Story 1. Part 1.

Alex was one of the lucky ones.  At least, that's what she told herself when she felt insecure about her decision. Leaving Denver was definitely what she'd wanted; there were no doubts in her mind about that. It was the hellhole of her youth and she didn't bother to veil her contempt when the ladies at the shop cooed with envy during the interview.  People worldwide, it seemed, believed that anywhere in Colorado just had to be Paradise. It somehow conjured visions of azure skies backlighting an endless wonderland of peaks, glittering with ski resorts and high country rock climbing opportunities.  Alex cursed them all to be forced to drive through the eastern half of the state and on through Kansas. She wanted every person whose eyes moistened with longing at the thought of a Rocky Mountain high to be buried six feet deep in snow.  In their cars.  She was one of the lucky ones who got out. Hell - if there was one - was spending your entire life suffocating in the town of your birth, no matter where that town happened to be.

But after nearly a six months in Austin, it still didn't feel like home...



You know what? Screw this.

Real life is just too much to bear in any conventional way.  I'm retreating into fantasy and I'm taking this blog with me. Maybe my imagination will rescue me from this hell I'm living in. If I'm going to be forced to live (because I'm a coward), then it might as well be by pretending I'm somewhere else.


I Don't Think You Appreciate Just How Cool I'm Being

It was a bad idea and a good idea, moving in with S.P.

It's been about two weeks now. I'm trying to save up to move out of state, my lease was up, and S.P. generously offered his apartment for the remaining months until my big relocation. So, logistically, it was a smart move. One of the things I don't like about it, however, is that I can't avoid him when I'm angry. He doesn't like to leave me alone when I'm mad. He, for some reason, needs to pester me until I'm forced to confront him. This is dangerous. I have a powerful temper. I've been known to break things and put people in the hospital. It's far safer to just let me calm down before I say or do something I can't take back. I recognize it's not an attractive trait, this temper of mine. I'm working on it, but for now my method of keeping things from spinning out of control is to keep quiet and avoid confrontation. This is not something he seems to understand.

I'm mad right now. Angry, in fact, to the point that it's difficult to concentrate and really even see straight. That's why I'm posting. Maybe if I get my thoughts in order, I'll be able to calm down and get through this. I'll preface the following recap by acknowledging the absurdity of my emotions in this instance. I recognize that my responses are not logical or entirely rational. That does not, however, enable me to stop feeling them. This is part of the reason I don't go to friends with these kinds of things and choose post to a public blog instead. My friends would never understand.

Three nights ago, as the two of us were settling into bed for the night, S.P. asked if I had class tonight. The question itself is mildly distressing as I'd been obsessing about my final exam on Tuesday and I'll be graduating on Saturday. It should have been blindingly obvious, should he pay even the slightest bit of attention, that NO, there was no class for me tonight. That's the first point.

He used this question to introduce an announcement that he would be eating dinner with out-of-town coworkers on Wednesday and that there was an office happy hour planned for tonight. His timing was not ideal. Declaring these plans to me as I'm about to doze off, in such an offhand way, is not the best way to send me off to dreamland. I was up most of the night. I went and slept in the living room. Disturbing my sleep is not good and does not help my mood. Several things about this announcement set me off.

1. Aside from the point made above, this happy hour is "scheduled" to end at 6pm. 6pm is when I get home, even when there is no class. So, whether or not I have class is entirely irrelevant.

2. Also, I know he won't be home when he says he will. He has no sense of timing. It's like dealing with a stoned person. It takes ages for him to get ready and go anyplace. Case in point - he told me he'd be home last night at 8. He was home at 10. I may not have been so mad if he'd actually stick to his promised timeline. But, I knew all along it would turn out that way. I was just disappointed to have it confirmed.

3. The next morning, when he kept needling me to ask what was wrong and I finally told him, he asked - sarcastically - if he should ask his boss not to schedule any more happy hours. Naturally, this is not what I would hope for. However, S.P. doesn't have to attend every office function. He's is constantly up his co-workers' asses, as if they were his best friends in all the world. I doubt they share his desperate need to be together every moment of every day. I'm exaggerating, of course, but you understand what I'm trying to get across.

4. I am sick and tired of his out-of-town visitors. Granted, he came here from another state. Part of the reason he feels so close to his coworkers (I'm assuming), is that the majority of them transferred here at the same time he did. But, in the months I've known him, he has had just as many "friends" come to see him. They are primarily young, skinny, single women. The last time I considered leaving him, it was because of his dinner with one of them.

That is the initial set of issues I can't seem to see my way past. Now, on to my behavior in response to my (perhaps unreasonable) rage.

I have already hinted at my initial reactions above. On Tuesday night, after my grueling exam, I came home to no fanfare, no dinner, and cat vomit on the carpet. Thanks, S.P., you're a real peach.

