Loneliness

loneliness

the road is so dark
the destination unclear
I travel alone
Gloria Gaynor in my ear
“I will survive,” she says
and I will, I realize
the heart break and hurt that came before,
have nothing on the Loneliness that I have come to abhor
the all consuming voiceless quiet that fills my days
the words unsaid could fill a book of essays
but conversations are nowhere to be found
only silence abounds
the exchange of opinions, jokes, ideas
these are my dreams, desires, needs
to connect
to belong
to be a part of something
anything!
but until the day comes where I find myself a part of the human race
Gloria and I will put on a brave face
we will journey together down that dark, lonely road
and know, in our heart of hearts, that we are strong enough to shoulder our load
Loneliness is but a place we pass through
on our journey into the dark blue
because though the road is dark, it is never black
and when we pass through Loneliness, we will never look back
the past is the past, nothing there for us
ahead is our future, a glorious address
where we will find friendship, family and peace at last
and Loneliness will be found only in the past

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Um, what?

WARNING: This post contains adult language that may upset some folks and may upset work computers. Also, the content is pretty sexual, not by choice. Please read at your own risk.

Imagine it’s a week day and you have gotten up at the usual ungodly hour of 0600 to get the kids up and ready for school (I’m a night owl. Anything before 10 is ungodly.)

You’re dragging butt because you haven’t had any caffeine yet, and you are getting ready to fight with your kids about getting up and getting dressed to get out the door on time. One child is awake and the other is fighting you. You’re trying to make lunches (which you know you should have made the night before) and you’re also trying to find a second sock for one of the children because, God knows, you’re the only damn person that kind find anything in the house.

Your text message goes off on your cell phone. You wonder who in the world would be texting you so early. You glance at your iPhone and you see a text for your previous landlord. Weird. You hadn’t heard from him in months, hadn’t seen him in person for a year and hadn’t been particularly close when you lived there. Wonder why he’s texting?

You unlock your phone and read the message**. It says: “Heyyy.”

Well, too odd. You, not wanting to be rude, respond: “Good morning.”

He texts back: “Heyy what ya doing?”

You text back, again not wanting to be rude: “Getting the kids ready for school and then headed out to do some teacher observations for my college class. What are you up to?”

You get this response: “Dogs r locked upz (sic), back door is open should come over, I’m in living rm n want my dickb (sic) in uyour(sic) mouth, been drinking, all fucked up.”

dr who gif

This was the way my morning actually started on 11 March.

Before we go any further with this (yes, this isn’t a figment of my imagination, nor was this the last text I received from him that morning), I want to offer some clarification.

1. In the entire year that I lived in the house that he rented me we didn’t exchange much more in the way of conversation other than me asking him to come by and pick up the rent and me requesting of him to not smoke weed in the garage because it stunk up my house.
2. He never, not once, hit on me. I never, not once, hit on him.
3. We never, in the year that I lived there, exchanged anything more than a handshake, twice. Once when I signed the rental agreement and once when he signed the piece of paper that cleared me from the house.

I tell you all of this because I want you to understand how random this text was. I want you to understand how shocked I was to receive it. When I got this text, I realized that he must have been drinking hard and was drunk texting me as he had never, ever done anything like this before. I also knew, or hoped, that he would regret the hell out of this text when he finally sobered up. So, I took a minute to think about my response. The conversation continued….

Me: “I think I’ll pass on that great offer, simply because I’m a little time crunched this morning. But I do appreciate you thinking of me.” (My idea here was to create an out for him, saying no with a little levity and not hitting back at him too hard. Remember, I had expectations that he would regret this when he sobered up.)

Him: “Lol. Stop by for a min. Might like what I have. Haha.”

Me: I really can’t. I know I’ll be sorry I missed it though. (Again, shooting for levity and sarcasm.)

Him: “Been wanting you. :)”
Him: “Stop by for ten min, let me eat that sweet pussy. :)” (Is it just me, or do the smiley faces make it even more creepy than it already is?)
Him: “Back door is open.”

