ability to solve her own shit, and a job of her own.
I'm distressed about the Norway shooter, who claims to have done his destruction because he wants to support Israel. Whack-job militaristic nut bags defending Israel was NOT in my wishlist for peace in the Middle East. I'm left to wonder when the cycle of attack/defend from the other children of Abraham will simmer down enough to have a family reunion. Must we lump all Christians together? Must we lump all Muslims together? God knows the Jews themselves don't want to be indistinguishable from each other, even while we grudgingly defend our own whack-job counterparts' right to exist. Exist yes, legislate no. I fear the total demise of pluralistic religion in Israel, as the "right way" to be Jewish narrows.
My friends are largely saner than I. They explain to me the realistic expectations that I should have: I can't have done a thing for Amy Winehouse. There will probably never be peace in the Middle East. My friends think it's sweet that I want to save the world, but they're a fairly logical bunch, geeks and scientists and such. I would rather live near them, though, to counterbalance my own lofty dreams and excessive emotion. Someone needs to give me the high water mark, so I know when I'm flying and need to come down.
So. I saw the flag. The those-are-your-emotions flag and the data that accompanies it. I suppose that's where I know I need to buck it up, and keep going. Me and my long face did laundry and cleared off the mountain of crap on my coffee table. I did not cry, as I often do when I am overwhelmed with the sad emotion of the composite of humanity. It is not a happy story, even when you sample the greatness of some, the compassion of many. No. Overwhelmingly it is a story that makes you shout "not fair!" and occasionally "why me?" out loud. I feel the lows, and I am sometimes unwilling if not unable to drag myself out of bed and to work. I don't take a pill for it... yet. I am mostly healthy, even though my knees scream at me during and after a workout. According to doctors I am slowly dying from fatness. Even still I struggle with not consuming my grief through calories. I seek other solutions, other ways to relieve my soul. I workout like a maniac, every day I can, turning myself into an addict for adrenaline & pushing myself beyond my comfort zone.
Who am I to want to mend souls, with my own a patchwork in tatters? I don't know. But I know when others hurt, I hurt. Empathy is hardly a strength, when it buckles my own knees. My brain searches for a solution. It is an equation, after all. There must be a way to solve it. And then I think: there is a way, through loss, through pain and tragedy. I know, I sound melodramatic. But the point is: that *has* to be there. Has to be. Not just because we need an opposite for happiness and triumph. The negative is the chisel to the positive marble, cutting away the excess, showing us the form inside the block. It belongs. It is part of the process.
So. No crying, unless it's one of those stoic single tears tracing the curve of my cheek. Chin up, and stand tall. No one is going to save you but you. No one can do what you want, but you. Dust off your boots and tighten the tourniquet. Keep walking, cowboy.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Her perfume is familiar, although I couldn't tell you the name of it. It goes nicely with my Old Spice. I would have you believe that she knows that.
We share a lot of common desires: good food, silverware that is both elegant and heavy in your hand, expensive glasses frames (although she got laser surgery), good food. She wanted to take me to dinner for my birthday, which was Monday. We went to a Japanese restaurant well known for their skewers. Their sushi was exquisite. I knew it would be. My wife don't play. Not when it comes to food.
With her I learned to appreciate fine things. I learned about blending two tastes together, two scents together, to make something completely amazing. With her I learned how to be quick and nimble, not physically, but financially and socially. I called her Rocketgirl. She was a true lion, a Leo all the way. I fancied myself a lion tamer, specially qualified to understand, moderate, and love.
I do still love. The rest, I know is folly. I love because... because I do. She has an apartment in my heart, next to some other important suites and residences.
Still, I worry, am wary. For all the fabulousness there were pitfalls, things I wouldn't describe in detail here. Enough, I would say, to give reason to the split. Faults were many, on both sides. I know so much more now. Who can say what could've happened otherwise.
So I sipped sake and listened, interjected occassionally a story, or simply exclaimed about the food. It is really good. We let the chef feed us whatever. I opted to set aside my half-assed kosher following and eat the funky fish and shellfish. I tasted the porkbelly, the first ever in my life. It was divine. The sake she ordered was light and bubbly and cold. I started the evening with chilled vodka straight up, so I was good and ready for this very drinkable sake.
