June 15th, 2001

Brown-eyed Stare

Back yet again...in the thickness of the June heat

Hello....

It's funny how I do this; I write, have realizations and/or a crisis, sometimes with catharsis, and figure things out. Then I stop writing for a while, usually about a month. Then I come back. Funny, that. I don’t get into the petty day-to-day stuff, much… I usually save writing here for the big nasties, or the Large Realizations (tm).

Well, let’s see…I did not turn out to be a new hire at the place I thought I would be (I am told that the auto industry is like this, especially now). So I am working for a lobbying firm downtown. And am still at Drugs-R-Us in the evenings.

Charlotte’s fine, Sunny is fine (despite the heat) and Jim is still Jim. Damn, that boy is a strange one. See…it’s like this: We broke up in ’98 and were bitterly hurt by each other at that time. But we’d both lost our best friends, and slowly we mended the friendship. It’s at the point now that we’re pretty tight again, but (and this is a HUGE *but*), we are ONLY JUST FRIENDS. He’s made that perfectly clear (with several women he has dated), and I think it was clear on my part when I started seeing Kris. But since Kris, there really hasn’t been anyone special for me(other than the few crushes, and a one-night stand that I thought might be more).

Now, I’ve recently been posting on a board to see if I could start meeting people (because hells, if nothing changes, NOTHING CHANGES!). And I’ve met someone who’s *lots* of fun to chat with, and I hope soon to get to meet, and talk with him in person (and perhaps a date, even!). He seems a *lot* like me (his written mannerisms are a lot like mine), and his tastes in music, politics and intellectual pursuits are similar. :-) At the very least, I think I have another good friend, and perhaps someone dateable, and who knows from there.

The problem with Jim is this: When I told him about this, and the fact that I may soon be out on a date with this person, he frowned and hung his head like a scolded pup.

(Jeez, dude, did you see me doing that when you and the lady from Zimbabwe were out? No… because we *both* agreed we make much better friends than lovers -- and because I have vowed to myself that my heart is NOT involved with you anymore, sir… fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on *me*.)

See, Jim is still physically attracted to me, but I’m not, to him (because that attraction, for me, is motivated by my heart), and I love him like a brother/good friend, but NOTHING MORE. Anything more that I could have had for him died the day he broke up with me. Hells, he took me to a restaurant, and gave me a gift …*I* thought he was going to propose… we’d been dating for nearly 7 years, and had talked about moving to upstate New York where I’d work and he’d go back to school, and we’d raise Golden Retrievers near a lake. And then he takes me out for dinner, hands me this gift, and then says we’d be better off apart. *insert the sound of one jaw dropping*

*sigh*

So, I had the rug completely pulled out from under my life, and my mental framework came crashing down. And all of my dreams and aspirations were entwined within that framework. So, I crashed, too. I gave up on men for a while, and after talking for an eternity online, I wound up dating a beautiful woman who helped my heart to heal (and yes, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for her).

With help and support from her and friends, I rebuilt my self-image, and since then, I've been dealing with several big, HEAVY issues that I had swept under the mental rug. And I’m pretty much through to the other side now, and I relish the friendships and relationships I’ve built.

But, I think Jim has watched as I’ve rebuilt myself, and he’s begun to realize just what he threw away. But he doesn’t get that it’s *much* too late to try and re-build something romantic. I can’t; I don’t have it in me to trust him in that way again. I just don’t (and I’d be a fool if I did).

But for some reason, when I told Jim about this new person, he was despondent. (Um… Sorry, Charlie… you *had* your chance, remember? And you tossed me aside for someone younger and cuter…and as it turned out, mentally sicker…than I was. And that was *your* choice, dude; you did that. And everyone has to live with the consequences that they create, good and bad.)

Sorry… just a bit of catharsis there. I am still bitter sometimes about the way Jim and I parted (nobody likes to be dumped for another person). And things really *are* better with us as friends; I’ve learned a lot, and I think he has, too. But he needs to learn to let go of me. I know we still have co-custody of Sunny Bear (sounds silly, until you see that the dog has separation anxiety when he can’t be with his “pack”) but Sunny won't always be there. And neither will I, except as a friend. And hopefully, he will come to learn this.

So, I am hoping that the conversation with this new person continues to go well. And I like that it’s going slowly…that feels good, and right. And if there’s not chemistry between us, then I know I’ll at least have a new friend. And this is a good thing (all Martha Stewart puns aside).

In other realms, yes, I did go out for a whirlwind visit to Seattle in May; here’s what I did, in a nutshell:

Got picked up at 1am-ish, and stayed with Misha, went for a lovely romp through the International Folk Festival with Rhonda, Rod and Misha; had muchmuch fun gallivanting through the Two-Level Target with Misha after being subtly bribed with fish and chips and Strongbow (!) at the Irish Emigrants Pub (oh yeah!), went to Red Sky Poetry Reading in search of Chris, had a bit of a smoulder with Chris about a mix-up (but as usual we ironed it out; patterns, you know), ended up borrowing Juno (the Misha-mobile) and tooling around Seattle, and whisking Chris off to another street fair, had a dinner date and LOTS of conversation (and a cuddle!) with Kris, had ice cream and conversation at a strange Goth greasy spoon with Meg, John and Misha, had meat(!!) with Misha and Chris at Mongolian BBQ and FINALLY met heather and her nifty new husband!! (ps: yes, heather really *is* that cute in person!! and cuddly!!) and was treated to a lovely time with BWH at MarLai Thai restaurant, in Laurelhurst (where who should appear, but Bill Gates and Family!) where there was much Chicken-On-A-Stick, rare beef salad, pad thai, and fried ice cream!! Um, then I bade goodbye to the Heathen Science Reading Room kitties, caught the airport shuttle, and flew home.

Whew!! All of that in 3 and a half days… next time I am GOING to take the full week, or I may hurt myself!! But oh! did I enjoy the trip!! I had so much fun, and got to see a lot, and spend some really good time with some really good people!!! It was *wonderful*!! I miss my Seattle friends and loved ones very much, and hope that soon I will be near them. When the time is right, I shall.

So, that’s about it for now. Things at Better Living Through Chemistry have gotten better, and PrettyBlueEyes is doing better. And believe me, that is *good* to see. :-)

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have another letter to write, one to a sweet, funny, red-haired gentleman who may have a thing or two to teach me about Bessie Smith and Etta James, over a good cup of coffee (I hope).

:-) Ciao for now.