After scrounging up some dinner, I had a beer and relaxed a little. We started chatting about our day, etc. The topic of his dinner the following night came up and he asked me, "Is that okay?" One might suspect that, having asked this question, he would be interested in my response. Not so. He will do exactly as he likes, regardless of my opinion. To a certain extent, he should. And my reply to this question was, "yes." Of course he should feel free to eat dinner with his coworkers. I understand that there isn't anything wrong with that. When I answered him, I was telling the truth. That doesn't mean it didn't bother me or that I didn't feel threatened by his evening out. But, I have no right to ask (futile as it might be) that he not go to dinner. I intended, at the time, to control my actions the following night so that he would understand that when I say I'm okay with something, I mean it.

When I got into town from work last night, I went out to dinner alone, took a shower, and watched movies I can't watch when he's around (well, I intended to, but couldn't find anything really gory). But, the later it got and the more excuses he sent me, the more upset I became. I finally decided that I was exhausted and needed to sleep. I did not respond to his continual texts partially because I was becoming increasingly irritated and partially because I wasn't paying much attention to my phone.

This morning, I made every attempt to avoid him. I was still pissed off and didn't want to go to work angry. No need to start the day with a fight. And while he was walking his dog (who I fed and medicated and walked without appreciation), I wanted to slip away and just leave. But, I had said recently that I wouldn't do that. So, I found him outside and told him I was leaving. He demanded a hug and a kiss. I complied. However, as we parted I said, "See you later. Or maybe not. I have no idea when you'll be home." Granted, it likely wasn't the best choice of words, but it's true. I don't know when he will come home tonight. So, having been hurt by this last comment of mine, he followed me to my car. I asked him, as politely as I could, to leave me alone. I had no wish to argue publicly in the parking lot right before I left for work. His response was to slam my car door, storm off, and send me a long text about how I've been so mean to him.

And now I arrive at the sentiment that generated the title of this post. I remember it from a movie, but can't remember which one it's from. I have tried very hard to keep from fighting, to keep from name-calling, yelling, breaking things, hurting anyone, or even raising my voice. I've tried, albeit without much success, to make it understood that I believe his interactions outside the relationship are acceptable and healthy. His accusations that I've been mean to him and that I'm treating him as if he's been cheating are simply unfounded. He truly has no idea how cool I'm being. If I had any confirmation that he'd been untrue, the sheer terror of my wrath would make Freddy Krueger cringe. The entire apartment complex would know about it and someone, surely, would end up injured. I often turn my wrath upon myself, so this is not a threat to harm him or anyone he is involved with.

I remember once, when I was in a relationship with another guy in another city, years ago, I was so upset that I shattered every glass in the apartment on the kitchen floor and then proceeded to stomp, barefoot, on the shards until I was forcefully stopped. Yeah. I know how that sounds. Crazy, right? A little extreme at best. Clearly, that's not how a mature, rational, human being should behave. Guess what though. I'm medicated now. I go to a therapist. I don't break things or cut myself. I grew up. But, you may be able to see how my current behavior in response to being so angry I can't see properly, is quite an improvement.

So, tonight, S.P. has his happy hour, again with co-workers. I'm planning to go out with a friend, simply because I don't want to go home. How I miss my "space."


A List

Now, I've never been one to believe that a woman's place is to please her mate. I'm a feminist. I think there should be equal sharing in a healthy relationship. You give. You take. Part of the reason that I struggle so much with my new relationship is that I have a lot of issues to conquer. S.P. (that's what I'll call my SO for now) is a very patient and understanding person. That's part of what makes him the right one for me. I am also a very open communicator.

For example, one thing I've struggled with (for what seems like ages now) is jealousy. I don't know where it came from. I know it's ruined at least one of my relationships. I know it hurts. I know it's not productive and that it does me no good. But, there's a creeping voice in my head that doesn't want to be made a fool of. The Voice likes to invent scenarios. If S.P. sends me a text, telling me he's staying late at the office, The Voice just knows that it means he's seeing a woman after hours. But, he's not. Really, he's not. So, recognizing that I have this problem, I told him about it and I've started seeing a therapist. I don't know, yet, if it's doing me any good, but (even if I stop seeing S.P.) jealously is going to be something I'll struggle with until I can get a handle on it. Why is this a problem?

One facet (and I expect there are many) of my personality that contributes to this problem is a lack of self-esteem. I don't see why he'd want to be with me, therefore, I don't see why another woman couldn't offer him something I don't. So, as an exercise, I am going to try listing the positive things I bring to this relationship. The idea is that, if I bolster my sense of self-worth, I'll have more confidence. More confidence should lead to a stronger feeling of security. Stronger security should help alleviate the fear that another person (I'm equally as threatened by men) will "steal his affections." (God, the more I write, the more absurd it all seems.) Here goes:

A List of What I Bring to This Relationship:

I throw the box like a witch.
I'm very affectionate.
Common interests.
Sense of humor.
Open mind.
Ability to consider things from multiple perspectives.
Willingness to let the little things go (in my stronger moments).
Thoughtfulness and consideration
Crisis skill set
Reminders (did you pay your electric bill?)
Artistic ability
Back scratching
Love of animals
Scientific mind (mostly)
Good taste
Division of labor
Love of research
I don't always demand to be right
Zombie apocalypse survival skills
Willingness to try new things
Financial support
Emotional support
Dedication to my education
Introduction of new interests
Sewing/knitting/crochet skills
I get along with his family
Brains (in general)
Good conversation
Willingness to admit my shortcomings
Desire to work toward solutions
Organization and planning

That's what I've noticed he appreciates, as well as what I think I bring to the table.