She gave me a gift: a soft leather bound journal with unlined pages. And a card that said, mostly, "sorry."
So close. So soft. Known, with memories sown into the corners. Smells so good. But I don't lean in. I don't. I don't flirt, but I am looking, watching her eyes. Remembering. And then thinking about what is real, now. Words are one thing. Action something else. Will I even give enough room to move? I am fixed, for now. Time, says the 42-year-old part of my brain, is the key. That gives a pattern to movement, movement to intentions.
No. Part of me will still get lost. Gets lost between vodka and black sesame ice cream. That is enough for now. Back to me.
I hailed her a cab.
Friday, April 29, 2011
But then we get a whole new slew of rules that are mentioned first (and maybe only) here: don’t cheat (you must use correct measures and weights), don’t lead others astray or injure or manipulate them (stumbling block before a blind man), don’t curse someone who cannot hear you, don’t gather the corners of your field – leave them for the poor, when you hire a worker you must pay them right away, don’t play favorites but instead be just and righteous.
These laws, I would contend, should be the foundation of our civil society. These laws are what separate those who are nice from those who are mean, basically.
There are all kinds of people in the world, we know this already. There are some who are less socially apt than others, sometimes it’s just introversion, sometimes it’s a question of mental faculty. People who have autism, even high on the functioning spectrum, can miss out on social cues, body language, even facial expressions or vocal tones. These laws protect these types of people from others who would prey on them. These laws – were we to actually follow them – would indeed set us apart, establish us as a light to the nations.
There are other rules within this portion that aren’t so clear, their meaning may be symbolic more than plain. A great example of this is 19:19 which instructs us not to mix animal species through mating, not mixing seed as you sow your field, and not wearing garments of mixed fibers. Our ancestors seem obsessed with keeping everything straight, perfectly aligned and in its own place. Of course earlier in the Torah we know that the priests themselves wore garments of wool and linen.
Also in this portion is the law concerning rounding off the edge of your scalp and the edge of your beard. This is the law that Orthodox follow when they grow payis and allow their beards to flourish. Next to this verse is the one that prohibits tattoos. Both of these laws, it has been suggested, are to separate Israel from the other communities who did have tattoos, and shaved their heads so that just the crown of the head was covered in hair.
Separation from others has long been a trademark of the Jewish sensibility. Many of our customs are designed to do just that. I experience this often first hand when I dine out with my friends – whether they are Jewish or not – and decline the pork products. I get a certain amount of razzing, as my friends test my dedication to this concept. They tell me there are refrigerators now and the pork is safe to eat. Many believe the original purpose for the law was sanitation and health. It probably did help, as did the commandments to wash our hands before we eat. But I don’t follow that rule because it’s better for my health. I follow the rule because I can. It seems like such a small thing, in the context of all the 613 mitzvot we are given, and one I can follow on faith. I have no logic (besides the health concept) to go on, really. What I do know is it does set me apart. At a table full of folks sharing pizza, I’m the one who has the veggie pizza.
I often don’t understand the deep meaning of the Torah. And there are parts of this portion that I still don’t get. Why it is that blended fibers make me less holy, I don’t know. I can’t logically accept every word of this holy book, but I honor its legacy. I believe there are parts here that are essential to humanity and those ideas are themselves holy: Take care of the stranger in our midst, for you too were strangers once, and you should know what it feels like. Care for the sick, the feeble and the elderly and treat them with respect. 19:32 You shall rise in the presence of an old person and you shall honor the presence of an elder.
This is the grand meaning of this parasha: we are to be set apart, to be holy, like Adonai our God, who is holy. Kedoshim – the holy ones, related to the word kadosh. In this way we are different, we are special, and we have a responsibility to be that light, to lead by example. May this be God’s will.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Even the prep work -- as the phrase goes -- wasn't as bad as it could've been. Sure, it's kind of sick to expect someone to take fourteen doses of stool softener in two hours. The relationship I've had with Gatorade has changed, if only because I dissolved it all in a 64 oz bottle and downed it.