Me: “I really can’t. And I don’t want to be rude, but I think you’ll really regret this conversation a little later. I’m not coming over. But, again, thank you for the sweet offer.”

Him: “Sorry, I’m fucked up. If you change your mind?”

Me: “You’ll be the first to know. Promise.”

Him: “Let me eat that.” (To this day, I’m not sure how I resisted such a sweet offer)

Me: “Seriously, no. But, thank you again for thinking of me.”

Him: “Or fucku (sic) from behind, I’ll smack that ass n pull that hair. Pound ya real nice. I got a huge cock Robin” (Yes, he called me by name, which means he knew who he was texting. Also, he sent this gem of a text twice)
Him: “Ok. Sorry to bother ya.”
Him: “I got 7 inches n 2 inch thick :)” (Again, creepy smiley face. Yuck!)
Him: “Dogs r locked up n I’m naked in livin rm :)”
Him: “Door is open. Come n suck my cock.”

At this point, I’m into snarky mode. And more than a little creeped out by all of this.

Me: “No. But I’m shocked that I can control myself to not take advantage of those amazing numbers and not take you up on your offer.”

Him: “Come over here, there’s parkin in back. I want my cock in ur mouth.” (I know there’s parking in back. It’s where I parked for a year while I lived there.)

Me: “And I want world peace, but I’m afraid that’s just not going to happen for either of us today. Unfortunately.”

I figured with that last text, that that would be the end of it. But, unfortunately, he wasn’t going to get his cock sucked and he wasn’t done with the conversation.

Him: “Whatever. I’m surprised, thought you’d let me eat that. No prob. Door is open.”

Me: “Did you? Why?”

Him: “Cuz I saw you check me out n I love eating pussy n your (sic) in your sexual prime. N all.”

Now, at this point, I’m done. I don’t respond. Before he sent that last text, I was just skeeved out and was going to laugh it off. A random morning convo with a man that had spent too much time in the bar the night before.

But that last comment really pissed me off. I mean really pissed me off. Because he thought that I checked him out (which I didn’t), I was supposed to rush over there and suck his cock like he had finally offered me a gift that I had been waiting over a year for? You mean to say that I can’t look at a man, admire a man, without him thinking that I want to just dive into his pants?

WTF?

Look, guys, I get it. I understand that when you are checking out a woman, you are checking out her fuckability. Not every time, not every man. But, let’s be honest. In fact, I’ve been on dates with a man, watched him check out the waitress or another female patron and had him say, “I’d do that.” Guys in colleges give women a score of 1-10 on a fuckability scale. I get it. And, to be honest, sometimes women do it, too.

But, just because you check someone out does not mean that you really want them to come up and ask you, so romantically, to suck their cock. Men, seriously? Let me help you out here: most women are not going to respond favorably to, “Come on, baby, suck my cock.” Not unless you’re paying her by the hour. It’s just not going to happen. It’s one thing if you’re in the heat of the moment. If she’s feeling it and you’re feeling it.

But cold? Like this?

That’s like having Jehovah’s Witness knock on your door and ask you if you want to be saved. You’re immediate answer, for the most part, is going to be “no.”

And, guys, once she says “no,” don’t keep on. Chances are the answer is not going to change.

One more pro-tip for the guys: this kind of text messaging, if it is not welcomed by the woman, is grounds for a sexual harassment charge. Period.

The only reason I didn’t report this man is because this was the first time he had ever done anything like this. If he ever does it again, though, all bets are off.

And that’s what I told him on Wednesday morning when he texted me to apologize profusely for his behavior the day before.

The lesson here? Well, other than guys can be the biggest dicks? I’m not sure.

But at least now I can cross off “Be sexually harassed by text message” off of my bucket list.

**Everything in quotes is a word for word transcription of the text conversation that actually happened between myself and my landlord, starting at 6:15 am on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

Another year older

birthday candles

It’s my birthday! Woohoo!

No, wait. It’s Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent. Maybe I should be a little quieter about this.