I'm not feeling healthy.

I recently received notification of a comment left on this blog. It was an advertisement, encouraging me to sign up for a new social networking blog service thingie. I checked it out. I wasn't interested. But, I'd forgotten all about Little Tragedies. It's been three years since I posted anything here. I think it's about time to resurrect it. It's bizarre to me to read these old posts. While I remember the events described quite clearly, I can't relate to the head space so much any more. I'm...well, I'm not in a good head space right now. It's encouraging to see that I once was. I think maybe I can get there again. I think maybe the time is right to start blogging again, if for no other reason than to see what my thoughts look like in writing.

I'm not feeling healthy.
This is entirely beside the fact that I have a cold right now.
It's my brain that's not healthy. No tumors or cancers or stray fluids are lurking up there (at least, not that I know of). I wasn't hit with a bat. I don't have a concussion. I don't have seizures or blackouts or strokes.

I have a relationship.

And it's not so much the relationship that's the problem. It's a good relationship - at least, it would be if I let it. It's that this is one of those "serious" relationships and I haven't had one of those since my divorce. I got divorced because my ex was a psychopath who tried to murder me. So, ya know, I've got baggage. Mind you, this is baggage that's eight years old. But, I hadn't realized just how severely damaged I was until all of these new feelings starting re-hydrating my capillaries. Nerve endings have come to life that had been numb for ages. You know that "pins and needles" feeling when circulation returns to your foot after you've sat on it for a while? It's sort of like that, but emotionally.

So, maybe reviving Little Tragedies will give me a space to sort it all out.


Year of the Tiger

Well, it seems that a new year is upon us. In reality, nothing has changed but the date on the calendar. It's only the progression from one day to another. But, all over the world people celebrate this day (depending on when their calendar switches over) as if it were a new beginning - as if somehow everything has changed and it's a brand new experience. I think it's healthy to have a sort of cleansing attitude. My yearly tradition is to clean house on new years. It's symbolic of a fresh start as well.

I'm proud of how much I accomplished over my four-day weekend. I managed to clear all but one of the boxes out of my hallway, shred three moving boxes full of old documents, rearrange my bedroom, bake muffins and move my long awaited couch into the apartment. Whew! About five years ago, a co-worker who was moving out of state told me that she had some furniture to get rid of. I didn't have an apartment at the time (living with Dad), but I told her that I couldn't turn down free furniture. I even rented a storage space just to hold it. I have a red suede couch, loveseat and matching ottoman. However, up until yesterday, I'd never seen that couch in use. I've been sitting on the loveseat, which I had in my last apartment, staring at an empty space in the living room for two and half months, just dying to have that damn couch finally in my home. So, I went a rented a truck, called in a favor from a friend, and moved the effing thing! Yay! I was practically leaping for joy.

The furniture, as we've established, is red. My floors are wood. So, the entire theme of the space in the living room is turning out to be red and brown. I'm going to make it into a fancy-pants study with animal heads on the walls and pipe smoking and the whole nine. Of course, the space is tiny, so it's going to be kind of silly, but it will amuse me. Maybe I'll post some pics.

Sigh. It's time to start the work week....


The One

I was thinking this morning, for some reason, about all of the references to "The One" - i.e. the chosen one - in film. Either the topic is a popular one in cinema, or the theme just so happens to pop up in what I'm watching. (Am I subconsciously drawn to it?) Off the top of my head, we've got The Highlander, The Matrix, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and of course The One. Does "the one" symbolize Jesus Christ? Is that what it all boils down to? The Matrix certainly has the whole biblical parallel thing going on. Or maybe that's just where the concept originated. In Highlander and in The One, the star individual gains power by eliminating others of his kind. Surely that's not a very Christlike concept.

Here's another question. Why is it that "the one" is always male? That would seem to support my Christian theory. Are there any films where the lead female character is referred to in this manner? There is no shortage of female action heroes. Does this singular dominator only appear in American movies?

So many questions...my mind is always swirling after my morning cup of joe. I guess it takes some time to settle down after my bizarre dream activity. Some of the strangest things come to mind while I'm asleep. If there was only a way to record these nocturnal specters, I'd be rolling in cash money!

Can you think of any more movies with "The One" mention?