It was also odd that I wasn't really hungry after fasting all day. Or maybe the pain in my gut is just normal now. So the next morning, again, I wasn't crazy hungry. (If only Yom Kippur were so easy.) I drove down to Georgetown in early morning traffic. Parked in the garage. Someone in the hospital corridor asked me if I needed help finding my way. It was all very civilized. The only people with their heads up their asses were the ladies at the check-in desk.
There was a nurse to ask me questions and get the IV started, and a different nurse for the procedure. At one point I had one on either side of me as Nurse 1 was looking for a vein. Nurse 2, establishing some rapport, says "Did you forget to bring your veins?" I answered "I brought my asshole. I thought that was all you needed."
"What?" she asked. I was either too funny or too rude. I repeated it. She repeated it to the anesthesiologist when we got into the other room.
I was chatty. I was nervous. Really getting the IV started was the worst. The actual doc came in and was kind and patient and informative. She drew diagrams. I got oxygen. I got hooked up to some stereo equipment. I got an automatic BP cuff. And then the milky white stuff started crawling up the tube. "You might hear ringing or have a metallic taste in your mouth." After about five seconds I said "Oh there's the ringing in the ears." Two seconds later I was out.
Two hours later I was listening to the old guy in the stall next to me hit on the nurses. I was groggy and high as hell. The nurse who came to check on me when I made a noise was East Indian in heritage but a local native. This was her 2nd career, after being a software developer project manager. I was chatty, and high. And happy.
I was chilling in the chill-out area for a while, eavesdropping and watching the nurses and doctors mill about. A young woman doc came back to talk to an older woman who insisted she see the senior doctor. I watched as the young woman doc brought the older man doctor back, and how she kept her mouth shut and her eyes up while he said the same things she already had. The nurses offered me more juice and saltines. Andy came to get me.
The Emperor was stoked to drive my stick shift car. We wove through streets, talking about lunch. Yes lunch. I wasn't sure if that was hunger or not but I was interested in this thing called food. We stopped at Rockland's and I got brisket and beans -- great choice for the first thing on my newly polished colon. Still, it was delish.
So... the news is: whatever I've got, it's not there. Stay tuned for more exciting adventures in my innards.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
On the eighth day, Moses said, bring a bunch of livestock, 'cause you're gonna see God. And the people were all like, "what?" And they brought the animals, exactly as prescribed. And Aaron lit it all up, like he was supposed to, but God still didn't show up. And then Moses and Aaron were like, "fuck!" and they both went inside the tent and had a little tête-á-tête with God. And then God was like, "Okay, jeez, you made this whole big tent thing for me and all the dolphins skins and shit. Fine. I'll come down." And the people totally freaked out and fell on their faces.
Then we get some strict lessons: don't enter the Mishkan while drunk; don't eat the shrimp or the pork, or camels or alligators, or centipedes (knock yourself out with the grasshoppers though!); and, uh, don't touch the ark. Yeah. You'll die.
All these RULES. Dude, you're killing me with the details and the rules. Can't we just stick to the good stuff, like don't kill your neighbor, and hang on to his ox if you see it wandering around? Don't put a stumbling block in front of a blind man, 'cause that's just fucking evil. No, you've gotta remind me again about the Red Heifer and how we'll never be pure again, really until we find one and turn it into ash. Dude. C'mon. Weren't the Israelites enough of a hard sell after You had your way with the Egyptians?
And yet there's this outlandish leap of faith we're supposed to take. For them it's putting their lives in the hands of a God who seems a little fickle and weird, with crazy instructions and details that are so convoluted even Aaron and Moses have to have a moment to figure out if something was wrong (who ate the sin offering and where?). For us now, it's just about believing. That's the leap of faith.
For me, it's about trusting.