Oh, no…..I gave up being Catholic!

PARTY ON!!

party on

41.

41

Good Lord. Where did the time go?

The years seem to move by so much more quickly the older I get.

I look back at this year, the first year of my fourth decade on Earth, and it hasn’t been all bad. I mean, the winter could have given us a break after the first time we had frozen pipes, but other than that, it’s been pretty good.

And I started graduate school before my 41st birthday, so I’m really happy about that.

When you get right down to it, 41 is just a number. It’s just a linear progression of time that tells you how many years you have been alive.

That’s all. Nothing more.

So, what am I going to do in my 41st year on this Earth?

I’m going to learn more learn

flowers I’m going to enjoy beauty all around me

I’m going to remember to speak kind words speak kindly

I’m going to be myself. I’m going to love myself. I’m going to be the best me I can be.

But, most of all, I’m just going to be.

And I’m going to remember to live each day as it comes. To breathe deeply. To hold close those that I care about and to let go of those that are not anything but toxic for my life.

I’m going to forgive old transgressions that I made and those that were made against me.

I’m going to love, and laugh, and cry, and, most of all, LIVE.

And it’s going to be a good year. A very good year indeed.

The Missed Message

A lot has been said lately about the “rape culture” of America. About how women are being accosted and raped and then “slut shamed” after the fact. About how women report a rape and then are treated badly by the very institutions that are supposed to protect and seek justice for them. About how many rape cases are never prosecuted and that many have evidence kits that haven’t even been tested or looked at because there wasn’t enough funding for that kind of thing.

And there is always the push back. How women should know better than to dress that way/act that way/go to those places. About how men really don’t do that kind of thing and women are just reporting rape to garner attention. About how women would never get raped if they didn’t act like sluts/whores/tramps.

Now, I know that men are raped, too. And rape, no matter who is the victim and who is the perpetrator is disgusting. But, for the sake of this little post (and because I’m a woman), I’m going to be sticking with the female victim speak.

There was an article on Yahoo just today that made me think about doing this post. Now, I know, I know, Yahoo is not a great purveyor of news. But, it caught my eye when I was going to check my email. The article was titled “Sorry, Robin Thicke. Blurred Lines Are a Myth.” (click the title to be taken to the article) It detailed a study that showed that 90% of the time in a bar or nightclub, that men on women sexual aggression was unwanted.

That’s not what got me. I mean, I’ve been to clubs and the attention was not always wanted. Hell, I’ve gone to work and gotten attention that I didn’t want. I’ve walked down the street, been shopping in a mall, serving on Active Duty, and got attention that I didn’t want.

What got to me about this article were the comments below the piece. There were a couple that really peeved me off. To start, there’s this little piece of heaven: “More liberal ‘rapey’ bullshit.. Women are as sexually aggressive as the guys….so called “victims” like the attention they get as the alleged oppressed. Everybody’s a victim of the white guy – the Left’s mantra!” Or, how about this one: “I think it’s fair to say probably most Women (sic) in bars do want it – they just want it from guys who know how to act..not drunken groping #$%$.” Or, how about this one, “So a bar isn’t the best place to meet a quality guy? What a shock.”

I would ask if I really have to enumerate what is wrong with these modes of thinking; but, seeing as how these folks thought that these words were alright to share, I guess I have to.

The article wasn’t about sexual aggression. It was about predator-like behavior of men towards women. It was about unwanted sexual aggression and unwanted sexual advances and touching. Sexual aggression is fine – if everyone is on board with that. A woman or a man that knows what they want in bed and from a partner is fine. The operative word here is “partner.” Groping someone’s ass/tatas/dick in a public bar without permission means that you are not a partner. You are a pervert. Yes, I can see how people could mistake the two words as they both start with the letter “p,” but they are not the same thing.

