Monday, February 12, 2007


I saw an old friend today. We haven’t sat and talked for years. Kids, life on opposite sides of the city- we lost touch. But sitting in her kitchen today, I remembered the connection we always had, the way we both think deeply about our lives, consider choices thoughtfully.

Okay, we are both process queens.

Lesbian heaven, Walter said to me when I described my visit.

I laughed. Yes, it was. She’s not sick of hearing it all.

I know Walter is not sick of hearing it. He’d listen to me over and over. He never loses his patience with me. Maybe he’s taking a pill… one of those calm down pills Allan gave me before the wedding when I was zipping along at about nine hundred miles per hour about everything, every detail.

Why did I get so far away from wonderful people, Walter? Why did I move towards people who would suck me dry?

They sense it in your posture, he joked, your shoulders tight, slightly hunched over- ooo. That’s a ripe one.

Like pheromones. Some hidden scent that draws narcissistic personality types in for the kill.

Don’t forget that’s where you needed to be for a while. You got some benefits from it, too.

I know I did. I felt needed, wanted and important. It made me feel better about myself when I had lost the ground under my feet. Years of staying home with the kids, taking care of the house, being a housewife, made me feel irrelevant.

I let my world slip away. I let my friends across the city become strangers. Good people who love me and think the world of me.

Got ‘em fooled, I tell ya.

I feel… hopeful for the first time in a while. I am looking around my world and finding a lot of love and support. I feel… cared for.

And while there are echoes of the past that still haunt me- I found myself looking back over my shoulder for acceptance where there will never be any just the other day- it is, I realize, behind me. The effort hurt. It didn’t feel natural.

I don’t need it anymore. The need to care for another to fill my empty space is a whisper. It is part of an old route, clearly worn, but I’m no longer willing to travel it anymore.

The story of the pianist’s amazing performance and fear to take a bow, for one in the audience did not clap has always been true for me. I have always wanted everyone to clap. It led me into hurtful places, giving up everything for the approval of a single voice hog who was oblivious and neglectful.

I am no longer voiceless. I am ready to hear the applause for who I am without the superhuman effort.

I feel myself softening. My posture, as Walter pointed out, is no longer stiff, rigid. I am able to move, smile and stand tall; kiss, hug and laugh.

I soaked in my cup of coffee with a good friend.

I am surrounded by kindness.


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