Friday, March 4, 2011
standing guard and pacing
Bear with wings and spear
Few are good enough for you
And me, I know this
Sorting through humanity is an onerous task
Keeping one eye skewed
of course your flower should blossom
your house warm to homeness
I, skeptical and untrusting,
leave the gate open
but refuse to abandon my post
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I will WISH, hard and in secret, for a touch, tender and full of emotion. But in the blazing light of day I will know, in the bottoms of my feet, that I cannot wait for this thing, this romance, this fake fucker to come around and give me that dream. Crazy stupid dream of what? Someone to fawn over me and gush? Someone to pull on me and lean, needing me for every breath?
No no no. I can poke holes in anything. Just watch. I can be bitter, doubtful and most of all, alone. I will send out tendrils to scout out the landscape. But I will stay here, where I am me first of all, whatever that may mean.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I write this as I stuff a Subway 6" sandwich into my mouth, knowing that it is that "full mouth" feeling that I really need. I need it. This is how I know my relationship with food is as fucked as my relationship with my mother.
And that's pretty fucked up.
Mentally I know what is good food and what is bad food. Bad for me. I know that I can have a little of the bad for me food, but it shouldn't be my diet. My brain is playing games with itself. It does this, whether I want it to or not.
I do notice when I eat better, that I feel better. For a while I did the Diet-to-Go thing. It was great. It taught me about portions. It taught me about what to eat for breakfast. But I'm fussy and still essentially a child inside, and I don't want to eat another yogurt for breakfast, damnit. Diet-to-Go has a particular smell. All the meals, no matter what, have this identifiable smell. A co-worker was heating up a meal the other day and I asked what it was, it smelled so familiar. Yup, Diet-to-Go. It's probably a function of one kitchen making every meal. So, I can't bring myself to go back to it.
My D-t-G days were also largely vegetarian, and lacking in dairy. So I seek to emulate that change now, while still allowing myself the mentally-vital cheats just now and again. My Subway sandwich is the VeggieMax, the funky veggie patty. It's an awesome funky patty: every once in a while you get a water chestnut. Double meat, bitchez.
HEY: I need sleep. Hey, I need to work out, again. Last night was great but we need to keep that going.
Hey, I need to figure out why the hell Twitter won't post to sFB.
Hey, I need to write that girl back. She's far away but cute and TALKATIVE over email. That's a change. Nice to get a conversation going.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I am so freaking happy to get back to the internet, can I just tell you? It's not like I haven't been there, but I've been working. Work work work. Not even a freaking status update. FROM MY PHONE.
No, I can't even think, really, work is so big. I have three major initiatives RIGHT NOW PEOPLE. Moving an office; dealing with FREAKING service providers to double our bandwidth; massive changes to the infrastructure, which is really more of a LIST that begins with re-wire the fourth floor, and virtualize your server infrastructure.
And baby, if you followed all that.... Well then you probably feel my pain.
Pain that feels like a brain that doesn't really do lists well with too many freaking lists. I go by feel. I like to feel, frankly. At some point tonight I realized that I might really be an adrenaline junky, who likes to mostly hibernate. But that was only one of many moments when a THOUSAND ideas and lists and dependencies are whirling around in my brain. Hello? Hello? Can I get off this ride? No? Oh. Fuck.
The good news is this: I'm finally tired.
Sweet dreams, dusty ones. Snowed in and stuck. Rest, loveys, recuperating and caretaking. Easy. Slow. Silent. Sleep.
Friday, February 4, 2011
quick now switchin
I'll hear it,
say it list'nin'
focus and logic
thinking things out
cool baby no doubt
as five two can be
some days darlin
big ol' redwood tree
eyes wide open
missing no miracle
if no one sees it
wasn't there at all
I'm hoping this is one of those cases of just late.
The truth is that this job is really fucking big and I need two of me to realistically get it done. Or another half of me. So I'm getting another, well-trained half-of-me part-time. I'll try not to let it bother me that it's a CTO level and that I'm not in it.
Although some days it is like getting punched in the stomach, repeatedly. As in: remember, you couldn't do this job, magically, when it was finally recognized as a need. Too slow, I was having a life, focusing on love and the pursuit of a really fucking long commute.