And why do you assume that a woman in a bar wants to have sex? Maybe, she just wants to have a drink. Hence why she went to a bar. Would you assume that a woman in a diner wants to have sex, or would you assume that she was just hungry? How about a woman at a car wash? Or in the shopping mall? Or at the gas station? Why do you think that every woman in a bar wants to have sex? Maybe they just go there for the good music and the good drinks. Maybe they go there to socialize with their friends. Not every person, regardless of sex, is looking to bump uglies. Sometimes, they’re coming there for the original reason that the bar was built: to have an alcoholic drink. Kind of like, sometimes I actually use my cell phone as a phone and not a hand held computer.

As for the last one, why do you think that a woman is on the prowl for a guy just because she is in a bar? What, because we don’t look like Cliff Claven, we can’t enjoy a drink? We are obviously there because we are lonely and undersexed.

These are the things that face women every day of the week. I have been sexually harassed, groped, and had to fend off unwanted advances in places like the shopping mall, the shoe store, the grocery store, the office, the bar, the dance club. If sexual harassment or assault only happened when we went to places like the club, it would be easy to avoid. If it only happened when we wore short dresses or high heels, swimsuits or burkhas, we would be able to take steps to protect ourselves.

But here is the cold, hard truth. Sexual harassment and assault can happen anytime and anyplace. When I was sexually harassed when I was active duty, it was while I was wearing a military uniform, BDUs. There isn’t anything that covers a woman more completely, unless you adhere to strict Muslim teaching, than military BDUs. I wasn’t wearing a short skirt, I wasn’t wearing high heels. I was wearing combat boots and a hat. I wasn’t acting provocatively. I wasn’t having an inappropriate conversation. I was doing my job.

And that’s the problem. It has become almost socially acceptable, through songs like Mr. Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” and the media portrayal of women, to sexually harass women. Why? Why is it alright? Why is it that so many of the people that are supposed to protect women through laws and other actions are so stupid about what rape is and why it’s bad?

Why haven’t we changed the conversation? Why aren’t men more pissed when they hear something like, “She shouldn’t have worn clothes like that!” Why aren’t men upset that it is being inferred that they have little to no control of their basest desires that they would be compelled to attack a woman because of the clothes she wears? Or the places she goes? Or the drinks she consumes?

Why aren’t men more upset? When did we, as a society, become so cavalier about the fact that women are being violated in record numbers? And why aren’t we more upset that these women are shamed about the fact that they were raped, like it was their fault? We side with the rapist, bemoan their “lost futures” or the fact that they were “great kids” that made a mistake, or hear a statement like “boys will be boys.” But we never hear about the horrible consequences of their decisions. The shame that the girl will feel, or the fact that having a normal relationship with a man will be hard for her the rest of her life. Or that maybe she will never be able to bear children because of the violence of the rape. Or the therapy that she will have to go through. Or the PTSD that she will live with for the rest of her life.

No, we don’t hear about that. Instead, we hear about all of her past boyfriends and her jobs and her clothes. We look at her social life and make assumptions about how she was “flirty” or “a social butterfly” or “a tramp” or “a whore.” We shame these women into making them think that it’s their fault because they were asserting their personality or sense of style.

As a woman, I worry every day about who is behind me in a store, or in a parking lot. I worry about going places when it’s dark. I worry about what I wear, how I speak, how I walk. Because I don’t want to be catcalled, or harassed, or raped just going about my life.

It’s exhausting worrying about all of those things just to live my life.

I shouldn’t have to worry about what I wear, or how I speak, or how I walk. Because rape is never the victim’s fault and there is generally nothing that anyone can do to keep the rapist from making a move, or trying to rape a woman.

We can’t keep from being raped by changing our wardrobe, enhancing our vocabularies or learning to walk like a model.

Because the act of rape is never the victim’s fault. Ever.

And that’s the message that society seems to have missed.

The Weirdest Dream EVER

For those of you that have been reading my new and improved blog, you’ll know that my pipes have frozen up for most of the past two weeks.

They thawed for approximately 20 hours the other day and we threw a party, complete with showers, laundry and dishwasher running.

