Thursday, August 16, 2007
...but there's a warm wind blowing, the stars are out
And I'd really love to see you tonight.-- England Dan & John Ford Coley, "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight" (1976)
I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
that I almost believe that they're real
I've been living so long with my pictures of you
that I almost believe that the pictures are
all I can feel...
-- The Cure, "Pictures Of You" (1989)
Welcome back to the blog, and hopefully you didn't get too eluded by the two updates to last entry. Stuff can change fast, as was the case with the friend I went to visit yesterday (as mentioned last time). The change in Bertie's case, before I start telling the real stories, was that she's leaving the state in one week. When she came back to Washington she told me and everyone around her that in awhile -- I don't recall the approximate timeframe, but it seemed near the end of the year -- she would be moving up to Alaska to be with a friend from high school. Her dad kept telling people she was back on the ranch here to stay, despite being told her intentions. The change to the plan came the other day, whereupon some life and housing situation of the friend changed for the positive and now Bertie was to come up immediately. So yesterday was the last full day that either of us would be able to spend together before she departed. I'm very glad to have taken the time with her, less than we wanted but I had plans in town at 8pm and it's a 130 mile drive, and as a bonus I got to meet her 5-year-old daughter Liahna, who is a hilarious and smart bundle of energy. She pledged that it wouldn't be another 15 years before we saw each other again, and the promise she'd made with her friend was for one year to see how things worked out in the land of the midnight sun (working in daycare for teachers' kids and possibly setting up a cake decorating business) so she swears that she'll be back before long and not be a stranger. [Advice: Get your own computer, relying on other people's is part of why communication is so rare!]
I'm using a lot more self-censorship in writing about the visit and history than usual. Parts of the past I may have written about in the Daybook of Say Something Cryptic in the past, but there's a lot that I won't post online (but will tell in person and grin broadly from when I think about it). Parts of the present are not really anyone else's business, and I don't completely understand so don't feel comfortable trying to repeat. So the short version of distant history is: We met at summer camp in 1986 by way of her being interested in my friend and me being interested in her friend, and when those two blew us off and started hanging around together (since neither was asking for anything beside company, we guess) she and I became friends after camp to commiserate; she was this chunky 16 year old with a soft manner and a slight lisp who was more genuine and sincere than most people will ever be. Life started taking turns when she was in her senior year, and after graduation she took a Greyhound Bus to come see me (without telling me she was coming ahead of time!) right before she moved to Maryland to become a nanny. Three years later she was home for a visit, so we got to spend Thanksgiving together at her family's house. Time passed, we both got married to the people we'd been with for years, she had a child and I got a cat, and that brings us up to this year. The short version of the present history is: Things have not been entirely copasetic in her life and mind for a few years, and she'd allude to things being not to her liking but not explain enough for me to grasp. This summer, things pretty much came to a head for her. There was a lack of communication between her and her husband, he had some directions and ideas that didn't really make linear sense and inflicted them upon his family rather than discussing them, and he was making promises that he could not keep attempting to instill domestic peace. One thing she found very bothersome is that he'd always cast blame on her for everything, including the things he would admit were his own flaws and mistakes, and he'd make scenes in public (throw tantrums even!) over the slightest misunderstanding. Deciding this was no way to live, and having lost most of her positive feelings for him, and knowing that a change of scenery for both of them wasn't going to solve the root issues (in fact would create new issues), she took their daughter and came back to her family while preparing to build a new life with an old friend. I can't say whether seeing me yesterday was part of her staying grounded (it definitely helped) but it did remind her, as her family and that friend do, that she has a support system and people who love her unconditionally always in her periphery. This is something we all need to be reminded of on cloudy days, this I know. And she is just as beautiful now (inside and out) as she was when I met her, and then some.
So, let's see, what's stupid in my arena lately? The trip yesterday had a few slight stupidities, like invisible roadwork at two points. Seriously, the traffic on two-lane mountain highways with speed limits greater than 55mph would just dead stop, with no visible reason why. You don't expect that on a Tuesday morning. I made it to my destination on time, but that is chiefly due to only a five minute delay in a place where the signs all said it'd be 20-30 minutes. Snapped a photo [below; click for large version] of a semi that had run into the side of the back end of another semi that was trying to take a left (had to have been low speed because this was a truckstop area), which is proof to the kids that everyone needs to patiently and courteously take their turn. One stupidity was avoided; I was slated to fill in today for a vacationing coworker, and the scheduling guy was in talks with another coworker to pick up the hours, saying that he'd email me at work (where I'm not!) Wednesday evening about whether I had to work today... along with emailing me, he called my house to say I was off, to my happy surprise. (Happy Surprise = he called. Otherwise I'd be showing up today around 1:45pm to check my email, then wind up driving back home.) And the stupid thing I have to contend with once I post this is fixing the livingroom curtains: When I took the rod down for painting, there were half a dozen screws trying to hold the bracket in place on the left side, none of them really having any support or connection to anything. When I put it back up, I used wall anchors, and kept having to use progressively larger ones because nothing was staying in place. Well, in looking last night, the largest anchor I have is also breaking free of the wall and is about to come popping out, so I gotta go get some molly-bolts or other solution that's gonna expand on the inside of the wall to keep the things on the outside of the wall in place. Toodles!
I'm just verbose and windy, which masques the fact that I usually don't have anything worth hearing to say. :)