I cut my commute in half. And I'm about half-a-brain back. But I insist on having a life, and other desires. And yeah, maybe that might take me away someday. But until then, I'll be holding onto my job with both hands. Thank you very much.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
dread drips into every crevice
I am anxious and I don't know why
I split my brain
simultaneously seeing myself
from the outside in
I sneer and critique
every trite mechanism I employ
makes me sick
I wonder if I have any realness left
I wonder if my ability to conversate
has also left the building
I am sticky with sadness
I cling to any well wisher any
sign of affection and then I sneer
push off push away pushing myself down
I would rather sleep, than breathe
it is easier
so quiet in the darkness behind my lids
much better than the repeating defeat of
looking for that which is not there
no email no note no text no photo
I look and look again
Spam and discounts, groupons for love
I have piled up the expectations
heaped on my own shoulders
I believed my own hype
I'll believe it again soon enough
Maybe this time I won't be so cocky
I won't think: oh yeah, all that
I won't think: maybe the next one will be better
I won't think: I deserve more
Even though I do.
I deserve love without fear, it's true.
I want what any artist exploding with passion wants
to express, to emote, to feel with every cell
Lest you explode all over your options.
Yes, bub -- I reassure myself -- pulling back from 11,
Fierce and fine is love
When it comes
Not the metered interview, not the self-doubting,
She didn't even burp.
It all feels like dishonesty to me. But this is it.
This is how it's done. Welcome to the Right Way.
We know it doesn't fit. Yes.
Yes, it is hard to find someone with whom
casual conversation is authentically interesting
You may not stay here.
Wander on, just like you said you would.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
No no. THIS bear weeps. I do. I'm leaky, like all through the eyes. I cry when my congregation's cantor sings Oseh Shalom in her amazing voice. I tear up when I watch a sappy Hallmark commercial. I wept a little driving home last night, because I was just SO BUMMED OUT. And I wept just now, reading this blog from Mom on a Wire: http://bit.ly/ifmR7q
I worry, occassionally, that I'm TOO sensitive. Lord knows, I'd like to turn it off from time to time. Usually once a month, actually. (checks calendar...) And then I think, "No... someone needs to feel all this." Someone needs to feel the depth of the despair, so that she can pull those despairing up.
Or at least describe the despiration to the local media, so someone can, like, send a truck. With a rope.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
It might go away. This moment
this inbetween this not rock not hard place
I am random, I see that now. Periods.
I used to drive people crazy with my hand written poems
starting all over the page.
They said, why here? Halfway across
light blue lines on smooth milky white.
I am making time stand still
Time in the big sense
I am taking mental photos of how this feels
I am memorizing the luscious swing of my own hips
Documenting the pull of my shoulders
as I hold it all up.
I'll hold it up.
Until I get tired and then I'll
hand it over
let it drop
This is the sweet spot
between freedom and beloved capture
between knowing for sure
and playing the game
This is the moment to freeze in time
knowing there's more
not knowing what it will be
There will be more
hands and hair
There is always the Long Term
after the rush is over
when the wave receeds, still standing
and fixing eyes on each other
knowing this stays
I get this, in doses from far away,
unsullied by the usual complications.
I get love and pets, in words and smiles
copious from some and others I gratefully wait
Gratefully, I wait.
I promise I will wait. Sit. Breathe.
Here I am, complete and whole,
a show of my own.
And you are?
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I know, I'm too late to jump on board with some schlocky 2010 retro-perspective. I'm really too late to make any sordid predictions about 2011. Mostly I'm just oddly happy about being able to say "eleven" a lot. And randomly insert "this one goes to eleven" as a non-sequitur. I'm pretty sure 11 will be an awesome year, if only because 12 is supposed to suck so bad. End of the world and all.
Here are my two second recommendations for living life at 11:
-- fall in love, without jumping off a cliff
-- dance, more
O that I could tell you to FEEL. This feeling thing, this mind-wrecking plummet, somersault, upswing and crash landing. Feel before and after keeping your feet in close proximity with the Earth. Feel those feet, your feet, and you. Dance, the weight of you in the middle. Focus, baby. You're a fucking rockstar and you can do whatever you imagine. Rocking back and forth and you know how that goes: listen Shlomi, all is one and one is all; everything is beautiful, and amazing. It's all in how you look at it.