Yeah!  I have a mop and I'm ready to party *said no woman ever*

Yeah! I have a mop and I’m ready to party *said no woman ever*

I mean, really, when I get excited about cleaning the house, you know it’s been a ridiculous time for us. I mean, I hate housework. No, that’s not right. I LOATHE it, with a passion usually reserved for Stalin and idiot racists.

But, that’s not the point of this post.

Because the pipes froze, we have been unable to shower at the house. Yes, the shower was out of commission, the toilet was not refilling, the washing machine, the kitchen sink and dishwasher were all out of commission. Pots and pans are stacking up, we’re eating with plastic silverware and off of paper plates to keep the dishes to a minimum.

But it was the showers that were killing me. Or, lack thereof.

Not to say that I wasn’t keeping clean, shaving all that needed to be shaved. Applying soap in all the necessary places.

Needless to say, it wasn’t anything like Julia Roberts in Beverly Hills.

No, it was more like Laura Ingalls in her Little House.

I would boil a tea pot of water on the stove. I had to fill said tea pot in the bathroom sink because it was the only one with running water. I then had to wait for it to boil. Then, take it back to the bathroom and pour it into a bowl, a little at a time, and use it to wash my hair (mixed with cold water, obviously) and shave, and PTA bathe so that I could be seen in public.

It was a ridiculous amount of work and got old very quickly.

Obviously, the idea of the shower not working was taking up a lot of space in my mind, consciously and subconsciously, as evidenced by the dream I had last night.

I dreamt I went to a whorehouse. No, I didn’t work there. I was a customer.

Yes, women can frequent whorehouses, too

Yes, women can frequent whorehouses, too

I talked to the lady at the desk and paid my money. I then stuck my hand in a big jar, a la Hunger Games the reaping

I came up with a doozy. It was the perfect man. Beautiful blue eyes, hair that you want to run your fingers through, amazingly straight teeth. And, he spoke fluent French.

Yes, I drew out the name Bradley Cooper.

Who wouldn't volunteer to be with him???

Who wouldn’t volunteer to be with him???

Bradley Cooper, who is an orgasm on a stick, was to entertain and please me all night long.

It was my personal wet dream come true.

So, I took the name that I had drawn out, picked up my bag (cause you never know what you’ll need for a night of sexual fun and pleasure) and stepped through the curtain into the whorehouse proper.

And immediately stopped.

I never got to have my night with Bradley Cooper. I never knew his sweet, sensual touch on my skin.

Because the whorehouse had the most spectacular showers on the face of the earth.

Do you understand? I gave up a night of sexual healing with Bradley Cooper to TAKE A SHOWER.

I chose a SHOWER over BRADLEY COOPER.

There is something so wrong with that.

Now, excuse me while I boil some water. I need to clean up the remnants of my dream….

Friday Fictioneers 31 January 2014

I had to work hard at this one. I didn’t have a story for the longest time, but it finally came to me. Not the happiest submission ever, but still.

Here’s the beautiful picture we had for inspiration:

Friday Fictioneers 30 Jan 14

And here’s what I came up with, about 9 words over 100:

Her daddy had worked here all his life, had told her stories of how her great-grandfather had built this business from the ground up, on the strength of his back, the precision in his hands and the morals that he taught her grandfather who had, in turn, taught her father. She grew up hearing all the stories of how her great-grandfather had made his life after he had been freed, after Sherman marched to the sea. She understood how that hard work had enabled her to be the first person in her family to graduate college. And she cried as the pieces of it were sold off at auction.

Do you want some cheese with that whine?

If you’ve read any of my posts prior to this new me blog, then you know that this is not where I expected to be. I never expected to be a divorcee. I never thought that I would be restarting my life at age 40. This is not what I planned.

But I’ve learned something in the past couple of years:

Life doesn’t give a shit what you planned. At all.

I think John Lennon said it best:

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

Smart and talented.  Only the good die young, right?

Smart and talented. Only the good die young, right?

I had a plan. I knew that I was going to be married to the same man (not happily, but still), and we were going to see it through to his retirement. We were going to buy a house and settle into a neighborhood and make friends and be happy. Life was going to take us to where we were planning on going. I was going to teach and he was going to do something with his degree (that was vague because he didn’t even know what he wanted to do) and we were going to see our kids off to college and live there the rest of our lives.

But that’s not what happened. Instead, life got in the way.

Life is rarely, if ever, smooth or nice or predictable. Things happen. People happen. People change and make your life different because of it.

helping get up with textIt does no good to whine about it, or throw a pity party or to be unwilling to make the best of the hand you were dealt.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. He is a perfect example of being somewhere he never expected to be, ever. A good man, he is, one of the best. He made a mistake and now he’s sitting in jail because of it. He made a mistake and he’s paying the piper for what he did.

Some time before he got into trouble, his marriage fell apart. He likes to take most of the blame, but I told him that it takes two to work at a marriage and neither of them were willing to work hard enough. As his marriage was falling apart, he was sent to Afghanistan for a tour of duty there. While he was there, he met a woman.

Love at first sight is wonderful!

Love at first sight is wonderful!

I asked him if it was love at first sight. He said, completely without irony, that it was. He stated that they tried to ignore it, that he was going to try to fix what was going wrong at home. But then his ex-wife left, taking the kids and most of their possessions, and there was nothing left to save.

He decided to give it a go with this “once-in-a-lifetime” woman that he had chanced to meet while at war.

Fast forward and he’s in jail and she’s retired from the military. She moved to a town to be closer to where he is incarcerated and has been having a hard time of it for the past year or so. Things haven’t worked out the way that she expected and it’s harder on her to have him where he can’t physically support her while she’s out there.

He told me that he spoke to her the other day and she said, “If things don’t change soon, we’re going to be homeless!”

Now, this upset me on a couple of levels. First, your love is in jail. This is a shitty place to be. He doesn’t need thelove behind bars extra stress that your whining creates. Also, delivering that last line with a good dose of, “It’s your fault that I’m here!” really sucks. I mean, seriously? Secondly, I asked if she was working. He stated, “No, she’s not. She expected to be with me at my next duty station and be a stay-at-home-mom.”

Um, WHAT?

Seriously? I didn’t expect to be a 40-year-old divorcee living in a damn trailer in the northeast with frozen pipes and no money in my bank account.

But what you expect and what you get are very often two different things.

I’m not ragging on stay-at-home mom’s at all. Don’t get me wrong. But what the hell is wrong with this woman that she has decided that she would rather lament what should have been rather than rolling with the punches and standing up on her own two feet? This woman retired as a senior enlisted from the military. She’s obviously a capable person, who commanded troops. Get off your damn ass and get a job!

And, honestly, making the man that you proclaim to love feel even more guilty about where he is is not fair to him in the least. Stop whining and be a capable woman and take care of yourself.

I just don’t understand that at all. I mean, my situation right now is pretty crappy. Hell, it’s been a pretty cruddy couple of years.

But I don’t have the luxury to sit around and lament my situation. I have to get up and change it. I have to keep soldiering on. If for no other reason than my kids.

pooSometimes, life is big, steaming pile of poo poo. You can either sit there in the fumes and complain about the smell or you can move upwind.

The choice is always up to you. Always.

Sometimes, moving upwind is a lot harder than sitting there in the stench. But if life were easy, it wouldn’t really be

I'll take that mulligan now, thanks!

I’ll take that mulligan now, thanks!

life, would it? It would be some kind of game where you could call “Mulligan!” whenever you screwed up.

But life isn’t a golf game. You can’t sit there and play, “What if?” with you life. Correction: you could. But what would it gain you? How is that moving your life forward?

How is that making you a better, stronger person than the one you are today?

You have a choice. You can sit there in the stench or you can pick yourself up and chose to move forward. Away from that which is toxic, away from things and people that do nothing to help you become a better person.

Remember, the choice is always yours.

Personally, I don’t know of anyone’s poo that actually smells like roses.

Would you like to join me in moving upwind?